Sarah from Survival

This interview with Sarah from Survival was originally published on The Gal in the Blue Mask’s book blog. Meghan, the wonderful woman behind that book blog, has graciously given me permission to repost the interview here. She recently rebranded and is now using, Meghan’s House of Books as her current blog. (Both websites are still available to peruse with lots of great reading material.) I hope you’ll check out her content. You’re sure to find books, etc. that you’ll enjoy reading.

Now on to Sarah. Meghan asked some fantastic questions and I learned things about Sarah that I didn’t even know!

The Interview

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Welcome, Sarah.  Some of my readers have yet to read your story.  What should they know about you?

Sarah Jamison:
The best thing about me is that I’m an identical twin.  My sister, Dana, and I have always been close.  I don’t think I could make it through this nightmare without her.  I’d die to protect her and I know, without a doubt, she’d do the same for me.  We’ve had a lot of fun through the years.  We’ve faced everything together.  We’ve survived the death of our parents.  And, we’ve faced the beginning of the apocalypse together.  I can’t lose her.  I just can’t.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you believe in?

Sarah Jamison:
I believe this world is screwed.  But, I think it was like that long before the zombies began to chow down.  Who has time to discuss past issues though when every day is about survival.  Suffice it to say, I believe in family.  I’ve already told you about Dana.

My cousin, Brian, took Dana and me in when we were sixteen, when our parents were killed by a drunk driver.  He was only twenty-three himself, but he fought like crazy to keep us out of the system.  He taught us all we know about weapons and started our self-defense training.  I hope he makes it back from East Texas.  It’s been a few days now and I’m worried.

Family is also what you make of it.  Those of us at the courthouse surviving together – we’re family, too.  We’ve had each other’s backs.  And, God willing, we’ll continue to support one another.  There’s a lot of insanity out there.  And, I don’t mean the zombies.  People are… well, some of them are just evil.  I have to keep believing there are some good people out there.  Otherwise, what’s the point?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What haunts you?

Sarah Jamison:
Knowing that I’ve killed someone.  And, that I’ll probably have to do it again.  I’ve spent my whole adult life so far trying to help people.  My job was all about people and helping them make better choices, doing what was right for kids.  Custody investigations always had “best interest” at the heart of everything.  So, ending someone’s life – well, that just goes against everything.

But, this isn’t the world it once was and protecting my family comes first.  I’ll do whatever it takes.  I think I made a mistake leaving two of the guys who kidnapped me and Dana alive.  Like I said, they haunt my dreams every night.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any phobias?

Sarah Jamison:
Snakes.  I HATE snakes. *shudder* I don’t even want to think about them! Oh.  And, dark enclosed spaces.  I feel like I’m dying inside.  I can’t breathe.  I have trouble focusing.  Probably because I can’t see if there are any freakin’ snakes in there with me.  Can you imagine?  Crawling around in the dark and your hand landing on an f-ing snake???  No.  No!  NO!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you?

Sarah Jamison:
The absolute worst was when our parents died.  It’s been 11 years and I still miss them every day.  But, I’m glad they’re not here to see the world we live in now.  My mom was a gentle soul.  So, thoughtful and kind to everyone.  This world would break her.  And, my dad would be devastated to know Dana and I have had to do some of the things we have in order to survive.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you lying to yourself about anything?

Sarah Jamison:
To myself and everyone else.  I act like I have it all together and I can handle anything.  But inside, I’m scared to death.  I’m scared of what’s happening today and I’m scared about the future.  I’m just plain scared.  But, I can’t focus on that or I’ll freeze when I need to act.  Just like everyone else right now, I’m living one minute at a time.  I tell myself I’ll just do this one thing and it’ll all be okay.  But, that’s another lie.  It won’t be okay for a very long time.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What was your childhood like?

Sarah Jamison:
Dana and I were very close and, being identical, we used to play pranks on everyone, even switching identities at times.  Once in high school we even took tests for each other.  I was much better with math and chemistry and she was a genius at English, history, and the like.  I think our parents knew something was up when we both aced our tests.  Mom always doted on us.  She volunteered a lot at school and was our troop leader.  Dad attended any game we had whenever we played sports.  He’d practice with us.  They were both there for everything.

We spent a lot of time with grandparents and other family members.  Brian acted like more of a big brother than a cousin to both of us.  We really had an amazing childhood.  It’s so sad that children growing up now won’t have that innocence.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Were your actions the result of freedom of choice or of destiny?

Sarah Jamison:
A little of both, I guess.  As children, Dana and I had the freedom to explore and try things out.  We each pursued our own interests.  Of course, our parents dying changed a lot.  If it weren’t for Brian trying to find things to do with us to keep us focused on moving forward and making sure we could fend for ourselves, we wouldn’t have the skills we have now.  I wouldn’t know anything about weapons or self-defense.  Neither would Dana.

I’ve continued to develop my skills in martial arts and kept up target shooting while Dana took an interest in other things.  But, she can still kick butt when she needs to.  So, we’ve each developed because of our personal interests but also because of choices taken away from us.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could go back in time and change anything, would you?

Sarah Jamison:
I can’t even think about that.  If I changed one thing right now, it’d be stopping the son of a bitch that decided to muck around with things he shouldn’t.  But, if I could stop the apocalypse, I’d then want my parents back.  I don’t think you can change one thing and not want to change others.  I just want to survive this damn thing and hopefully find peace for us all one day. Crap.  That sounded like a pageant contestant. *snort* Won’t be any more of those in the near future.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does your name mean to you?

Sarah Jamison:
Sarah actually means “princess” or “noblewoman.”  Neither of which I am.  To me, Sarah sounds dependable and loyal.  Sometimes, I fail; but, I try to be both.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What scars, birthmarks, tattoos, or other identifying marks do you have?  What stories lie behind them?

Sarah Jamison:
I now have a scar on my face thanks to that asshole Jenkins.  But, that’s fine.  I’m proud of it.  It shows I’m a survivor. Dana and I were born on St. Patrick’s Day.  For our twenty-first birthday, we each got a shamrock tattoo.  Her’s is on her right ankle and mine’s on the back of my right shoulder.  It’s actually two intertwined Celtic-knot shamrocks.  I think they’re pretty cool.

Image shows intertwined green shamrocks
The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What was unique about the setting of your books and how did it enhance or take away from your story?

Sarah Jamison:
We’re in Fort Worth, Texas, so we’re close – or at least we use to be before travel was so difficult – to cities, small towns, and open spaces.  So, there’s a lot at our disposal.  We can scavenge for what we need and there are different places to hide out when we must.  Right now, we’re doing pretty well at the family law courthouse.  We have it fortified.  There’s plenty of room for storage areas and space for privacy, as well as areas large enough for us all to convene when needed.

But, we’re well aware that can change in a heartbeat, so we have preparations in case we need to leave in a hurry.  It’d suck to leave so much behind, but we can move out if we need to.  We were lucky the crap hit the fan on a weekend.  This area of downtown isn’t very busy on weekends.  I know that will change as the hordes migrate.  We’ll have to figure something else out soon.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How do you see yourself?

Sarah Jamison:
Strong when I have to be.  Loyal to my friends and family.  I have a lot of self-doubt now though, more than ever before.  I worry all the time about the decisions I’m making.  Especially for the kids who have become a part of our community.  Our number one goal is protecting them.  But, there’s so much to teach them.  And, I’m scared.  I think I mentioned that before.  God, I’m scared all the time.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How does your enemy see you?

Sarah Jamison:
Ron and Jenkins – their names are all I know about them other than they’re evil assholes – probably think we’re just females that got lucky.  It’d be too much for their egos to think we actually beat them. I think they’re really pissed at us and can’t wait for their wounds to heal so they can seek revenge.  I told you they haunt my dreams every night.  I wish I’d killed them like the other one.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How does the author see you?

Sarah Jamison:
Oh, I’m sure Rhonda thinks I’m a stubborn pain-in-the-butt.  She writes out scenes and I just shake my head and do my own thing.  Then she had to do some major re-writing.  But, it’s my life.  I have to live it the way I need to.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why do you think the author chose to write about your story?  Do you think they did a good job?

Sarah Jamison:
Well, I don’t think she had much choice once I entered her head.  I tend to nag her a bunch.  The end of the world is an important story.  I think someone should tell it.  And, for all her faults, Rhonda takes great dictation – when she actually listens.  It saves us both time if she just writes what I tell her.

She thought she was finished with us when she wrote Survival for the charity anthology, Let’s Scare Cancer to Death (Great anthology, y’all!  Lots of awesome authors telling the stories of others like me.  And, it’s for a good cause.  If you’re lucky enough to live in a world without zombies, you should buy it!);  but, I wasn’t finished telling my story.  There’s so much more happening and the world needs to know what’s going on.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think about the ending?

Sarah Jamison:
Well, like I said.  We’re not done yet.  There’s more to come.  And, I’m exhausted already!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?  Would you change anything about the story told? Did they miss anything?

Sarah Jamison:
Rhonda’s done a good job.  She gets it all pretty accurate.  Eventually.  I just have to nudge her – okay nag her – to make some changes along the way.  I guess if I could change anything, it would be getting the books out faster.  She didn’t want to keep telling this story.  There are apparently some others that are bugging her to write their books, but I keep pushing them behind me.  My story should come first.  Don’t you think?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Have you read any of your authors’ other works?  Any good?

Sarah Jamison:
Oh, yeah.  Before all the dead decided to come back to life, I was a voracious reader.  She’s got this paranormal haunted house story, The Consuming, that’s a great read.  It was kind of scary at the time.  Of course, now that I’ve had to deal with kidnappers and zombies, ghosts aren’t a big deal to me.  They aren’t real.  Are they?  Well, I hope not anyway.  I can barely survive now with everything going on.  I sure don’t need to add zombie ghosts to the mix.

And, then she has this really sweet family holiday story about a dad and his daughter. The Gift is really heartwarming.  It’s so not like most of her writing.  She must have watched one too many Hallmark Christmas movies one day. But, it’s good.  Give it a try.

I talked with a couple of teen witches that are dying to get their story told.  They said Rhonda is calling their’s, The Gemini Prophecy.  They’re twins, too.  They’re eager to get their stories out in the world.  And, then there are some kids in her head.  They claim to be Paranormal Cousins.  The oldest, Kristen, said Rhonda thanks middle grade kids will like to read about them.  Both of their stories sound really interesting.  I hope there comes a time when I can read about them.

But, survivors are at the door with zombies at their backs.  I gotta get out there.

***

That’s pretty much Sarah. She’s always in the middle of whatever is going on. If you want to read more of her story, you can get SURVIVAL at Amazon. It’s FREE with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.