Welcome to Queer in Color! Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi! My name is Meg and I’m from Queensland, Australia. I currently write gay romance, straight romance, and am about to dip my toes in some YA. I love to read and write everything. I’m just a lover of words. I have my Bachelor of Psychology and I’m about to head back to dreaded university to study my Master of Social Work. I am very passionate about mental health, which I think shows in my books.
Tell us about your one of your books!
North to Zombieville isn’t my latest book, but it’s one of my favourites. One of the characters is Dallas Jenson, a half-army soldier. In this story, Dallas and his husband Raleigh, are stuck in a zombie apocalypse. It’s set in my beautiful city of Townsville, Australia. In the beginning, they are separated, and Dallas is desperate to be reunited with the man he loves. It’s about the trial and tribulations of living in a world infested by zombies.
Five Questions with Meg Bowden
1) What inspired you to write this story?
I’ve always loved zombies. My love began before The Walking Dead. It began thanks to a ‘little’ computer game called Left 4 Dead. Much like most zombies games, it involves players who have to shoot zombies to survive. Ever since I began playing it, my obsession grew. I wondered to myself, “What would happen in Townsville if there was a zombie apocalypse?” and suddenly, the idea of North to Zombieville was born.
2)How did your characters come into being? Were you inspired by your own life experiences, by travels, someone in your neighborhood, etc.?
I’ll begin with Dallas. I chose Dallas to be a half- man because of my experience of a cruise around New Zealand. For those who aren’t familiar with the , they are the indigenous, Polynesian people of New Zealand. They are beautiful people and a stunning culture, and that trip inspired me to write a
Raleigh is a white male, and he’s very different from Dallas. He’s sheltered, and unlike his husband, has never laid his hands, or gaze, on a gun. This might seem surreal to some, but due to the extensive gun laws in Australia, it’s a very possible thing. I was born before the laws, and I remember being a young child around some guns. My pop held my hands around a shotgun as I shot a cane toad (which are considered pests in North Queensland). But the gun laws came into effect when I was a child and many were forced to either surrender their guns or forced to buy a gun license and lock their guns up. Since those laws, I have never seen a gun because I don’t hunt and I live in a city. With Raleigh, I wanted to explore the idea of a character who isn’t some action hero. Someone who isn’t that great at shooting a gun because he’s never seen one, let alone touched one.
3) What is your most cherished writing accomplishment/accolade/memory?
Being published by Dreamspinner. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought a publisher would want to publish any of my work, but that didn’t stop me from trying. In 2015, I submitted a short story to one of their anthology calls and received a rejection letter. I wasn’t surprised, but I forced myself to keep writing. At the time, I was writing North to Zombieville, and even though I submitted it to them, I never actually expected to be accepted. I waited for more than 13 weeks, and I’d gave up on the idea of it happening, so when I received the acceptance email, I was beyond overjoyed. I couldn’t believe it. My greatest dream had come true. I will never forget the moment I got that email. At one in the morning, I was ringing my mum and dad, my nanna, and my uncle to tell them the good news! Haha.
4) What are you planning to write next?
I have so much work I need to write. My second Zombieville book is half completed and its story revolves around Slade and Matt. The third will be about Fijian Cade (I admit, I LOVE Polynesian people) and his love interest. I’m also working on some shifter stories and a contemporary. I write whatever inspiration hits at because sometimes, inspiration likes being annoying.
5) What are some of your favorite resources for writing and/or publishing?
My tribe. An author is nothing without their social support, whether it be their family, their real life friends, or some of the most important people in the world: their fellow authors. I have so many amazing author friends who have commiserated and celebrated with me. They’ve given me the amazing support I need. They know what the struggles are and that’s what I love about the writing community, 85% of us are in together. I won’t lie and say there aren’t people who think of it as a competition (That’s just **cocky** right?), but there are a much larger community in it together. I would be nowhere without my beautiful author friends.
The year is 2028, and Dallas and Raleigh Jenson are torn apart when a worldwide zombie apocalypse ravages their home of Townsville, Australia. After a year of searching, Dallas, a former Australian army rifleman, finally reunites with Raleigh, but it’s not like old times. Not only do they have zombies to contend with, but also other humans, changed by desperation and willing to do anything to survive.
Dallas and Raleigh have changed too. So much so, that Dallas struggles with the idea that Raleigh no longer needs or wants his protection. But they will need to rely on each other and find strength in their love as they are forced to evade zombies and watch their friends die. As they fight for their lives in a brutal landscape where every supply and every step toward a potential cure is a battle to the death, only their trust in each other can keep them from perishing.