wanna read this is not a test?

courtneyfyi, omg, this is not a test

THIS IS NOT A TEST is available on Netgalley! Right here! This means if you’re a professional reader (which Netgalley defines as book reviewers, journalists, librarians, professors, booksellers and bloggers), you can request it and maybe you’ll get approved to read it six months before its official publication date in exchange for a review! So you should request it! I would love it if you did. It’s the first book I have ever had on Netgalley and I want it to feel invited to the prom.

Like I never was.

Sob. :(

(Of course, I left high school before prom but whatevs. Did I tug at your heartstrings enough to get you to request my book? Mission Accomplished!)

I was not expecting to see my zombie book online so fast. I hope the galley’s availability means I will be able to share other things with you in the near future (like an excerpt or some of the exciting blurbs it has gotten–one of which you can see on the Netgalley catalogue page from the wonderful Daisy Whitney–she called it “sexy and desolate!”), but in the mean time I thought I’d share a few things about and relating to the novel because why not.

LET’S DO THIS.

01) I saw my first zombie movie when I was twelvish, I think! Or elevenish! Or thirteenish! I don’t even remember. One of those ages, at least. It was George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and it was one of the scariest things I’d ever seen. It still is. It is an utterly relenteless glimpse at a group of people trying to stay alive while an endless wave of zombie attacks the farmhouse they’ve barricaded themselves in. I spent the entirety of that movie with my gut twisting itself into knots, foolishly believing these characters were just suffering for a happy ending. Ha ha ha! After I saw it, I was so depressed, I swore off zombie movies and bleak endings forever.

02) Needless to say, I am a VERY different person now.

03) I have a zombie plan but I will not share it with anyone outside of my immediate family. It’s pretty great, though. Whenever I imagine surviving the zombie apocalypse, I am surrounded by my family and we are having THE TIME OF OUR LIVES. One day, I started thinking–what if I wasn’t surrounded by people I loved? And what happens if the people I love get turned into zombies? WHAT IF THERE IS NO ONE? WHAT IF I HAVE TO NAVIGATE A POST-APOCALYPTIC ZOMBIE WASTELAND ON MY OWN? And then I realized I probably wouldn’t want to live unless I could redefine the point of my own survival. But what if you can’t? What if you really cannot do that? (I am not sure I could!)

04) Then I thought about how a lot of the zombie movies I watch and enjoy follow the character that is willing to do everything to make it to the end. Whether or not they are better for it remains to be seen, but survival is hardwired into them and usually they make good choices and are nice people. That is noble, I suppose. And then I thought about it some more… I bet you can see where this is going!

05) THIS IS NOT A TEST is about a girl who wants to die during the zombie apocalypse but gets tangled up in other people’s survival plans!

06) If anything, it is about emotional survival.

07) It is also about six teenagers trapped in a high school during the zombie apocalypse! CAN YOU JUST IMAGINE THE HIJINX.

08) Unlike Regina or Parker, who would probably chainsaw every zombie they saw to pieces, Sloane Price, the main character of THIS IS NOT A TEST, would rather be eaten by them! And that is what you need to know about her. You will never meet a person more determined to give up and exploring the way someone like that engages with the world and how they respect–or don’t respect–other people’s want to live was so interesting! It was also challenging. I am not sure if you will like this girl, to be honest! But if you have read my other books, likeable characters are not my favourite to write about ANYWAY.

09) It’s very much a character driven novel! I have been so happy to get such an enthused response to my zombie direction, but I know there are some people out there who are not as keen on it because they prefer my contemporary realism and they’ll wait for the next story. I totally get that and respect it. But for my contemporary realism readers who are undecided, I think it’s worth noting this is a novel about people with some zombies!

10) But also there are zombies!

11) I do not know if I will ever return to zombies in fiction but if I don’t, I am glad this is the zombie novel I wrote.

If it sounds like your kind of thing, please request it! If you think someone you know would be interested in it, please tell them about it! I am always grateful to people who spread the word about my work. Thank you!


THEY’RE COMING TO GET YOU, BARBARA.