Thursday, April 30, 2015

Grave Touched by Erin Zarro

Today's guest is my friend Erin Zarro, who's new book Grave Touched has an official release date of May 1, 2015 (but just between you and me, if you go to Amazon, it's live NOW!). Grave Touched is published by Turtleduck Press, and is the sequel to Fey Touched, and if you're not familiar with Erin's work, check it out because it's good stuff...


LR: What’s the most compelling thing about Grave Touched, the thing that’s kept your butt in the chair through hours of writing and revising?

EZ: I think the most compelling thing that kept me moving was the battle that the characters had to fight to save themselves, their loved ones, and ultimately the world. They were being possessed by restless dead called the grave touched who wouldn't stop until everyone in the world had been possessed and the world turned into a version of their world, an icy cesspool of dead things.

Also, the love story between the two main characters. Watching it unfold was like watching a movie -- at times beautiful, at times heartbreaking. It kept me focused because they needed their story told.

LR: Does all of your writing have a fantasy element? What’s the appeal there? Does fantasy cross over into your poetry & photography?

EZ: I would say 95% of my stories have some type of fantasy  element in them. I love being able to do virtually anything – create a new world, make up my own magic system, invent a new culture and/or language (which is really fun!), and do things we can't do in the real world. There is no limit to what a writer can do with fantasy, and I love that.

Poetry for me is deeply personal and very autobiographical, so fantasy doesn't really creep into it. Maybe someday I'll give that a try. ;) 

With photography...sometimes. When I was in college, I created a book of Victorian pictures and poems, using pictures I'd taken of my sister and I in Victorian garb. It was pretty neat. I also do double exposures (the real way – shooting a roll of film, rewinding it, and reloading it) and sometimes the resulting pictures will have a sort of fantasy quality to them. And black & white infrared is hauntingly beautiful, with everything glowing.  I have a ton of ideas for new shoots that will incorporate more fantasy elements.

LR: Turtleduck Press’s co-op model is different from other publishers. How’d you guys gets started, and where did you get the name?

EZ: Five years ago we (KD Sarge, Siri Paulson, Kit Campbell, and myself) were discussing KD's book that had been with an agent for a year, and lamented the difficulty of getting an agent to take on less commercial books, even though they were of good quality. We thought, hey, we can do something, and we started making plans. Originally we were an alliance, but later on we incorporated as a company. And the rest is history.

The name came from the turtleduck being a blend of a turtle and a duck, not wholly one or the other. And our mission is to bring works to the public that are different in some manner that would otherwise fall through the cracks.

LR: Who do you read when you want inspiration? 

EZ: I have a lot of go -to authors: Nalini Singh, Karen Marie Moning, Larissa Ione, Melissa Marr, JR Ward, Dean Koontz, SM Reine, Dan Rix, Maggie Stiefvater, Sharlaine Harris, Lynn Viehl, Holly Lisle, Richelle Mead, and Terry Goodkind.

LR: Clutter or quiet? Describe your perfect writing situation.

EZ: I would be in my home office, listening to music that inspires me, no distractions, just in the zone, watching the story unfold in my head.

LR: In your bio you describe your cat as part vampire? Why? Do you have photographic proof? 

EZ: LOL. I actually don't have proof as such, but I have some pictures I can share. Hailey is a loving cat...when she feels like it. Any other time, you get bitten. I can't tell you how many bites I've gotten from her over the years. But she's my baby, and I love her anyway. 

"But I don't look evil...mostly..."

LR: I also read that you’ve got a couple of tattoos. Have you added any since the interview on your website? Do you have more planned?

EZ: I haven't added any more due to finances. Tattoos are so expensive! I have several planned: fairy wings on my back (huge!), a celtic cross on my opposite shoulder, the words "nolite timere" (Latin for "Do not be afraid" -- my motto as of last year) just below the tribal band, and Karen Marie Moning's Fever series motto, "Hope Strengthens, Fear Kills" somewhere. I'm also considering getting a small tattoo somewhere that says "j'écris" (which is French for "I write"). I'm a huge fan of body art.
Hailey is looking for tattoos...

LR: What’s next on your horizon? Describe your current WIP(s) or other upcoming project.

EZ: Well, I have several in the hopper. The main one is Fireborn, a novella in the Reaper Girl universe (which started in TDP's anthology "Under Her Protection." My novella was "Reaper Girl"). I need to finish it and will possibly publish it this year sometime or next. I have a psychological horror novel, Survivor, that's eleven years old and in rewrite (it keeps pulling me in!). And finally, book 3 of the Fey Touched series, Ever Touched, featuring precognition, clones, and neural implants. Should be fun.

If you're interested in reading more about Erin & her work, jump HERE - she's got another interview on my friend Ellen Gregory's blog.


Fey Touched – humans, genetically engineered for immortality and flight, tasked with protecting the rest of the world from rogue Fey...

Grave Touched – dead souls in search of living bodies to possess, especially those who’ve had a brush with death...

When Fey Touched Hunter Emily wakes up in a hospital, she doesn’t know that she was in fact dead. Nor does she know that her lover, Nick, broke all kinds of rules to bring her back. But the grave touched do.

Fey Touched Healer Asha does know that her mate, Joe, saved her when her abilities nearly killed her. And she knows the voices in her head are the grave touched trying to stake their claim. Asha needs Joe’s help again, but unfortunately she’s the only one who believes the grave touched exist.

The grave touched are plotting to take over the corporeal world, and they’re gaining strength. Only Emily and Asha stand in their way – and both are about to be possessed.

Grave Touched.

Buy Link

Available from Amazon.


Erin Zarro is an indie novelist and poet living in Michigan. She's married to her Prince Charming, and she has a feline child named Hailey who she's convinced is part vampire. She loves all things scary and spooky, and is on a mission to scare herself, as nothing lately has scared her. She writes in the genres of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Her first published novel, Fey Touched, is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy. She is currently working on Book 3, Ever Touched, and is trying to stay out of trouble. Mostly. Her website is at