Author Interview: M. ROSE FLORES
It's Bi Visibility Day! And to celebrate I'm THRILLED to welcome a fabulous author to the blog to chat about their books and journey to publication!
Check it out...
M. Rose Flores lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her spouse Stephen and their three fluffy beasts, collectively known as Legion (the cats, not the spouse). She is currently working on a degree, two novels, and two collaborative graphic novels. When Rose isn’t writing or studying, she works as a professional dog trainer and loves every part of it, even the copious amounts of drool. The Island is her second novel, the sequel to The End.
Follow M. Rose Flores here!
NineStar Press Author page
Abnormal/Variant, book 1
On Cate Mortensen’s seventeenth birthday, her family is scattered in a fight for survival, and she and her sister Melody are catapulted headfirst into a world where their phones are just hunks of plastic, they must scavenge for every bite, and they sleep with weapons in their hands. Traveling alone, and then not so alone, they follow the route their family planned to Alcatraz Island where the hope of safety and a real life awaits.After more than a year on the road, Cate has found three things to be true. One: Zombies are a thing now. Two: Not all zombies are just zombies. Three (the game changer): Cate is immune to the infection.
Grab your copy here!
Abnormal/Variant, book 2
Two years after the end of the world, Cate and Marco have finally found a place for their people to start over. Sustainable and safe from zombies, the island is everything they hoped it would be. It seems the worst may finally be over; they can stop surviving and begin to live again. But the arrival of two new people sets in motion a chain of events that throw the island into unrest, and Cate must fight for her love, her people, and her sense of self. Can the inhabitants of Alcatraz Island find a way to come together when everything around them is falling apart?
Almost two years before their arrival on the island, just after the event that ripped their family apart, Marco began an aimless journey. With his foster family gone—some dead, some vanished—once again, Marco was on his own and sure it was for the best; other people only slowed you down, ended up as liabilities, or worse. Alone was good. It was what he was used to. But on his journey south, he collected other wanderers and began to consider the idea of a cooperative group or, maybe, a found family. There was, after all, safety in numbers.
Finally, together on the island, everyone assumes they are safe. But assumptions in a world run by zombies can be dangerous. Deadly. There is something going on in the city, terrifying and unnatural. Something that will change everything they think they know about zombies. And it’s coming to the island.
Grab your copy here!
Read an Excerpt from THE ISLAND...
Those are not people. The way they move, the fact that when we wave, they don’t wave back, and the way they are all shambling toward us down the paths to either side. It all collectively spells zombie.
“Hello,” calls Calvin.
No answer. Damn it.
None of us has the energy to fight any more. We spent the whole night fighting to get to the island. We watched our people get maimed and die; Calvin’s Nana Mae sacrificed herself to save him, my sister Mel, and their new babies. Five other people died too, though I didn’t know any of them well. They were all Marco’s people. Now we’re all one another’s people. What a way to make a family.
Toby is looking pale. His younger brother Jax, though much smaller than Toby, is doing his best to keep him upright. The place where Toby’s hand used to be, before it was clawed by an Abnormal zombie and then cut off by me to prevent infection, is wrapped in a bandage from what I’m guessing is a very limited supply. I think everything is probably limited. There wasn’t much time to pack or prepare after Mel’s labor screams drew in the horde last night. It’s not her fault. Birthing twins with nothing stronger than ibuprofen must be agony. But we had to leave in a hurry. We made it all the way to Alcatraz, barely. And now, apparently, we have to fight again.
Who are you and what do you write?
Who am I? It's a good, and frustrating question! At 30, I think I'm still figuring it out in small ways. I train animals currently, and I love every second. But I've been looking into a career shift, to the death industry. Anyone who knows me wouldn't be surprised by either. I advocate for mental health and queer creators. Aside from that, I'm friendly (I swear), but quite introverted, and I write a whole lot better than I speak. If I was an animal, I think I'd be one of those feral cats who was begrudgingly adopted by some well-meaning old witch. I write dark, weird, fantastical, and very queer things. In my books, the animals always live.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I've been writing since I was very small. My mom has pieces from my childhood stashed away in a box in her basement. But I started pursuing fiction about eight years ago, when a college English teacher suggested I give it a try.
How has the journey to this point been?
It has been enlightening. The subjective and collaborative natures of publishing are something you can't know until you experience them. My first book was shelved, and is being re-imagined as a graphic novel I'm writing with my artist spouse. My second book, The End, got picked up by NineStar after a Twitter pitch contest.The second, The Island, just came out, and the third and final installment has already been signed, which is exciting. I'm very lucky to have another former English teacher who has taken me on in a sort of mentoring capacity. I'm trying to consume media in a more discerning way, and just get better, better, better. It's all you can do. Just keep improving. Keep learning.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
As an author with depression, the hardest part of my journey is my own brain. I beat myself up a lot when I'm not writing "enough", when just getting out of bed wipes out half my energy. So, I guess being more gentle with myself is the hardest part. I think a lot of creators experience something similar. As for the best part, all the rest. The learning, the writing and revising, and seeing and holding my books as actual things that exist int he world... It's unreal.
Would you go back and change anything?
I think everyone has things they'd change. But I'm here now, and I'm a result of everything that came before. All you can do is look forward.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10?
I'd like to have an agent within five years, a best-seller or two within ten, and—heck, why not—a book being adapted to film or television somewhere in there. Hey, Netflix, looking for a fresh take on zombies? Have I got a series for you!
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Have others look at your work. People you trust, but who are willing to give constructive criticism. If a beta reader only has good things to say, as nice as it is, they're not helping you.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? All the condiments.
Night or Day? Night
Inside or Outside? Outside
Dogs or Cats? Yes!
Twitter or Facebook? Twitter
e-book or Paperback? Paperback; audiobooks are great too! I can't read on a screen for too long without my eyes going "nope!"
Sun or Rain? Rain while the sun shines. Or, thunderstorms that shake the bones.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? Haha! Depends on so many things! Keyboard for fleshing out stuff that may get deleted later; notebook for things that are more set in stone, or for writing down those elusive things that creep into my brain when I should be sleeping.
Comedy or Drama? I like it all. Mixing genres is my favorite!
Chips or Chocolate? Chocolate, always.
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