This Is Not A Test was a very different kind of story for me. Usually when I pick up a “zombie” book, I blow through it – that was not the case with This is Not A Test…because it isn’t a zombie book. I had to put it down and think about it from this narrators perspective. What really hooked me is that the narrator didn’t want to survive the Apocalypse, she was actively trying to get herself killed. The story is more character watching and calculating motives instead of a fight for your life. For more information about the author Courtney Summers, check out her website.
This is Not a Test is a zombie apocalypse book – but it’s not like any book I have read before. This one is more of a character study, than “how I survived story”. Did you always plan for it to read that way or is that just how Sloane wanted since she was in such a dark place.
Thanks! I always knew that whatever zombie apocalypse book I wrote would be more about the people than the dead because those are exactly the kind of zombie stories that I’m drawn to. Night of the Living Dead is my all time favourite zombie movie because of the people in it and how they work with and against each other. From draft to draft, this book was always people first–BUT the way they respond to their situations would be nothing without the zombies. 🙂
The cover is what initially drew me to the book – the girl looked so peaceful, but when you looked closer you noticed the blood splatter, so creepy. What was your reaction when you first saw the cover?
We went through a few cover possibilities for This is Not a Test and when I saw the finished version, I was thrilled by how unsettling it was. The blood spatters made my day. I like how you don’t know if the girl on the cover is a survivor or a zombie.
In June you mentioned that This Is Not a Test has been optioned for a TV movie –have you heard anything else about this?
Nope! We’ll see if anything happens–I’m just grateful for the possibility it might. Fingers crossed. 🙂
This is Not a Test is a stand alone with a cliffhanger ending –have you ever thought about writing a sequel or companion?
Well, I never say never when it comes to sequels. 🙂 Of all of my books, it lends itself most to the possibility, though.
You will have a short story featured in Defy the Dark – can you tell us anything about your short story? Is this your first published short story? Do you have a preference novel vs short story?
Yep–it’s my first anthology and I’m super excited about it. It’s an honour to be in such great company. Writing novels and short stories are challenging in their own ways, but I prefer to write novels. I don’t want to give anything away about my story but it’s about a girl with an interesting perspective on life… *ominous music*
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