Hey there everyone.
Welcome to another thrilling installment in the Author Interview series.
I have a real treat for all of you fans of dystopian/apocalyptic novels tonight, especially if you love The Walking Dead and fancy getting into a brand new book series with a fresh spin on the horror/monster genre.
May I present to you author Anna Kopp, as she kicks off an extremely exciting debut that is going to get your pulses pounding as the action, adventure, romance and suspense start flying.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the interview.
Hi there Anna, thank you for taking the time to be here with us to tell us more about your stories and writing habits.
Let’s start with your debut novel “Rise of the Chosen.” Fans of the zombie survival genre are really going to want to sink their teeth into this one and the best part is I believe you plan this book to be part of a trilogy series (of 5). Tell us more about your leading lady and protagonist Samantha Shields, the unique spin that your novel takes on the zombie/dystopian apocalypse theme and finally which elements of zombie pop culture you have drawn upon to craft your epic tale.
Hi David, and thanks for hosting this interview! Rise of the Chosen is definitely not just another zombie book. It’s not a virus but a mysterious force called the Lifeblood that makes the dead rise again as powerful immortals. A Woken’s only goal is to kill, while the Chosen few retain their humanity. Along with a group called the Watch, they act as super-soldiers to keep the humans safe by monitoring the living as much as the dead. Samantha Shields, fresh Watch Academy graduate, is in for a shock when she lands a spot in a coveted Guard Team position. Unfortunately for her, a new threat is on the horizon, and her life – along with the lives of everyone in her city, is in danger. To Sam, every life matters, and despite the moral dilemmas thrown at her, she stays true to herself and always keeps her promises.
The idea for this story came from The Walking Dead TV show. There was a scene in a prison where curtains are used to divide the cells instead of the actual cell doors. It completely boggled my mind. Why would you not protect yourself from the off-chance someone dies, or protect others in case you do? Everyone becomes undead, so monitoring the living is just as important. And thus Rise of the Chosen was born!
One key element that I would like to focus on in this interview is the positivity you are getting from readers by not shying away from portraying Sam’s bisexuality and the love of her girlfriend Lena. I find this to be a very refreshing attitude to take with your characters and would be keen to know more of the dynamic between Sam and Lena, when it comes to this particular story and the series as a whole. Can you elaborate further, as their love sounds very romantic and something for Sam that is well worth fighting for while the rest of world goes to hell in a handcart!
When I first started to write about Sam and Lena, I wanted to make sure their relationship was natural and not forced or stereotypical. Sam and Lena are just like any other couple with their ups and downs. Being bisexual myself, I drew from my personal experiences to represent both bisexuality and an f/f relationship, things that are rare in YA fantasy in general.
I also wanted the world of the Lifeblood series to not give it a negative connotation. ‘Everyone knows you don’t discriminate’ is a line I thought would make a great distinction between it being seen as something good over something bad. I’ve been very happy to see the positive responses to it, and I have many things in store for both of them in the future.
If your novel was to be made into a film, who would you cast in the lead roles?
I think Ellen Page would do great as Sam! Jay Courtney as David would be a good match as well.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
Pretty much everything that has to do with actual writing is a challenge. I was born in Russia and came to the US when I was 11, so English being my second language makes writing down the scenes in my head incredibly hard. I just don’t feel like I have enough words, and sometimes I feel like I spend more time on Thesaurus.com than I do actual writing. It can get pretty discouraging, too.
The easiest part is the one that comes before actual writing. The ideas develop in my head like a movie and as I watch it, I feel what my characters feel (to the point of laughter or tears), until I’m bursting with emotion to where I have to write. My husband knows this as the ‘zombie Anna’ because I just zone out throughout the day(s) until I finally get it out.
Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?
Juliet Marillier is definitely a huge inspiration to me. When I read her books my whole world revolves around the rich characters and plights she describes. I’m anxiously awaiting the next Blackthorn and Grimm novel, and I know it will send my creative mind into overdrive.
What sort of research did you do to write your book?
Actually, it was Google Maps that helped me the most! I’m ex-Army and I lived in the part of GA that’s in the book for two years, so that helped with the writing more than anything, but I needed a whole lot of looking at Google Maps to make the technical stuff accurate.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing, but after moving to the US and learning English, I never thought I could get past the second-language barrier and write anything worthwhile. When I got the idea for Rise of the Chosen, everything changed. Somehow, I knew that even if the writing wasn’t good, the story was worth it. Slowly, it evolved from a one page summary to an entire book, and I’ve never looked back. I know now that no matter the hurdles, writing is something I’m meant to do. I have all these ideas that scream to get out of my head, and I must oblige.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I keep telling myself ‘if you don’t write, nothing will get written’. It’s a kind of obvious advice, but it works to get me writing. Even a few hundred words is a few hundred words more than zero. Other things I do are read and just take time off from a project to write something different. Then one day I wake up and go ‘oh! I figured it out!’ and can’t wait to get back into it.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Everything you experience will shape the person you become. The good and the bad. Don’t let it keep you from following your dreams.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
My two main hobbies are reading and playing World of Warcraft. I also review books on my blog and on My Trending Stories, and I love connecting with and supporting indie authors (hint hint). As for WoW, I’ve been religiously playing since ’07 and am a veteran member of the ATR Gamers gaming community. For the Horde!
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I have recently completed an F/F romantic fantasy, so hopefully you will one day see that on the shelves as well. Right now I’m working on book 2 of the Lifeblood series, and I can’t wait for my readers to see all the twists I’ve thrown in that one. It’s a whole different ballgame!
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Always believe in yourself. I know it sounds like a motivational cat poster, but I’ve found that writers have the worst problem with self-esteem (thanks Reddit!). On any given day I can read my work and go ‘Wow, I wrote that?’ while the next day it’s ‘Wow, it looks like a 12 year old wrote that’. Many writers give up because they feel like their writing isn’t good enough. Don’t. Keep writing and keep learning, and if you want it bad enough you will succeed.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for introducing us to you and your new series Anna, we can’t wait to get stuck into it!
Anna Kopp was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States when she was 11. She joined the US Army and lived in Georgia during her military career before settling down in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in business but her true passion is writing.
She is a wife and business partner to a software developer, and a mom to two
rambunctious boys obsessed with Minecraft. Anna’s hobbies include reading, writing, and playing World of Warcraft. She is a true geek at heart and would love nothing more than to see her imagination become a part of something greater.
Her debut novel, “Rise of the Chosen”, is the first installment of the “Lifeblood” series.
You can connect with her on the following Social Media channels:-
You can buy her books here:-
Still want more? Well, Anna’s book is all about the transformation of the human race and the fight for our survival. For more articles on the theme of ‘Transformation’ then check out the links below:-
1. Fake it until you make it… Or is there another way out? – Roberta Pimentel
2. I AM 40 – Alchemy Of A Soul
3. Loin de zanzibar – Matin d’automne
4. Change = Growth – AINSWORDLY
5. Success Inspirers’ World – Positive transformation
6. “Transformation.” – Nomadic Adventurer
7. Transformation – samanthaalexia
8. Occasional Dreams – Death, Love, and Notices
9. MY ENDURING BONES – For You- Eternity
10. MC’s Whispers – A siren purr
11. It Goes On – The Chaos Within
12. The Milky Way – Transformation
13. logicaldreams – Drabble: Modular Furniture
14. A year unfolded in Scandinavia – Swed Lifestyle
15. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Transformation!
16. Frost At Midnite – Transformation
17. Adulthood: An Enigma – Melolontha by the River
18. THE BEST ACHIEVEMENT: I DIDN’T EXPECT IT TO HAPPEN SO SOON! – Okoto Enigma
19. EVOLUTION OR DEGENERATION? – Rainbow
20. tuckedintoacorner – horror, 1.2
21. tuckedintoacorner – horror, 1.1 (150)
22. Look, what you have reduced me into… – Ms Skyfall
23. Differently Abled, Not Disabled – Le Happyone
24. Natural – Fifteen Minute Reads (Or Less)
25. Caboosemama Little Pleasures – ” Transformation” or the first thing I going to do once I can!
26. Judgement day – Elaine’s Bloggers Paradise
27. Waiting For Inspiration To Hit.. – Kiwiontheloose
28. ‘I Will Still Rise’. – LIVING AND LEARNING
29. When Trees Lose Their Leaves – mokita dreams
30. Le Drake Noir – Pickled red beetroots
31. Transformation or Desecration? – Art and Life
32. Transformation from a Food Lover to a Foodie and then to a Food Blogger – Foodeez Junction
33. Devil Doll Musings – Do It Again
34. The DP Library – SMART Goals Actually Get Stuff Done
35. Where are the zombies? – Rexine Rawhead
36. Autumn – Simply Me
37. Annette’s place – dAiLY PRomPt/trAnsForMAtIOn
38. Toortsie, Kameel en Bokbaaivygie se blog – Transformation and blogging
39. Purposive Writer – Transformation
40. Dew Drops – Transformation-55fiction
41. I’m Back!! – Kiwi Chick
42. Deranged – The Light & Simplicity Project
43. TRANSFORMATION- FROM WOMB TO COFFIN – Inspirations and Aspirations
44. inspiration in progress – Transformation – Part 1?
45. Exploring the World around us – Transformation-Quite Natural
46. A Powerful Secret for Radical Change – I Like My Coffee Black
47. Climates Transforms, so as your skin!! – WORLD INSIDE THE ROOM
48. A Poet – xanthia rose
49. Between Ghosts and God – Transformation
50. Joyously Hopeful – Borax Crystals
51. A Song for You (A Poem) – stephentotheplate
52. Metamorphoris – Mac’s World
53. Transformation…(daily prompt) – my unremarkable story
54. Moonlight Reflections – Transformation
55. His Tools! – Pebbles
56. Transformation – Writer2011
57. Open Letter to the Addict Haters – Holy Addiction
58. Transformation – Inner Whispers
59. juantetcts – Daily Post:My Transformation Story
60. JonahzSong – Transformation
61. Conception – thatgirljorge
62. Vanished – aYoKa
63. Life Changes How Did This Happen
64. thinkinkadia – Transformation
65. Homesick – Caillen James — Author
66. The Big Changes – Freed to Exceed
67. Who transforms you? – ERICKAMERCADO
68. I’m Not Adorable – Luka’s Notebooks
69. Daily Post Prompt: Her Thoughts Were Butterflies – Sumyanna Writes
70. Transformation 2016 – FAITHFULNFABALOUS
71. The Showers of Blessing – Cocoons – Butterfly
72. Stutter-Stepping Heart – Transformation Breathed
73. Transformation – calliemm
74. Divorce, Sex and a Pub Fight – Mrs. Completely
75. a bliss of birds – t-minus 7 days until 50,000 words in 30 days
76. Transformation – The Hope Filled Addict
77. Not Now Babe part 2 – Rexine Rawhead
78. RLUphoto – Daily Prompt – Transformation
79. Why I Am Thankful for Donald Trump – A lot from Lydia
80. To Write of Transformation, Day 22, OctPoWriMo – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
81. Autumn Leaves – Heaven’s Sunshine
82. The Beauty of Writing. – intertwinethestars
83. Fluffy Pool – I am not a Murderer
84. PROJECT ASTRAL – Heteronym
85. My Lesson from Ms Jenny – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
86. Tiffany Daily – Take The Rolls-Royce
87. Tales for Life – Transformation/Leave Less Trace of You
88. Lost Property Repository – Transforming night into day
89. Response to the Â Transformation – The Bag Lady
90. Making it write – Derelict #tanka
91. Transformation – Daily Prompt – A Poem A Day
92. Transformation – I think, I say, I do
93. LEARNING – 1withthepen
94. Step Away from the Screen and Into the Green: 5 Family Resources for Increasing Green Time – EARLY CHILDHOOD EDU-PLAY-TION
95. Transformation – Warrior Life
96. Wild Child – Far Behind Me
97. Jensiper’s Blog – about change
98. Poems and Petals – Hearts
99. A Tiny Tale – Life at 17
100. I am tired of this place – Life at 17
101. jordanisagirl – Adaptation of man: How we change despite resistance.
102. Travel Much? – Danish Oatmeal Buns – Kajeboller
103. Laura Joan – Change Takes Time
104. Steps Times Two – Civil Wars
105. The Stranger – a mile in my shoes
106. wordsareallihavesite – Daily Prompt:Transformation
107. 4 Tricks to Meet Daily Exercise Goals – Sneakers on Pavement
108. How to Style a Halloween Bar Cart – Modern Day Wonderland
109. Do you have a Plan? Organize you finances ~ October is National Financial Planning Month – Bee Organized with Pamela
110. Kelly Oxford, Twitter, Sexual Assault, and my Alma Mater, Indiana University – wee ditty
111. Tiny Stories – Intents and Purposes – Amongst All Else
112. Transformations – Postcard from a Pigeon
113. Road Trip to Maine: Day 5 – Redhead Reflections
114. A Brightonian’s Blog – The Couple
115. Supplication – By the Wayside
116. New Moon in Scorpio October 30th: Inner Transformation – The Cosmic Salon
117. A life without adventure is no life at all – Goodbye Teaching
118. Transformation vs renovation – Finkelstein & sons
119. I Like It – Kurilane
120. the Functional Perspective – What is that? – The Functional Perspective
121. thelonerose – The transformation
122. Potty training – Settle in El Paso
123. HOW TO INCREASE SITE TRAFFIC AND GET MORE FOLLOWERS. – Okoto Enigma
124. A Butterfly In The Wind – THE SKY’S THE LIMIT
125. Seriously Just Saying – Silent Transformation
126. The Tarot Alchemist – Transformation
127. Transformation ~ Chrysalide – Word Adventures
128. Transforming to a failure – In my world
129. Heartful skies – Afterlife Love Story
130. The Green Dog Chronicles. My Life in Navia – You Say You’re Pro-Life – But Are You Really?
131. Notes to Women – The Miracle of Life
132. Transformation – Image & Word
133. The Green Dog Chronicles. My Life in Navia – Samhain Sky, 6. Navia-#TheOtherSpain
134. Troubled all the time – Post des Tages
135. To Music – English Lit Geek
136. Suddenly Single in Marin – Binkie, Dating 101 is no longer an elective
137. Transformation – Free Transform
138. Desire Transformation – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
139. The Layers – English Lit Geek
140. A LOVELY CHANGE – thepunkpenblog
141. What it’s like – Daily prompt: transformation
142. LadyLebz – THE JOURNEY TO BEING HEALTHY
143. Transformation – Covert Novelist
144. Quote & Psalm – The Timely Glow and Shine of Autumn – MINDING MY P’S WITH Q
145. Flowers and Breezes – Transformation
146. Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 YNN – Seasonal transformation of a tree
147. The Beaming Desire-Transformation – The Thinkers Paradise
148. i’ll make a monster out of you. 😉 – Spectres & Stardust
149. Life with Jess – Made To Fly
150. Transformacion – apserranoblog
151. Escaping Reality, One Adventure at a Time – Oddities and Ends
152. Get A Move On – Dee-Vita
153. What Sandwich Are You Making? – Dee-Vita
154. It’s All in Finding the Right Words – Transformation
155. Chris Writes – The French Girl
156. Age of Transformation – Sunken Thought
157. Musings of a Random Mind – Food Confidential
158. Suddenly Single… Minded – Mary used to be a sweet kindergarten teacher – then, bam!
159. 5 Magic Steps That Will Transform You – My Second Act, Scene One
160. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Hemingway
161. SERENDIPITY – THE PARADE OF MONTHS – TRANSFORMATION
162. 83 Unsung Heroes – Misadventures With A T-Rex
163. kStan(ly) kSays – working boy
164. Stop Saying You Are Independent – Zone of Non-being
165. Denying Racism is the New Racism – Zone of Non-being
166. I’m Alive – The Grateful Dead – The Voice of the Mortals
167. Transmute – emotionsoflife2016
168. A Budding Blossom – Sunken Thought
169. freckles for breakfast – timing is everything
170. Telling the Truth – Transformational Stew
171. All You Need Is Love. – The Lively Soul
172. The Easy Road to Cynicism, and the Perilous Expedition Getting Back – Mars Gone Mad
173. If You Could Do Anything What Would You Do? – mokita dreams
174. Online dating video! – Elaine’s Bloggers Paradise
175. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Transformation
176. Musings and My Two Cents – Made New
177. Punishment – Angela Montijo
178. A Piece of Advice (To Angela, From Angela)
179. Ambivalence – Angela Montijo
180. Eclipse – Angela Montijo
181. Soulmate – Angela Montijo
182. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Transformation
183. AUTUMN — TRANSFORMATION! – More words & pics @ patriciamcgoldrick.com
184. Murtagh’s Meadow – Jack Frost
185. Haiku Prayers Art Site – Transformation
186. Turn That Radio Up – Beautiful Day
187. Transformation outcome of a Loved Woman – eddaz
188. The Breaking Point of Transformation – Alfa’s Blog
189. Wastelands – Life Less Ordinary
190. sonja benskin mesher – 14 May ( transformation )
191. Travel Expose: Yunnan Province (6) Lijiang, The Lovely (1) – “Bajan,” Chinese Style
192. The Rabbit comes out to play. – Rexine Rawhead
193. s1ngal – Transformation
194. Relax – Most chrysalises grow bright wings..
195. There Are More Poets than Stars in the Firmament – between sleep and hope
196. DCMontreal: Blowing the Whistle on Society – Covered Detour Signs: What Fresh Hell is This?
197. Windows of the world 3 – HK Shots
198. Success: 8 Habits Transform – SUCCESS STRATEGIES
199. Letter to Northener – luckilylenny
200. A Three Line Short Horror Story- Chapter 16 – Khayal
201. Prayers to Election Day: A Blessing – Growl for Justice
202. A Collection of Memories… – Creating K.I.N.G.S
203. Transformation – ELIZABETH KAY BOOTH
204. Transformation – Poems From Psalms And Nature
205. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Constant Transformations
206. Kate Murray – Transformation
207. A Trip Down Memory Lane – writealineblog
208. Martha L Shaw – Transformed by the Cross
209. Transformation! – writealineblog
210. Realizing Who You Are. – christinademerisvlog
211. Kimberlee K. – Songs Taylor Swift Wrote About Me (And You)
212. Copper Cranes – Needle & Thread
213. Transformation – Anonymouse Squeeks
214. Dandelion transformation – citySonnet
215. Nectar to Honey – Its PH
216. Transform yourself. Five ways to become more resilient. – art of being fabulous
217. The cause of my writing – Caving Writing
218. Author Cynthia Mackey – Creating the Book Cover
219. Transformation – Burshblog
220. Book Notes: The Library – genusrosa
221. Hot White Snow – Transformation
222. simply.cindy – Striving for Excellence
223. to love someone – NAMASTE.
224. transforming a house into a home ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
225. Southern By Design – Metamorphosis
226. And then there was one – Taking a Swing…
227. poorhaiku – Winter Comes
228. Goa after christmas – Don’t hold your breath
229. Oh, right. I have to add a title. – Zombie Flamingos
230. fall nostalgia – clunkyshoe
231. Quadrille: Autumn Spark – whippetwisdom.com
232. WHAT TO WEAR? – Rainbow
233. Zinga Hart – Self Transformation Takes Time
234. The Poetry Channel – You Changed Me
235. Quill & Parchment – Transformation
236. Zinga Hart – Self-Transformation is Slow
237. Ginormous Nature – The Last Paradise! Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, Australia
238. GUESS WHO WE HAVE HERE!!! – Okoto Enigma
239. The Gad About Town – Making Change(s)
240. the15thday – i’m not sure i’m my type. but hey ho.
241. Designer Sophisticate – Look at me now.
242. From Lost to Found – Pete Gardner Psalms
243. Makeup Tutorial: Office Makeup to Party Chic – BERRYDUCHESS.COM
244. Taking care of business… – It Is Still Real
245. Things About Makeup I Wished I Knew 10 Years Ago – BERRYDUCHESS.COM
246. Transformation – Vermont Book Works
247. Transformation – indisputably inconclusive
248. The Daily Post – Progressing into Solitude – Starting Transformation
249. Voyeur – indisputably inconclusive
250. Lost Property Repository – Am I A Poet And Didn’t Know It?
251. Transformation… – Emotions that matter.
252. Michel Montecrossa Blog – Books by Michel Montecrossa about consciousness-expansion, spiritual realism and Transformation Cities
253. Delhi:Decoding the Transformation – Travel Crusade
254. Towards The New – Blog of Hammad Rais
255. Millipede – Bits of Poems
256. Daily Prompts help beat Writers Block
257. No Words Needed – Just Writing!
258. Science Traveler – Tesla and Edison: The War of the Currents
259. ….on pets and prisoners….. – daily prompt: transformation
260. I wrote a book. Now what? – The jerk-face warrior
261. Frank Prem – time
262. SHE’S NOT ME – Okoto Enigma
263. Still no luck on the job front – Back On The Grid
264. The Wandering Poet – Transformations via iPhone eyes
265. kStan(ly) kSays – working girl
266. Lantern Words – A Living Transformation