The idea for the AM13 series came out of one of those typical ‘how long do you think you’d last in a zombie apocalypse?’ conversations.
The answer for me, I’m ashamed to say, isn’t very long!
I just don’t think that I have the knowledge and skills needed to get by in such a harsh climate. I’m not the sort of person who knows how to start a fire with sticks and I don’t know if I’m strong enough to bash in a zombie’s head – especially when they’re newly infected and not very weak!
That’s where the idea for Lockdown was born. Most of the zombie novels I have read centre around someone with a military background or nursing knowledge. Or if not that, they find some kick ass inner strength and the apocalypse is actually the making of them. When I created Leah (the main character), I was thinking along the lines of ‘what about everyone else?’ I wanted the plot to focus on someone who isn’t the typical protagonist, someone who isn’t strong, smart and a survivalist.
That isn’t to say she’s based on me – just that the idea came from that conversation J
In fact, this is how I’ve described Leah in her character bio:
“Leah isn’t the typical heroine that you find in zombie apocalyptic novels. She’s not got any of the survivalist skills needed in this horror-filled situation; she isn’t strong, level-headed or able…she certainly isn’t someone you’d want on your team!
In fact, Leah is flawed, frustrating, she’s actually a bit of an airhead. She’s 23-years-old but is very young in her mind – indecisive, desperately insecure and afraid of real life (and that’s before the arrival of any zombies). She’s always been a ‘follower’ in her life, and continues to be so throughout the plot. Leah stays true to her – albeit imperfect – self.
She is what makes Lockdown a unique read. Following her journey into the unknown isn’t full of action and smart decisions. Is Leah a protagonist that you’ll route for? There is only one way to find out!”
So that should give you a little idea of what sort of person Lockdown is dealing with!
After I completed writing Lockdown, I went on to write the sequel Forgotten. This book introduces 3 new characters and the style of the writing is different from the first book. The plot flicks between the main characters points-of-view (a feature that some readers have loved, and others haven’t been so keen on). Again, I wanted to try something a bit different with this book. I wanted to experiment a little with my writing style.
Just to give you an idea of the varying personalities included in Forgotten, here are the character bios:
“Ethan (Leah’s cousin) is an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) sufferer whose condition has affected his life dramatically. His fear or germs, disease and illness have caused him to become isolated, afraid, ‘different’. There is no chance someone this frightened can survive the zombies…is there?
Alyssa is an overly confident teenage girl who has spent her life daydreaming about the zombie apocalypse finally arriving – and now that it has, she knows with an absolute certainty that she will survive. She’s read all the books, watched all the films, done all the research. She’s strong, tough…a badass! Any group would be lucky to fight alongside her.
And finally, there is Dr. Jones, the scientist who can’t understand why he alone seems to have been selected to attempt to cure the virus…surely there are survivors that are much more experienced than him in virology? And what will happen to him if he fails? Is the fate of the human race really resting on his shoulders alone?”
Readers have described these characters as ‘frustratingly real’ too, which is a part of what I wanted to go for in my books. No one is perfect, and I wanted to reflect that. Now I’m in the process of finishing up the third and final book in the series, and this one will end the series in an explosive manner!
Author Bio: Samie Sands is a 29 year old freelance graphic designer who has recently decided to follow her lifelong dream and use her creativity in a new way by writing. Lockdown is her debut novel, published by Triplicity Publishing, with Forgotten following soon after. She has also had a number of short stories included in successful anthologies.
She has a degree in Media Studies and PR and has already had articles published in a number of e-zines, including one of the most popular pieces at Zombie Guide Magazine. She lives in a small seaside town in the UK, but loves to travel to gain inspiration from new places and different cultures. To follow Samie’s work, please check out her websitehttp://samiesands.com.