5 Questions for Christine Verstraete

Christine and I are members of a secret Facebook coven called Ladies of Horror. I would tell you more, but…well, you know where that leads.

C. A. Verstraete’s short fiction has appeared in various anthologies and publications including Descent Into Darkness, Baby Shoes: 100 Stories by 100 Authors, and Sirens Call magazine. She also is the author of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter; Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall; and The Haunting of Dr. Bowen. Learn more at her website or stop by her blog http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com.

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Did something in the real world inspire Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter series?

The books are based on the real-life Borden murders of 1892, where the spinster daughter Lizzie Borden was arrested for the brutal slaying of her father and stepmother. You probably have heard the rhyme “Lizzie Borden took an axe…” Actually, it was a hatchet, experts claim, though no real proof linked her to the handleless tool found among other hatchets and axes on the property. Lizzie was acquitted of the crimes in 1893 after what was dubbed the “trial of the century.”

My first book follows the timetable of the crime and the trial and was inspired by the actual autopsy reports and photos. Looking at them, I wondered, why else would they be killed in such a way, except they’d become… zombies? Book two picks up the story after the trial. Both books contain real-life newspaper and trial/inquest excerpts.

What are your favorite scenes in the books?

I have a few, but I think I really enjoyed writing the opening of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, when Lizzie comes upon her stepmother upstairs. Lizzie had no idea what was wrong with her stepmother, especially when Mrs. Borden began to attack. In the sequel, I got a kick out of writing the part where Lizzie is throwing her axe again. It seemed fitting to include that.

What was your writing process like as you wrote Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter?

Physically, I’m at the kitchen table with the laptop. Mentally, I was excited about writing this book and, to be honest, scared someone else would come up with the idea while I was rewriting, editing, and then sending it around. I recently re-edited it again for a new re-release, which I’m far happier with. I just LOVE the covers for the set.

I was nervous, of course, writing Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall, because I had to stray from most of the real-life events since the book opens after the trial is over. It continues the story, adds some surprises, and of course, has more zombies.

What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the books?

I was thrilled to have The Herald News — the newspaper in Lizzie’s hometown of Fall River, Massachusetts — do a story on the book and include my companion novella, The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, in another story on recent Lizzie releases. That book tells another aspect of the aftermath of the Borden murders and the city’s bloody history, from the viewpoint of Lizzie’s doctor and neighbor. He was one of the first officials on the murder scene that morning of August 4, 1892.

What do you have planned next?

I do have a shorter novella I’m re-editing that gives another aspect of Lizzie’s life and the zombie outbreak. More family drama there! In real life, it really did seem like quite a dysfunctional family. I’m also thinking of a book 3, just percolating some possible ideas. The mind never rests! Plus, I like writing about these characters and don’t want to let them go just yet.

About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter

Every family has its secrets…

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy, and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become… zombies?

Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister Emma and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.

On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LIaH6I

About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall

Lizzie and the citizens of Fall River must battle a new surge of flesh-eaters, this time with a heartbreaking twist: the infected creatures are friends and family, hidden away by their grief-stricken caregivers.

When her sister Emma becomes a pawn in the growing war against the undead, Lizzie has no choice but to pick up her axe again. With the help of her charming self-defense instructor, Pierre, she vows to end the horrific zombie menace, once and for all. But can she overcome her personal demons and the rampaging monsters, no matter the cost?

NOTE: The book does contain spoilers if you have not read Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter.

On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2sXxRyf

About The Haunting of Dr. Bowen: A Mystery in Lizzie Borden’s Fall River

Bowen v2 RED smallGruesome deaths haunt the industrial city of Fall River, Massachusetts.

Dr. Seabury Bowen—physician to the infamous Lizzie Borden—swears he’s being stalked by spirits, though his beloved wife thinks it’s merely his imagination. But the retired doctor insists that neither greed nor anger provoked the recent sensational axe murders in Fall River. Rather, he believes the city is poisoned by bad blood and a thirst for revenge dating back to the Indian and Colonial wars. Two years after the Borden murders, Dr. Bowen is determined to uncover the mysteries stirring up the city’s ancient, bloodthirsty specters. Can he discover who, or what, is shattering the peace before Fall River runs red? Or will he be the next victim?

On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JNbSEz

Christine’s Amazon page: https://amzn.to/2y1wsfJ

About Loren Rhoads

I'm the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, as well as a space opera trilogy. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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