Zurvival Saturday (23)

For this weeks Zurvival Saturday I have an Author Interview and Review of the Book Waiting For Daybreak by Amanda McNeil.

Author: Amanda McNeil
Publication Date: June 4,2012
Goodreads Page: Click Here

What is normal?

Frieda has never felt normal. She feels every emotion too strongly and lashes out at herself in punishment. But one day when she stays home from work too depressed to get out of bed, a virus breaks out turning her neighbors into flesh-eating, brain-hungry zombies. As her survival instinct kicks in keeping her safe from the zombies, Frieda can’t help but wonder if she now counts as healthy and normal, or is she still abnormal compared to every other human being who is craving brains?

I received this book for review from the Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.


Waiting For Daybreak follows a young woman named Frieda as she struggles living during a Zombie Apocalypse.

The Good

The Plot- I really liked the concept of this book, it wasn't your traditional Zombie story. First off Frieda is flawed. She has a dissociative mental illness coupled with self harm, substance abuse and depression. I've never really read about a character like her and I think it was unique to see how someone with all that working against them would find the will to live during a Zombie Apocalypse.

Snuggles- I really enjoy animal companions. You can learn so much about a person by how they treat a pet and Frieda was no different. I also found myself loving the moments of interaction between them. Snuggles doesn't Judge Frieda for being awkward or having faults. So why should I?

Mike- While we don't learn to much about Mike he does play a pivotal role. Mike was the perfect character to transition Frieda from this rather depressed, angst driven girl to kick ass take the world by balls woman. I don't want to give away what happens but I let out a cheer when she slugged him, he really deserved it.

The End- I can't help but be completely satisfied with how this wrapped up. Would I like to read more about Frieda? Heck yeah but if the Author decided to not write a sequel I'd be happy with how this ended. Sorry folks no hints from me about what happens, you'll just have to buy a copy and find out for yourself!!

The Bad
The Cover- I know to many people covers don't matter but to me they do. I feel it would be better to have a blank background with just the title then to put something that looks unprofessional up just to have one.

Final Thoughts

If you have some time, pick this book up and give it a go. Waiting For Daybreak has just enough Action, Romance and Angst to satisfy even the most jaded Zombie fan. I look forward to reading more from this Author. I will be rating Waiting For Daybreak by Amanda McNeil ★★★★ 4 stars!!

Author Interview

1.Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?
Well, this book only really has three characters, one of whom is a cat. Frieda definitely dominates above them all in my head. She’s the one who I had to really get to know and strive to understand. She’s also the one who demanded her story be told.

2. I'm sure you’re asked this a lot but, What made you decide to write about Zombies?
I just have always loved zombies. I genuinely started this book before the big zombie craze hit. It was still an underground type thing. Since I love zombies, an idea popped in my head one day about a different way for the zombie virus to operate (the mentally ill being immune), and then I just had to write about it. It was too cool of an idea not to.

3.What is your Zombie weapon of choice and why?
Personally, my weapon of choice is a good old-fashioned hatchet. It’s quiet but big and strong enough to get the job done while still being safe. Frieda’s weapon of choice, of course, is a kitchen knife. She’s braver than me. I wouldn’t want to get that close!

4. What is your favorite quote (Can be from the book or personal)?
“A scar simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” (unknown)

5.What's your writing process like? Is it sporadic or do you set yourself
daily/weekly writing goals and stick to them?
For Waiting For Daybreak, I set a time goal each day. It’s easy when you have a life and a job to finally get everything else done and find yourself too tired to write. So I strived for at least 30 minutes a day, but preferably an hour. Currently, I’ve changed that to a word count goal for the whole month. I’ve found that a bit more flexible when a day is just too exhausting but another is more empty. My main goal is to finish one book a year. The first year that was a novella, but I consider that a warm-up year. ;-)

6.For those readers who might not know your work, Can you tell them a bit about the books you write? Oh and for fun do it in ten sentences or less.
I examine issues that affect our everyday lives but wrap them up in entertaining genre. It may be horror, scifi, fantasy, or romance. It’s always entertaining but never just about entertainment. It is also heavily influenced by both my rural upbringing and my Boston adult life.

7. Have you hidden any Easter eggs in Waiting For Daybreak? Personal stuff or jokes known only to a chosen few?
Hm, certainly not on purpose. Although my dad talked to me after reading it and mentioned a couple of things that reflect on my life that I did not think anyone would pick up on. So far he’s the only one to notice those.

8. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Well, any criticism is of course hard. I think the hardest though are the ones that offer nothing constructive. The ones that rant against choices you made as a writer in telling the story but that weren’t necessarily wrong, they just weren’t what that reader would have chosen if they were the character or the author. Even then though I just remind myself that not everyone likes the same things. And we shouldn’t! That’d make for a very boring world, wouldn’t it?

The best compliment so far was a reviewer who talked about Waiting For Daybreak as a criticism of ableism. It blew my mind that they got what I was doing so clearly.

So for every reader who doesn’t get your writing or doesn’t like it, there’s another who will.

9. Back to the Zombies Do you prefer slow moving Romero style ones or the more modern fast moving kind?
I like both! I think what’s most frightening is an apocalypse that includes lots of different zombies. Not knowing what to expect makes things scarier!

10. Frieda isn't your typical heroine, How do you think this has affected the characters development against the hordes of undead?
It makes her approach to them unique. She doesn’t think about things the way the majority of people do, so she addresses problems differently. Some of her mental illness symptoms make her better able to survive--like her obsessive attention to detail. Others make it harder--like her recklessness, temper, and disassociation. She really did guide the movement of the whole book. Once you create a character that strong and unique, you just have to step back and let them direct how things are going to go.

11. One last question. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
My current work in progress is a dark fantasy set in a future in which the dark gods of Lovecraftian fame have taken over Boston. I’ll be using that setting to examine family relationships, and I will be telling the story from multiple perspectives. It’s definitely going to be a longer book if for no other reason than because I have four siblings to establish and explore!
I also do intend to write a sequel to Waiting For Daybreak, but that won’t be coming out until at least 2014.

About the Author: Amanda is an energetic, masters degree educated, 20-something happily living in an attic apartment in Boston with her shelter-adopted cat. This is her first novel, but she has previously published short stories, as well as a novella entitled Ecstatic Evil.


  1. Sounds like a good one ~ added it to my TBR!!

    1. It's definitely unique having a character like Frieda as the lead but I think it worked well and am pleased in a few years we might get to see more of this world.


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