Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Interview with Lori Handeland and Giveaway - May 23, 2012

Please welcome Lori Handeland to The Qwillery. Zombie Island (Shakespeare Undead 2) was published yesterday, May 22, 2012. Lori is also the author of the Phoenix Chronicles and the Nightcreatures series.

TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Lori:  I have to have everything off my desk before I start to write. All paperwork, email etc attended to. I wish I could just come into my office and begin, but I can't.

TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Lori:  Pantser.

TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Lori:  The book never goes away. Most people finish work, go home, enjoy a few hours off. I'm never off--not at night, not on the weekends, not on vacation. The book is always in my head, undone.

TQ: What inspired you to write the Shakespeare Undead novels - Shakespeare Undead and Zombie Island?

Lori:  My editor at St. Martin's, Jennifer Enderlin, blurted the title-Shakespeare Undead--at a meeting we have several years ago. She only had the title, I came up with the plot and everything else. Once I did, I was hooked into that world.

TQ: What sort of research did you do for novels?

Lori:  I read many of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets (again--I'm an English major and had read them several times before, but long ago) as well as historical information on his life and theories about who Shakespeare really was.

TQ: Describe Zombie Island (Shakespeare Undead 2) in 140 characters or less.

Lori:  The Tempest, with a vampire, a fairy, a sorcerer, a werewolf, a zombie hunter and zombies.

TQ: In Zombie Island who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Lori:  The easiest was Shakespeare and Kate, since I'd written them before and knew them well. The hardest was Ariel--she was not only new to me, but well known to others. I needed to use what Shakespeare wrote of her and combine it with how I wanted her to be.

TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Zombie Island?

Lori:  I enjoyed a lot of the scenes with Caliban--who is a werewolf in my version.

TQ: Which character from Shakespeare Undead and Zombie Island surprised you the most?

Lori:  Caliban--he began as a complete jerk and ended up almost lovable.

TQ: The cover for Zombie Island reminds me of a famous painting, The Raft of the Medusa. Did you have any input into the cover?

Jean Louis Théodore Géricault [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Lori: I saw the original cover and made suggestions. The bats in the sky were my idea.

TQ: I've seen the Shakespeare Undead novels described as Horror, Vampire Romance, Historical Fantasy, Mash-up, Thriller. Why do you believe the novels are susceptible to so many genre labels?

Lori:  Most of my books have many labels. I always throw in everything that comes to my mind. I like a fast moving novel.

TQ: You have written novels in several genres including Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance and Urban Fantasy. Are there any additional genre or sub-genres in which you'd like to write?

Lori:  I've long missed western historical romances, where I began my career. In October I will publish my first western historical romance in a long time, under the name Lori Austin. BEAUTY AND THE BOUNTY HUNTER will begin the series "Once Upon a Time in the West" in October, 2012. The second book, AN OUTLAW IN WONDERLAND, will be out in April, 2013, with a third to follow later that year.

TQ: What's next?

Lori:  HEX APPEAL, a short story anthology, will be available June 5. In it you'll find my Phoenix Chronicle short story "There Will be Demons." For anyone who wondered about Summer and Jimmy, here's their story.

TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

About Shakespeare Undead

Zombie Island
Shakespeare Undead 2
St. Martin's, May 22, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, xxx pages

In the follow-up to Shakespeare Undead, vampire William Shakespeare and his Dark Lady are stranded on a mystical island where zombies are plentiful and one man will stop at nothing to become all-powerful

Fresh from a triumphant battle over the zombie horde that invaded London, vampire William Shakespeare concocts a plot to rid the love of his life from the encumbrance of her husband. Will plans to give his ”dark lady,” Katherine Dymond, a potion that will make her sleep the sleep of the dead. Once she is entombed, Will can sneak in, wait for her to awaken, then spirit her away. After her husband returns to his plantation in America, Kate can return to London under a different name and assume a new identity. No one will believe that the dead Katherine and the live Kate are the same woman. Of course, as is often the case with true love, all does not go as smoothly as planned. When the two of them are shipwrecked on an island ruled by a wizard and a nymph, as well as infested by zombies, Will and Kate must stop an even larger plot afoot—one that leads all the way to the royal palaces of Queen Elizabeth.

Shakespeare Undead
Shakespeare Undead 1
St. Martin's, June 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Something wicked this way comes . . . and it keeps coming and coming and coming. . . .

William Shakespeare was one of history’s greatest writers, a master of words with a body of work that is truly impressive . . . some may say a little too impressive for a single man to accomplish in one lifetime. Perhaps, as many have speculated, he had assistance. Or perhaps the explanation is more . . . unusual.

Who was William Shakespeare?

Who was the Dark Lady of the Sonnets?

Why are the undead stalking the alleyways of London?

And can they be stopped?

Something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.

So brace yourself for a wild ride through twisted streets and shadowed graveyards of Elizabethan London, where you’ll discover how the Bard got his Bite.

More by Lori

Hex Appeal
P.N. Elrod, editor
"There Will be Demons" by Lori Handeland
St. Martin's, June 5, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Fall under the intoxicating spell of their hex appeal…

In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?

In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell all-new, otherworldly tales. Spellbinding stories featuring bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends and even a sex droid from the twenty- third century named Silicon Lily. But as our conjurers are about to discover, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hexed. And sometimes, even the best spun spells can lead to complete and utter mayhem.

You can read about the Phoenix Chronicles at Lori's website.

Shown in reverse order.

You can read about the Nightcreatures series at Lori's website.

Shown in reverse order

About Lori

      Lori Handeland spent years waitressing, teaching and managing a photography studio before selling her first novel in 1993. Since then she has written many novels, novellas and short stories in several genres--historical, contemporary, series, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and historical fantasy. Soon she will return to her roots, writing western historical romance under the name Lori Austin.
      She is a New York Times Bestselling Author and the recipient of many industry awards, including two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America for Best Paranormal Romance and Best Long Contemporary Category Romance.
      Lori lives in Wisconsin with her husband, enjoying occasional visits from her grown sons. For more information please go to her websites at:
You can also join Lori on Facebook at:

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of Shakespeare Undead (Shakespeare Undead 1) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Favorite Shakespearean play that you've read or seen? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. I've never seen a Shakespearean play, unless I count the one I did in high school. My fave that I've read will always be Midsummer Night's Dream.

  2. I really like A Midsummer Night's Dream, with the Fairies and all. MacBeth is a close second.

    Thank you for the interview and giveaway!


  3. I really like midsummer night's dream (my son was in this play, when our local theatre did it) and taming of the shrew.

  4. My favorite play to read has always been Hamlet, but I like Much Ado About Nothing as well. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweeted (


  5. I always like MacBeth (or the Scottish Play) - murder, magic and mayhem - what more can you ask for? :-)

    Follwer: GFC - Mel S


  6. I love Romeo and Juliet. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  7. I do enjoy Hamlet. Fascinating characters
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  8. Macbeth. I love all of Shakespeare but Macbeth stuck with me. +1
    Follow as Victoria Sloboda +1
    Tweeted: +1

    Total 3


  9. I really like Othello.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  10. I like Hamlet and Midsummer Night's Dream.

    +1 GFC as Filia Oktarina
    +1 Twitter :

    filiafantasy at gmail dot com

  11. I love Much Ado about Nothing, as well as Romeo and Juliet :)

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 Tweet:

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  12. My favorite play is Romeo and Juliet.

    I follow the blog.


  13. Now this is Shakespeare as I have never imagined it before! What a fun twist =)
    Much Ado About Nothing was always my fave, not sure why but it just is.
    Quite the backlist, some that look like I need to go find them and check them out!

    GFC follower Lexi
    eyesofblueice (at) gmail

  14. I loved Macbeth, thought it was amazing read.
    Thanks for the giveaway !

    GFC april_hunter24