Friday, July 5, 2013

Interview: Esther Wheelmaker

I am pleased to welcome Esther Wheelmaker, author of Gravely Inanimated, the first novel in the Zombiepunk series.  Released in March, the novel tells the tale of an England invaded by zombies, and Lucy, her attention captured by two young men, whose secrets make her wonder which is more dangerous, the zombies or the men who are capturing her attention and perhaps, her heart?  Check it out!!

Extra, extra, read all about it: Zombies Invade London!

It has been thirty years since England was plagued by zombies. Humans fear for their lives while the dead kill the living.

By the cover of night, a man known only as Aeron hunts these creatures. On one foggy evening he finds Lucille Knight's life in jeopardy and Aeron's interest is instantly peaked when he saves the young lady.

But Aeron will have competition when Lucy meets Lord Garrett Ashdown, son of the Inventor, Earl Thomas.

Lucy is drawn to the masked man and equally mysterious Lord. With one concealing his true identity and the other hiding a ghastly secret, she does not know which one is less dangerous.

Will she be able to be with the man she chooses when she learns the awful truth?

Interview with Esther
1) To start off, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?  How did you become interested in writing steampunk?
I went to the Steampunk World Faire last year because it looked interesting and while I was there I just fell in love with the whole concept. Especially after I heard Kady Cross and some other authors speak about their books. It was an amazing experience and after meeting the band V is for Villains I was even more inspired to get into this genre.

2) Can you tell us a little about your novel, Gravely Inanimated? What is it like to create your own world?
My “elevator speech”: A love that’s formidable, revenge that must be taken and a Voodoo Queen that roots fear in the hearts of the innocent; all while zombies eat people. :grin: 

Creating my own world is like playing God. Hahaha. For this genre it required a mass of research. I love the Victorian Era though so I already understood that end. The zombies were all new to me. But after I looked into the lore surrounding the creature it actually became lots of fun. There was tons I could do with them; add the voodoo and I felt like there were endless possibilities. 

3) What inspired you to write Gravely Inanimated?  How much research was involved in the writing?
I can not tell a lie. It’s all my brothers fault. A pointed out the zombie trend forming and like lots of guys he likes zombie best. I use to hate them until I wrote Gravely Inanimated. But the versatility I could use with the genre was something I couldn’t pass on.

The research included finding out more about voodoo and zombies mostly and of course I had to read some Steampunk books to get an idea of how it’s formed. I love research though so it was so much fun (and I of course got a little obsessive) to do.

4) What was your greatest challenge while writing this novel? What is the message in this novel? 
I also write The Last Witch Series, which has sex and such so it’s more of an adult book. Taking that out and making Gravely Inanimated for young adults was a tad different. But I think it came out amazing. 
Actually, this book does have a big message behind it that developed more as I wrote the book. I believe the message of prejudice is apparent. I loved being able to incorporate that and hope it teaches some teens how to be more tolerant of others.

5) Who was the most fun to write about?  Which character presented the biggest challenge? 
The character I loved writing was Lucy. She is feisty, curious and very stubborn. Being able to show strength through a woman in this time period was so much fun.

I think the most difficult character to write was Garrett. I wanted him to be a strong male lead but also have a sensitive side to him. Writing males can sometimes be difficult for me since I know the female mind best. It was a terrific journey and I think he turned out just right.

6) What are 3 things that are 'must haves' when you write? Do you have any writing rituals?
I hate being bothered while I’m writing so I’d rather do it alone in my room. I also like to burn insence while I work. Lavender for calm scenes and something like Dragon’s Blood when I write fight scenes. For a third…I have to have the internet. If I can’t research while I write I’ll tend to get pissy since it can stop my scene from moving forward.

As for writing rituals…Some wine during is always a plus. ::Grin::

7) Can you share with us any projects that you are currently working on or plans for the future? What can fans expect next from you?  Are there other genres in which you are interested but haven't yet explored?
At the moment I really want to work on the second book in the Zombiepunk series, begin the fourth book for the Last Witch series and finish an erotica novella involving demons for Sizzler Edition. Buuuuut, I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment with all the panels I am doing for six or seven conventions I’m attending.

I’m playing with the title Hopeful Darkness for the second Zombiepunk book. What I want to do is delve more into the lives of some side characters that need more attention. 

Right now I don’t think I want to take on any new genres I haven’t written yet. I’m pretty content with the paranormal romance and steampunk I’m working on.

8) Favorite authors? Role models?
The writer that helped to open my eyes to the idea writing is Tamora Pierce. She created a world unlike any I have ever seen and of course had a really strong female role I had yet to read about. This was during my tween years. Other authors I love are Kim Harrison, Christopher Moore, Kady Cross, Jeaniene Frost, Henry James, Shakespeare and many others. I tend to look at all of them as my role models.  

9) What do you like to do when you are not writing? What is your ultimate luxury?
Writing is my passion and pleasure so I do look at it as an ultimate luxury, buuuuut I love to travel. I just went to Paris for christmas last year and not only did I get to go to an amazing place it does inspire more ideas for my writing. 

10) Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
Read my book! Just kidding. I would like readers to know that I write from my heart. You may not agree with everything in my stories but they are sometimes based on my own life experiences. There is a lot of truth behind every book I write and the best way to find out about me is to read them.


  1. Excellent answers!

    I had the pleasure of reading Gravely Inanimated, and quite enjoyed it.

    1. I just finished reading it, and will be posting my review shortly. I also enjoyed it.