From the Mind of Master Imaginationist Crystal Connor ~"A Trusted Name in Terror."

The Darkness, Artificial Light, In The Valley of Shadows

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Beautiful and Very Talented Miss Eloise J. Knapp

Word of the day:
PRONUNCIATION: (KAP-shuhs) adjective: Having an inclination to find faults, especially of a trivial nature.

How to survive a horror movie tip #22
Do not take “anything” from the dead.

Today where taking some time to speak with Eloise J. Knapp author of The Undead Situation. Eloise’s love for zombie’s started with, of course, George A. Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead, who she was able to meet at Seattle’s 2010 ZomBcon convention. Please heed the Trioxion & Keep Out warning postings and under no circumstances are you to approach the undead! Check your ammo and let’s get to know a little more about my fellow debut author and friend Miss Eloise J. Knapp.

Notes From The Author: Thank you so much for taking the time to be here today, I’m super excited to have you here.How much time passes from the moment that you wake up to the moment you start writing?

Eloise J. Knapp: Sometimes I get up and walk straight to my office, which is great. Then there’s the rough days when I just don’t write.

NFTA: From extremely frightening films like Danny Boyle’s 28 Days later, and Craig Singer’s Perkins 14 to over the top slap stick movies like Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, and Andrew Currie’s Fido zombies can be found from one end of the spectrum to the other. Why do you think zombies are such a crowd pleaser?

EJK: Some people don’t like scary movies, some people love them, and some people just want something different. Zombie movies can cover any movie genre out there: romance, comedy, horror, and action just to name a few. When a creature can be in that many types of films there is a zombie movie for everyone.

NFTA: I find that zombie fans are completely different beasts from horror and science fiction fans. They tend to be more lenient about conflicting theories and more forgiving of a weaker story line if there is a lot of gore. I’ve seen some pretty horrible zombie movies, and have stopped reading books after the 3rd of 4th page because the story was so bad. Do you think some artist exploit the fans love, tolerance, and excitement about zombies to produce poor quality material?

EJK: I do think some artists exploit fans. I think they do in any genre to be honest. It’s easy for someone to think, “Hey, teenage girls love vampires. I’m going to cash in on that gravy train and write some cheesy vampire romances.” However, just because a movie or book is bad that doesn’t mean someone purposely created poor material in attempts to make money. Sometimes authors or movie makers don’t have the skills or finances to produce high end work.

NFTA: Culturally, which was conveyed in the Halperin brothers 1932 film White Zombie, zombies are terrifying. In your opinion how did we get from Night of the Living Dead to Fido?

EJK: Film evolves so much over time. Aliens used to be terrifying, too, but now some movies turn them into comedy. I think the transition between NOTLD and Fido came from film makers trying to make something new and establish their place in the movie world. Once one funny zombie flick comes out other developers see it and think, “I can do that, too.”

NFTA: With the overwhelming amount of art, comics, books, and movies and now with AMC’s The Walking Dead TV show, did you struggle to come up with an original concepts material?

EJK: Original concepts material is a complicated subject. Here is a little example, in Day by Day Armageddon he gets a canary yellow Hummer. Then a while later the movie Zombieland comes out and they have a canary yellow Hummer. Was Bourne the originator of this concept and Zombieland used it? Or was it coincidence?

When writing The Undead Situation I felt like (and still do) the ideas are original. As far as I know my characters are unique because I’ve never come across characters like that but someone else probably has. I’m a strong believer in the phrase, “There are no new ideas” but I like to say, “There are rarely no new ideas”.

NFTA: You’ve said that your hope is to offer an alternative zombie world; can you tell us a little bit about The Undead Situation, and how it differs from what we’re use to seeing or reading about in zombie movies and books?

EJK: There isn’t anything wrong with this, but characters in zombie books are relatively weak. They can’t defend themselves, have no weapons, and are bounded by moral obligations that cloud judgment. Even when they do come across some guns, their characters are still emotionally weak and afraid. My primary character doesn’t fall into that category. He doesn’t care about being a good guy and saving those in need. Cyrus doesn’t fear the undead, not really, and certainly doesn’t care about the end of the world. My zombie world also offers fast and slow zombies in a different way other authors portray it (gotta read the book to find out why, though!)

NFTA: The Undead Situation is your 1st book, congratulations! Trust me I know how you feel. From start to finish how long did it take to write TUS and was the journey to becoming a published author everything you hoped it would be?

EJK: I started writing little bits about Cyrus V. Sinclair when I was sixteen. It wasn’t until I was almost 17 that I got serious about turning it into a novel. I finished writing the book mid 2009, put it on Kindle by the end of the year, and in October of 2010 I finished the final edits with Louise Bohmer. So from the idea to the last grammar fix, about 4 years.

I don’t know if it’s everything I’d hoped it would be yet. My book isn’t out and some recent developments (good ones) have delayed the release of the book until next year. As for what I have gone through as an author, I’m very pleased. Working with a professional editor was awesome. I have to say, it was so satisfying to have someone unbiased (not a family member, that is) edit my book. It’s so much better because of it. Jacob over at Permuted Press is a great guy and easy to work with.

NTFA: If you could go back and change one thing in regards to the choices you made and the team that’s helped you get to where you are now, what would that be? And no cheating by saying ‘I wouldn’t change anything’ you really have to answer this question …sorry love.

EJK: I’d change adding fluff to my book. While I was first writing it I’d constantly add to make the book longer. Louise helped me tear that crap out to make the book flow better. It’s shorter now, but I wish I hadn’t fluffed it up to begin with.

NTFA: How much reality goes into your characters, are they your alter ego’s, based on people you know or completely made up?

EJK: Cyrus V. Sinclair and I are very similar. It scares my family and those who have read the book, but almost everything Cyrus does is something I would do during apocalyptic times. I can be a little sociopathic at times and Cyrus truly is one. Some of the other characters are loosely based on people I know while other’s I made up completely.

NFTA: Let’s talk about your marketing and promotional material, which btw is minding blowing! I love your photo’s they look like movie posters. Thanks for signing mine! How did you come up with such an awesome idea?

EJK: Thanks! Photography is another hobby of mine. I’ve been into it since I was about ten. So, love of photography and zombies… when you put them together, I do some cool zombie photos! Ideas pop into my head, usually before I fall asleep, and I execute them quickly while the idea is fresh. I think in terms of scenes like in movies which is why they look like that.

I do all my own graphic design work and am an ace with Photoshop. That helps, too!

NFTA: As far as marketing and promoting which have you found to be more effective, your website or your facebook fan page?

EJK: Probably my FB. Everyone and their mom are on FB so it makes networking easy. It provides more exposure, too.

NFTA: You also gave away about a gallizon t-shirts at Seattle’s ZomBcon, what kind of return did you get on that in terms of facebook fans, and sales and do you see using T’s as standard promotional items?

EJK: Well I’m not selling anything yet, so I don’t know. I’ve gotten about 30 fans since the convention so it was worth something. I designed the shirt myself, researched bulk clothing providers and silkscreening. It all worked out so well I’ll always have t-shirts for promotion. I like to give them away so when my book does come out and I hit conventions I’ll probably do a free t-shirt with book. At least a free print with book because people love free stuff!

NFTA: Speaking of ZomBcon was that your 1st con as a vendor, how much fun did you have and what’s con’s are you planning on attending next year?

EJK: First convention as a vendor and attendee. It was so much work but a ton of fun. I met some crazy amazing people and ended up working with one (Robert Elrod) on a cover! I’m probably going to go to Crypticon and zomBcon again.

NFTA: What would be your specialty in a zombie apocalypse?

EJK: Probably fortifying places to stay. I analyze building’s safety levels for zombie apocalypse and mentally assess how defendable it is and what could be done to strengthen it.

NFTA: So what else do you have planned for all the fans next year?

EJK: My aunt L.J Landstrom and I are releasing a collection of short stories for Kindle around February. Robert Elrod, who I mentioned above, did the cover. The Undead Situation will come out next year as well.

NFTA: In closing is there anything you would like to tell us about, any upcoming appearances, movie deals, or a wedding?

EJK: I’ll probably be at some conventions like I said above and that zomBcon fundraiser this December. Nothing else that big coming up but I update my fan page often with news if there is.

NFTA: Thanks again love for stopping by today it was really awesome chatting with ya I’ll see you in May but talk to you way before then. Ciao

For more information on Eloise J. Knapp please visit:

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