September 16th is approaching and if you miss the last post, that’s the day Dia of the Dead–my first novel– will finally be released!
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be making Dia of the Dead related posts to get you all as excited as I am about this! Today’s post is all about how DotD came to be.
Dia of the Dead began its life as my 2011 NaNovel. I got the idea on October 17, 2011. I was interested in writing about zombies but I just couldn’t think of how to approach the subject. Many zombie stories focus on average people and their struggle to survive. I wanted to do something different. After about a half-hour of brainstorming the idea!bulb finally flashed in my head. I was struck with a question that I just had to find an answer to. What happens to the not-so-regular Joes during the zombie apocalypse? I thought it’d be a new approach to a zombie story and decided to focus on a group of teen stars on a channel much like Disney or Nick. Once I got the idea, I couldn’t free myself of it. It plagued me. I knew I had to write it.
Initially, Dia was named “Nia.” Since “Nia” was the star of a show on a tween/teen network I needed a catchy name for it. I came up with “Dia of the Dead” and changed “Nia” to Dia and it all clicked. Dia’s surname, Summers, is a nod to the one and only Buffy Summers. I’m a child of the 90s and I loved how Buffy kicked so much ass. I wanted my protagonist to do the same.
While I started DotD in November 2011 for NaNoWriMo, I didn’t win that year. I had to put the story aside because of life stuff. However, I picked it back up in January 2012 and finished the first draft in May 2012. I had a blast working on the first draft. It was fun to play with ideas and see how the story unfolded. Though it was fun to write, the first draft was an absolute mess. Luckily, I have amazing beta readers. They helped me figure out which aspects worked and which didn’t. I ended up scrapping a lot of the first draft and reworking it. I’m satisified with how things turned out and I hope those who read it are to.