Rusty Fischer is the author of multiple popular humorous and action-packed YA paranormal novels, including Zombies Don’t Cry and Vamplayers. Rusty welcomed Medallion readers into his fictional world back in 2010 with these first words from Zombies Don’t Cry—“It’s 2:27 a.m., I have no heartbeat, I can’t breathe, and this is all getting a little too surreal for me”—and we were hooked. This month, as we celebrate the release of his fifth Medallion novel, Vampire Book of the Month Club, we’ve asked him to dish a little about his latest novel, his life, and his tips for writers.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a full-fledged geek and absolutely obsessed about writing. I am married, no kids, and my wife and I share a very happy life together in the same city where both our families live.
- What led to your decision to be a writer?
Judy Blume! Seriously, Judy Blume was my teacher, mentor, and best friend growing up—if only she knew. I loved S.E. Hinton and Beverly Cleary as well and wanted to do for others what they did for me: take me someplace I’d never been and talk to me like a friend the whole way there.
- Tell us what it took to get your first manuscript published.
My first published book was a series of do-it-yourself short stories for an educational publisher, so it took a lot of persistence in submitting to every “teacher publisher” on the planet.
- What is your book about?
This book is about a teenage girl, Nora Falcon, who just happens to be a best-selling author at seventeen! She goes to a very exclusive school filled with other special teens, one of them—her BFF who’s a girl, Abby Hastings, just happens to be a movie star and her BFF who’s a boy, Wyatt Cash, is a male model. But a new man enters her life when Reece Rothchild shows up at a book signing one night and then in her homeroom the next morning, having transferred to her school. At first, Nora is impressed, but soon she’s panicked: first Wyatt, then Abby go missing! Turns out Reece has kidnapped them and is holding them for ransom, until Nora writes a very personal book…just for him. Well, him and all his vampire friends!
- What real-life themes are explored in this book?
This is a book about friendship, primarily, and how willing we are to save our friends from harm.
- What is your favorite part of this book?
My favorite part is that Nora is a writer and how she uses excerpts of her books to frame the opening of most scenes. It’s like a book within a book, really!
- How do you hope readers are affected by this book?
I hope readers enjoy this vampire departure from my predominantly zombie books and that they appreciate the kind of old-school world I’ve tried to create where there are still modern vampires who aren’t quite modern.
- What do you think are the three most important things writers should know about getting their work published?
Would it be too cheesy to say “persistence, persistence, persistence”? I guess so, but absolutely sticking with it is the most important thing a writer can do. So, first, stick with it; be persistent. Second, have a thick skin and learn to deal with rejection. So much of publishing is subjective, and what this guy hates that gal will love; you just have to find that one editor who “gets it.” Finally, confidence; people want to read something new and unique, written by someone who knows what they’re doing. I’m not saying I absolutely have it all down yet, but I will say that when I sit down to write I’m confident in what I’m doing and eager to get to work!
- Aside from writing, what are your hobbies or areas of expertise?
I read when I can, which isn’t often, and try to see as many scary movies a year as possible. (Netflix is making that easier and easier.) I’m married, happily, and spend as much time away from my computer as possible with my wife. We live in Florida, so we swim and bike a lot.
- Where can your fans go to get in touch with you?
My main base of operations is my blog at http://zombiesdontblog.blogspot.com/.