Darlings of Decay: Dana Fredsti

I was recently invited to participate in an anthology of female authors who write zombie related material. A lot of great ladies are involved, thirty two in all, and the end product is just amazing. It is free from several places and only .99 cents on Amazon. Again, in case you missed it the first time, here is the skinny on it:

With over 325,000 words and featuring some of Amazon's Best Selling Female Authors of Horror, this is certainly not your typical anthology book!

Sit back as your favorite authors of zombie lit take you on a wild, horrifying ride that will leave you breathless. Come and meet the women who love to entertain you with their own unique versions of the zombie apocalypse.


The Darlings are all wonderful gals, but I must admit this next lady is a favorite of mine. I bring you the silly and seductive Dana Fredsti. 

1) What got you interested in writing about zombies?

I have always been a very morbid person, as well as pretty much interested in writing since I was old enough to string words together.  I grew up watching Saturday and Sunday creature feature type shows; culled the library for books (fiction and non-fiction)on vampires, werewolves, ghosts, anything scary; and was notorious at slumber parties for telling gruesome stories. My 7th grade English teacher would mark my creative writing efforts with big A's alongside notes that said things like, "Well written.  Try something less morbid next time."  My first date movie was Dawn of the Dead (the original) and it stuck with me. It was horrific and yet had humor, and something about walking corpses eating the living struck my morbid imagination and never let go.  My first published story (solo effort) was a zombie story written for John Skipp's anthology Mondo Zombie (which is reprinted in Darlings of Decay) and my second was in Danger City, a zombie noir tale called A Man's Gotta Eat What a Man's Gotta Eat (which will be available in the near future on Kindle in a longer version published by Titan Books). One of my editors at Ravenous Romance knew I was a zombieholic and a total pop culture nerdette and asked if I was interesting in developing and writing a trilogy that, in her words, would be a sort of "Buffy.  Except with Zombies.  But Different."  I said yes, the Ashley Parker series was sold to Titan Publishing, and I'm currently on the third book of the series, Plague World (the first two being Plague Town and Plague Nation).  Looking back at this chain of events, it makes perfect sense that I'd be writing about zombies, doncha think? 

2) Do you think books by women tend to carry distinctly feminine covers, regardless of the subject matter, or do you think the industry treats woman the same as male authors?
Re the covers, a lot of the times, yes.  The covers for the Ashley Parker books definitely have an urban fantasy/paranormal romance sort of vibe even though they're also hard-core zombie novels. I found out that a fellow author (male) to whom I'd given a copy of my book left it in his hotel room after last year's ComicCon, asking his roommate (a female) if she wanted it because he wasn't gonna read it (based on the cover).  She did, she read it, and said it was his loss.  This happens in so many genres - there's a great article where they did a gender reversal for the covers for books in the same genre by both male and female authors and it's both hilarious and kind of sad.  And while some people in the industry (publishing/readers/authors) ) are extremely fair, the industry overall most certainly treats women differently to some degree. I've been really fortunate in that  most of the people (male/female/transgender) in the industry that I've dealt with have been majorly supportive, but for instance, if my book and a zombie novel by a male author come out at roughly the same time, the odds are high that he'll get at least twice as many reviews on Amazon and Goodreads than my book will. 

3) Tell us a bit about your story in darlings of decay.

It's called You'll Never Be Lunch in This Town Again and is about a first time director trying to finish his film when the zombocalypse begins.  It's my ode to zombies and to my years working in low budget movies. 

4) If you HAD to choose, which would you rather do: eat the entire F section of an encyclopedia, or lick a bus station bathroom floor from corner to corner? 
Now, has ANYone chosen licking the bus station bathroom floor?  No.  And they won't.  And if they do, I will make sure to stay VERY far away from them on any given social occasion.  F, please.  With salsa. 

5) What is your greatest fear?
Dying without making sure my cats and dog have a home after I'm gone.  The thought of them being turned into the SPCA or Humane Society and locked in cages makes me physically ill.  I am making sure that my friends and family's greatest fear is how thoroughly I will haunt them if this happens. 

Dana Fredsti is ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical sword-fighting. Through seven plus years of volunteering at the Exotic Feline Breeding Facility/Feline Conservation Center (www.cathouse-fcc.org) in Rosamond, California, Dana’s had a full-grown leopard sit on her feet, been kissed by tigers, held baby jaguars and had her thumb sucked by an ocelot with nursing issues. She’s addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which include zombies. Her other hobbies include surfing (badly), collecting beach glass (obsessively), and wine tasting (happily). Her other books include: Plague Town and Plague Nation (Titan Books, 2012 & 2013), touted as Buffy meets the Walking Dead, and a number of spicy genre romances written under the name Inara LaVey. Plague World will be out in April 2014.