Title: North to Zombieville
Author: Meg Bawden
Series: Zombieville #1
Release Date: May 18th 2016
Genre: Horror, M/M Romance, Science Fiction
The year is 2028, and Dallas and Raleigh Jenson are torn apart when a worldwide zombie apocalypse ravages their home of Townsville, Australia. After a year of searching, Dallas, a former Australian army rifleman, finally reunites with Raleigh, but it’s not like old times. Not only do they have zombies to contend with, but also other humans, changed by desperation and willing to do anything to survive.
Dallas and Raleigh have changed too. So much so, that Dallas struggles with the idea that Raleigh no longer needs or wants his protection. But they will need to rely on each other and find strength in their love as they are forced to evade zombies and watch their friends die. As they fight for their lives in a brutal landscape where every supply and every step toward a potential cure is a battle to the death, only their trust in each other can keep them from perishing.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Meg Bawden, author of North to Zombieville.
Hi Meg, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi! Thank you so much for having me. So, my name is Meg, as you know, and I am an Australian author. I’ve always loved writing, but never thought I’d get to a point where I could submit my work to be published. When you’re growing up, being a writer seems like nothing but a dream, but it was a dream I wanted to follow. I’d been writing M/M since 2007, but never had the bravery to submit something, much less finish it to begin with. Dreamspinner Press has always been my first preference and when I finally finished North to Zombieville, I knew it was them who I wanted to submit it to. I expected a rejection, so when I received my acceptance email, I was beyond thrilled. I nearly cried.
North to Zombieville is a science fiction/horror story set in the future. 2029 to be exact. It’s based around a married couple, Dallas and Raleigh Jenson. Dallas is a former army rifleman, while Raleigh is a photographer. During the zombie outbreak, they are driven apart and Dallas makes it his mission of find his husband. When they finally do reunite, the horror of the torn apart city of Townsville, Queensland, has taken a toll on both of them. This story is about survival, love and friendship. It’s about believing in each other and relying on others to survive each and every day against strong and dangerous creatures.
It’s my first novel I completed and I’m quite proud of it. 🙂
Q: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
A: I have so many stories I want to write. Plot bunnies are constantly nibbling at my heels, so I hope I will have plenty of stories of many different genres to share! I’d love for my name to become well-known within in the M/M community and I’d love for writing enjoyable books for my readers.
Q: How many published books do you have? Can you tell us something about them?
A: Two, at the moment. My first one was a Christmas novella called My Secret Santa Billionaire. It’s a short, sweet story that’s very different from my second published work, which is North to Zombieville. North to Zombieville is my first published full length novel.
Q: Your main character wants to cook something special for his love interest. What does he make?
A: If it was up to Dallas to cook, it’d be bangers and mash. It’s Raleigh’s favourite and if he wants to get into Raleigh’s good books, all he needs to make is some bangers and mash and Raleigh would be a much happier person. It’s simple, but effective.
Q: What are you working on at the moment? What’s it about?
A: Currently, I am working on Zombieville #2. The working title is called Welcome to Zombieville and it’s Matt and Slade’s story. Dallas and Raleigh will make appearances, as will other characters we meet in North to Zombieville. I don’t want to give away too much about the premise, but basically Slade and Matt are on the search for fuel to run the generator, all the while avoiding some very cruel humans who they’ve had run ins with before.
Q: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
A: I do have a set amount of words, but I never make it. I aim high, very high, and it’s putting stress on me to get that amount, which is 10,000 words a day. So I’m planning on lowering that amount to a more reasonable goal.
North to Zombieville by Meg Bawden is a great blend of action, emotion and romance. Meg Bawden knows how to absorb her reader into the frightening world of her story by altering the pace of her writing. At times we feel that the world stops when Dallas and Raleigh are together and the love between them provides a sweet relief from the horrors around them. Then we are thrust head-first into scenes of violence and death, as we try to keep up with the story and the danger the characters are in.
I am no stranger to novels featuring zombies, though admittedly the majority of those I have read have been from the young adult genre. North to Zombieville obviously has similarities to these other books, but also enough original ideas to make it enjoyable and exciting for the reader. I liked the way in which the story starts; we witness the initial wave of attacks and the aftermath.
Meg Bawden has created two types of zombies – the ‘souped-ups’ and the ‘bogans’. The bogans are slower and easier to kill, whereas the souped-up zombies are fast, strong and only die by having their heads axed off. It is from observing the zombies they have killed that Raleigh forms a theory about the virus and how it began – but for help Dallas’ group of survivors have to find the one scientist they believe to be in Townsville.
Meg Bawden’s characerisation is thoughtful and the reader becomes interested in the individual stories of those trying to survive. Dallas is an ex-soldier, trained to kill. He is fiercely protective of his husband, Raleigh, who is determined to prove he is not weak. Alongside them fighting against the zombies are larger than life characters, Janey and Matt; troubled ones such as Micky and Lavinia and loose cannons, Kit and Cade. Although I found several of the meeting convenient, I also enjoyed the way in which the lives of these characters intertwine.
North of Zombieville would be an ideal choice for any fans of the genre and I am certainly looking forward to its sequel.
About the Author
Meg Bawden was born and raised in North Queensland, Australia. She’s loved stories since before she can remember and has always enjoyed creating characters of her own, even if it did begin with drawing faces on toilet rolls and giving them names. Wiring has always been a passion of hers and she’s loved the M/M genre since 2004, the first book she read being Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez.
Writing M/M since 2007, Meg has never had the confidence to attempt publishing her own stories, but in 2015, she decided that it was all about to change thanks to the amazing friends she’s made in the M/M genre and their support and encouragement. So watch out world, Meg Bawden is coming out to have some fun!
Tour Dates & Stops:
18-May: Inked Rainbow Reads, MM Good Book Reviews, Joyfully Jay
19-May: Outrageous Heroes, The Dark Arts
20-May: Full Moon Dreaming, Boy Meets Boy Reviews
23-May: Bayou Book Junkie, A.M. Leibowitz
24-May: Molly Lolly, Divine Magazine
25-May: BFD Book Blog
26-May: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
27-May: Book Lovers 4Ever, Velvet Panic, Kirsty Loves Books
30-May: Love Bytes, Ogitchida Book Blog, Prism Book Alliance
31-May: My Fiction Nook, Man2ManTastic