Jesse Petersen is the author of the „Living with the Dead“ series, including „Married with Zombies“, „Flip this Zombie“ and „Eat Slay Love“. (Photo: Copyright Jesse Petersen)

Thank you for taking the time for this interview.

Zombies are the theme at the moment. Did you think you’d be writing your series „Living with the Dead“ in a time where zombies would become popular?

Actually, when I wrote MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES, the genre was already starting to take off, but I’ve always loved a good zombie story!

How did you come up with the idea of a couple being caught in a zombie apocalypse?

I had watched “Zombieland” with my husband and some friends and when I came home, I kept having these visions in my head with the scene where Dave and Sarah find out their marriage counselor is a zombie. The idea snowballed with them using her marital advice to get out of the city and to safety.

The titles of your novels are very catchy. Who comes up with them?

The titles are all awesome! MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES was all Orbit. After that, it was just trying to put a spin on titles like Eat Pray Love or Flip This House. They were fun to come up with.

In your first book the heroine kills a zombie with a high heel. I loved the scene. Did you think of really crazy scenes for killing zombies before you started writing?

They all sort of came together naturally. I thought about zombie movies especially and tried to let the story and the “zombie kills” come naturally (and in a funny way).

In book two there is a really mouthy kid. He is one of my favorite characters since he is very multi-faceted. Was he a character who jumped out of your imagination – ready and able to fight the zombies – or did you invest much time in fleshing him out?

The Kid is one of my favorites, too. And once again, I think he was just in there wanting to get out. LOL Just like in MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES, it was the scene where they find him and he kicks Sarah that sort of got me to the right place with him.

There are zombies everywhere – novels („Pride and Prejudice and Zombies“, „Dearly Departed“, etc.), games (Resident Evil), movies, graphic novels („The Walking Dead“), manga („Highschool of the Dead“) – which type of medium do you prefer and read/play/watch yourself?

I really like the zombie movies best. Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, Resident Evil, any Romero movie… I’m pretty much there (and I’m loving Walking Dead on TV, too). I do have some favorite zombie novels though and I’m liking The Walking Dead graphic novels. I’m so behind with them, though.

What do you think is the appeal of zombies?

They’re scary and funny. Scary because they keep coming. You can’t offer logic to debate it or make it surrender. And they’re funny because the idea is just so ridiculous. They moan and whine and lose a limb and just don’t care. I think movies like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead showcase that and I hope the “Living With the Dead” series plays in that same vein.

What are your next projects? Can you tell your fans a little bit about them? Will we meet Sarah and David again?

I’d love to write another Sarah and Dave novel, but it will likely have to be self-published as the publisher has decided not to do anymore books in the series. But I do hope to write it and publish it myself sometime this year. I’ve also written a monster story set in New York City that is being shopped to publishers as we speak. So I’m hoping to see that traditionally published in 2012 or 2013 (and hopefully put into other languages).

Did you ever think that your universe of zombies and mayhem would be so extensive that there is room for several new novels and short stories?

Oh, I think there’s still room. LOL The zombieverse is so wide and I feel like there’s always someplace to go.

What did you think when you heard that your novels are going to be translated in French?

I always love to hear the books have moved into a new country. And I’ve gotten so many nice emails from French readers!

What book lies on your nightstand? Which genres are your favorite ones?

Right now all my books are in my Kindle so they’re always with me all the time (which I LOVE). I think my next book to read will be THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, which is a nonfiction book. I read romance, sci-fi/fantasy, horror, nonfiction, pretty much anything that looks interesting, I’ll give it a try. I really need to read more this year.

Thank you and I hope we’ll soon have a German version of „Living with the Dead“.

Me too! Orbit has all those rights and works on harvesting them.