Saturday, 8 June 2013

The PINK SOFA Welcomes Lisa Richardson, Writer and Zombie.

I first met Lisa Richardson on Twitter, just after I'd had my tattoo. We got chatting, and then met again on Facebook. There are some people in life who just stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Lisa is one of them, as you're about to find out. She is also a great, supportive person - once when I was feeling particularly 'down' she sent me a lovely Facebook picture of werewolf cakes to cheer me up. Not many people would think of doing that. In honour of her visit, there are Bloody Marys in black skull shaped goblets, and skeleton shaped biscuits on the coffee table. The PINK SOFA has wrapped its legs in bandages and has spent all week crafting small chains out of hula hoops ...


Lisa, when we first met on Twitter, you'd just had a new tattoo. How many have you got now?
Sugar skull tat

I have 5 tattoos in total! My first was a Grim Reaper on my right shoulder when I was 18. Despite wanting another straight away (I'm sure they put some sort of addictive substance in the ink) I didn't have another until my 40th birthday. I got a butterfly and flower design on my left shoulder, but in true Zombie Girl style, the butterfly incorporates a screaming skull on its wing!

A week later I booked myself in for another and had a sugar skull on my back. My most recent ones are a rose on my finger and 'Zombie' tattooed in black dripping blood style font on my foot. I'd quite like one of the Russian Dolls from the front cover of Blog of the Dead next.

Originally, I thought you were an American (the 'beach' soubriquet). But you're not, are you?

I was actually born in Brighton, and moved to London when I was 17... just me and 2 suitcases on a coach to Victoria. I can't say that I really enjoyed living in London, I always felt a bit of a misfit and never settled anywhere for long. I stayed in London until I was in my mid-thirties, and then moved back down to the south east. Now I live in a crazy little town called Folkestone, Kent with my 2 beautiful boys. The town is full of wonderfully creative and supportive people and I don't feel like a misfit any more!

I've just finished my second year of a Creative & Professional Writing degree, and I organise events with a group of friends. We call ourselves Planet Folkestone. We're a non-profit organisation, raising money for charity. We're the team behind Folkestone Zombie Walk, now in its 3rd year and in May we held the first May the 4th be with Us - Folkestone Sci-Fi Celebration at the Grand Hotel. It was a huge success, attracting around 2000 people.

You're the nearest thing to a zombie without actually being dead. What's the fascination?

Haha, I'll wear that with pride, thank you! When I was a teenager I saw a clip of George A Romero's Night of the Living Dead on TV and thought: I HAVE TO WATCH THAT MOVIE!! Bearing in mind this was the 1980s, and to buy a movie on VHS was expensive, so it was a few years later that I got to see it, as there was no such thing as the Horror channel. When I finally did, my love of zombies was born. Zombie films interest me because I see the zombies as the masses and the survivors as individuals trying to keep their own identity. It seems like an odd thing to get dressed up as a zombie ... but it's so much fun!

Being a zombie...
As I mentioned earlier, I'm one of the organisers of Folkestone Zombie walk ....  I got involved in year 2, having been a spectator at the first one. I felt ridiculous as I set off from my house to last year's walk, with pale skin, sunken eyes, blood tears and a blood soaked dress. But as more zombies turned up at the meeting point, I soon felt part of something very exciting. It was brilliant watching people's reactions as we lumbered through town. I can't wait to do it this year! And I want more blood this time. My 9 year old son will be joining me. Believe it or not, zombie walks are popular with the whole family and we had kids of all ages at last year's walk.

Your new book tells the story of your blog character Sophie from Blogofthedead. When did you start the blog?

I started the blog in November 2011, after a tutor at uni suggested students should start blogging to increase our online presence. I hit on the idea of Blog of the Dead an online diary of a zombie apocalypse survivor called Sophie. She's 19 and a student living in Folkestone. She's the kind of person who wants to do the right thing. She'd rather risk her own neck that see anyone in trouble. She doesn't always make the best choices, but she always has everyone's best interests at heart. She quickly becomes someone the town's survivors look up to due to her can-do attitude, stubbornness and resourcefulness.

Blog of the Dead
At first the blog entries were written daily, later they became weekly as
the story developed. I spent just over a year updating Sophie's life in the zombie apocalypse, even taking my laptop away with me to a posh hotel for my 40th birthday party so as not to miss an entry.

It was a Twitter friend who suggested that I release Blog of the Dead - Sophie as a novel. I hope I have created something that appeals to zombie fans and non-zombie fans alike. Just as The Walking Dead has brought zombies into the mainstream, my novel includes horror, humour, love and friendships and there is something for everyone. Fans of Blog of the Dead - Sophie range from teenagers to pensioners!


So what would you say if you went back in time and met your 14 year old self again?

That it's OK to be different. You don't need to change yourself to fit in, just change your situation.
Doing some publicity

What words do you abuse the most?

Um ... zombies! And 'thank you'. I've made so many new friends during writing the novel, and they have given me so much support, help and advice that I find myself saying 'thank you' a lot.

What qualities do you most dislike in yourself?

Self-doubt. And my low boredom threshold ... it leads me to take too much on and I'm so tired. Some would say I'm stubborn, but I don't believe them.

And finally ... on your tombstone, what would you like to have inscribed as you rise and walk away?

Here lies Lisa Richardson ... oh wait ... where did she go?


Hahaha, love it! Thank you Lisa. Check Lisa out @LisaZombiebeach or on Facebook at BlogofthedeadSophie

Blog of the Dead - Sophie is available at Amazon.co.uk as both a book and an ebook.

Lisa is going to stay for a while to chat and answer any questions, so take a seat, grab a skull, and ask away... if you dare!









20 comments:

  1. What an entertaining blog! Lisa sounds a fun person to know.

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  2. Loved reading this! Lisa made a great take on that sofa :)

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    1. Hi, Thank you for your lovely comment, Carol made me feel quite at home :) (Lisa)

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  3. Hi Liz, Lisa here, so kind of you to say. I really enjoyed my time on the PINK SOFA ... what an honour. Lovely to met you, Liz.

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  4. Hi Lisa. Great make up! Zombie walks are new to me - imagine I would be quite scared. Silly question - do zombies ever have a quick kiss and a cuddle when no one's looking?

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    1. Hi Bev, it's Lisa here. Thanks, a lovely and talented body painter called Billie Hoyle from Phizzog did my make up. To answer your question ... zombie kisses are a little messy but we are a friendly bunch ... so yes, we do! :)

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  5. A great post and very entertaining. I'd never have believed I'd say that about zombies as it's not really my thing, but I very much enjoyed this and love the idea of the walk….a book out of a blog character sounds great. Maybe I can be converted :-)

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    1. Hi Val, thank you for your lovely comment (Lisa)

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  6. As you well know by now Lisa...you are...and shall remain to be, this Gargoyles most favourite Zombie!...I think you're massively talented and are destined to go far...( albeit in a shuffling kinda way ). Really enjoyed your interview and I applaud you for surviving THAT Pink Sofa...( I do hope you left some putrescence behind...not that Hedges would notice...;))....Great stuff!...:) xx

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    1. Awww thank you, you gorgeous Gargoyleness! I had a wonderful time on the Pink Sofa ... may have left a limb ... Thank you for the lovely comment, I really appreciate it! :) xx (Lisa)

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  7. More tattoos I wouldn't be allowed to kiss, I expect. Sounds like life is fun.

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    1. You could try ...I reckon she'd floor you!!

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    2. Zombie life is great fun Francis! :) (Lisa)

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  8. Doesn't all that 'living with zombies' give you nightmares, Lisa? And as for all those tattoes!! I've decided I must be a wimp.

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  9. Hi Rosalind, thanks for your comment. No, I tend to sleep quite soundly :) What interests me about zombie films and TV series like The Walking Dead are the tales of human survival and the deep bonds that develop between the characters, rather than the gore, I don't like film that are gory for gory's sake. I'm a life long horror fan and get a thrill out of them, I guess much the same as some people do on fairground rides ... I can't handle fairground rides btw! Yes, the tattoos did hurt a bit but I'm so happy with them, it was worth it :) (Lisa)

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  10. What's not to love about zombies. :)

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  11. Hi Kelly, I very much agree with you there! :) (Lisa)

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  12. Wow is just the simple word that may explain that how much I liked it. It was nicely stuffed with the material I was looking for. It’s great to be here though by chance furniture Stores

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  13. Somehow I think the PINK SOFA was the perfect place for for Lisa to talk about zombies. Another good author interview.

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