Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster by author Jamie McGuire marked her as a writer of New Adult romance. However, she believes that New Adult can exist in more than one genre. McGuire shares with us why Red Hill is such a departure from her prior books, while still being a McGuire novel. Plus, she dishes on her upcoming books!
Bookish: What are you most excited about giving readers with the release of Red Hill?
Jamie McGuire: This is something so different from what I’m known for, which is Beautiful Disaster. [Red Hill] is actually three years in the making: I thought about this book back when I was cleaning — much like the main character, Scarlet — out in the middle of nowhere, and I thought to myself, “This would be the perfect place to go in the zombie apocalypse.” I had my girls with me, and that got me thinking: What would I do if it happened to be their dad’s weekend when something like that went down?
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I’m super-excited to show everyone my spin on something people have been writing about for years. Plus, I’m a huge The Walking Dead fan [and a] huge zombie fan. One of my bookshelves in my office is dedicated completely to zombies; my friends buy me zombie stuff all the time.
Bookish: What inspired you to shift from New Adult romance into zombie fiction?
JM: Well, it’s not really a shift. I never set out to be pigeonholed into one genre; I just like to write what I like to write. If it happens to be about angels and demons one day and New Adult the next and zombies tomorrow — well, that’s just what I like. I’m not a genre writer. I just write what I’m interested in and what I think is entertaining [based] on what idea I have and whatever genre that happens to fall into.
Bookish: What can you tell us about your forthcoming sci-fi novel Apolonia?
JM: I just — literally, yesterday — finished the secret novella that I’m working on. I can’t tell you what it is. Today I’m going over it once before I send it out — and then, literally tomorrow, I get to start Apolonia. I’m so excited. I came up with the idea about the same time I came up with Red Hill — so, again, this is going on four years in the making. I have the whole story in my head; I just need to [get] it out.
Apolonia is about a girl named Rory Reardon, who is an introvert; she doesn’t have any family and very few friends. She’s not the blonde-haired, blue-eyed heroine that we’re used to; she’s more like Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She’s pretty street-smart, and she’s in college; this is another New Adult [book]. She takes an interest in this boy Cy — he’s extremely smart. They met being research partners. To make a long story short, Rory and Cy become very close; he gets into some trouble; she has to get him out of it, and that’s where she finds out who he really is, and all of his secrets. Basically, they both have to work to get him to a certain point and a certain time, or else the whole world is going to be in danger.
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