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...
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
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!