Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Novels On The Run would like to welcome Rusty Fischer  author of 'Zombies Don't Cry', to our blog today. A big thankyou to Rusty for this awesome blog spot. We are Man...ning up the blog. I realised we were very female author orientated. So it is time to Man up with some male authors.

Book Blurb : Taken From Goodreads

In the sleepy small town of Barracuda Bay, Maddy Swift leads the life of a fairly typical teenager, but while attending a party one night, Maddy is struck by lightning and awakens to realize she has been reanimated and turned into a zombie. While becoming acquainted with her new "lifestyle," Maddy stumbles upon two unexpected undead chaperones, fellow students Dane and Chloe, who begin to teach her the ways of zombie life, including defending the populace from Zerkers—the bad zombies. Together, on prom night, the three teens must ultimately defend Barracuda Bay High from an all-out zombie Armageddon.

In true Zombie style, Rusty has zombie-fied his author pic, looking very authentic.

About the author: Rusty Fischer is the author of Zombies Don’t Cry: A Living Dead Love Story, due out from Medallion Press in April 2011. Visit his blog,  , for news, reviews, cover leaks, writing and publishing advice, book excerpts and more! And look for his next book, Vamplayers, due out from Medallion next year!

You Write Like a Girl – And Other Compliments
 A Guy YA Write Likes to Hear!

A Guest Post by Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don’t Cry

The first-ever review of Zombies Don’t Cry said, “You’d never guess Rusty Fischer wasn’t a teenage girl.” I’m sure a lot of guys would take that as a cut down (LOTS of guys), but I was sooooooo stoked!

I’d worked long and hard to write in the authentic voice of a 17-year-old girl, and it looked like it was finally paying off. Other reviews soon followed, and whether they were good or bad, most of them echoed the whole “Rusty writes like a girl” theme.

Then I started looking at my upcoming books, the characters that populated them, and why it was so easy for me, and fun, to write… well… like a teenage girl. I mean, a guy could really start to get a complex!

Then I realized… I’ve always been a guy among girls, going back pretty much to high school. In AP English class I was one of just a few guys and 20+ girls; same with yearbook, school newspaper and, of course, drama. As an English major in college, it was the same thing and, later, when I began writing for a living and attending various workshops for, with and about writers, I was usually just one of a handful of guys in the room.

I’ve tried writing as a boy, for boys. Kids’ books, middle grades, even YA; none of it sold. Years ago, and I didn’t think it was true then and I don’t think it’s true now, an editor added a PS at the bottom of his rejection that said, I kid you not, “Boys don’t read.” I even wrote a book about THAT; as a boy for boys, called What Rhymes With Thong? It didn’t sell, either.

Maybe my books from a guy’s POV aren’t as good as when I write from a girl’s POV, I don’t know. What I think/feel is that they’re not quite as authentic, if you know what I mean. They tend to sound a little forced, like maybe I’m trying a little too hard. I don’t know what that says about me, either. All I know is that when you sit down to write, you have to feel comfortable.

So much of writing is about voice. What draws us into a book, over and above the characters and what they’re doing and where they’re doing it, is the style and tone and pace and attitude of the writer’s voice.

So much of writing is purposeful; voice shouldn’t be. You can craft a great outline, fill it with twists and turns, give your characters hobbies or attributes that take some research and forethought; all of that is purposeful.

To me, the voice you write in should feel comfortable, like the pace you settle into if you go for a jog or walk on the treadmill or ride your bike around a track. Especially in YA, when young people are so plugged into and attuned to “voice,” it should always feel, read and sound natural.

When I sit down to write I feel like I’m talking to old friends, taking them places and doing things with them and picturing them and going on adventures and then, when I look up, a few hours have passed and I’m 20-plus pages in and… oooh, I wish I could write some more if only my eyes weren’t burning and my back wasn’t aching and my fingers weren’t so darn numb.

That’s how it should be, I think. I’ve never been one of those writers who believes that stretching and growing necessarily means the same thing as writing in a different style for each book or character or doing tons of research.
I want to explore new worlds, sure; I want to get better at my writing, of course. But I know what works for me and what’s comfortable and that’s what I’m doing (or, at least, trying to do); writing about realistic characters in unreal settings talking smack about each other and the monsters they’re facing and, occasionally, turning into.

Whether it’s zombies or werewolves or vampires, it’s still just me hitching a ride with these fun, young, alive characters and trying to make them sound like kids I’d like to talk to. It’s a fantasy world, sure, but it’s also got to be as real as possible.

A lot of reviewers have commented on the fact that Maddy, the main character in Zombies Don’t Cry, kicks butt; she’s both her own worst enemy and the “heroine” who saves the day at the end. In other words, she’s the one doing the rescuing, and not the other way around. So, do I think of her like a guy? Write her like a guy?

Not really. I’m surrounded by strong women. They’ve been my bosses, agents, editors, publishers, whatever. My wife, mom, sisters-in-law, mother-in-law, my brother’s girlfriends; all strong women. The waitresses at my Dad’s Raw Bar; all strong women. I tend to borrow a little from everybody I know, and the female characters I write are no different. In fact, I would dare say that Maddy, and most of the female characters I write, are typically a lot stronger than I would be given the same situation; physically and mentally tougher!

Ultimately, the voice you write in – I believe – should fit like your favorite pair of jeans. And I’m not just saying that to be cute. You can have eight pairs of jeans, but the ones you go back to time and time again, that aren’t too tight, aren’t too baggy, hang just right and work for day and night, those jeans just plain “fit.”

Your voice should fit; it should fit you, your personality, the characters you write about and the stories you tell. When I sit down to write a new story, even before I begin the outline or concrete planning stage, I have two things in mind: a new character to write about and what she sounds like.

Everything else is built around that. So voice is much more than a mood or a feel or a tone, it’s a way to communicate your main character’s feelings, emotions, thoughts, actions and priorities.

The easiest way to make your readers care about what happens to your main character is to let them get to know her; the sooner, the better. The fastest way for me to introduce a character, share her with my readers, is through her voice.

Now, if I could just get my head around why in the world I enjoy writing about zombies so much. But that’s a whole other blog post, for a whole other day…

Yours in YA,


 Rusty has also kindly given us 2 excerpts from his book.



The graveyard is calm at this hour, an appropriately full moon shining down on acres of freshly mown lawn and miles of evenly spaced headstones. Their endless rows are surprisingly calming; it’s almost like I’m staring at a big mouth with thousands of teeth smiling just for me. Though the air is chilly this time of year, it’s clear, making everything clean, crisp, and high-resolution; death in hi-def.

Any Grave Will Do...

Later that day, sketch pad in hand, satchel over my shoulder, feeling desperately in need of a little grave rubbing therapy, I come across Scurvy toiling earnestly at the cemetery gates. He’s pruning some bushes, looking ruddy with his sleeves rolled up and his gardening gloves on. Blinking against the late afternoon sun, he asks, “What’s got you smiling?” I shake my head, taking in the strong scent of his clean sweat, his health, his . . . normality. “I shouldn’t be smiling about anything with the day I’ve had, but sometimes you just gotta laugh to keep from crying, right?”

It's been a pleasure chatting with Rusty and we wish him all the success with Zombies Don't Cry. An interview will be coming in the next two weeks. I just have to have a read. I'm looking forward to meeting Maddy .



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