Exclusive Interview With Plague Nation Author Dana Fredsti

dana fredsti

Dana Fredsti is an ex-b movie actress who writes about Zombies – which in one tiny sentence pretty much sums up how awesome she is.

We were lucky enough to review her book Plague Nation, which you can read here and we got even luckier, by getting to interview her, which you can read below:

 

NLY:

Hey Dana, Thanks you so much for taking the time out to talk to us at Nerd Like You. We are big fans of your work and are very excited to talk to you.

DF:

And I am pleased and proud to be  here at Nerd Like You!  I feel quite at home here.

 

NLY:

Please could you tell our reader a bit about yourself, what your creative influences are and what kind of things you nerd out over?

DF:

Let’s see…  I have pretty much been a nerd since a very early age.  My sister Lisa introduced me to the Trouble With Tribbles episode of Star Trek and I fell in love with everything about the show.  Then one day my dad dropped Lisa and me off at ComicCon for the day back… oh, in the ’70s.  Back when ComicCon was small.  Back when the Star Trek Blooper Reel was the Big Deal of the convention.  Nerddom started young.  My creative influences range far and wide from Lloyd Alexander to Stephen King to Barbara Hambly to Joss Whedon to every horror movie I’ve ever seen and every book I’ve read.  Life experiences shape us and there is just so much tucked away in my brain in nooks and crannies that comes out at the oddest times.

I nerd out over Firefly, Daryl (Redneck Legolas) on Walking Dead, Christopher Lee, Ken Foree, and getting to talk to William Hobbs (fight choreographer for the Richard Lester Three/Four Musketeers)  a few years back.  I’m sure there is a lot more on that list that’s just not springing to mind right now.

 

NLY:

In your Ashley Parker novels, we like that you aren’t afraid to deal with the darker aspects of the zombie apocalypse. I was particularly affected by the ‘baby zombie’ scene, something that is alluded to but not often focused on in zombie literature. What is your motivation to include these scenes and do you ever fear you will alienate readers by going down these darker story-lines?

DF:

I just don’t think you can have a zombocalypse without the darker moments if you want any …er.. realism in the stories.  I’ve never really thought about whether or not a particular scene will alienate readers, partly because after the reviews for Plague Town, I’ve realized you can’t please everyone, and what some readers will love, others will hate.  So… I write what seems to best suit the story I’m trying to tell. I’m very glad the baby zombie scene had an impact on you, btw.  It was a satisfying scene to write, one that I didn’t know I was going to put in there until Ashley sees the disposable diaper bag…

 

NLY:

One of the main themes in the book is the fact that Ashley is still struggling to acclimate to the world she now finds herself in (especially as she was recovering during the initial outbreak). Was this an aspect of her personality that you thought she’d missed out on in the first book or was your plan always to have her struggle more with her decisions as the books go on?

DF:

Honestly I never thought about it when I started writing Plague Nation.  I had a broad story arc in mind, with certain plot “beats” but Ashley evolved as I wrote the second book.  I knew I wanted her to continue to grow/mature… and I thought about how I’d feel if I were in her combat boots. In Plague Town she didn’t really have time to think about the impact on someone’s psyche when they’re essentially mercy-killing former friends/neighbors/fellow human beings, but in the lull between controlling the outbreak in Redwood Grove and realizing just how FUBAR the situation ahs gotten in the rest of the United States, it seemed Ashley would have some time to think about it.  But if I said I had a carefully constructed character growth chart going the entire time, it would be total lie of the devil.

 

NLY:

Plague Nation is chock-full of awesome pop culture references which as we know is like a sprinkling of awesome cake topping for any nerdy heart. Do you have a favourite pop culture quote or reference that you use in your day to day life? For example, I love to reference Buffy (there is a Joss Whedon moment for any situation) my personal favourite is evil Willow’s “Bored Now!” a line for any occasion, esp during the more hormonal moments of the month…

DF:

Heh.  I’m very fond of Evil Willow’s “We’d ride people like ponies” quote and “Bored now” is also a favorite.  It really works for so many occasions!  I also like “give me something to sing about,” (and yeah, I’ll sing it) when I feel like life is one big stress test.  For a visual, I use the Eastern Promises two fingers pointing to my throat, then one at whoever I’m death-staring…   that’s a fun one!

 

NLY:

You worked on Army of Darkness with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell – what was your favourite thing about your experience and what was it like to work with such legends?

DF:

Well, my favourite thing was getting paid to swordfight.  I mean, how fun is that?  It was also great being able to choreograph my own fights.  It was a hell of a lot of hard work, long hours, and discomfort (when you have a short break, are wearing layers of armor on top of a one piece latex Deadite suit and REALLY have to pee, it is NOT fun),  but totally worth it.  Sam Raimi was  such a nice guy. He would go around set after the day’s filming was complete and thank everyone for their hard work.  He had a gift for making everyone feel like they were an integral part of the production.  Rob Tapert, the producer, was equally nice, something I can’t say about every producer I’ve worked with.

 

Susie McBeth

Susie McBeth is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Nerd Like You.   Susie is a comic book reading, anime loving, superhero obsessed, writer, editor, artist, gamer, occasional supervillain and all round very nerdy girl.   When not working on content for NLY and sneakily fitting in the odd zombie kill, she can be found writing entertainment posts for national news entertainment site The Metro as well as writing guest posts for Bit Rebels and a plethora of other sites (Google will tell you all).   She also writes books - including the recent How to become a Supervillain in 10 easy steps.

One thought on “Exclusive Interview With Plague Nation Author Dana Fredsti

  • May 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks again for a fun interview and having me as your guest, Susie!

    Reply

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