H.R. Boldwood - The Battle Between Good and Evil Just Got Wicked Fun.
H.R. Boldwood is a writer of urban fantasy and horror. In another incarnation, Boldwood is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was awarded the 2009 Bilbo Award for Creative Writing. Boldwood’s characters are often disreputable and not to be trusted. They are kicked to the curb at every conceivable opportunity when some poor, unsuspecting publisher welcomes them with open arms. No responsibility is taken by this author for the dastardly and sometimes criminal acts committed by this ragtag group of miscreants. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, The Corpse Whisperer.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Corpse Whisperer is about.
When the zombie population spikes and no one knows why, it’s up to Allie Nighthawk, kickass corpse whisperer and zombie hunter, to solve the mystery. Of course, there’s a hitch. She’s stuck babysitting Leo Abruzzi, a zombie bitten gangster who’s turning state’s evidence. But the mob and a powerful necromancer will stop at nothing to take Leo and Allie down.
Tell us more about Allie Nighthawk. What makes her tick?
Allie Nighthawk is Anita Blake on steroids, with a fondness for leather and Jack Daniel’s. She has a healthy dose of Stephanie Plum and Rachel Morgan in her, too, though she’d never admit it. The power to raise the dead is awesome—and terrifying. Allie created her own set of rules to keep herself in check. She does her best not to break those rules. But that doesn’t mean she can’t bend them on occasion. She’s a real piece of work—a work in progress, that is.
What inspired you to write about someone who has to babysit a zombie-bitten gangster?
I wanted to create a foil for Allie who at first blush comes off as reprehensible, someone whose values differ from hers. As the story plays out, and Allie is forced to spend time with Leo, she comes to understand him. More importantly, she comes to understand that people are complex—a melting pot of good and evil. More gray than black and white. That insight/empathy makes her stronger, but it also makes decisions regarding life and ‘undeath’ far more difficult.
Your book contains a lot of humor. Why did you take this approach?
Many of my stories contain humor. It comes naturally. As heroines go, Allie Nighthawk is larger than life. She’s brassy, sassy, and loves her attitude problem. (Frankly, at this point, three books into the series, I’m afraid she’d kick my butt if I tried to muzzle her… Please don’t tell her I said that.)
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I’m a bit artsy and into crafts, on occasion. I wouldn’t call myself talented, but I’d give myself an ‘A’ for effort. I’d like to give painting a go sometime.
Which of your characters was the most challenging to create?
That’s a good question! Allie is a combination of everything I want to be when I grow up, with a few weaknesses thrown in so she doesn’t come across as one-dimensional. I’d have to say Leo was the most challenging. Leo’s character reveal took some finessing. His true nature had to dribble out slowly to make the plot work and to give Nighthawk’s character the ability to grow.
The book contains some twists and turns - did you plan it all out before you started writing, or did it just "happen" along the way?
I start with an overall story concept/plot line and create beat points. Then, I work from beat point to beat point, threading in the sub-plots. This method keeps the story moving at a good clip but also gives me the freedom to be creative along the way.
What is your personal favorite line from the book?
Wow! That’s a tough one. So many lines, so little space. If I have to pick one, I pick the opening of the story. It sets the tone of the narrative and lets the reader know they’re in for a wild ride:
“There aren’t many good reasons for raising the dead, but there are plenty of bad ones. I’m Allie Nighthawk and raising the dead happens to be my only talent. People are willing to pay for it. Go figure. You should thank me, really, because the world is batshit crazy.”
Even readers who are not really into zombies enjoy your book - what is so special about your zombies?
The zombies in the Corpse Whisperer series didn’t shamble off the set of The Walking Dead. The focus is less on gore and more on story. When gore does take center stage, it’s often humorously presented in conjunction with Allie’s tendency to create havoc, inflict massive damage, ‘break a few eggs’ as she saves the day. Putting down deadheads is a highly fluid situation that requires lots of fire power and deadly weaponry. Things can go sideways in a heartbeat. When all goes well, the biters end up in a zombie chum that smells like yesterday’s sushi. (Allie calls it, ‘zushi’.)
Thank heavens she carries liability insurance for all the…collateral damage. Or does she?
Allie Nighthawk’s snarky humor draws readers who love Janet Evanovich. I invite my fans to come for the fun—and stay for the zushi!
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
The cover was a perfect collaboration with my publisher, Third Street Press. We wanted to establish Allie Nighthawk as the star of the series and provide thematic nuances that would carry through on future covers within the series. Readers will always see a battle-ready Allie from behind and a nighthawk soaring in the moonlight. Oh, and cemeteries and zombies, of course!
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I would love to chat with Edgar Allan Poe. Such a marvelous, demented mind! Who could resist?
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Somedays are different than others. Somedays, I draft notes on upcoming chapters, listing what needs to happen and when. Others, I take those notes and shift into AIS mode (ass in seat). That’s when it’s time to write, write, write.
What are you working on right now?
Glad you asked! I am working on Corpse Whisperer Torn, book three in the Corpse Whisperer series. Allie has many decisions to make, both personal and professional.
What’s a corpse whisperer to do?
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I love to hear from my readers! Catch me at: