Monday, October 25, 2010

Interview with Stacey Graham of The Zombie Dating Guide

Welcome to the first in a series of guest blogs for NSP Books. To kick things off this beautiful Monday morning, we have zombie-author Eric S. Brown's interview with fellow zombie author Stacey Graham.
New author Stacey Graham staggered into the zombie racket after her first short story, "Eye of the Beholder," was released in the zombie romance anthology Hungry For Your Love [St. Martin's Griffin] and followed by another short in the anthology The Undead That Saved Christmas. She is the owner/editor of An Army of Ermas, a humor site showcasing the talents of over 25 humor writers specializing in the style of Erma Bombeck. The mother of five young daughters, Stacey can be found huddling under her desk muttering about a Girl Scout field trip that went horribly wrong or at least that's how she describes herself. Stacey is also the author of the Zombie Dating Guide, for which she is currently seeking a publisher, and was recently featured on "AOL's City's Best" as an expert in the ways of Undead love. Thankfully, she found the time for a brief chat about love, zombies, and the world of writing.

Eric: So what got you interested in zombies and horror?

Stacey: I've always had a bit of the dark side lurking, even in my humor bits, so when the opportunity presented itself to explore it fully, I staggered toward it. I've always felt that zombies had a quirky sense of humor, even if they don't get the joke the first time.

Eric: How did you come up with the idea for the Zombie Dating Guide and who is it designed to help?

Stacey: While writing "Eye of the Beholder," I wanted to expand the idea further than the submission guidelines allowed for that anthology. With so many self-help books on the market, I thought poking fun at the lovelorn Undead would be a great way to show that though they no longer have a pulse, zombies still could get jiggy wit' it. The Zombie Dating Guide isn't that bad of a dating handbook for Breathers either, though you'll have to substitute "eyeballs" for other body parts in some sections.

Eric: I hear you're also a mom with a large family. How do you find the time to juggle AND write?

Stacey: Vodka. But when that runs out I rely on the minutes snatched while the girls are in school and don't spend playing Princess Barbie. My four-year-old gets upset when I hog all the tiny shoes.

Eric: What do your friends and family think of your writing? Are they supportive?

Stacey: They thought I should have been writing all along. My husband takes full credit for any writing success that comes my way. I remind him that if I hadn't had my head in a toilet during pregnancy five times it may have moved a little quicker. I am lucky to have a rabidly supportive core of writer friends that keep me going. I have no doubt they'd poke me with stick if I slacked off a little or quit after a few rejections.

Eric: Do you see writing as your career or a fun hobby?

Stacey: What started off as a hobby is quickly turning into a great (and hopefully long-lasting) career. I'm fascinated with the business of publishing as well so as I expand my writing, I'm learning more about how each writer/agent/editor/reader is vitally important. It's the circle of life, baby.

Eric: What are your dreams a writer?

Stacey: To help other writers succeed as well as myself. It's no fun being there if your friends can't enjoy the journey with you. There are many talented writers that may not get the exposure they deserve so I make it a point to encourage as many as possible to keep submitting and working on their craft. And, of course, zombie domination.

Eric: Tell us about your first mass market Z short story and how that came about?

Stacey: A bit of blind luck and a bizarre sense of humor got "Eye of the Beholder" onto shelves. I answered an online call for submissions through the e-publisher Ravenous Romance for zombie romance. Being a humor writer - and not romance - I still gave it a go and was lucky enough to be chosen for inclusion. The editor/agent sold the print rights to St. Martin's Griffin and Hungry For Your Love was released September 28, 2010. I'm thrilled to be with bestselling authors and seriously, the finest group of writers a girl could begin her career with.

Eric: What are you currently working on?

Stacey: Along with promoting The Zombie Dating Guide, I'm finishing the proposal for The Girls' Ghost Guide plus working on a collection of short ghost stories. I've been a ghost hunter for over twenty years and have always worked in the field in some way through coordinating local tours, my website - Wee Ghosties :: A Beginner's Guide to Ghost Hunting [] and its sister blog, Ask a Ghost Hunter [].

Eric: Where can people find your work?

Stacey: Along with Hungry For Your Love [] and the release of my story, "And to All a Good Fright" in the charity zombie anthology The Undead That Saved Christmas [] you can find me herding the crazy people at An Army of Ermas []. Careful - they bite. The Zombie Dating Guide's website is hopping with new dating tips and haiku. Undead Fred is always looking for new questions to answer for his advice column []!

Eric: Is there anything us "breathers" need to know about zombie sex?

Stacey: It can be gooey. Bring a wetnap.

Eric: Can Zombies be passionate and romantic?

Stacey: I think of zombies in the same class as drunken college boys. They're messy, drooling and slightly odiferous but if you can straddle a keg and karaoke to Rebel Yell, you’ll have a great time with both.

Eric: Do you ever write hardcore, violent Z fiction like my own work or the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake?

Stacey: I haven't... yet. I'm more of a horror-lite girl though I have been known to take a hammer to jack-o-lanterns that give me the stink-eye. He had it coming.

Eric: And lastly, where can we find you on the web?

Stacey: My website: for updates and cupcake/granola recipes. Facebook: Twitter: @staceyigraham. Zombie Dating Guide Twitter: @zombiedatinggde. Zombie Dating Guide website: Zombie Dating Guide on facebook: I am the social media QUEEN!

That's that. Be sure to check both Eric's and Stacey's work. Thanks so much to both of them. Remember, if anyone wants to be a guest blogger here at NSP Books, we're open to just about anything--reviews, interviews, news, articles, shameless self-promo. Shoot it to me at and we'll get it up. No pay, but a little free exposure never hurt anyone...


  1. Excellent interview, Eric & Stacey! The only thing you left out was your incredible talent for making those zombie-licious cupcake creations full of oozing, nomming goodness!

  2. Thanks Jan!

    And I'll be sure to use my oral interaction skills during my next interview, Article. ;)