Claire C Riley
author of Odium
It's better to die by the gun than die by the dead.
Nina’s life was irrevocably changed when humanity’s dead began to rise.
Now, she lives behind the walls.
The barricaded cities, erected by the government to protect the remnants of civilization, have become a brutal dictatorship- causing the inhabitants within to starve, steal and claw for survival. Life behind the walls has become as terrifying as roaming the zombie-ridden landscape beyond.
Citizens trade what they can to gain food, water, and shelter. Nina has only one currency—her body and she is tired of submitting herself to the greedy hands of the self-proclaimed leaders.
An opportunity to escape presents itself in the fate of a young girl named Emily-Rose. For the price of a stale piece of bread, she is set for banishment from the city, and most likely a horrific death at the hands of the deaders. Nina tells herself that it is sympathy and not self-preservation that makes her follow the young girl out of the walled metropolis, and into the overgrown world beyond.
Unused to fighting the deaders, Nina tries to scrounge for her survival and against her better judgment, begins to care for Emily-Rose. However, when you have a bread-stealing liability providing your only back up, survival seems even tougher. Nina is forced to fight for their lives, and with every zombie slain, she becomes fiercer, faster – a grim reaper with her not-so-sharp butcher’s knife.
Along the path to a safe-haven that might not exist, Nina and Emily-Rose meet Mikey who introduces them to a new life they could not imagine, a life above the ground. However, this new world brings new dangers, and darker shadows than she knew.
Nina finds out that the deaders aren’t the only thing to fear beyond the wall.
And that fear will not be ignored, or Forgotten
So just a short while ago, I read Odium. You can find the link to that review below. Anyways - I loved it! And after I read it, I got the chance to interview the author, Claire C Riley. Today I have that interview for you! I hope you enjoy it, and if you are into zombies - you definitely need to pick up Odium! I'm about to read the rest of the series, and I can't wait!
Claire!!! Thanks so much for agreeing to sit in front of my firing squad! I love getting into the minds of women horror authors, so this is a treat for me!
First, let’s talk about Odium. I just recently read and reviewed the first book, which was awesome. I have the rest of the series coming up this month. I’m sure you’ve been asked this question before, but where did the inspiration come from?
I guess I remember talking to my husband one night and we was talking about the end of the world, and I said that Mother Nature would win out, because without humans destroying her she would thrive and take over. I was actually reading a zombie book at the time (Zombie Fallout 5 – Mark Tufo) and the idea was spawned. I also loved the idea of not loving the protagonist right away also. Every successful series has a loveable protagonist, but in the real world, people aren’t all that likable. I guess I believe that at the end of the world, peoples true colors will show.
What I like about your book(s) is that it’s different. I’ve read a bunch of zombie books with heroines, but yours has the first one where I wanted to kind of slap the heck out of the heroine, Nina. She’s got a bit of bitch to her!! How did it feel to write a main character who kind of has the freedom to say and do what she wants?
Ha! See my previous point! It was/is great. I mean really refreshing not to be constrained by niceties all the time. Nina at the heart of it all is actually a good woman, she’s just been through a lot of crap and isn’t willing to go through anymore. She has no mouth filter and says what comes to her head – much to hers and others detriment, but nine times out of ten she doesn’t mean it to be a bitch, she’s just saying it as it is, and she loves that honesty back. But most people are too afraid of saying what they actually want. I mean, we all have those dark voices in the back of our minds, but we swallow those thoughts down to be polite, well, she doesn’t.
Zombies are all the rage, and as well they should be. Did you do any research on them, or just start writing?
It is strange- and great – how popular the genre has gotten, though I can’t say that I’ve noticed such a steep incline because I’ve always been into it.
Writing wise I research things that happen, ie. How to skin a rabbit, guns, trucks, etc but as for the zombies, they just came naturally to me.
I see another book of yours, Limerence, has a bit of romance, and vampires, but it looks like it still stays within the horror genre, is that correct? How different is it to write a book like that, compared to something like Odium. Do you have a preference?
Limerence is my first baby. She was spawned by an article I read over the meaning of Limerence. I wanted to get vampires back to their roots-dark, sexy and scary (Think Bram Stokers Dracula) Not that I don’t like the new takes, anything that gets and keeps people reading is good, but I love old school horror the best.
Mia – the protagonist is very different to Nina from Odium. She’s a lot more gentle and caring, and not anywhere near as brash as Nina. It’s a very different style of writing as well, more thought out and I find that Limerence is more poetic/lyrical in the way it’s written, whereas odium is more ‘f**k you, and f**k you too!’ hahaha
Ok, back to zombies (cause I love them). What do you think is going to happen? Is it going to be a biological weapon gone wrong, a genetic mutation in nature, something else? And what the heck are you going to do!?
In Odium? I can’t tell you that! Ha ha. It’ll ruin the mystery for you.
If there was a real zombie apocalypse? I reckon a mutated virus. And I will be too busy shambling around eating people to know what the hell I’m going to do. I do not favor myself well in these situations, no matter how much I’ve learnt from Zpoc preppers.
Are you done with zombies after Odium?
Hell no J I have outlines to continue the series for a while yet, but I also have plans for other zombie apocalypse books which I’m excited to start on in the next couple of years.
As a reader, what are your favorite books or authors? Do you have any recommendations for us?
If you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll see that I have very eclectic tastes in books. I generally read 3-4 different books at a time, and more than likely they’ll all be from different genres. Some of my favorite books though would be – Eli Constant – Dead Trees, TW Brown – The Dead Series, Mark Tufo – Zombie Fallout series, Jack Wallen – I Zombie I series, Madeline Sheehan – The Holy Trinity series, Daryl Banner – The Beautiful Dead, Diana Rowland – White Trash Zombie, Jesse Petersen – Married With Zombies.
Now how about a little bit of “This or That”?
Vampires rule the world, or Zombies take over?
I say zombies take over.
Country or City?
Either or I’m a Gemini so I like both
Sweet or Sour?
Both actually! I love Fangtastics, but I also love anything really sweet!
A gross one… Eat a whole jar of mayonnaise or a dozen hard boiled eggs?
Eggs! Without a doubt.
And…. Sexy Alpha Males or Kick Ass Heroines?
What? You can’t make me choose!
One last thing – do you have any upcoming projects you can share with us??
I have TONS coming up! Full length novels, I have - Limerence II, Odium Origins part two, Odium III, short stories/anthology contributions – State of Horror: Illinois, Fading Hope, The Murderous Campbells.
That should do for today! Thanks so much for taking the time!
Thanks so much for having me, it’s been great.