Friday, July 3, 2015

Author Stop: A.W. Exley

A Cinderella retelling that mixes it up w/zombies. How much fun is that?!  

1. Disney's Cinderella sings-- what song do you feel could be your Ella's theme song?

I going to cheat if this is suppose to be a Disney song, because it's not. When I was writing ELLA I did it as an escape. I needed something completely different after the Artifact Hunters series and I was having a wee issue with trolls. I had Taylor Swift's "Haters gonna hate" song running in my head as I wrote the book. I didn't care what anyone thought of that little story, I did it solely for me and from enjoyment. Then when I had the cover done, someone pointed out the model has a Taylor Swift vibe and it cemented the connection in my head. I can imagine Ella dealing with the step-mother and muttering "haters gonna hate" and while dispatching the undead she sings "shake it off..."

2. What is your favorite eat-at-home dinner, and your favorite eat-out dinner?

At home, I'm a freak and I love making pizza. I do it all from scratch and make my own bases (I love making bread!) and build from there. Tonight we're having smoked salmon and cream cheese pizza. We don't dine out much, as we're rural. I don't have a favourite meal as such, it's more I love the opportunity to dine out and take my time over a leisurely meal, bottle of wine and good company :)

3. You're traditionally published, and self published. Can you give us any nuggets of wisdom about having done both?

Oh that's a hard one! I think publishing is changing so fast and there's no right or wrong way to publish any more. I think the best advise is to know what you want to do and stay true to the stories in your heart.

4. Do you have a favorite animal? 

Unicorns. But not the cute sparkly pink ones, I want a midnight ebony black unicorn with attitude that impales people on its horn. I'm looking on eBay but haven't found one yet...

5. What is a fav line(s) from Ella, The Slayer?

At the end, when the zombies invade the ball (cause come on, who didn't watch the trailer for the Disney version and yell SEND IN THE ZOMBIES when they were all dancing? lol). The charming hero asks Ella which one she wants to dispatch first. And, in a line that shows her character, she thinks... "He was offering me my pick of vermin. If the evening got any sweeter, I would swoon."

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As for giveaways, there's two! Besides the $5 Amazon gift card that always happens with an author stop, A.W. is giving away an ecopy of Ella, The Slayer to one lucky commenter. As always, please remember to follow A.W. at one or more of her social media links. {winner announced via comments 7/7}  

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Books and writing have always been an enormous part of my life. I survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, I overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.

Today, I writes historical novels with a fantasy or steampunk twist. I lives in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.

The flu pandemic of 1918 took millions of souls within a few short weeks. Except it wasn't flu, and death gave them back.

Seventeen-year-old Ella copes the best she can; caring for her war-injured father, scrubbing the floors, and slaying the undead that attack the locals. Vermin they're called, like rats they spread pestilence with their bite. Ella's world collides with another when she nearly decapitates a handsome stranger, who is very much alive.

Seth deMage, the new Duke of Leithfield, has returned to his ancestral home with a mission from the War Office -- to control the plague of vermin in rural Somerset. He needs help; he just didn't expect to find it in a katana-wielding scullery maid.

Working alongside Seth blurs the line between their positions, and Ella glimpses a future she never dreamed was possible. But in overstepping society's boundaries, Ella could lose everything - home, head and her heart...

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes


  1. I love the cover, and I love the premise! The 1918 flu as a zombie plague? Plus Cinderella? Thanks for sharing this!

  2. I just recently saw that cover somewhere! Love the whole idea of it.

  3. Very interesting interview! I, too, love the idea and Ella sounds like one tough young lady :)

  4. Zombies scare the crap outta me, and I ADORE Cinderella stories!! What to do?? LOL It sounds amazing, and I love the quote and the cover! What fun!

  5. I adore this cover! Adding it to Goodreads now!!

  6. Thanks for letting me stop by today. This book was so much fun to write, I hope readers enjoy my take on Cinderella :)

  7. Cinderella and zombies! That is AWESOME!

  8. okay this sounds freaking amazing!

  9. Tiana Smith won the Amazon gc, and Beth Ellyn won the ecopy! Thanks everyone!


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