Search this blog

Monday 6 June 2016

ℚ Undead Ultra (A Zombie Novel) - Camille Picott

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Undead Ultra (A Zombie Novel) (, Pixiu Press, 382 pages), a Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Fantasy.

"In summary, with Undead Ultra, Camille Picott takes the old age recipe and adds a new spin to it: if you didn't know much about ultra marathons before reading this, you'll learn enough to know it's for crazy people. Undead Ultra fizzles, it sparkles, and it makes you hope the author is planning to write a sequel." - Amazon Reviewer

"LOVED IT. I read it in two days. There is one death I will never forgive Ms. Picott for but hey, it's zombies, you've got to be prepared. I learned a LOT about running. The relationships are heartbreaking and the plot nonstop. Totally worth the nightmares." - Amazon Reviewer

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Video: Book Research | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Camille Picott; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

We love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Undead Ultra , or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"I actually don’t listen to music while I write!  I know this seems crazy, but my only writing time is at night when my husband and I hang out.  We always have a TV show on, so that’s my background as opposed to music.  However we do watch every seasons of The Voice, so I guess sometimes there is some type of music going!

I also don’t listen to music when I run, either . . . I listen to audio books, often zombie or post-apocalyse stories.  Nothing like a scary book to get the legs churning!"
What was the inspiration for Undead Ultra ?
"I am a running fanatic and a zombie fanatic.  It seemed natural to weld two of my passions into a novel.  There is often a lot of running in zombie books, so I thought it would be fun to pit actual runners against the undead."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The thing about myself that is most reflected in this book is my love for ultrarunning, and all the bizarre things that go with it: pooping in the woods, lancing blisters, covering myself with Body Glide to prevent chafing, removing toenails, running for obscene amounts of time out in the middle of nowhere, and amassing a ridiculously large collection of running shoes and running gear."
Removing toenails?!

The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Undead Ultra - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.

"I worked with Deranged Doctor Designs for this book cover.  It’s really a blend of two genres: running books and zombie books.  I wanted to draw in fans from both categories, and I hope this cover will appeal to both."
Why should we read Undead Ultra and what sets it apart from the rest?
"There are ultrarunning books and zombie books, but as far as I know mine is the first that brings both of these genres together.

Ultrarunning books tend to be nonfiction.  It’s a fascinating subject.  (Who would pay money to run 135 miles through Death Valley in July?  Why would you spend hours puking on the trail and keep pushing to that 100-mile finish line?)  I hope to share insights into the sport with readers who wouldn’t normally pick up an ultrarunning book, as well as entertain readers with some undead fun.

If you’re looking for a zombie novel with a unique twist, this is it!"
Can you tell us something quirky about Undead Ultra , its story and characters?
"Both of my main characters are ultrarunners, and both have a library of bizarre things they have done or experienced in the midst of an ultra race.

Kate once ran 100-mile race in Utah.  Winter came early, and she ended up running 10 hours in a snow storm in a pink running skirt and came out with frost bite on her legs.

Frederico once tore the bottom tissue of his foot on a 120-mile race.  The scar tissue was so thick he had to shave it off with a knife."
I am not a runner (I am a speed walker), but I am meant to get into it... uhm... sounds a bit crazy...

Who would you recommend Undead Ultra to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"One thing I really wanted to do is write a genre novel that featured adult characters.  I get tired of stories about twenty-somethings with very little life experience.  As an almost-forty wife and mother, I feel like characters with similar mid-life experiences are largely under-represented in genre fiction.

In Undead Ultra, Kate is widower in her late-thirties.  She got pregnant in college and dropped out as a result.  Her son is her life.  Frederico is in his early sixties.  He’s a recovering alcoholic struggling to connect with an estranged daughter.  Both characters have life experiences and life stories that I hope will appeal to adult readers.

As a warning/disclaimer, there is a lot of swearing in the story."
If you could / wished to turn Undead Ultra into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"If this story was ever made into a movie, I would love to see it filmed on location in Northern California where the story takes place.  I did a lot of research (including running on portions of the abandoned railroad tracks) and tried to incorporate real places into the story, such as Confusion Hill and the Avenue of the Giants.  I would like to see these real places in the movie."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I write primarily science fiction and fantasy.  My series span from middle grade, to YA, to adult.  I find that I get bored with series—both in the writing of them and the reading of them.  It is very typical for me only to read the first book in a series, then move on.  Unfortunately in the writing world, this means I don’t write all the books in a series at once.  I tend to move around between them, or veer off a new direction and write something else entirely new. I like to explore new worlds and new characters.

I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, but I also love running books and nutrition books.  Books about running and nutrition are high on my list."
What is your writing process?
"I am a full-time working mom and wife.  My family and my day job take priority, so I don’t have a lot of hours in the day which are devoting to writing. I generally only write in the evenings after my daughter has gone to bed.  My husband and I hang out and watch TV while I work on stories.  (I’m pretty good at multitasking.)  If I’m lucky, I get 1 – 1.5 hours of writing in every day.

I tend to prefer the editing process over the writing process.  Getting material onto a blank page can be grueling.  Editing my material is loads of fun.  I like moving scenes around, deleting stuff, rewriting stuff, etc."
What is in store next?
"I’m working on the next installment in my YA series, Sulan.  I have the drafts of the book 3 and book 4 complete.  Now it’s just a matter of smoothing them out and getting them off to my beta readers.

I’m also in the midst of organizing a 200-mile relay, which will follow the route run by Kate and Frederico in the Undead Ultra.

The run will take place on June 11 and 12, 2016.  I’ll be making a documentary about the relay and the novel, which will focus on why ultrarunners are uniquely positioned to survive in an apocalypse."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"My favorite running shirt says SLOW IS THE NEW FAST.  This cracks me up and I wear it to all my races with pride.

Here’s a picture of me at the finish line of a 50K (31 mile) ultramarathon.  I was exhausted and in pain, but the exhilaration of finishing made it all worth it!  I’ve got on the SLOW IS THE NEW FAST shirt, but you can’t see it very well because it’s covered by my hydration pack."
Fantastic picture; well done and thank you for sharing!  It's been a pleasure chatting to you!
"Thanks, Flora, for hosting me on your site! I really appreciate it!"

Undead Ultra (A Zombie Novel)
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Smashwords find on Goodreads


Giselle said...

Thanks for hosting today! :)

Camille Picott said...

Thanks so much for posting the interview! I had so much fun "chatting" with you! You know, there are some ultrarunners who have mastered the power hike. They actually knock out obscene distances by walking! It's pretty cool. You should try it!