Zombies spouting scripture – yeah, you heard me.
Today I'd like to step up a few years from my usual young adult (and many years from my frequent middle grade) fair to share Stuart West's newest book, Zombie Rapture with you.
About the book:
Life is good for Hunter Wright. He's just about to graduate from high school and he's found true love. Just in time to lose her. Because the Rapture's begun and those in his path, living and dead, stand in his way of finding her. And it's not the Rapture the faithful have been expecting either. Someone failed to tell the dead they’re not in Heaven.
The incident that creates the zombies happens early on in the book, but we don’t learn the how behind it for a while. When our main character, Hunter, discovers his parents and his neighbors have been turned into crazy scripture spewing zombies he heads to his girlfriend, Jordan’s, house in the hopes that – like him – she’s been spared from the transformation. Instead he finds her little sister, Scout, who is dealing with zombie parents of her own. Together, they rescue Hunter’s grandfather and the search for Jordan commences.
The book keeps us intrigued along the way with harrowing encounters with zombies and humans alike, the quest for Jordan, the question of how it all came about. In the end we get a satisfying ending (even if it isn’t all rosy) that ties up the loose ends, even while leaving us with character motivation for a second book.
Zombie Rapture is written for a more mature audience. If I were to classify it, I’d put it in the New Adult category because of mature themes and a lot of cussing. But if a foul mouthed kid don’t bother you, then I recommend you pick up your own copy of Zombie Rapture.
5 questions for Stuart R. West, author of Zombie Rapture
What inspired Zombie Rapture?
Besides my love for schlocky horror films and TV shows (hello, Walking Dead!), I suppose I wanted to see if there was a new wrinkle (not the icky rotting flesh kind) in the zombie genre. It was sorta a challenge, I suppose. Also it's somewhat of a tribute to Joss Whedon, the man who created snarkiness mixed with horror, chased with topical issues as metaphors. And (like it or not, I'm just realizing this) there appears to be a theme running through many of my books: hypocrisy, religion, family--blood related or not. And really, after all the wacky living dead antics is written and done in the book, the story's about love, loyalty, friendship.
Why did you choose a wholesome, Midwest setting like Kansas?
Oh, Kai, I didn't choose Kansas. Dang state CHOSE me! Sigh. Life-long inmate. Not by choice. Fate's just been very unkind. And who says the Midwest is wholesome? Hello! Y'all need to read my books. Part of my mission is to rip away the Norman Rockwell pretty exterior of Kansas to expose what lies beneath.
Hey, I grew up in Wisconsin and I stand by it's wholesomeness! Who was your favorite character to develop in ZR & why?
That's tough because I like them all. But two characters stand out. And apparently they're becoming fan favorites. That'd be Grandpa and Scout. I'd rather not say too much about them--keep a little mystique and surprise--but, let's put it this way: one's a senior citizen, the other's a 14 year old girl and it's hard to say who'd win in a fight. Both extremely fun, exhilarating and vicarious to live through characters. Wish I had some of their gusto.
What kind of reader are you targeting with this story?
Good question. The lead characters are teens. But it's definitely not a YA book, much too strong for that, I think. It's not a gory flesh-eating zombie book, not by a long shot. Even though "zombies" of a sort are crucial. I wouldn't call it horror; there's a lot of humor and heart. Crap, no idea who I'm targeting (methinks you don't either, Kai, hence the question. LOL). As usual, I guess I just write books I'd enjoy. The three "H's": humor, heart, horror. Unlikely combo, but hey that's the way I roll. Can we poll your readers as to what they think?
Will there be a sequel to ZR?
Honestly, I hadn't even considered it. Until my mother-in-law said I had to write one. Then my publisher (hello Lea!). Then readers...
Now I'm considering it.
Thanks for visiting, Stuart and sharing some insight on Zombie Rapture.