This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on zombie fiction author Zom Lee!
Zom is a fellow early morning writer who also uses her Tarot cards to inspire plot development. A mother and a biologist, she enjoys travel, graffiti, coffee, and honoring the magic of nature.
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
Zom is a biologist who currently resides in London with her two daughters, four pet Giant African Land Snails and numerous plants, but dreams of living by the sea in Brighton.
Hunter: Hunter by name hunter by nature is Zom's first novel, based on an endless zombie nightmare that lasted 11 years.
When Zom is not writing and drinking coffee, she can often be found walking the streets of London, looking for graffiti.
Zom’s novel Hunter: Hunter by name hunter by nature is available now!
A worldwide secret that has been kept from the public for centuries.
People going missing, no one questions why?
Ellie is a gardener in a quaint hotel in the heart of the countryside, when Julian comes to stay for the summer, Ellie accepts his offer of a drink and hopes for more.
Julian is a hunter, mysterious, dark and brooding. Ellie cannot help but get caught up in him, until she finds out the secrets he keeps.
Is Ellie ready for the truth of what Julian hunts and will she join him in his righteous fight?
Love is never easy.
And now, the interview:
Zom, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I have always enjoyed reading from as early as I can remember. I enjoyed writing when I was a teenager, dabbled in short stories, but I did it when I had time. I always had the idea of going back to my stories and finishing them, but I never did. My career took precedence, where I stopped writing completely and then motherhood followed.
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
Motherhood was when I really became inspired to write. Having two children under the age of two was a struggle and I started to have recurrent dreams when I did manage to sleep. So, I started to write down what I remembered as part of a sleep journal, and it evolved from there. I took advantage of the endless episodes of Peppa Pig my daughters liked to watch and used that time write. I was able to build on the idea I had in the back of my mind. That was how I started.
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
I really enjoy writing alternative zombie fiction and have plans to expand my world, which will involve vampires and werewolves in the future. I also have a passion for writing smutty short stories. Those are currently locked away on my laptop as I don’t have any desire to publish them just yet.
Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!
I don’t have a furry familiar, but I do feel an intense connection to nature.
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
I really like to write early in the morning. Spring and summer I am more productive as I am up writing at 5 am with a coffee warming my palms, while I listen to the birds sing outside. When I write in the evening, I like to have a candle lit near me; it sets the mood and makes me feel cozy as I write. I have also been known to write on a busy train, typing furiously into my phone all of the ideas as they appear.
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
I like to write as a way to keep my sanity. I use it as a form of escapism and therapy, and it grew at a time when I could spend more mental energy on it. I often have ideas about places and people as I travel, so I incorporate them into my work. I love photography and take photos of areas I visit to use at a later date. I also love to people-watch and have described people’s physical attributes in my characters: the way they walk or move, that kind of thing. I find inspiration in the things around me, and I get great satisfaction when I utilize those ideas. There is a real feeling of euphoria when I tell a story and it flows well.
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
I would tell myself to write and write frequently. Don’t worry too much about the direction the body of writing is taking. That’s what the editing process is for. I would tell myself not to be afraid of the editing process; embrace it. Sometimes you only tweak and sometimes you rewrite chapters until they are perfect. Do what works for you, no need to follow another author’s process. What works for them won’t necessarily work for you, so follow your heart and walk your own path.
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
Go out and live your life, explore everything that is good. Utilize those precious experiences, those places, the sights and smells and people who touched your life and its enjoyment in the smallest way. Without life experience it is hard to bring your work to life and your characters [won’t] be relatable.
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
I definitely think I am intuitive as often I am flooded with ideas, story, and characters who could be based in that one area that I just happen to be in. These ideas also are not lost; I don’t necessarily write it down at the time, but I remember the details and my plot line associated with that area. Sometimes when I write, and if I feel I need more depth to a plot line or to a character, I will utilize my tarot cards. Often, I will pull out one card for inspiration to help me through that plot line, it helps to ground me and keep me focused.
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
To continue to write until all of my ideas have been written and my books are all published. All in all, I shall be writing for the foreseeable future.
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
I am grateful for so much right now. My children are practically teenagers so they don’t require my full attention all of the time, so I can write. I am fortunate to be able to leisurely travel around the UK and I am grateful that I can explore different places. I am also grateful to the support of my partner and my children, who allow me to get on with what I need to and write, write, write.
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
I love travelling around the UK, visiting different places with my family. I adore graffiti and like to photograph what I find, attending different graffiti festivals. I adore tattoos and have many stars tattooed on my body. Coffee really makes me happy; I love to make coffee and sit reading a good book during the holidays and love to watch movies on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I adore cooking and baking and trying new things. Last year I ran a marathon. Let’s say, keeping busy brings we joy.
Which book are you reading right now?
Safe Haven, Reap of the Righteous Book 3, by Christopher Artinian
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Devolution, by Max Brooks
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is coffee, a potent black potion that makes me move and get stuff done. Coffee aside, magic for me is a feeling obtained from the energy emitted by nature, the gentle hum that is felt deep within the heart.
Stay connected with Zom! Here’s where you can find her:
Next up, I’m continuing my Tarot Stories series with the next card in the deck (and just in time for Libra season): Justice.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative or on Facebook at @haintbluebooks.