I’m a terrible fiction writer. I’m a great science writer, but you probably don’t want to read my terrible Supernatural fanfiction (even though I post it anyway). Therefore, when I run across good writers who I not only enjoy reading but also write about topics I’m interested in, I get pretty excited. I think that Jesse Peterson is one of those people.
As Jesse puts it in her blog biography, she writes because she’s happier doing that than anything else. She has written in a number of genres, but romance seems to be one of her major choices, with an occasional subgenre of zombie romantic comedy. The book I got to read, Married With Zombies, is the first of three in the Living With the Dead series which includes Flip This Zombie and Eat, Slay, Love. She has also written a number of non-geek-specific historic romance novels under the name Jenna Peterson and erotic novels as Jess Michaels.
I enjoyed Married With Zombies quite a bit. It’s about a couple that is going through marriage counseling and about a stone’s throw from divorce when the zombie apocalypse happens. Now, they have to not only stay alive, but keep their marriage together in the process. It’s interesting for a couple of reasons, first of all, the main couple are geeks, and they have seen zombie movies and they know “what to do”, more or less, which is different from most other zombie media. Second, their personal lives are just as important a story as the zombies. It’s not just about checking on family; it’s about dealing with the most annoying sister-in-law ever while trying to understand your husband’s concern since she is his sister. I’ve been in a long term relationship for a long time, married for nearly five years, and I could really understand the characters emotions; the relationship felt real. Sure, there were some good zombie kills, but, by the end, I was more interested to see how they would handle the next situation as a couple than seeing how many zombies they could kill.
Jesse definitely has geeky tendencies, I mean, other than writing about the zombie apocalypse! She plays video games and states that she “obsessively” practices Sudoku (one of my personal favorites!). She recently moved to Tucson, and started a Meet-Up group for geeks because there wasn’t one! I love what she says about it.
“Life is so short. If I want to go talk about the dragons in Skyrim or why Christian Bale growls as Batman or how come I still love Princess Leia above all other heroines and still wish I could do that with my hair… I should. Otherwise, what’s the point of being alive if there’s no childlike wonder in the world. That’s one of my favorite parts of being a geek, after all.”
Jesse also does her part in the writing community, she runs The Passionate Pen which is a place for any romance writers to get resources. It includes places to send finished works, articles on writing, and links for writers. She also volunteers at her local zoo creating enrichment for the tiger and feeding monkeys. That’s so cool!
Jesse is a geek who gets things done: in writing, on the internet, and at the zoo. She got my attention through her zombie novels, but she kept it with her interesting thoughts and activities. That’s why I’m glad to say that she’s our Geeky Woman Role Model for March 2012!
Since we gave this honor to Jesse, we’d also like to give someone else a chance to get interested in her books. She gave me a signed copy of Married With Zombies to read, and now I’m going to give it away to one of our readers. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here about Jesse, zombies, or what you think the hardest part of being married during the zombie apocalypse might be. I’ll randomly choose one person to get the gently used, but author signed, copy of the book. Then, more people can enjoy Jesse’s works.