Publisher: Arthur Press
Genre: YA Science-Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Summary from Goodreads (here):
Lucy King is only an hour away from embarking on the most incredible vacation of her life: White sandy beaches in a tropical paradise, snorkeling and sunbathing in peaceful tranquility. But as Lucy looks forward to her trip, a sinister plot is unfolding that will demolish the world as she knows it. An unknown bio-terrorist group unleashes a virus that virtually wipes out the earth’s population—leaving Lucy, and a small faction of survivors, trapped inside her high school to wait out the apocalypse. As war, looting, and death wreak havoc outside, inside, the students must contend with a tyrannical and paranoid principal and their own struggles of being orphaned, frightened, and unsure of what the future will bring. What begins as a basic fight for survival turns into a search for answers that will challenge everything Lucy has ever known about her life and her family.
NOW ONTO THE INTERVIEW
That might be the hardest question ever. When it comes down to it, I think...Fun.2) Can you tell me what inspired it you to write VIRULENT?
I wrote VIRULENT for a student. One 14-year-old boy in my Reading Intervention class was having a hard time discovering a love of reading because he hated every book I tried to give him. This book stemmed from a challenge to write a book that he would enjoy. He gave me a list of what he wanted and I built his list into VIRULENT. As the book progressed, I read pieces and scenes to my students; and eventually the book became a book I was writing for all of them. Their response to its publication has been overwhelming--they make me feel like a celebrity.3) Okay, when you saw the cover to your book, what was your initial reaction?
Well, I participated in a design contest for my cover. It was like a reality TV show -- there were all these artists vying for a chance to design the cover. There were so many amazing covers and I had narrowed it down to three.4) Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Grant has a preoccupation with zombies. He is waiting for the dead in VIRULENT to turn into the walking dead at any minute. So "Thriller" by Michael Jackson would have to be his theme song. Also, Grant is surprisingly well-rounded and has all these hidden talents. I bet you he already has the Thriller dance memorized and can just bust out with those moves on demand.5) What is one of your most favorite Quotes?
Ever? Or from my book? From a movie? My favorite movie quote is SO CLICHE. But that end speech in When Harry Met Sally is all sorts of amazing. "I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich." Then next would be: "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." When I think of how to plot a trilogy, "Back to the Future" is my guide. Man, I love those movies. (I am clearly stuck in the 80s here.) My favorite book quotes are all from Murakami. That man is the master. And one of his best ones is from his memoir WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING and he says: "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." And then this one from KAFKA ON THE SHORE says: "Listen up -- there's no war that ends all wars." Okay, you should just Google "Murakami Quotes". You'll lose yourself for like an hour reading the best of his books. Do it. And report back. I don't have a favorite quote from VIRULENT. I'd love to hear what other people loved! That is much more important than what I think.
Bio from Goodreads:
Shelbi Wescott is a high school Language Arts and Creative Writing teacher, a mother of two, a television junky, and a board game connoisseur. Her first book, "Virulent: The Release" was born from a challenge issued by her students to write a book that would interest them. When she isn't writing or teaching, Shelbi can be found throwing unnecessarily elaborate birthday parties and officiating weddings. She is a fan of: Spanx, bourbon, Powell’s Books, and tabloid magazines. Shelbi lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband (a local sports editor) and her two sons, Elliott and Ike.