Saturday, October 20, 2012

Spotlight Feature on Author Belinda Frisch and Her Novel Cure (A Strandville Zombie Novel)

Book Blurb for Cure by Belinda Frisch

Welcome to the Nixon Healing and Research Center, playground for the maniacal Dr. Howard Nixon whose cancer research has him dabbling in the undead, and the women of Strandville disappearing. Unable to cure the lethal infection which turns its victims into mindless, flesh-hungry mob, Dr. Nixon discovers a medicinal use where the side-effects may be worse than terminal cancer.

Desperate for a fresh start after her painful divorce and the stillbirth of her first child, Miranda Penton accepts an unexpected job offer to join Nixon's security team but her recruitment is no coincidence. She holds the genetic key to Nixon's cure. 

Nixon inseminates Miranda with a zombie fetus and holds her hostage, but her imprisonment is short-lived. A rescue team of locals led by her estranged ex-husband releases not only Miranda, but the infection on an unsuspecting hospital population. Miranda wrestles with the uncertain outcome of her pregnancy while trying to get away with her life.

The virus is spreading and must be contained. The center is going into lock-down. The group's get away is threatened by a homicidal security guard and a raging storm. The town of Strandville is ground zero for the zombie apocalypse and Miranda must escape because the fate of humanity lies with her unborn child. 

In Strandville, there are worse fates than becoming undead.

Review of Cure!

Belinda Frisch’s Cure (A Strandville Zombie Novel) is sure to give me nightmares for nights to come.  For those of you out there that enjoy a book packed with action and gore, this is your novel.  I am one of those that typically can be termed a weenie, and while there were plenty of parts of the novel that turned my stomach, I was also drawn into the tale of struggle and survival. 

The things that happen with in the Nixon Healing and Research Center are appalling.  Medical experimentation run amok run by a mad man who thinks that he can cure cancer with a deadly virus.  I saw bits and pieces of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Dr. Nixon, and couldn’t help but hate him for the abominations that he created.  Not to mention the lack of care much less morals or ethics made him an easy character to hate. 
The character of Miranda became a champion of women everywhere.  She struggles with her demons from the past but even though she has periodic moments of weakness, she is determined to survive and make sure as many people as possible survive with her.  She is the embodiment of a strong woman who knows when to let her emotions fly and when to buckle down and get to work.  She is someone to be admired, especially after everything that she goes through. 
There are many situations in the book that made this reader question whether or not if I was in the same situation, would I be able to find the strength to survive or would I simply lay down and die.  I would like to think that I fit in the former category over the latter, but with some of the scenes in the novel, I question myself.
To say the least, Cure was a page turner as I was hooked despite my roiling stomach.  I rooted for Miranda and her comrades, for lack of a better way of phrasing it, throughout the entire novel.  I understand that there is a sequel in the works and I for one cannot wait to see what becomes of the survivors of Strandville.  I would recommend this book to anyone who likes horror, suspense, or thrillers, just be mindful that some scenes are very gory so be prepared if you are faint of heart or prone to nausea!

R&M’s Interview with Author Belinda Frisch

R&M:  Can you tell us an interesting fact about you, your writing, or anything at all?  Or, is there anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?

Belinda:  The single most interesting fact about my writing right now is this:
“Fred C. Caruso, Producer of David Lynch's "Blue Velvet", HBO's "The Rat Pack", and associated with such films as "The Godfather" and "Once Upon A Time in America" has optioned the motion picture rights to Cure.”

R&M:  When did you first know that writing was what you wanted to do as a career?

Belinda: I’ve always loved writing, since I was a kid, and I always knew it was what I wanted to do as a career. I didn’t realize it would be possible until the indie publishing revolution. The removal of the traditional gatekeeper system has shifted the potential for success to be determined by the readers instead of corporate figure heads driven by trends. It’s a publishing meritocracy and I can think of anything fairer than that.

R&M:  When you are working on a book, do you plan ahead, or do you let the story flow as you write?

Belinda:  I outline my novels, but only loosely and only until I figure out the main conflict in the book. After that, I write and let my characters tell me who they are and what happens next. I rarely know my endings until halfway through. Part of the fun of writing is the discovery process.

R&M:  Is there a special place in your home that you work at?

Belinda:  I do have a nice home office (picture below) though, like a regular office job, sometimes you want out of familiar surroundings. Sometimes I write in coffee shops, sometimes on my living room couch, and some days on the back deck. I love fall in upstate NY and will be spending the cool days working on my sequel in the fresh air.

R&M:  Are any of your characters in your books based on people that you know in real life?

Belinda:  Based? No. I would say that the characters are a mix of looks and personalities, which I expand on. I realize authors and people in general are influenced by their surroundings, though I never think of someone specific, I’m sure there are pieces of people I’ve known that come from my subconscious.

R&M:  Do you have an interesting writing quirk? Maybe something that you have to do while writing or something that you have to do before you start writing?

Belinda:  My writing quirks are solitude and silence. I work best alone and completely undistracted. If there is music on, I want to sing. Television, I want to get immersed in the story. I MAY be able to do some editing with instrumental music, but most often not. I shut the office door and transport myself to whatever world I’m writing.

R&M:  What is your opinion on Indie publishing versus mainstream publishing?

Belinda:  I’ve kind of touched on this in the earlier question about career, but I love indie publishing. I treat it like a business and have an intellectual property attorney because there are legal issues that most writers are unaware of. I keep good financial records, but as far as the work, I like keeping my own schedule. I do my own covers, though I probably shouldn’t, and I have an editor I adore. I determine my own release dates and in essence, my overall success. I work harder for me than anyone else would so I don’t see the merit in mainstream publishing. Yes, the audience reach is broad, but there are very few publishers I would consider for the small percentage authors are paid. Amazon’s imprints, feel free to call me ;-)

R&M:  Do you hear from your fans a lot? If so, what are some of the best & worst things that you have heard?

Belinda:  I don’t often hear from fans who aren’t also authors and somehow in my social networking circle. I get the occasional Kindlegraph request and reader’s reviews, but that’s about it. The best thing: a good review. The worst thing: there’s a mistake in the novel. I cringe when anyone finds these things and work with a pretty detail-oriented team pre-publishing to avoid this. My first book, I uploaded several revisions. I’ve tried to avoid that since.

R&M:  What does your family think of your writing?

Belinda:  Family, hmm… My husband is very supportive and so is my mother. Both of them read all of my work. My son is excited that there could be a movie.

R&M:  How has being published changed your life, if any way?

Belinda:  The biggest way it’s change my life is that I work hard, but I love my work. It’s a different feeling altogether when your work is your passion and that satisfaction translates into a happier, though often more exhausted personal life.

R&M:  What are you currently working on?  We would love to know what is coming next from you.

Belinda:  I’m working on “Cure’s” sequel, “Afterbirth”. Set in post-apocalyptic Strandville, the experiment continues…

R&M:  What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?

Belinda:  Work hard, be a perfectionist, and don’t expect fame or fortune. If you get either, you’re one of the lucky ones.

R&M:  What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Belinda:  Finishing the rough draft with a newborn granddaughter.

R&M:  What hardships have you encountered while writing your books?

Belinda:  There are many hardships being an author, not the least of which is the financial aspect. You don’t earn a lot and there are many up-front costs to publish polished, edited work. There’s a demand on your time; long, tireless hours spent alone often at the expense of your loved ones. There are bad reviews, on occasion, to contend with and the innate fear of not being good enough. Those two are a nasty combination.

R&M:  What books (or authors) have influenced you the most during your career?

Belinda:  Anne Rice and Joe Schreiber are probably the two most influential. At the very least, they encourage me to read.

Fun Questions:

1. Favorite flavor of ice cream: Chocolate peanut butter cup
2. Favorite color: Purple
3.Favorite animal: I love all animals, so it’s too hard to pick just one.
4.Favorite season of the year: fall
5.Favorite Author: Charlie Huston, Anne Rice, or Joe Schreiber
6. Favorite drink: A good Sangria or Red Bull
7.Favorite food: Chicken curry, lobster, or king crab. It depends on my mood.
8.            Favorite Halloween Candy: Reese’s cups or Kit Kats

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