Author: Lisa Acerbo
Published: August 1st, 2013
Publisher: Eternal Press
Word Count: 67,000
Genre: Horror Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Non-graphic Zombie Gore
Recommended Age: 15+
Jenna blinked the sweat out of her eyes and took a deep breath. She swayed with exhaustion. Angels, symbols of all things God and good, adornments of the dead, swam in and out of Jenna’s clouded vision. She placed a scarred hand on the peaceful, cold stone markers, embellished with the names of forgotten loved ones. Nowadays, loved ones wanted to come back from the grave and claw your face off, devour your insides.
Jenna wanted to lie down and give up. She was tired and had lost everyone she knew. Hair lank and greasy, mud splattered clothing, old and mismatched. Instead of admitting defeat, she forced herself to stay alert, pushing matted, raven hair out of her eyes with a dirty hand. Jenna could not remember a time in her recent history where she felt clean or had a moment in which she was not fighting to stay alive. Looking around the darkened landscape, she wanted to live. She shoved to her feet once again.
Finding a meaningful title was not easy. After completing the manuscript, I spent hours brainstorming and changing the name in both my head and on paper. Nothing worked. The book was originally called The Others, but the title, in my mind, lacked creativity. My brain must have been mush from the previous months of writing because I had the hardest time coming up with anything imaginative or interesting. Inspiration avoided me, but not my family.
The truth is my daughter, Dominique, now in college, came up with the name, Apocalipstick. Thank goodness for children. One evening, I was telling her about a scene in the book where the main character, Jenna, wants to remember her family and a time before the zombie (aka stalker) apocalypse. She looks at some objects from her past, all of which belonged to her mother. One of the items Jenna takes out and thinks about is a tube of lipstick, the shade her mother always wore.
At that point, my daughter said, “Call it Apocalipstick” and a title was born. The new title, a perfect fit, meant some serious reworking of the scene. I went back to the point where Jenna looks through at all the items from her past and expanded the scene. I had Jenna put on her mother’s lipstick for the first time and the scene becomes symbolic. In the book, she is finally out of harm's way at the High Point Inn. With this relative safety, Jenna has the luxury of remembering the past and looking forward to a possible future. She begins to consider whether getting close to someone is worth it. The lipstick scene becomes part of a bigger theme as to whether people can retain their humanity if they do not take a chance on loving someone.
Coming up with the title for Apocalipstick was one of the last important book-related choices I made. After deciding on a title, I sent the book out to see if I could find a publisher. Thank you, Eternal Press, for taking the chance on Apocalipstick.
About the Author:
Lisa always loved to write and worked as an intern for the Connecticut Post when completing her degree at Southern Connecticut State University. In addition to the Connecticut Post, her articles appeared in the Trumbull Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter. She occasionally dabbles in poetry and her poetry won first place in the Trumbull Arts Festival Literary Competition.
Lisa lives with her husband, Frank, two daughters, Dominique and Jessica, plus three cats and two horses.