Monday, October 3, 2011

Paranormal Guest Author: Lia Habel (Dearly Departed)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author Lia Habel.  Lia is the author of the new steampunk zombie romance novel Dearly, Departed.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  I've always written - but only to entertain myself. I kept a story journal all throughout high school, and I even remember writing a story during free play time in first grade. I never imagined that I had the skill necessary to become a published author, however.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

The way I was raised - which sounds pretentious and somehow generationally goth, but it's not. I was raised by a mother who was very into horror films and books, and who saw no need to shelter me from her hobby. She was under the shocking impression that if I was scared by something I saw, I'd excuse myself from the room. I seldom made that choice, and I'm benefiting from it today. I grew up with vampires, zombies, ghosts, and iconic characters like Jason and Freddy as part of my cultural landscape. Other girls had The Baby-Sitters Club; I had King and Craven.

Where I differ from my mother - even today - is that she's honestly *scared* by this stuff. That's why she watches it, after all! Because I grew up with it (and probably because I'm inherently weird), I just *love* it. I've always sympathized with the monsters, even preferred them to the "handsome" heroic characters. So now I write about monsters making good and getting the girl - because prettyboys have enough people on their side.

EJ:  If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?

  I'm actually quite happy being human. I certainly don't want to be anything immortal; immortality has always struck me as a terrifying concept. (Eventually you would get so BORED.) Maybe something to help me in my "service" to my beloved monsters? The ability to speak any monstrous language at will, or see or sense otherwise subtle paranormal beings?

EJ:  Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.

  Because it's a Big Old Book (tons of story) about a futuristic Victorian society with zombies! And the zombies are the best part. I love my dead crew to death (ha, ha) and have so much fun writing them. They're not angsty teen paranormal characters - they're incredibly strong, resilient, and fiercely loyal to one another. I think they embody the idea of "'till death do us part" more strongly than any living marriage ever could. They have great senses of humor. And it's all made more tragic by the fact that eventually we'll watch them rot apart - they're not sanitized, and there is no hope of a happy immortal ending.

EJ:  If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?

  I've thought about this question a lot, and I've still only come up with a few! I'm terrible with faces and names, and I don't tend to imagine actors when I'm creating or writing my characters. It's a bit difficult to match them up after the fact.

Nora Dearly - Definitely Emily Browning. Nora is a teenage girl with a baby face, no curves, tiny voice, teensy height - she's like a mouthy china doll with a gun.

Bram Griswold - Gaspard Ulliel. Just make him really, really pale and put him in uniform. Specifically this picture:

Renfield Merriweather the Third - Matthew Gray Gubler. WITH the long curly hair. My skeletal nerd zombie.

Vespertine Mink - Gemma Ward. Blond bully, but there's much more to her.

Dr. Victor Dearly - Who wants to see Michael Caine as a posh zombie doctor with a cybernetic leg? I DO!

Dr. Baldwin Samedi - Aaand who wants to see John Hamm as a zombie engineer who can remove his own head? I REALLY DO.

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune, and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, steampunk meets romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

Thank you Lia for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Lia Habel and her books, please visit her website.


  1. This book sounds great, I'm going to add it to my TBR list. Thank you for another great interview.

  2. Wow I grew up with Craven, some King, and reading The Babysitter's Club which is just okay.
    Dearly Departed saw a while on goodreads and thought so good. Sounds even better now.

  3. your mom sounds just like mine I was 5 years old watching Freddy Krueger, candyman etc...and the trend continues since I let my kids watch scary movies as well now.

    Can't wait to read your book I love the cover it's so hauntingly beautiful.

  4. Added this one to my wishlist with the first blurb can't wait to read it.

  5. EJ - Thanks for bringing us that great interview!

    Lia - I think we are alot alike :-)
    Your book sounds really interesting and unique! I will definitely be recommending it to my friends. I'm not reading at the moment, because I'm currently writing (I'm an author too) but I look forward to meeting you. I believe we are both signing at ComicCon in a few weeks. Best wishes with your book!

    Thanks for sharing ~ Melanie

  6. Thank you all for stopping by!

    Melanie: You are very welcome. I love shining the spotlight on paranormal authors.

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