by Sheri Velarde
A disease that can destroy the entire fabric of society, how can one face down such odds?
Sara lives on Key Largo, a place she knows she should have left after the last hurricane, but she can’t quite walk away from it. When warning sirens go off, she fears for the safety of her home more than anything else. That is, until she realizes that something much more than severe weather is heading her way.
When her own government blows up the only escape to the mainland and her neighbors begin to attack one another, Sara learns she can only depend on herself. With the aid of her uncle and Cameron, a National Guard soldier helping her along the way, she is on the run for her life. Harsh realities she never thought she would have to face are now part of her life. Can she do what it takes to survive, or will she always be on the run and wondering what might have been?
“What the hell do you mean ‘the bridge is closed’? Something odd is going on here. We’ve never had the National Guard here for an evacuation, and you are telling me that you just expect us to wait it out here on the island and not ask questions? I heard the warning sirens. We are supposed to be evacuating! Let us through!” Sara demanded, trying to push past the mass of muscle in a National Guard uniform blocking her way.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. We have orders that no one is to cross the bridge. No one is allowed to enter Miami,” the officer said, not budging an inch.
“I just told you that the evacuation sounded, e-v-a-c-u-a-t-i-o-n, and you’re telling me that we can’t leave? It’s probably a late hurricane, and you expect us all just to hope we make it through that here in the Keys? We need to get to the mainland!” Sara threw up her hands in frustration. The memory of the last hurricane which destroyed her family home remained clear in her mind. She should have moved after her family had lost almost everything, but something held her in Key Largo.
“It is not a hurricane warning, ma’am. Please go back to your home and you will be fine.”
Just then, the officer’s walkie-talkie went off. “Miami has been lost. Move everyone away from the bridge. We must prevent the spread and contamination. This is a Code Black. Repeat, this is a Code Black. All civilians must be moved a safe distance from the bridge. You have five minutes.”
Tell us a little bit about your latest release, Code Black.
Code Black is my first foray into the world of horror fiction. I am primarily a paranormal romance author, but I am branching out and stretching my writing wings. Code Black is a short zombie thriller that I hope leaves the reader with some chills and tears.
What made you want to write horror? Who is your favourite horror author?
I grew up a huge Stephen King fan and that made me fall in love with the genre. I never thought that I could pull it off, but now that I have one under my belt I think there will be more horror from me soon. Mr. King is still my favourite horror author and a great inspiration to me as an author.
Favourite comfort food? Spaghetti
Favourite drink? Coffee or Merlot
When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was just a kid in grade school, so it feels like I have been writing and making up stories my entire life. I didn’t consider actually showing people my writing and doing this as a career until about 5 years ago when a great friend encouraged me to give it a go. That first story was published and the rest is history I suppose.
What advice would you give new authors just starting their publishing journey?
To keep at it. If one publisher doesn’t fit, another will. Also, I have learned the hard way that small publishers sometimes close. Move on and seek other avenues for your work. I always try to have multiple publishers where I submit, it give some added security in the uncertain world of publishing. Also, never give up. Keep writing and submitting and you will get your work out there.
Do you consider writing a hobby or a career?
For me it is now my career. Last year I took the leap to writing fulltime with the support of my fiancé, now husband. I also do art and make jewellery, but writing is my main pursuit. It’s hard, scary, and exciting all at the same time!
What are your hobbies?
Art, especially sketching and watercolour painting. I love to make jewellery. My husband and I love to play roleplaying and board games. I love to read. I love to hang out with friends, especially at dinner parties. I self-publish independent comics for fun.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I have several. Project Runway and the Vampire Diaries are my tv guilty pleasures. Harry Potter fanfiction is my reading guilty pleasure. Chocolate is my food one. The list could go on, but let’s stop there.
Tell us what you are working on now.
I am always working on multiple projects at once. I am currently finishing up a short story for an anthology submission. I am once again doing NaNoWriMo this year and am working on a sequel to my romantic fantasy Quest for Redemption. I am also working on getting some works re-edited and repacked and back out for my readers. Then there is a huge time-travel/steampunk novel I am researching and will start writing soon as well. Always busy!
Where can readers keep in touch with you?
I am all over social media and my blog. Here are the links below!
Website URL: www.sherivelarde.weebly.com
Blog address: http://sherivelarde.weebly.com/books-and-more-blog
Twitter handle: Sher_V
Sheri Velarde, lives in New Mexico with her husband and their two dogs.
Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.
She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website www.sherivelarde.weebly.com.
In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.