5) Which scene was your favorite and the most fun to write? Which one was your least favorite and the most difficult to write?
Steve: Oh, my -- tough call! I had so much fun writing Dawn of the Dreadfuls, itís hard to single out a sequence that was particularly enjoyable. Hmmm. If I had to pick one, I guess Iíd go for a chapter late in the book that might seem almost like an aside to some readers. It follows Mary and Kitty and Lydia as they go out on patrol with their martial arts master and encounter a truly revolting dreadful. Itís all told from Maryís perspective, and I really enjoyed the chance to see things through her eyes -- while giving her the opportunity to kick some zombie butt in the process! As for a least favorite...you know what, Iím going to punt and say there isnít one. What can I say? Writing the book was a joy.
6) Is there some technique you used to plan out each scene? Or did you just write straight through with no pre-planning?
Steve: Iím a pretty meticulous outliner: I donít start writing until I have the entire novel not just plotted out but broken down into chapters. Once itís time to write a particular scene, Iíll plot out the beats from beginning to end before diving into it. Itís just the way I have to do things. For me, itís impossible to write without knowing exactly where Iím headed. I canít simply free associate or follow my muse or whatever -- thatíd drive me crazy. I would say itís because Iím anal, but my wife would point out that Iím actually an incredible slob, so I guess I donít have that excuse!
7) How do you think Jane Austen would feel about what you have written?
Steve: Well, on the one hand, I think sheíd have a sense of humor about it all. She didnít take her own books too seriously -- which isnít to say she didnít take the writing seriously. Obviously, she was a master who crafted timeless prose. But at the same time, she almost always brought a sly, amused perspective to whatever she was doing. She even dabbled in parody herself (in Northanger Abbey and elsewhere). So I donít think sheíd be hostile to the idea of reimagining Pride and Prejudice. The problem would be the ďand ZombiesĒ part. Would Jane find reanimated, flesh-eating corpses funny? Thatís a pretty definitive no.
8) Did you receive any hate mail from Jane Austen fans who were upset with your book?
Steve: Yes, but not a lot. Some seemed offended by the very idea of PPZ or a prequel. A few others werenít pleased with the approach I took to the story and characters. In the end, though, I think I got off easy. Most fans seemed able to enjoy the book in the spirit in which it was offered. There havenít been any torch-wielding mobs on my lawn...yet....
9) Will you be authoring or co-authoring another mash-up classic for Quirk classics?
Steve: Yes. Itís CENSORED and itíll be in stores CENSORED.
10) I would like to see Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens made into a mashed-up classic. To which classics would you like to add zombies or some other monster?
Steve: I keep thinking Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Zombies would be really, really funny. I donít think Iíll ever have time to do anything with the idea, though, so Iíll just throw it out into the world with my blessing for whoever wants to run with it. Well, and a request for a percentage of the royalties if itís a hit, of course.