Hey Everyone! I would like to thank Courtney Summers and Raincoast books for the privilege of being apart of the This Is Not A Test Blog Tour! I really did love this book from the beginning to end since now I have been liking more zombie type books lately. Here is my interview with Courtney Summers!!
1. How did you come up with the idea for This is Not a Test?
Courtney S: I've always been a fan of zombies and I always knew I'd write a zombie book one day, so when the time came for me and my editor to decide what my fourth book would be about, I submitted two zombie related ideas to her. The pitch for THIS IS NOT A TEST was basically, "Teens stuck in a high school during the zombie apocalypse." She liked its potential, so she gave me the go ahead. As I was developing the idea, I thought a lot about the zombie movies I watch and enjoy and one thing I noticed is survival is usually hardwired into the main character from the get-go and then I started to wonder--how would I react in a zombie apocalypse? Would I be that character? The one that wants to live? I'd like to think I'd fight, but if I've lost everything, the people I love, would I still really want to? I decided it would be interesting to write about a character who doesn't want to survive--who is, in fact, determined to die--during the zombie apocalypse and it all snowballed from there! 2. Name 2 things that describe Sloane?
CS:Two things... Sloane is very defined by other people in her life, initially. So these aren't things, but people (but there are two of them!): her sister and her father. 3. How would you describe your books in 3 words?
CS: Not very uplifting. :) 4. What was your favorite scene to write?
CS: My favourite scene is a huge spoiler, so I'll have to go with my second favourite: I loved writing the first chapter. It was fun to explore that chaos and panic--and gore! 5. What kind of research did you do for this book?
CS: I mostly researched the ways technology--cell phones etc--would fail and how the water could continue to run in the school. In a lot of zombie movies, the power miraculously stays on for the duration of the story but that's not realistic. I had lots of notes and exchanged emails with people in the know about that sort of thing. I also did a lot research about what would be believable in terms of the design of the school itself. I wanted it to be easily fortified since I knew I was going to center most of my conflict on interpersonal relationships. I looked into windowless schools (some do, scarily enough, exist!) before deciding on transom lighting and skylights so the place wouldn't be as easy to break into--stuff like that. I also know the cause of my zombie outbreak, though my characters don't. I'm keeping that to myself for now, though. :) Thanks for having me on your blog, Amanda!
About the book:
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed
and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going.
Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?