Eyes on Authors: M. Y. Zeman

As the temperatures rise here in the South, I know that Summer is almost here… though the conditions *of* Summer have been here since the beginning of May.

Shhh… the Mid-South doesn’t know any better. It’s always been this way, and so shall it always be.

All these Summer goodtimes means we’re ready to host another author for Eyes on Authors! This week, M.Y. Zeman shares her story with us, and what it’s like to write about Rabbit-turned-Wererabbit-turned-girl, Snow Everly, in her series Chronicles of a Wererabbit.

M. Y. Zeman has a Master’s Degree from Stonybrook University and a BA in Mathematics. She followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a teacher of computers and math. She has worked as a professional web/graphic designer, creating many sites, including Tony Award winning actor Michael Cerveris’ official site.

She has been writing since she was old enough to read and has written numerous short stories, articles and poetry. Her first book, Running into the Black is a courtroom drama.

A lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, she is happy to be writing the new series Chronicles of a Wererabbit. The series will consist of seven books following Snow, the world’s only rabbit-shifter, on her journey to discovery the mystery of her creation and learn to be the hero she dreams of being.

She lives in New York with her dog, Xavier and three dwarf bunnies: Fred, Barney and Yorgi.

She is currently working on the third book, Snow Island.

All right! So happy to have you in my corner of the web. Tell us all about your book!
I have just completed the second book in what will be a 7 book series entitled Chronicles of a Wererabbit. It is the coming-of-age story of a young girl who was born a rabbit and believed her destiny was to die in a laboratory. One night a vampire saves her and becomes her father. It is her journey of becoming a hero. Each book is another step on that journey.

The first book begins very early in Snow’s journey when she is just a baby.
Many heroes’ journeys begin when they are given a task or when they obtain super powers. I’m interested in what makes them who they are to begin with –the kind of people (or animals) they are. Where do their values come from? The books explore how the people around us and the events shape who we are and how, in turn, we shape others and how together — we shape the world. In that way, the books have something in common with Its a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol and the movie Crash.

There is a wonderful episode of Star Trek: TNG, in which Captain Picard reflects on his life and the all-powerful Q tells him that his life is like a tapestry and if you pull out one string –it can all unravel, meaning that every action and event in our life makes us who we are. I see Chronicles of a Wererabbit that way. I’m weaving a tapestry of Snow and her family and friend’s lives and how they all fit together and affect each other.

Wow. Wonderfully said! The movie Crash is hard to stomach, but is such a real (and therefore frustrating) look at how people’s perceptions affect their own lives and how the ripples of their actions eek out to others. It’s an almost painful cinematic experience, but with an incredible takeaway message. And the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation we’re talking about is Tapestry, which indeed shares that oft-overwhelming idea that, even in our seeming insignificance, we are in fact a part of the tapestry of Life, and every thread matters. What an excellent way to describe it!

Picard would approve of your insightful (and awesome) references. Speaking on Sci-Fi, what genres do you write? Do you stick to just one?
My first book Running into the Black is a courtroom drama. It is a serious book about post-traumatic stress disorder and the need for prison reform. It is aimed only at adults. I’m very proud of it, but it was draining. Afterwards, I wanted to write something fun. Chronicles of a Wererabbit is a Young Adult fantasy/paranormal series. It is the genre I enjoy and feel most comfortable in. I’m a lifelong fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Right on! I tend to hang out in that YA Fantasy field myself, but I absolutely adore all things Sci-Fi. Honestly, there aren’t many genres I *don’t* like. In fact, I can’t name one… I’ll get back to you on that. So what inspired you to start writing, and what keeps you going?
My own 3 bunnies inspired me to write this particular series. My mom is my biggest supporter as the one who keeps me going.

I’ve always put Bruce Willis’ voice into my dog’s head, but I’ve never considered writing a series about him! Or my cat… because she’s a jerk. But I love her. I do love writing about shapeshifters, though! In Godeater: The Second World, Naika can transform into a polar bear. A rabbit would have been a touch less… girth-some to write about! Hah. Man, I wish I had pet bunnies. I love them so! I kept them as a teenager, and I really enjoyed spending time with them. Okay, clearly I’ve got a propensity for getting sidetracked. You’ve got your inspiration– any advice for your fellow writers?
I know it sounds cliche, but my biggest advice would be to never give up and always believe in yourself. Also surround yourself with people who will give you support and honest feedback. I have met several authors online who have become friends and have given me valuable help and advice about not only the content of my books but how to market them. One of the best things I’ve learned is how important it is to keep a mailing list and website so if people do enjoy your first book they will be able to know when you publish a second, third etc.

Do you have any favorite authors or titles that you’d like to share? What are your inspirations in the author world?
I love Harry Potter, the Maze Runner trilogy, Chronicles of Narnia and lots of YA fantasy. I’m a Stephen King, Dean Koontz fan and love Agatha Christie. But my first love is Science Fiction and Fantasy.

You and I share so many of the same interests! I fell in love with Agatha Christie from The Man in the Brown Suit— it’s still one of my favorites. Where can we find you on the web?

Here’s M.Y. Zeman’s Author Page.
You can follow Snow’s adventures on Facebook here!
Where you can buy Chronicles of a Wererabbit and Running into the Black: Amazon Page

I also wanted to mention that I will be starting a new newsletter- The Wererabbit Chronicles. It will contain trivia, exclusive content, short stories, contests and information about the upcoming books. People can sign up for it at my website!

Fantastic! I recently got to spend some time in Snow Everly’s world, finishing Snowball: Chronicles of a Wererabbit, and I must say: it reads as Middle-Grade text, but there are some incredibly insightful scenes, some violent scenes, and some great writing to be had. One little tidbit that, as a person known for having red hair (thus being called Red) and recently dying it aqua, I appreciated immensely:

I felt like I had found a new Spirit Animal in those lines. Haha! Seriously though, this series has a lot to offer in terms of depth, and the story and characters are well-developed. I feel like I’ve actually met John, Snow’s vampire rescuer that becomes her father and caretaker. When Zeman describes the cold, I can feel it; when she describes the apartment John lives in, I can see it. It is indeed a flight of fantasy, but its realistic roots are not lost. I heartily recommend the read! I want to thank M.Y. Zeman for spending some time with us today. Be sure to grab your copy of Snowball, and sign up for her future releases!

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