Eat Your Heart Out
by Kelly deVos
Published by Razorbill
Releasing on June 29, 2021
YA FICTION-Horror, Thriller, Zombies
Kelly deVos is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart, amazing teen daughter, and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a BA in creative writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection. She is the author of FatGirl on a Plane, Day Zero, Day One and Eat Your Heart Out. Visit Kelly online at kellydevos.com.
Congratulations on your next book! What inspired you to write Eat Your Heart Out?
I started with the thought that diet culture turns people into monsters. I decided to take that idea literally and write about a weight loss product that created actual zombies. I decided to place the book at a fat camp because that setting really represents commercialized fatphobia and I could empower my characters to directly fight back.
What was your favorite part of writing Eat Your Heart Out?
There were parts of it that were just so fun! Writing some of Vivian’s dialogue, for example. But I think I really loved the zombie fighting parts. It’s just fun to write a character beating up a zombie with an oar.
What can you tell us about Vivian and her zombie-fighting group of friends?
Vivian and her friends have all been shipped off to a very fancy fat camp during the winter break of their junior year. They’re all pretty disgruntled about it and a couple of members of the crew have their own secret reasons for being at Featherlite. They start out as strangers but ultimately become something like a found family as they fight for survival.
If you were in a zombie apocalypse, how do you think you would react and what would you do first?
I like to think that I would survive! My go to plan is basically the plot of the movie Zombieland. I will be trying to find Bill Murray’s house and hide out there!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
First, I think it’s important to read widely in your category and genre. Second, I think it’s great to keep going but to keep going forward. There are so many great resources, many of which are free or inexpensive, to keep improving your craft. In the end, there are so many parts of the publishing process that are outside a writer’s control. All you can really do is keep trying to do the best work you can. I highly recommend K.M. Weiland’s books (especially OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL) and her website (https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com) which is full of mostly free craft resources.
What do you hope readers take away from Eat Your Heart Out?
I’d love to open up a dialogue about diet culture and weight loss products and how and how those things can be quite damaging. I’d love for young people to opt out of the narrative that they have to be thin to feel good about themselves and to critically analyze a lot of the messaging that they are receiving.
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