Truth or Dare with Em Garner

As you know, confrontation isn't my style. I prefer to hide. In a hard-to-find place. (Like India...) BUT! Since I'm with S.H.I.E.L.D now, I was assigned to confront ask an author to participate in our Truth or Dare feature.

So who did I ask?

Guys, meet Em Garner, author of CONTAMINATED. Her zombie book is set to hit shelves on July 23rd. I managed to get my green hands on a copy and it. is. epic. Having, well...experienced transformation into something not-so-pleasant myself, you might say I have a thing for zombie books.

Em Garner writes books.She began writing at a very young age, always preferring the stories about what goes bump in the night. An avid reader of horror, science-fiction and fantasy, she first turned her hand to short stories about the sorts of things that hide under the bed…and she kept right on going.Now Em spends most of her time in front of her computer, writing away at all the ideas she has swirling around in her head and hoping she can get them into a story before she forgets them.She loves zombies, unicorns, and rainbows, the color purple and the smell of roses. She hates the smell of lilies, the feeling of corduroy and biting sandpaper. (Well. Who doesn’t?)She lives at the beach with her family, where she spends a lot of time reading and sticking her feet in the sand. She is afraid of sharks, but that doesn’t stop her from going in the water.

Find Em on 
and check out CONTAMINATED at

I politely (and cautiously, you have to be cautious with authors of zombie books) asked Em whether she'd like truth or a dare? She chose DARE.


Write a scene where YOU catch (and confront!) one of your characters shoplifting in a shopping centre.


The girl in front of me wears a pair of ratty jeans and a hooded sweatshirt that’s seen better days. Her shoes, too, are worn through in many places. Dark hair held back in a ponytail streams from the side of the hood, pulled up to hide her face.

Maybe she’s ashamed.

She should be. I mean, I know times are tough, but stealing’s stealing, no matter what else is going on. And she doesn’t even have her hand on something important, like a loaf of bread or carton of milk, something that would make sense, you know? Something nutritious. Nope, this girl’s stealing a package of chocolate, and I can’t just turn my head at that. Chocolate’s too expensive now, not to mention that it doesn’t taste right anymore.

“Hey,” I say, but softly. I don’t want to draw attention to her. I don’t like that she’s stealing from my shop, but I don’t need trouble with the cops. They’ll be in here faster than you can blink if there’s any sign of something going on.

The girl turns. She doesn’t look guilty. She looks defiant. Her hands are empty, but I saw her slip that candy into her pocket. She lifts her chin. She knows she’s caught.

“What’s your name?”

“Velvet,” she says, no hesitation.

“Velvet, I’m going to have to ask you to –” I pause when I see the much younger girl come around the corner, holding onto the hand of one of them.

A Connie. A woman in her late thirties, maybe, same dark hair as the girl in the hoody.  She wears one of the StayCalm collars, and she shuffles her feet like she can’t lift them up. She can’t, of course. She can barely walk faster than a run with that thing around her neck shooting her head full of electricity anytime she so much as blinks too fast.

“Velvet, did you get the chocolate?” Asks the younger girl.

To the girl, who must be her sister, Velvet says, “I don’t have enough money for chocolate, Opal. I told you that.”

Opal frowns and tugs the woman’s hand. “It’s for Mama, Velvet. You said if we couldn’t get her to eat something…”

“I don’t have the money for chocolate,” Velvet repeats.

I look at her. At her sister. At their mother.

I think about my own son Charlie, who sits in the back room of my shop and stares all day long at the TV set, no matter what’s on. Even if it’s only static. Charlie doesn’t wear a collar, but he has twin scars on the insides of his eye sockets from where the cops punctured into him with a knitting needle. Charlie was in the second wave, before they figured out the collars.

I think about my son.

“You girls go on ahead,” I tell them, and I turn away so I don’t have to see the food that girl is stealing, I don’t have to turn her into the police. I turn away so I don’t have to see her at all. “You go on.”

And eventually, they do.

After the Contamination—an epidemic caused by the super-trendy diet drink ThinPro that turned ordinary citizens into violent, uncontrollable creatures—the government rounded up the "Connies" to protect the remaining population. Now, two years later, the rehabilitated are being allowed home, complete with shock collars that will either control, or kill, them.
Velvet Ellis has struggled to care for her ten-year-old sister since her parents were taken in the round up. When she finds her mother in one of the "Kennels," Velvet resolves to do whatever it takes to put her family back together. But the danger isn’t over. It’s beginning all over again…
Gritty and grabbing, Velvet is a harrowing, emotionally charged novel for fans of Carrie Ryan and The Walking Dead.

So what do you think, guys? Pretty creepy and fantastic, eh?  

Thanks for taking the dare, Em! Good luck with the release of CONTAMINATED!


  1. This sounds like a really creepy (but awesome) book! :D

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