I'd like to take this time to introduce Kelly DiPucchio, author of Zombie in Love. As you can see, she is no stranger to zombies. These are just some of the "undead" Kelly met last fall at a zombie walk, where she had one of her book signings.
Hi, Kelly. Can you start off by telling us a little about yourself?
Hi Susanne! Thank you for inviting me to your zombie invasion. And hello to all of the hungry readers and feeders out there! A little about me…well, according to Twitter, I am a reader, writer, seeker, thinker, tv watcher, coffee drinker. That just about sums it up. I’m also a mother, wife, and the author of 14 books.
Could you describe your desk or workspace?
I recently remodeled my office. It used to be very cluttered and dark. It was my secret writing cave where I could hide from my children. That atmosphere started to feel a little claustrophobic and depressing the past few years. So this spring, I downsized my enormous book collection, and I got rid of all the knickknacks and toys. I changed the paint color from a dark teal blue to a soft shade of buttercream and I replaced all of the old furniture with a mix of modern and vintage pieces that I love. It’s very light and peaceful in my grown up office now. It’s a space I enjoy coming into every day.
What was your favorite book as a child and why?
My favorite book when I was a child was HORTON HEARS A WHO by Dr. Seuss. I was completely enchanted by the idea that this entire civilization of teeny, tiny people were living and going about their lives on a single tuft of clover. That book made me look at the world differently and isn't that what a really great book should do?
If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?
Darn! I wish I could have a dinner party instead! There are so many people I would love to have a conversation with. But if I had to choose just one, my answer would be my future self. I would love to interrogate my future self and ask her if she had any advice.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Definitely not when I was a child. When I was a child, I set my sights on much more realistic goals; I wanted to be Cher or Barbra Streisand. I both blame and thank Jon Scieszka making me want to be a writer. I read a lot of books to my kids when they were young and his stories always made me laugh. When you’re a sleep-deprived, exhausted mother of three children under the age of six, you really begin to appreciate funny books that don’t make you want to jump out of a window if you have to read them “one more time.”
Do you write full time or part time?
I would describe myself as a part-time, full-time writer.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what's your initial process?
I am not an outliner. My initial drafts are always on paper and usually consist of sloppy notes, doodles, incomplete sentences and coffee stains.
Where did you get the idea for Zombie in Love?
My editor at Atheneum, Namrata Tripathi, actually approached me about writing a zombie picture book. She had the title Zombie Valentines stuck in her head. When I asked her if she wanted a concept book or a story, she said envisioned some kind of story. So I came up with an idea that centered around a lonely zombie and the story quickly fell into place. Ultimately, we decided a holiday book was too limiting, but there are still a few elements of the Valentine’s Day theme in the published book.
Can you share about any current writing projects?
I recently sold the rights to the Zombie In Love sequel! I’m really excited about it. And the sequel to Crafty Chloe will be out in the spring. It’s called Crafty Chloe: Dress-up, Mess-up.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
Do what you love. Oprah said that. I miss Oprah. She doesn't know it, but she was one of my first cheerleaders. She gave me the courage to take this crazy writing journey. Never in a million years could I have dreamed back then that one of my books would actually appear on her talk show someday. (The Sandwich Swap. 2010)
What would be the best way for readers to contact you?
By pigeon post. But if you don’t have a pigeon, I can be reached through my website: www.kellydipucchio.com
Do you have any final thoughts you'd like to share?
Do what you love.
Kelly, thank you for a great interview. I enjoyed having you be a part of zombie invasion.