Today, Amber Kizer is at The Hiding Spot as part of Fall Festival Blog Hop to talk about her newest release, A Matter of Days! I loved this post-apocalyptic story of a brother and sister traveling across a decimated United States – be sure to check out my review here! Amber has kindly provided an audiobook of AMOD for one lucky winner at The Hiding Spot, which you can enter to win below.
Did you have trouble writing any of your characters or specific scenes within the novel? Or, were any characters or scenes particularly easy to write?
AMOD stewed in my brain for a very long time before the opportunity to write it appeared, so in many ways it was very easy to write. However I did an incredible amount of research on viruses and pandemics, prepping, survival, and actually took the road trip with Nadia and Rabbit via Google Earth. So the timeline and the details were tricky from my perspective—only to make it seamless for the reader—who hopefully never notices those things because they’re so caught up in the adventure!
Has the title changed or stayed relatively the same as your novel journeyed towards publication?
Originally the working title was ECHOES OF 1492. I had patient zero named “Columbus” and that led to the virus being named “1492” because it led to a whole new world—ie Christopher Columbus sailing to the Americas in 1492. However I changed editors within the publisher and she felt it sounded too historical, so I went back to the text, used a middle school of kids to focus group ideas and help narrow them down and the team at Delacorte liked A Matter of Days best. I like it because the phrase “a matter of” comes up a lot in Nadia’s thinking and rather than chapters we used days to designate breaks—cuz let’s face it, everything is different and sunrises are way more important than chapters in a survival story.
What book or author has most influenced you as a writer or in general?
Yeah, so this is impossible to answer. I read everything. Usually 20-25 books, in all genres, concurrently. I seek words and story everywhere. But if I pick one writer’s work, Gabriel Garcia Marquez has a story in Strange Pilgrims which completely changed the way I view story and details. Two little boys in an urban environment learn to scuba dive in light instead of water and subsequently drown. That story changed me completely.
For AMOD the most influential books were Stephen King’s The Stand which I read in middle school, followed closely by Richard Preston’s Hot Zone. Both sucked me into daydreams about survival and pandemics.
What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a writer/published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing?
I started writing because I developed a rare nerve disorder in my legs that requires an incredible amount of flexibility and fortitude to get through each day.
If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
Aside from swearing? “Splendid.”
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?
Are you saying I can’t pick books too? I have a variety of escapes—the animals in my life, my gardens, trashy reality television, and food—all fulfill anti-reality niches for me!
Follow Amber on Twitter: @WriteAmberKizer
Email comments to Amber at Amber@AmberKizer.com
On Day 56 of the pandemic called BluStar, sixteen-year-old Nadia’s mother dies, leaving her responsible for her younger brother Rabbit. They secretly received antivirus vaccines from their uncle, but most people weren’t as lucky. Their deceased father taught them to adapt and survive whatever comes their way. That’s their plan as they trek from Seattle to their grandfather’s survivalist compound in West Virginia. Using practical survival techniques, they make their way through a world of death and destruction until they encounter an injured dog; Zack, a street kid from Los Angeles; and other survivors who are seldom what they seem. Illness, infections, fatigue, and meager supplies have become a way of life. Still, it will be worth it once they arrive at the designated place on the map they have memorized. But what if no one is there to meet them?
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