[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Ruth, and welcome to Manga Maniac Cafe! Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Ruth Browne] I’m a writer with escapist fantasies about lawyering.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about One Thousand and One Nights?
[Ruth Browne] It’s the story of a busty biker redhead blasting zombies with a shotgun. It’s also the story of a sharp-witted young woman looking out for her little sister in a hostile universe, spinning stories to keep hope alive. It’s a romance, in more ways than one (but also in the most important, pleasantly erotic way). It’s a retelling of the Persian legend of Scheherazade during a zombie apocalypse.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Ruth Browne] I saw the Entangled ad for a zombified retelling of a fairytale, and took a few weeks to think about it. The mostly European Disney fairytales seemed pretty hackneyed, so I dismissed them. The 1001 Nights idea probably arrived via Aladdin, which is one of my favourite Disney movies. When it appeared in my head I pretended to ignore it so it would hang around. Pretty soon I was fleshing it out in my head, starting from the premise of being chained to the wall by an attractive man. The characters began as generic badasses of urban fantasy and developed from there. So, a combination of erotic daydreaming and Disney musicals. Forgive me.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Sheri?
[Ruth Browne] Brave, uninhibited, lonely.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Aleksy had a theme song, what would it be?
[Ruth Browne] Iron Maiden – The Trooper. I stole it from Max Brooks, sorry Max.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Sheri is never without.
[Ruth Browne] Her sense of humour.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Aleksy’s bedroom?
[Ruth Browne] Pretty pictures. Crime fiction. Boredom.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Sheri’s greatest regret?
[Ruth Browne] Sheri tries to live without regret, but leaving Lebanon and her parents for the States as a child is a decision she really regrets, even though she had no control over it.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Ruth Browne] Music, like the Beck track that plays in the van. Brilliant writers, like Gaiman and Miéville. And my own long-standing desire to write something I personally would want to read, especially in the genre of apocalyptic fiction.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Ruth Browne] Time, inspiration and Ceylon tea.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on One Thousand and One Nights?
[Ruth Browne] I was recovering from a death in the family. 1001 Nights was my distraction.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Ruth Browne] Max Brooks’ World War Z. Detailed, fascinating, epic beyond belief. It froze my blood with horror.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Ruth Browne] Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. I wrote an enthusiastic book review on it when I was six.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Ruth Browne] Friendship and good times above all things, except food and sex.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Ruth Browne] I’m on Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook so any contact is welcome.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
Sheri spends her days fighting zombies and her nights chained to a wall, earning her every breath by telling stories to her captor Aleksy—stories that make them both forget the ruined world. Sheri could put up with the conditions—at least she knows her sister is safe in the community Aleksy leads—until she realizes she’s falling for him…even though he wants her dead.
When Aleksy allowed Sheri and her sister into his compound, he didn’t know about the zombie bite on her back. It’s only a matter of time before she turns into one of the rising dead and threatens their existence, but Aleksy has a secret need for Sheri and her stories. For everyone’s safety, he chains her to his bedroom wall, hoping for just one more day. But how long will the community allow Aleksy to ignore his own rule: always kill the infected. Always.