In an earlier interview, Lori Titus talked, among other things, about her collection of short stories, Green Water Lullaby (Sonar4 Publications, 2010) and about the factors that drew her to paranormal/horror literature.
Her latest offering, Lazarus is a novella set in the Old West which combines steam punk, magic, zombies and ghosts.
She had this to say about the novella:
How would you describe the new book?
Lazarus is a story set in the Old West, in a town in California.
A young widow named Luella Pemby comes to town, armed with a device that can detect the presence of zombies. Lazarus is known as a site of “natural reanimation”, where infrequent Risings of the dead occur.
Luella seeks out the local sheriff, Benjamin Drake and the mayor of the town, Jasper Cole. She offers her help, and both men are wary of her at first.
Luella comes to find that not only are the Risings occurring more frequently, but that there is more going on in the town of Lazarus than she thought. There are ghosts, family rivalries between warlocks, and a mystery surrounding the death of a young woman.
How long did it take you to write the book?
This book is fairly short (it’s a novella, actually). The first draft took about six weeks.
I found myself writing every day, usually writing at night or early morning and then doing revisions in the afternoon.
Lazarus will be published on October 31, 2010, and will be available in both print and e-book through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
How did you chose a publisher for the book?
I actually intended Lazarus to be a short story. I was planning to submit it to Sonar4 Publications as part of an upcoming steam punk anthology. Once I started getting into this story, it became clear that I was going to far exceed the word count.
A friend of mine recommended the Library of the Living Dead. I contacted the publisher, and sent him a synopsis of the plot. He expressed interest, and I sent him the manuscript.
Since this particular publisher specializes in zombie fiction, I felt that they were a good choice to start with. But because this story incorporates unusual elements, I wasn’t sure if it would be something that they would like .
Which were the most difficult aspects of the work you put into the book?
The most difficult part of writing this book was the lack of sleep that came with it! I couldn’t seem to get the words down fast enough. I sat up writing, re-writing, and reading it for several entire nights in a row. When I did fall asleep I had dreams about the story, and soon found myself awake again and back in front of my monitor. I slipped into the odd habit of sleeping in the day and then writing at night.
I really loved this story. I loved the characters and breathing life into them.
Luella was the driving force, and her words flew across the page.
I enjoyed the male voices in the story, Jasper and Benjamin. The town came to life easily, including an engaging cast of supporting characters that popped up all by themselves.
What sets the book apart from other things you've written?
Lazarus is a Western, and my stories are usually set in the present.
The combination of elements is very different. There is a hint of steam punk, magic, zombies, and even some ghosts.
This story is similar to my first book, Green Water Lullaby, in the way it combines the paranormal with an element of romance.