When my favorite writing duo, Inion Mathair, asked to interview me for their blog, I said, “Yes, please, sign me up!” They asked some really fun questions. Most of them were zombie-related, but they asked a few personal questions as well.
Inion Mathair wrote The Perfect 7 – one of the scariest YA horror novels I’ve ever read. Not only was it creepy, but it was side-splittingly funny. So if you’re looking for a clever horror novel you should pick up a copy: http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Bastard-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00VDHLWEM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1439164541&sr=1-1
Click this link to read the complete interview: https://inionnmathair.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/meet-horror-author-j-cornell-michel/
Here are a few highlights:
(INM) There are so many nuances to your story yet the theme of female empowerment is consistent, more specifically the security in one’s self. Is that something you wanted to bring to that particular era?
(JCM) Absolutely! There are female empowerment themes in all my books. I really didn’t plan on Where’s My Dinner turning out to be so focused on self-acceptance, but it happened organically as I was writing. There’s way too much emphasis on superficial beauty, and young’uns these days aren’t taught to value their true selves. The media is too busy shoving unattainable beauty ideals in their faces in order to sell them products. If you ask me, the beauty industry is the real horror show, which is why I insert bits about self-acceptance in my books whenever I can.
(INM) Beautifully said, Ms. Michel! Preach!!! lol
(INM) We promised no spoilers so I have to wiggle my way around this next question. You have such unique zombie spins in your novels and quite often there is a sympathetic edge; like you want your readers to empathize with the monster. Have you always identified with the zombie lore in that sense?
(JCM) Great question! And, yes, I have always sympathized with monsters. We humans sometimes forget that we’re in this together. Sure, we all have a bad day and act like “monsters” to those around us every once in a while, but life is so much better when we treat each other kindly no matter what. When I see someone acting “monsterly” (it happens pretty much every day on the commuter train), I try to put myself in their shoes and not judge them. And when I act like a monster I hope people will go easy on me too.
(INM) As in any genre and history we like to pay homage to those who paved the way. Writer-director George A. Romero needs no introduction to horror fans, having almost single-handedly invented the modern zombie film as we know it. Tell us, Jillian, how this man has inspired you and your writing?
(JCM) George Romero is a genius! Of course, I love Night of the Living Dead, but my favorite movie of his is Day of the Dead because the heroin (played by Lori Cardille) kicks some serious butt! And I love Bub, the zombie who is befriended by a scientist. Romero has a way of humanizing his monsters, especially in his later works. In Land of the Dead, he “sticks it to the man” when zombies infiltrate a city where all the rich, snooty folks are holed up. The 1% sure are tasty!
(INM) Zombies are in the now and trending; Inion and I can remember when the literary world announced their comeback. What do you think it is about Zombies and the “End of World” theme that appeals to the readers?
(JCM) I think post-apocalyptic stories tend to be more popular when people are feeling unstable, like the apocalypse could happen at any moment. With all the war, natural disasters, and economic uncertainty these days, I can understand why zombies are trending at the moment. Plus, they’re fascinating because zombies are human, but you can’t reason with them or ask them politely not to gnaw on your face – it’s quite terrifying!
A big thank you to Inion Mathair for interviewing me. I had a blast!