Author Interview: Carrie Harris (Bad Taste in Boys)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 |

Books (Young Adult):
  • Bad Taste in Boys (July 2011)


Carrie Harris:
Carrie Harris is a geek-of-all-trades and proud of it. Brains are her specialty; she used to work at a lab where they were delivered daily via FedEx. After that, it seemed only natural to write a zombie book. Now she lives in Michigan with her ninja-doctor husband and three zombie-obsessed children.

Bad Taste in Boys:
Someone's been a very bad zombie.

Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate!

She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town. . . and stay hormonally human.
What made you decide to write a book revolving around zombies?
I love zombies! I like my monsters as silly as possible, and there’s nothing sillier than a lurching, undead football player with his helmet on sideways. But it’s still a little scary, because what’s going to happen when the helmet comes off? I love that. Really, the only thing better than a good zombie story is a good zombie story in which the zombies wear roller skates.

Think about it.

How did you come up with the title, Bad Taste in Boys?
Actually, I can’t take the credit for that, as much as I want to! When I sent the manuscript in to my agent, it was called NO PAIN, NO BRAIN, which I thought was a cute title for a zombie football player book. But my editor suggested a title change, and she sent me a bunch of emails listing off potential titles. I didn’t really care for any of them, to be honest, but then she sent me an email that contained only four words: BAD TASTE IN BOYS. And that was it!

Do you think you're qualified enough to be called a zombie/monster expert?
Probably! If you name a monster, I can name a movie or book it was in, tell you how to kill it, and possibly produce a piece of clothing with its picture on it! I know a lot of monster lore. But sadly, I’m really horrible at games in which you have to actually shoot the monsters. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, you’ll find me standing behind my husband, yelling helpful things like “Hit it in the head!”

My husband’s a ninja. No, REALLY.

I truly adore the cover of Bad Taste in Boys! What was you're first reaction when you saw it?
Well, I’ll admit that I wasn’t exactly expecting the cover. When I think about zombie football players, the first thing that comes to mind ISN’T sugar lips! So when I opened it, I had this crazy moment of “WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?!?!” And then I checked to make sure they didn’t send me the wrong cover by mistake. But having said all that, I think it’s gorgeous, and I think it’s a witty play on the title.

Are you're experiences similar to Kate when you were in high school? Excluding zombies of course, or maybe not… :)
Maybe a little. I’ve always been a geek, and I went through a mega awkward phase from about second grade until sophomore year of high school. I had an afro, buck teeth, braces, and this horrible pink and black tiger striped bandanna. Ugh! So when I came out the other side, and suddenly I started getting dates? That kind of flipped me out. You’re always second guessing yourself—I’m a geek! Why is he talking to me? Is something stuck in my teeth?

Honestly, I still think like that sometimes.

I read your website and twitter quite a bit… I'll admit, I kind of semi-stalked you. Is it really true that your husband is a ninja doctor and all of your three children are obsessed with zombies?
All true! My husband has his umpteenth black belt in a form of ninjutsu, and he works as a pediatrician. And my kids are some of the only elementary students who know how to play zombie tag. Last year, my first grader brought home a zombie play from school in which all of the dialogue was like “OOOOOO! Zombies!”

Of course, I loved it. I still have it.

What's up next for you book-wise? Will there be more of Kate, Aaron, Rocky and Jonah?
About an hour ago, I handed in the line edits for my next book, BAD HAIR DAY. And yes, it’s another Kate Grable adventure, only instead of zombies, it’s about werewolves and nanotechnology and blueberry flavored astronauts and killer coconuts. That’ll be out in November of 2012. And I have a few more tricks up my sleeve that I hope to be able to talk about in public soonish!

Thanks so much for having me here! BRAAAAINS! ☺

Thanks so much to Carrie for stopping by! Be sure to check out Bad Taste in Boys.


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