Christine (C.A.) Verstraete is a well published author of many short stories, and novels. She’s a fan of zombies, and has a brand new novel for horror fans. We got a chance to talk to her about this novel, and more…
-PH: Lets start off with why horror? How did you end up loving horror?
-Christine: First, thanks for inviting me to the site. Being a big reader, I’ve always loved a good horror book or watching a scary movie. You can’t help but like a good scare!
-PH: On September 13th, your new novel Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter came out. What’s it about, and for those who don’t know, who Lizzie Borden is?
-Christine: Most everyone has to have at least heard of the rope-skipping rhyme, ‘Lizzie Borden, took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks….’ Or maybe they’ve seen the movie with Elizabeth Montgomery, Lizzie Borden Took an Axe, or watched the recent mini-series, Lizzie Borden Chronicles, with Christina Ricci.
If you haven’t heard the story, Lizzie Borden, a 32-year-old, unmarried Sunday School teacher supposedly took an axe (or hatchet) and hacked her father and stepmother to death in their Massachusetts home on August 4, 1892. Her trial became the first (OJ) “trial of the century” and was covered by newspapers across the country. No evidence was found directly linking her to the crime. She was declared not guilty on June 20, 1893.
My version in Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter follows the real-life events like the murders and trial, but adds a reason for why she supposedly did it—because she had no other choice.
About the Book:
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.
-PH: Horror fans have seen lots of famous people and stories incorporated with zombies. Why did you choose to mix zombies with Lizzie Borden?
-Christine: I was amazed that no one else had taken this approach in fiction yet. I always found her story interesting, but once I really looked at the autopsy photos, I realized that introducing zombies gave a plausible explanation as to why the crime occurred. It all fit.
-PH: Did you consider anyone else other than Lizzie Borden for your story?
-Christine: No. I wanted to tell her story in a different way that hadn’t been done. No one still knows whether she really did kill her parents. This gives another dimension to the story and actually makes her the heroine.
-PH: For the zombie fans out there, is there a movie, show, or other book that your novel may relate to?
-Christine: It can be likened, I suppose, to Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer. I really liked that movie and thought was well done. I haven’t finished reading the book, though.
-PH: This isn’t your first zombie book, can you let horror fans know a little about your first zombie book?
-Christine: My first zombie book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie also takes a different approach. It tells the story of 16-year-old Becca, a girl who turns part-zombie. It’s not gory and mostly concentrates on her struggles and trying to cope with the worst things that could happen to a teenager in a world that’s changed. Her world hasn’t fully fallen apart in a dystopian sense. Her biggest fear is her own body possibly falling apart with the exception of a few zealots here and there. It’s “angsty,” sometimes funny, and was fun to write.
-PH: How prepared are you for a zombie apocalypse? Are you the first one your friends will come running to if there is an apocalypse?
-Christine: Ha! I’m the least prepared for anything. I keep saying we should start stocking supplies in case of any kind of disaster and well, that hasn’t happened yet.
-PH: You like zombies, but have you written any other types of horror stories?
-Christine: I have written some short horror stories in different anthologies and magazines. The links are on my website. My recent story, “Jars,” was in the August issue of the Siren’s Call Magazine.
-PH: Who are some of your favorite authors and have they played a role in your writing?
-Christine: I love Stephen King’s books, of course. I also like reading Dean Koontz, Jonathan Maberry and quite a few others. I don’t always follow the most known authors but pick up a book if it catches my eye and the description sounds good to me.
-PH: You’ve written novels, short stories, and even in newspapers and magazines. What do you enjoy most, and any advice for fellow authors out there?
-Christine: I can’t say I enjoy one over the other really, though I’d feel lost if I wasn’t writing for newspapers at all. I love the aspect of sharing what’s important in the community and talking with different people. I love writing fiction since I get to “make up” stuff. I always say it’s the one way I get to put words in people’s mouths.
-PH: I read that one of your favorite past times is building dollhouses and miniature rooms. Dollhouses have been known to freak some people out. Tell us a little about that, and does that ever figure into any of your horror stories?
-Christine: I have built a miniature haunted house and admit some people didn’t like (or were horrified) by the “butcher” scene in the back room. But once I saw a figure someone had made, I knew I had to buy it and make a room for it. I also have done some Halloween scenes with miniature skeleton figures that is more on the “cute” side. I love creating and working in miniature. It’s another creative and artistic outlet for me. I haven’t written a story set in one of the dollhouses… yet. You never know…
-PH: What else can you tell us about yourself when you’re not writing?
-Christine: I’m usually writing something. But when I’m not, I’m working in miniature, maybe playing with the dog, reading, watching TV or doing something. I like to keep busy!
We would like to thank Christine Verstraete for taking the time to talk to us. Hopefully you’ve learned enough about ‘Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter’ to want to get your hands on it. Below is all the information you need to do that, and also where you can find out more about Christine.
Add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31553183-lizzie-borden-zombie-hunter
Bio: Christine (C.A.) Verstraete enjoys writing fiction with a bit of a “scare.” Her short stories have been published in anthologies and publications including, Happy Homicides 3, Mystery Weekly, Baby Shoes: 100 Stories by 100 Authors and Young Adventurers: Explorers, Heroes and Swashbucklers.
She also is the author of a young adult novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie and books on dollhouse miniatures. Learn more at her blog, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com and her website, http://cverstraete.com.