Today we are interviewing Michele Israel Harper. Her books, Wisdom & Folly, parts one and two, released November of last year, and Zombie Takeover will release later this year. Let’s find out more about her!
Welcome to the blog today, Michele! What is the most important thing to you when it comes to telling a story?
Hi! Thank you so much for having me! :) Oh, wow, that’s a tough one. I almost hate to say this, but I think it’s the ending. Just about anything can go wrong with my characters–whether I wrote them or someone else–but I’ve got to have my happy ending. I need closure. Resolution. Without it, I’m a crying, sobbing mess (books come to life, people!) and I walk around in a state of mourning for days. Or until the next book comes out. Which can be a long time.
How did you come up with the story for Zombie Takeover?
It was a dream. I’m not joking. I’d written this monstrous historical fiction, and it was terrible. Seriously. So bad. I had no idea where to go from there, but I knew I wanted to write more. But what? I prayed about it, went to bed, and had the most awesome dream in my entire life. Seriously. So freaking cool. It was more vibrant and intense than any movie I’d seen. Gerard Butler was in it (um, swoon!) and we were at a movie theater in the middle of the desert. Something stupid happened and all the other movie-goers turned into zombies. I was so freaked out–I hate anything scary! ANYTHING–but he was all awesome and badass and saved our lives. I woke up at a crazy intense part and almost cried. It couldn’t be over yet! It couldn’t!
The next night, same dream, but I got the ending this time. I woke up amazed. That had never happened to me before. I spent the next couple of weeks writing the book start to finish, taking several month to fill in the gaps and flesh out the story–then spent three years querying publishing houses, getting it edited, polished, the cover designed–you name it. The acquisition editors loved it, but most publishing houses don’t publish Christian zombie fiction. Especially with such a quirky and spastic main character as Candace Marshall. (No resemblance to me whatsoever. None.)
What about Wisdom & Folly?
I was reading Proverbs 8 and 9 about the woman Wisdom being around before the world was formed, being the Lord’s master craftsman, building her home, and sending out her maidens to gather those who wanted to learn from her. Then I read about Folly, who was loud and brash and her paths led to the deepest hell. I started shrieking and bouncing all over the place–a common occurrence, unfortunately–and I could not get away from the idea that Wisdom could be a real angel, Folly could-maybe-might-possibly be her sister, and what if they actually existed? I mean, what if?
Then I read the Apocryphal book of Wisdom in which Solomon asks to marry the angel Wisdom, and more bouncing off the walls commenced. I had to explore. And I don’t know if other authors feel this way about their books, but I am in love with this story. God showed me his outrageous love with every stroke of my keyboard.
Do you have a release date for Zombie Takeover?
For the love, hush! I can’t give that out without crazy fanfare! Lots of hype! Screaming, shouting, dancing–telling the whole world! In other words…no clue. It’s in another round of edits. Again. But when I get it back from my editor–oh ho ho boy!–you’d better believe there’s gonna be a release date. ASAP. (But I may have just seen a sneak peek of my cover for Kill the Beast: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling, from the talented Sara Helwe. Ahhh! Does that count?)
Absolutely that counts! Thank you so much for joining us today, Michele. We cannot wait for your upcoming news.
My pleasure! I can’t wait either. ;)
Thank you for joining us today as well, readers. Visit MicheleIsraelHarper.com to learn even more about our author. Next week, we interview Author Amy Brock McNew. She has exciting news to share about her new release, Rebirth. You won’t want to miss it.
~The L2L2 Publishing Team