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Viral Dawn (Viral Series Book 1).jpg


Question 1.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who you are, where you’re from, what got you into writing in the first place, and what inspires you.

I’ve been in love with reading since childhood and dreamed of becoming a writer since I was a young teenager. Horror books, films, and comics were my obsession, and zombies were especially exciting to me. I still remember the first time I watched Night of the Living Dead, and to this day, it gives me goosebumps. Having caved in to parental encouragement to get a “real job,” I worked in broadcasting for a brief stint before becoming an educator. Now, as I’m nearing retirement, I’ve returned to my first love of writing. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of producing a story that others enjoy. I live in central Kentucky with my family in a cabin in the woods, complete with fur babies. I enjoy gardening and writing when I can.

Question 2.

Tell us a bit about your books and what you’re working on right now.

I’ve written in several genres under other pen names over the years. My focus now is on all things creepy. The first book in this effort is Viral Dawn. Initially, it was developed as a novella intended for teenagers who struggle with reading. Based on feedback from readers, I learned the story resonated with a different group, the general YA-to-adult audience, but with a caveat. They wanted a much longer book. For that reason, I expanded the novella into a full-length novel of about 93,000 words and ramped up the content to appeal to those who wanted more. So far, the change has been so well received that I’m currently working on the sequel, Viral Storm.

Question 3.

What is it about the apocalyptic genre that you love? Why write books about it?

To me, fictional apocalyptic events are metaphors for the threats we all face in real life, just blown up to an extreme level. Zombies can represent any people or events impacting your world in a negative way, leaving you feeling as if you have no way to stop them and return to normalcy. Vicariously living alongside the characters as they deal with zombies and overcome obstacles to build a better future is deeply satisfying. I believe the reason these stories resonate with us is that we can relate these struggles to our own lives in a deep, subliminal way. It can be therapeutic.

Question 4.

Name your favourite author or book.

This is a tough one. I read so many different genres. Fantasy and sci-fi are my favorites, of course, but I find value in most books.  If you forced me to pick a favorite book, I’d have to choose The Lord of the Rings for many of the same reasons I enjoy the apocalyptic genre. It depicts vulnerable characters overcoming incredible odds.

Question 5.

If you could be a character from a movie, who would it be and why?

I’d be Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series. His is one of the great tragic love stories in the series that plays out right before our eyes without our even realizing it until his death. He’s brilliant but tortured by bullies and rejected by the object of his affection, who ultimately marries one of his biggest tormentors. He carries devotion to Lily Potter throughout his entire life, even after her death. He finds no other to fill the void of unrequited love. He undoubtedly struggles with his love/resentment of Harry because Harry represents both Lily and the loss of Lily, and yet he overcomes his bitterness to serve as Harry’s protector, even as Harry hates him. As I write this, I find myself realizing it’s crazy to want to be Snape, but there’s something undeniably beautiful and Victorian about the depth of his love and devotion that even death cannot destroy. Imagine for a moment how different the world would be if we were all capable of loving at least one person with the complete loss of self that Snape had. We need more of this in the world, and that’s why I’d want to be him.

Question 6.

What is your top tip for surviving the apocalypse?

My top tip would be to develop self-sufficiency skills. Ideally, everyone should know how to grow their own food, fish, hunt, and forage for food and medicinal plants. Knowledge of how to capture and purify water is essential, along with basic building with rudimentary tools. If I were to do this, I would get away from civilization and work on establishing this lifestyle before the apocalypse hit, probably in a cabin in the woods with my family and fur babies…wait…

Question 7.

Where can we find out more about you and your books?

Where can we find out more about you and your books?

You can check out my website at www.skylerrankin.com  

or my Amazon Author Page at https://www.amazon.com/Skyler-Rankin/e/B009AHTEDS

I also have a Facebook page for sharing book-related intel, general life stuff, and memes. There will be memes. https://www.facebook.com/Skyler.Rankin.Author