Jessica Gomez - Heart-Wrenching Adrenaline-Fueled Romance set in a Zombie Apocalypse

Jessica Gomez - Heart-Wrenching Adrenaline-Fueled Romance set in a Zombie Apocalypse

Jessica Gomez is a bestselling author that balances her time between family and writing. A bibliophile and self-admitted crazy person who argues with the characters in her head on a daily basis, as if they’re friends. It doesn’t hurt that half of them are steaming hot bad boys that would do anything for their girls. She loves camping with family and has just figured out how to cook the perfect S’more and has the burn marks to prove it. Her quirky sense of humor and sarcasm bleeds through into her writing, drawing laughter in inappropriate places. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Infected.

Please give us a short introduction to what Infected is about.

INFECTED starts in a post-apocalyptic world filled with mindless creatures. Lillie, our FMC, is young when the event took place and has to learn to grow and protect herself on her own. Until one night she meets a handsome stranger... then 9-months later, she's faced with a new dilemma but one she'd tear apart the world to protect. So, what is she expected to do when the Infected begin to relearn lost human traits, and the handsome stranger from her past surfaces, recognizing his own eyes? Find out in this complete series! The entire series is massively discounted but also available on Kindle Unlimited.

What inspired you to write this story?

This series bloomed from a combination of ideas within the same couple of hours and then I rushed to write a quick outline. This is what triggered the series: An extinction level event series I watched on TV, that spoke about different scenarios of how the end of the world would come about. I've always loved zombies, so I mixed a little of their facts, with a lot of my creativity. Part of the show discussed how people could live in caves that had natural springs. This interested me because I live at the base of the Blue Mountains and we have several of these natural spring caves littered throughout them. I've been to several growing up, so used what I remembered as outlines to create their living conditions within the cave. I'm an outdoorsy person, so hunting, knowing the trees, and what you can and cannot eat comes pretty naturally to me. It only made sense that they'd have to live off of the land, since most natural resources would no longer be viable. After the first book, the story took on a life of its own and actually finished completely differently than I had originally planned.

Why Post-Apocalyptic Romance? What drew you to the genre?

ZOMBIES! I love them! Have a bug-out plan and everything. lol Of course, my main love is romance. Dark Romance... So why not throw the two together? When emotions are heightened, love is raw and powerful. The things that Lillie and Ian have to do to protect each other and their family are traumatic and heart-pounding, which keeps readers on the edge of their seats. I hope I accomplished just that by throwing the love of my two genres together.

What was your greatest challenge when writing this story?

Finishing it! I'd made it to book 3 and then... life happened, so the last book took a while to get out. I pulled all the books, gave them a nice rewrite, and polish, then pushed them back out into the world. I'm glad I was finally able to give the story the justice it deserves. It was bitter-sweet that I finished. It's like saying goodbye to close friends and family, so much so that I think I may continue the series using series sets with new characters that intermingle with our favorite ones.

Do your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?

Every second of writing this series! There were several times my husband caught me arguing with my computer screen. There were times that were sexy and happy, then suspenseful and devastating. Lots of ups and downs but in the end well worth it.

Your zombies are a bit different from others - tell us more about them.

Although the traditional zombie is classic and always a go-to, I wanted to change things up a bit, and give my zombies a little edge. The first difference is that these zombies are alive and mutated by the flash that created the apocalyptic world they now live in. Whatever Infected the population slowly turns them crazy and mutates their appearance. As the story progresses, the survivors begin to turn unexpectedly, and this time they're smarter, retaining human traits. They're more dangerous than ever and are learning to strategize, which leads to one epic showdown.

Survival, love, and trust are big themes in this story. Why did you find it important to write about?

Survival, love, and trust are the main building blocks of this story. If you were alone, who would you trust when your survival is at stake? The main goal is survival but you have to learn to trust others in order to have the best chance. Mutual trauma does tend to help build trust, which turns to love in some form or another. I wanted to build a world where Ian will do anything to protect his family and girl, even if he has to burn the entire thing down (again) to save them.

This is book 1 of a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?

Yes! INFECTED is book 1 in a 4 book series. No. Unfortunately, you cannot read it as a standalone. Think: Romance meets The Walking Dead. Once you meet this cave family and become engrossed in their dynamic, you'll be hooked, and want to know what's in store for them next.

What are you working on right now?

I've got several projects coming down the pipeline. Once I finished the INFECTED series, I missed the characters so much, so I want to continue this world in other series sets, intermingling new characters with old ones. I'm also creating a new Dark Apocalyptic series (no info on this one yet. Sorry! ). I've just released 2 books in my BROKEN series, a Friends-to-Lovers romance, and deciding on whether or not to write a 3rd. Next release should be the first book in a Dark Suspense Romance Standalone series, featuring tattooed muscular alpha's, who will do anything to protect their girls, even from a stalker. Titles have not been finalized yet but if you sign up for my newsletter you'll get first dibs.

Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

YES! Please stalk me! I love meeting people who are obsessed with reading and imagining new worlds just like me! I have several places to interact with readers or authors! Come join me now!

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Jessica Gomez
He’s a survivor. She’s pure temptation. Will they outwit the creatures of their new world or become their next victims? When a twist of fate forces Lillie and Ian together, secrets are revealed, stakes are upped, and it’s more than just their lives on the line. They might have survived the apocalypse, but that was only the beginning…