What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Disciplining myself enough to finish it. I am getting better, but I was very undisciplined in the fall of 2011 when I began EPIDEMIC. It was like pulling teeth for me to finish this. I made myself very frustrated. Thankfully, after several very stern talks with myself, I finally finished the book in the early summer of 2012.
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
Alyssa. She is me, mostly. She is also Ripley from "Alien" and Katniss from "Hunger Games." She is the strong female character I knew I wanted to star in my book. That will be a hallmark of most of my novels: a strong female protagonist.
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
The scenes where the characters really connected with each other. The "Emily" scene, as I call it, was one of the easiest. It just flowed like water out of my fingertips. It felt so right, every sentence. There was very little editing needed, because it just came out so right, the first time. The easiest character to write was Risa. That little girl just came so naturally to me, every word she spoke, everything she did. And an interesting factoid is that her name is pronounced to rhyme with Liza, as in Liza Minelli. Long "i", hard "s" sound.
Which actors would play the main characters in the movie version of the book?
I loved writing EPIDEMIC, and many times during the process I would think about who I’d love to play the different characters if my book were made into a movie.
Alyssa – Jennifer Lawrence, age 22. I loved her in Hunger Games. They could darken her hair, and I completely believe she could pass for someone of Mexican heritage. I am, after all, half Puerto Rican and look totally white.
Jacob – William Moseley, age 23. Loved him inThe Chronicles of Narnia. He would make a great Jacob.
DeAndre – Jaden Smith, age 14. We’d have to wait until he was 2-3 years older, but little Jaden is growing up quite nicely. Loved him with his father in The Pursuit of Happyness.
Emily – Haruna Kawaguchi, age 17. Had to search for this one, she’s famous in her native Japan. Her picture looks just like how I envisioned Emily would look. She was great in Tokyo Dogs, too!
Caitlyn – Victoria Justice, age 19. Loved her in Zoey 101.
Conner – Larramie Doc Shaw, age 20. He was great in The Mo’nique Show. Although I envisioned Conner a little darker, we can’t have everything we want in life, can we?
Coach Turner – Eric Bana, age 44. He was fabulous in The Time Traveler’s Wife. Made me cry. And he has messy, curly hair, just like Coach.
Risa –Maggie Elizabeth Jones, age 7. She’s adorable and spunky, and she was great in We Bought A Zoo.
Holly – Blake Lively, age 24. Loved her in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Mike – Jake Gyllenhaal, age 32. Loved him in Brokeback Mountain.
Ellie – Estelle Harris, age 84. Well, perhaps when she was 10 years younger, but she’d be great as Ellie. Loved her in her reoccurring role on Seinfeld.
Paula – Claire Danes, age 33. Loved her in everything she’s done, especially in Stardust.
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
Oh, gosh. I'm not sure. Strong songs. Songs of courage and heroism. Songs of sorrow as well.
Any future books in the works?
I've just finished DESPERATION, the third and final book in the Mad World series, of which EPIDEMIC is the first. I am now working on my next novel, which will have vampires in it. Then there are at least a dozen more, with pages of notes, waiting patiently to be written and published. I hope to get many of them out in 2013.
ABOUT SAMAIRE PROVOST:
Born naked. Clothed and fed shortly thereafter by adoring parents who looked on in bemusement as their daughter became a reading, writing, free-spirited, feral, animal loving, bleeding-heart chocolate lover who laughs easily. Samaire Provost is a California writer of Young Adult novels. Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, E.A.Poe, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Black Plague is ancient history. It killed 100 million people nearly seven centuries ago, halfway around the world from the technologically advanced research center at Stanford University. Scientists there have recently begun examining samples of bone marrow from plague-infected corpses unearthed in Europe. All the necessary safeguards are in place. What could go wrong? Alyssa and Jake are away with their class on a highly anticipated year-end trip to Broadway with their senior acting class when all hell breaks loose at home. Traveling back, and trying to find their families, they encounter deadly results. Riots are breaking out. People are being evacuated. And they have no idea what's happening to their families. Horrific ordeals, heart-pounding tragedy, and chance encounters harden them for what lies ahead. Faced with tormenting decisions, they're forced to follow their instinct for survival at any cost - even when the cost is a heart-wrenching decision of life or death. A harrowing adventure of frightening discoveries, horrifying confrontations and narrow escapes in Epidemic, the first installment of the Mad World series. Find out what's got everyone so terrified.