I cannot thank enough to Turn The Page Tour team for this amazing opportunity of interviewing Kelly deVos, the bestselling author of Every Body Shines: Sixteen Stories About Living Fabulously Fat and Fat Girl on a Plane. Her latest book – EAT YOUR HEART OUT, is yet again another wonderful novel, which I’m sure of will leave you wanting for more! Find the full schedule here.
Publisher – Razorbill
Release Date – June 29, 2021
Genres – YA Fiction, Horror, Thriller, Zombies
Shaun of the Dead meets Dumplin’ in this bitingly funny YA thriller about a kickass group of teens battling a ravenous group of zombies.
In the next few hours, one of three things will happen.
1–We’ll be rescued (unlikely)
2–We’ll freeze to death (maybe)
3–We’ll be eaten by thin and athletic zombies (odds: excellent)
Vivian Ellenshaw is fat, but she knows she doesn’t need to lose weight, so she’s none too happy to find herself forced into a weight-loss camp’s van with her ex-best friend, Allie, a meathead jock who can barely drive, and the camp owner’s snobby son. And when they arrive at Camp Featherlite at the start of the worst blizzard in the history of Flagstaff, Arizona, it’s clear that something isn’t right.
Vee barely has a chance to meet the other members of her pod, all who seem as unhappy to be at Featherlite as she does, when a camper goes missing down by the lake. Then she spots something horrifying outside in the snow. Something…that isn’t human. Plus, the camp’s supposed “miracle cure” for obesity just seems fishy, and Vee and her fellow campers know they don’t need to be cured. Of anything.
Even worse, it’s not long before Camp Featherlite’s luxurious bungalows are totally overrun with zombies. What starts out as a mission to unravel the camp’s secrets turns into a desperate fight for survival–and not all of the Featherlite campers will make it out alive.
A satirical blend of horror, body positivity, and humor, Kelly deVos’s witty, biting novel proves that everyone deserves to feel validated, and taking down the evil enterprise determined to dehumanize you is a good place to start.
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.
Kelly deVos is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, amazing teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a B.A. 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 Fat Girl on a Plane, Day Zero, Day One and Eat Your Heart Out. Visit Kelly online at www.kellydevos.com.