Following Zippy by C.B. Burdette


Release date: July 2014
Publisher: Flower Child Publishing
Purchase: Amazon
Synopsis via Goodreads

At fifteen most kids only have to worry about their homework or the style of their shoes. Gabe Perkins isn't most kids. When diagnosed with a terminal illness, he begins to make friends with a girl so ethereal, he starts to question his own sanity.

Can you tell us a little about Following Zippy?
A teenage boy finds himself in the spider webs of teen angst and a brain tumor. While dealing with his brain tumor he befriends a girl who claims to be an angel. No one else has met her, but he’s not sure as to whether or not she’s real or a hallucination caused by his cancer. Zippy helps him on a path greater than one he would’ve thought to have walked.

What inspired you to write it?
One day I was thinking about another book I was pre-planning and felt burdened to write about this story. It was almost as if I didn’t even have a choice to write it, it was just a matter of sitting down to write it. I guess you could say a little angel forced me to write.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
I’ve always enjoyed the clouds. There’s something about the simplicity about looking upwards, away from this world and into another. I was searching through some of my graphic designer’s work and came across this cover and fell in love. Fortunately for me and Zippy, this one hadn’t yet been bought.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Anyone unknown. Of course I’d want someone with experience, but wouldn’t want anyone who would give viewers a predisposition about what they’d expect of the film. I’d want viewers to see someone who allowed the character to come through fully without having been a well known actor in another film.

What is it about writing for children/teens that appeals to you so much?
I think it’s the most important time of our life. Even though many of us are still at a vulnerable state, when writing for teens there is always that notion of writing for an audience that can be persuaded. I believe that sometimes rather than writing full on raunchiness, I think writing something enlightening can help teens move through a stressful time in life and really think about what’s on the opposite side of the fountain of youth.

What made you want to become an author?
I’m not really sure, honestly. I was propelled to write this book for reasons on a level higher than my own knowing, so that in turn has made me an author.

How do you come up with character names?
I actually reached for biblical names. Given the nature of the books I really wanted to relay a message within a message. Zippy was short for Zipporah which means “Beauty, trumpet, mourning, bird”, given the way Zippy finds and guides Gabe, I thought this name was perfection. Gabe is of course short for Gabriel which means ‘champion of God.’ It’s somewhat of a metaphor for the walk Gabe leads in the beginning, through to the ending of the book.

Name one of your all-time favorite books?
Please…please, I beg you don’t make me choose just one. I adore Where The Crow Flies and I just adore anything by C.S. Lewis…or Gillian Flynn ;)

Who, or what, inspires you?
Something that show’s light in a usually dark place. Most of my inspiration comes from love in unlikely places.

Where is your favorite place to write?
On the couch, with a cup of coffee (very) close nearby.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
Ok….call me a silly goose. But I do happen to love the Hunger Games books. While I think the books are way more descriptive and phenomenal, I think that the movies are just as delicious.

Name two of your favourite authors.
Alright, well, I’ll stick to one modern and one classic. I mentioned C.S. Lewis and Gillian Flynn in a previous question and I can’t help but make them my ‘favs’

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I’ve been a vegetarian for 9 years….no cheats….

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
photo credit: TedsBlog via photopin cc
I’d say Scarlett Johansson…but then again who wouldn’t want her to play them in a movie about their life?

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
Some people call it ‘HotLanta’, however I don’t think I’ve ever heard any locals actually call it that….

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I’m currently working on some children’s books as well as a three part first person trilogy, in the point of view of three different characters.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
Unfortunately I’ve never written up a bucket list. I suppose it’s time to write one up. I would love to go to Africa though and put in safe water pumps to give people clean drinking water.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
The tooth fairy. How amazing is it, that something that falls out of your mouth can earn yourself money?

Who/What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. Unfortunately vets have to put down animals and I just don’t think that is something I could ever do.

“Look at those fish,” she said, diverting her attention towards the creek. “What about them?” “They’re just swimming along. Living and breathing. I wonder,” she said as she nudged her shoulder against mine, “if they know what purpose they serve.” “Well, they probably don’t.” “Why’s that?” “Because, they’re fish?” “Don’t think so low of the marine species.” “Zippy, they’re little minnows. They’re so little they probably only live a few months. Why worry about their place in life?” “I don’t know. Something of the simplicity of them is nice, though, you must admit.” She gleamed ear to ear, “Imagine, if you were a little minnow, swimming down the creek.” “Oh, crap.” “What?” “Do you really think there’s something out there that really cares about those little fish? Or even, you know, if something out there is looking down at us, talking about us like we’re little fish? As if we’re just tiny little minnows swimming down a stream, unsure of what fate lies ahead of us?” “I do.” 

I grew up a gypsy at my parents hands. With a dad in the Air Force, I got to experience life on the road, soaking up culture. After spending 6 years working as a model, I realized that the industry wasn't much of what I was looking for in life. More often than not I felt like Jo Stockton in Funny Face and escaped into the world of film, where your job is based on something more than beauty. Though I do love 12 hour days on set, there's nothing like snuggling up with a warm laptop and letting my fingers dance away to create a whole new world.

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