Rachel convinced me that meeting her in a dark alley on a Thursday night was an okay place for an interview. Rachel's voice was like a sirens song. I woke up the next day with a headache, lost time and an insatiable thirst for blood. Let's see what R. E. Carr had to say about reading, writing and zombies... 'cause I can't remember most of it.
1. It’s the Zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to survive with and tell us why you’d choose them.
Rachel says: Well I think it’s always best to be surrounded by experts so I would choose Max Brooks and Alden Bell for their prophetic knowledge on exactly what to do in this time of crisis. Lastly, I think I would take George R. R. Martin so that I could both find out the ending to the Game of Throne’s series before the end, and, most likely, outrun him in a pinch while being chased by the fast zombies from 28 Days Later.
Meredith says: Poor, poor George. I heard on the radio that he got his in Sharknado 3. Gosh, 28 Days Later, I still have nightmares about the ending of that movie. And Max Brooks! Have you read World War Z? So good.
Rachel says: World War Z is definitely a case of the book bing vastly superior to the movie. You would think that the scope of it would lend itself to a full Hollywood treatment, but… no, just no. (I’ll invoke Thumper’s mother’s rule at this point.)
2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why ;)
Rachel says: I would totally save Steven King first since he probably weighs more as an adult male and I’d have more energy, then we could both rescue Ms. Rowling. Problem solving 101.
Meredith says: You're the first author to think of a way to save them both! 20 points to Gryffindor.
Rachel says: Ahem, 20 points to Ravenclaw, thank you very much.
3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Rachel says: I have The Martian and Ready Player One ready to go so that I will no longer be shamed by all of my friends for not reading them.
Meredith says: Oooh, good reads!
4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Rachel says: The Inferno by Dante Alighieri is one of my all-time favorites because of the joy I take in reading the pure sarcasm that apparently lived within 14th-century writers just as much as 21st-century ones. Ever since I first read it, the imagery of punishment fitting the crime has haunted my dreams – from the ceaseless whipping winds of lust to the icy chill of betrayal.
5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Rachel says: Last year I read a grand total of one book because I was finishing up my degree and writing Four, so my winner, by glorious default, is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. You’re really making me look forward to reading The Martian though!
Meredith says: The Martian was so good (even much more so when you get past the potatoes). The fact that you got through Outlander while finishing up your degree is a feat. That is a long book.
Rachel says: It’s not the size of the book, it’s the amount of exposition. Also, I am totally craving potatoes at the thought of reading The Martian.
6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Rachel says: I actually have queued up about a dozen of my fellow Kindle Scout Winners to read out of a sense of curiosity and kinship. I’m going to go back to my corner of shame because so far in 2015 my favorite read has been… not completed. The good news is that my husband gave me an early birthday present of a Kindle so I can read on the go – including a certain title by one M. Pritchard. I’m super excited and if you have any recommendations, I’ll be all over them.
Meredith says: (Yay!) Thanks so much :) There are so many good KindleScout books. I'm currently making my way through them. If you like literary fiction Stacey Cochran's Eddie & Sunny is really good, if you like regency romance Captain and Countess by Alice Gaines was great, What We Left Behind was a great zombie read with a refreshing twist on zombie origins, 3 Women Walk into a Bar was a great noir crime fiction read - punchy and sharp, 33Degrees if you like dystopian sic-fi was great, and Becoming Moon... gosh, there are just so many from so many different genres!
Rachel says: I just snagged 33 Degrees in the hopes that it would help me forget that my apartment has no AC. It’s giving me a Snowpiercer meets Hunger Games kind of vibe but it’s early days.
7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Rachel says: Movie trivia. I force the bad guys into inaction as they all stop to remember what George Clooney’s first movie role was. (Here’s a hint, it has John Astin and some sociopathic fruit in it.)
Meredith says: Get them while they're distracted. That's a great idea!
Rachel says: Distraction is the key to… SQUIRREL!!!!
8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Rachel says: I live in what is known in real estate trade as a “cozy, intimate space,” so I have to combine my bedroom, living room, and office into one. I’ve found a magic spot on my bed - propped up by a mountain of body pillows - where my laptop, my tiny dog and my tamed mountain lion, err... cat, can peacefully coexist.
Meredith says: That definitely sounds like a cozy, intimate space.
Rachel says: Oh, cozy indeed.
9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book, Four.
Rachel says: I don’t want to spoil too much, but I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of a bunch of monsters at a party. What would they do for fun? What would they eat? In Four I totally indulge myself and let the main character, Georgia, get a ticket to a vampire ball, and, let’s just say, much hilarity ensues, just don’t inquire about the catering.
Meredith says: They would totally do the Monster Mash! And sing the Monster Mash! (Ahem, back to the interview)... I can't wait to read that scene. It sounds fun!
Rachel says: Yeah, I hummed that song a little too much during the making of this manuscript. To make it more fun, the vampire host is a little obsessed with the 80’s, so it’s a touch more Thriller than Addam’s Family.
10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Rachel says: In my perfect world I would be like Georgia since she has an amazing ability to stay in the moment rather than stressing about the future or the past, but I know that the nervous, introverted, homebody of a vampire – Mr. Lambley – is really more like me that I care to admit.
Meredith says: I'm nervous, introverted and a homebody... I guess I'm a Mr. Lamely as well.
Rachel says: But are you ginger and terribly British?
Meredith says: No. Just pale and American.
11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Rachel says: Music is my heartbeat when I write. It shapes my words and takes me places that I rarely wander too in silence. I went rather electronic on my playlist this go-around. Here are the four (of course) songs that inspired me most:
4. Fireflies - Lange & Kate Kanell
3. Black Room Boy (Above and Beyond Club Mix) – Above and Beyond
2. Destiny – Markus Schultz featuring DeLacey
1. Rain Falls Down (Daniel Meyer Remix) – Assemblage 23 (the single most inspirational song for Four – It picked me up when I had a total block.)
Meredith says: Great songs!
12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Rachel says: Never think it’s too late. I promised myself when I was sixteen that I’d be a published author one day and I took twenty-one years to fulfill that promise. The journey was long, the twists and turns chaotic, and I’m pretty sure, in my universe, that the GPS of life lost its signal a few times, but if you just keep going you eventually find where you need to go. Also, caffeine helps- lots and lots of caffeine.
Meredith says: Caffeine is one of my very best friends. And you're so right - it's never too late, people!
Connect with R. E. Carr
Website (in progress)
R. E. Carr likes to split her time between the alien (well, resident alien) she married, her two adorable offspring and the vast army of characters who constantly argue in her brain. She uses her past life as a video game reviewer to remind herself just how awesome it is to be writing novels now.
Rachel writes because she knows so many people and places that never quite made it into this version of the universe. It's her duty to let them out. Writing also gives her mind a certain peace and calm rarely felt in this multi-tasking, wired world.