Black Zodiac by Zizi Cole Genre: Supernatural Horror, Suspense
Bastian Bucco, ghost hunter. Charged with gathering the souls of those chosen to fill the Black Zodiac. A nexus that holds the ultimate power. The souls must be of those who died suddenly. Those whose lives embodied the essence of the Black Zodiac.
The things that motivate people in life, carries over into death. Sex, revenge, power- these are the stories of the chosen ones. The ones to fulfill his duty. But why were they chosen? What, or who has selected these beings?
Find out in the Black Zodiac. Things will never be the same…
Zizi Cole, a born and bred native of Missouri, resides in a small town with her two boys and cat. When she isn’t writing, she likes to spend time with her children and do some reading.
She is a writer of horror, and more recently, has branched out into the realm of fantasy. She’s been an active member in the Indie community- making the best-seller list in her categories, she has also been nominated for several awards including “Best Horror Author”. Zizi’s co-authored fantasy, Afflicted, won second place for “Best Retelling” with Enchanted Anthologies in 2017. Her DAMNED series also took third place for “Best Horror” with Wild Dreams Publishing. She looks forward to meeting her fans at events and connecting with them on social media.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m Zizi Cole. I have been published for almost three years now. My first book Sweet Nightmares came out April 29, 2017. I started writing my first novel because I was bored and laid off from my muggle job. I wrote Sweet Nightmares in a month. Once it was done, I knew I had to publish it. It was a compulsion.
I think realistically I have always been a writer, just haven’t always put pen to paper. I would journal my feelings and thoughts when I was younger and still do when things become too much, but it was something I’ve always done. I would tell stories to my cousins. We would do a round robin type of storytelling.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I’m shy. People tend to think that I am loud and outgoing, which I am once I get to know you, but I’m innately shy and takes me a while to open up. I was never good at making friends, but the friends I have are ones that I will have for the rest of my life.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born and raised in Missouri. I still live in the town I went to high school in. It was only the second town I have ever lived in my entire life. It is a small town, quaint town.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I’d spend it with my kids.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I watch the Golden Girls or Gilmore Girls. I like the comedy and repetition. I also read or listen to audiobooks.
How to find time to write as a parent?
I find time to write as a parent after work, usually after the boys go to bed. Now that they are older, they give me time to write after I get off work, but I have a hard time concentrating on my books when I can hear them in the other room.
My best time to write is in the morning before everyone gets up. It is calm and peaceful, giving me time to think and let my imagination go wild.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I am a fan of the Hunger Games movies. I’m not sure what it is about them that pull me to them, but I absolutely love it.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I would love all of them to become a move, but I would like to see The DAMNED series to be made into a movie trilogy or Black Zodiac to be made into a Netflix original series. I would also love to see The Missing in a movie. Can I go back to my answer of all of them? ?
What inspired you to write this book?
I was invited into an anthology where we were writing from the monster’s point of view from a horror movie. I chose the Angry Princess from Thirteen Ghosts. I’m still not sure what drew me to that character specifically, but I knew I had to write her back story.
Once I finished her story, I knew that it wasn’t complete and I started from the beginning. Dana’s story is actually the 7th part of the book, Beauty Queen. I felt like the ghosts all deserved a story from their pov and how they became part of the ghosts in the house.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently working on several projects, including an Aladdin re-telling with my best friend and co-author Ally Cole. I am also working on a Detective series and a book about a Valkyrie and Ragnarok.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Black Zodiac?
Each character comes from a different time and place. Susan was a high school cheerleader from a town called Unionville, MO. Rosalyn and Abraham traveled with a freak show. Kyle is a killer from Iowa. All of the characters have their own unique vision and personality. Then there’s Bastian. His character is the only one that rides through the entire book. He is the ghost hunter that brings them all together.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed being able to tell the different stories and bringing all the ghosts together. It was interesting to see how each one grew and developed into who they were.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I am never in charge of the story. Every once in a while I think I’m in charge, but then they show me the error of my ways by taking the wheel and going left field.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Black Zodiac is not for the faint of heart. It will answer questions of the thirteen ghosts and keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire book. If you like a good scare or want to be grossed out, this is definitely for you. It had everything in it. Humor, suspense, horror, romance, supernatural, ghosts, the list goes on. It is a book that will stay with you after you finish it.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
A black magic smell or death and decay… *shrug
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes I do. It’s something that takes intense dedication and something that has to be taken seriously. One of these days I plan on being a full time author, but until then, it’s my second job.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Definitely noise. I generally have a show I’ve seen a hundred times on (Golden Girls, Chopped, Gilmore Girls are a few examples). I also make playlists that go with the theme of each book. I think the background noise helps me focus. I have never been one to do anything in silence. The silence tends to make my mind wander and I start thinking of something else. The only time I truly don’t mind silence is when I’m driving. It is the only time I have peace.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I always have multiple books in different stages. Some is just the bones, while others are fully fleshed and close to being finished. I like to jump from book to book to help keep the ideas fresh. When I get stuck on one book, I will go to another and let that first book stew.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write what I want. It is something that I would want to read. If it isn’t something I won’t read, then I refuse to write it. I believe that the story you are telling has to come from you and only you. I will call my best friend and bounce ideas off of her to help move a story along that I am stuck on, but in the end I write what I feel is best. I’m sorry if the readers don’t like it, but I have to remain true to myself.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I believe in writer’s block as much as I believe in the wall behind me. Writer’s block is a very real and sometimes scary thing. There are times that the writer’s block is so intense that you start to think that you will never get past it and maybe it’s time to give up writing. That is when you need to push yourself to go through the wall. I don’t like to go around it or over it. I do my best to knock that damn wall down.
When I get writer’s block, which I do get frequently, I will switch projects or if it is bad enough, I step back and take a break. Just like everything else, if you do it constantly and too much, you will burn out. Your batteries need to be recharged occasionally. Take some time away from your projects and do something to clear your head before coming back to it. The characters will still be there. Even when they are mad at you and giving you the silent treatment.
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