Tell us about your book.
Lockdown is based around a young news researcher, Leah, whose zombie video practical joke spirals out of her control. Suddenly everyone seems convinced that a deadly virus is spreading like wildfire and the only way to stop it is to quarantine everyone inside their own homes.
Her protests are largely ignored, which is a good thing because it turns out to be more real than anyone could have imagined. The plot then follows Leah as she learns to deal with this new horror filled environment.
What’s the book’s opening line? Why did you start there?
“Ok, it’s official. I’m dead. I’m actually going to be killed.”
I wanted the opening line to be full of dread, but the reader is completely unaware what’s going on at this point. Obviously there is an expectation considering it’s a zombie book, but it leads to something quite different.
What do you most enjoy about writing?
Creating strange and weird circumstances and then forcing my characters to live through them is very fun. Horror is particularly challenging because I’m pushing characters to the very limits of their personalities and capabilities – but of course, that’s where they learn the truth about themselves.
Please share a writing tip you’ve found helpful.
Write about something you’d want to read. If you don’t like it, others won’t either.
What interests you about zombies?
‘Zombies’ is a large, saturated genre, but that’s because it’s so fun to read and write about. There is a huge variety in zombies – everyone writes them slightly differently and the effects of the apocalypse on humanity is also full of endless possibilities.
What distinguishes your book from the other zombie stories out there?
Lockdown is set very early on in the apocalypse, which allows readers to get to know the characters on a much deeper level. You can see Leah before the horrific events begin to change her. The journey is with a simple girl-next-door type, who has no skills to help her with this new environment, which is how most people would be.
A lot of zombie stories focus on military men who have access to weapons and have a strong possibility of survival. Lockdown doesn’t possess any of that, which is where it stands out.
Tell us about your piece in Zombie Guide Magazine.
My piece in Zombie Guide Magazine was actually about Lockdown! Originally the book was going to include photographs and video clips, but the technology isn’t quite up to scratch yet. That idea is one I will be keeping in the back burner.
What’s your day job? Does it influence your writing in any way?
I’m a graphic designer, which means I still have to be very creative. This work can be very different every day and sometimes things will spark small ideas which have the prospect of turning into a story.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
The best book I’ve read loosely within the same genre as mine is ‘Outpost’ by Adam Baker. It turns the whole zombie genre on its head creating utterly terrifying monsters. There are some chapters within that book that’ll haunt me forever!
Who is your favorite fictional character? (Any medium)
Squidward Tentacles from Spongebob Squarepants has all the right opinions on life!
If you could have one super-power, what would it be and why?
It would be the ability to teleport – which may not have great ‘saving the world’ qualities, but I love to travel and get a lot of inspiration from different places. There are so many countries I’d still love to visit, and being able to do that at a moment’s notice is so appealing.
Lockdown is going to become a trilogy, so the second installment will be out in the next few months. I have also asked to submit stories to a whole range of anthologies, so you will be hearing my name a lot!
Where can people learn more about your work?
My author website: http://samiesands.com
The Lockdown website: http://thelockdown.co.uk
Links to my other social media sites can be found on my author website.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself.
I’m a huge anime and manga geek – totally love it and one of the best holidays I had was the Manga Tour with Japan Journeys to Tokyo.
Thank you, Samie!