Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Character Interview: Rachel Higginson's Vaughn & Hendrix Parker from "Love & Decay"

Title: Love & Decay
Author: Rachel Higginson
Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

Reagan said goodbye to love when she was forced to run her high school boyfriend over with her mom’s car just to keep him from eating her for dinner. Now, two years later, and in need of a serious shower, she’s just over the entire concept of a soul mate- or really, any kind of mate.

Well, mostly anyway. When she runs- literally- into a group of boys holed up in a relative utopia of peanut butter and bottled water, maybe all hope in the love department is not lost.

But at the end of the world, nothing can be simple. And with a horde of Zombies after her, Reagan is going to have to schedule falling in love between hunting and surviving. Hopefully she can last long enough to find out if true love can still exist when everything else has started to fall apart.

Love and Decay, Episode One, the first in a novella series in a Dystopian Romance about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.
This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks. Approximately 20,000 words.


Title: Love & Decay
Author: Rachel Higginson

Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

Reagan and Haley thought they had life figured out. Kill a few Zombies in the morning, scavenge for food, kill some more Zombies, find a place to take cover for the night. Life was simple and relatively routine. Well, until they met the Parker brothers.

Now, they’re road-tripping south together, in the hopes of escaping the Apocalypse riddled world they live in and finding some peace on the other side of the equator. Hendrix and Vaughan make some things easier with their ample supply of weapons and ability to scout out safe places and travel unharmed. But then some things are more difficult with two gorgeous, protective boys working hard to convince Reagan she needs them.

But who has time for feelings when there are scarier things to worry about? When they run into an outpost of militia, their futures might be decided for them. Now they don’t only have to dodge Zombies, but figure out a way to escape a settlement full of men intent on making the Parker brothers soldiers and Haley and Reagan join their brothel of women.

Survival at the end of the world is a costly thing, and Reagan can only take it one day at a time. With the Parker brothers and their precious sister Page now in the mix, survival is even more imperative and this day, more than any other, might be the most dangerous of them all.

Love and Decay, Episode Two, the second in a novella series in a Dystopian Romance about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.
This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks. Approximately 20,000 words.
Love and Decay Episode Three coming SOON!!!
Buy Links:
Just so you know who we're talking to......
Hendrix Parker *sigh*
Vaughn Parker *sigh  again*
Now let's get to the meat of this post!! Rachel Higginson was sweet enough to let me interview Hendrix AND Vaughn *sigh* and let me tell you, they're just as dashing, cheeky & flirty as they appear in the book!  To help avoid confusion, Hendrix answers will appear orange, Vaughn blue and of course I'll be pink!! Enjoy......

I'm sitting in what I was told was a "safe location" waiting to interview Hendrix & Vaughn Parker *sigh* from Rachel Higginson's NEW series "Love & Decay" I hope the guys know what they're talking about because this house has seen better days. It was once a beautiful house in a high end neighborhood, but it along with the other houses on the block have been stripped of everything from food to drapes. Oh did I mention the smell??? Reagan was NOT even kidding, I lost count of the number of times I dry heaved.

I hear a door squeak open & then some murmuring coming from the back door. Immediately I jump up & my heart is pounding, I quickly search the room for a place to hide but the only furniture left is three mismatched kitchen chairs. Shoot!! Maybe this was a bad idea!!  I hold my breath & wait as the footsteps come closer. To my extreme relief it's,  just Hendrix & Vaughn, looking ruggedly handsome & smelling amazing!! (How do they do that?)  I sigh & slump back into a chair. "Thank God y'all, scared the poo out of me!"
Hendrix: Oh, did you think we were Feeders? That’s kind of funny. Where’s your gun? You need guns.” My hubs won't let me have a gun and we live in Texas!!!
Vaughan: “Don’t worry, you can usually hear them from a mile away. They’re not exactly the sneaky type.” "Ok well thanks good to know, not at all comforting tho...."

*Catching my breath, taking a sip of water & offering the guys their own bottles I ask* "I really appreciate y'all taking time out of.......well.......surviving to meet with me!!" "So y'all promise this house is um....*gulp* safe??"
Hendrix: “Sure, it’s safe. Now.” *I have a feeling he's blowing me off* 
Vaughan: *Clears Throat* “What Hendrix means to say, is that it’s as safe as any place can get. But don’t worry, Kelly. We’ve got your back.” *sighs & sinks in further into chair*  *Waves guns around casually* “Thanks for meeting us here by the way.” *dreamy eyes at Vaughn & *sigh*. "Ummhmm.. anything you say..."
Hendrix: “Definitely, thanks for braving our elements. We won’t let anything happen to you while you’re here. We are really good at the whole protecting thing.” *sigh* Ok  *goofy smile*

"Vaughn  As the eldest brother you've taken on the role as leader of the family. Yet you're very care free & a bit cheeky. How do you think this has affected your role as leader?"
Hendrix: *Snorts*
Vaughan: *Shoots Hendrix a dirty look* “It’s definitely helped me stay sane- keeping my sense of humor. Things are bad, dangerous and what not but this is still life, the only life we know now. We can’t just survive it; we have to live it too. You know? Mostly I’m worried about our younger siblings. If all they know is fear, and running and killing, what kind of adults will they make? What kind of lives could they possibly have? I’m trying to maintain all the good things about life before the infection while keeping them alive. Or at least as many of them as I can. Plus, it helps with my own sanity as well. There’s a lot of hell to deal with out there, if I didn’t laugh I’d get buried in it.”  "Good point!"
"Hendrix you tend to well....um....*clears throat* not listen very well to Vaughn's commands but have no problem going out of your way to tell Reagan what to do. Care to explain?" *wide smile*
Hendrix: “I think Vaughan and I would both agree that I can take care of myself. Reagan on the other hand…. It’s hard to let someone you care about have complete free will in this environment. Whether she thinks so or not, she needs someone looking out for her. *giggles* I just want her to survive, to do all that living my brother likes to preach about. She can’t do that if she doesn’t listen to me. I know what’s best.”  "I love how you just admitted you care about her!" *giggles*
Vaughan “He thinks he knows what’s best.”
Hendrix *Eye roll* “We can agree that Reagan is headstrong though, yeah? She needs someone that sees the whole picture.”  "Whatever makes you feel better Love!"
Vaughan *Shifts uncomfortably* “Yeah, we can agree to that. She does need someone to look after her.”  *clears throat* "Ok then boys...."
"Vaughn when y'all stumbled upon Reagan & Haley you were set up like rock stars!" *gives him an astonished look* "What happened in y'all life to make y'all so adaptable?"
Vaughan “We did have a pretty good set up until the girls dropped by.” *Laughs* “I think we got a little lucky, but we were more prepared than most too. While the rest of the world wasted their time panicking and trying to reach higher ground, so to speak, we were searching out a home base and setting up shop. Our dad was an Army Ranger once upon a time, so our childhoods were pretty intense. *gaaasp* "Very interesting!!"  He spent a lot of time teaching us how to survive- not because he expected us to have to deal with Zombies on a daily basis, but because it was what he knew. Other kids learned to play catch or whatever. We learned how to shoot straight and survive the elements in every circumstance.”  "Skills that have now saved y'all lives!!" 
Hendrix “Also, it’s easy to adapt when you have so much to protect. We’ve had our younger brothers and Page to think about since the beginning. Because of them, we don’t have any other choice but to acclimate. If we don’t, they die. If we can stay alive, they get to too. Simple.” "Um yes, very true!"

"Hendrix, you seem the most mature out of your brothers *smiles apologetically at Vaughn* is this because of the seriousness of y'all situation, or just part of being Hendrix?"
Vaughan: *Uncontrollable laughter* *mock dirty look at Vaughn "Shh!" *winks* 
Hendrix: “Shut up, Vaughan. I’ve always been mature.” 
Vaughan: “And by that he means he’s always been boring. *spits out water I was drinking* Hendrix has been preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse since he was a baby. He was born for this life.”  *wipes mouth with back of hand. "Well that's proven very helpful for y'all." 
Hendrix: “You’re such a douche. Don’t be jealous because the lady is more attracted to me.” *blushes* "Wait!!" "WHAAT?" "Who told you...." "I mean....."  "I'm not...."  "Have y'all been talking to Rachel?" *blushes deeper*
Vaughan: “I’m pretty sure that’s not at all what she’s saying.” *Turns to Kelly* “This is your definition of maturity?” *mouth gaping open* "I....I.....I....I......"
Hendrix: “Of course, it’s easy to be mature when I’m constantly surrounded by people like this.” *clears throat* "Moving on..." 
Vaughan: *Grins*   

"Vaughn  you're parents must've been amazing people for y'all to be such a close nit family. Tell me about them." 
Vaughan: *Clears throat uncomfortably* “They were. I said earlier, my dad was an Army Ranger. He made a career in the army and retired only a few years before the infection broke out. He was also a musician. He said music kept him sane after everything he’d seen and been through. After he retired he taught guitar lessons. And our mom….” *Looks to Hendrix*
Hendrix: “She was just as amazing. She had all these kids and was a single mom a lot of the time since my dad was gone so often. Even towards the end she kept the house in order, made sure we all did what we were supposed to. She was incredible.” *sniffs* "Amazing!"
Vaughan: “She, uh, she had a brain tumor. Grade four. Even before the infection, she didn’t have a lot of time left.” *wipes eyes* "Well she would be incredibly proud of her boys." * watery smile*
 *clears throat* Alright y'all let's change the subject." *sniffs* "Hendrix  *leans in & whispers* can you share something about yourself that one  else knows, maybe a pre-zombie hobby?"
Hendrix: *Laughs nervously* “I can play the guitar.”
Vaughan: We can all play the guitar. Page can play the guitar.” *smiles & winks at Vaughan*
Hendrix: “Fine. I was a swimmer. I swam for Northwestern, pre- Apocalypse.” *looks over Hendrix body type & whispers* "Oh yes, I can see that."
Vaughan: “And he loves to play Scrabble.” *giggles*
Hendrix: “Dude!” *smiles* "It's alright Love, it's a popular game."
Vaughan: *Chuckles* “It’s true! Don’t worry. I’m sure women everywhere will find your bizarre obsession with word counts sexy.”   *whispers* "Anything with you boys is sexy"
*looks out the window to check the suns position, satisfied I clear my throat & continue*
"Y'all's lives are VERY stressful with struggling to keep yourselves & your family alive *smiles* what do y'all do to relieve stress?"
*Look at each other and shrug*
Vaughan: “Uh, you mean in all our hours of free time?” *sticks tongue out at Vaughn & giggles*
Hendrix: *Laughs* “I find killing things usually helps.”
Vaughan: “He means Zombies. Mostly we kill Zombies. That usually takes care of any extra pressure we have building.” "Ok yeah, I can see that!"
Hendrix: “And just being around each other, as cheesy as that might sound. Having normal conversations, remembering things from the world before everything went to shit. If we act human, it seems to help us feel human.” " I get it." *smiles*
Vaughan: Good point, brother.”
Hendrix: “That’s what I do.”
*smiles at both boys*
"Vaughn, in your world you've obviously had to grow & adapt in order to survive. How do you think you've changed as a person?"
Vaughan: “Changed as a person? That is a seriously existential question, Kelly. Yeesh. No, I’m just kidding. *giggles* I’ve definitely grown up. Pre-infection I was pretty wild. I was a senior in college and living the good life. That changed pretty quick when Zombies popped up on campus. I got home as fast as I could and prepared to fight through this thing with my family. After we were forced to leave our home I immediately had to become fiercely responsible. I can’t make bad or immature decisions anymore. Everything I decide has life or death consequences and I refuse to accept the death part of that. *sigh* I’ve aged probably twenty years in the last two. I probably even have a few gray hairs to prove it. *rolls eyes* "Yeah right Love!" But, I’ve also learned the importance of valuing others above myself. Love, sacrifice, family…. They all mean more to me now than anything else and I have this whole Zombie shindig to thank for that.”  *goofy grin* "Perhaps you're more mature than I thought Love." 

"Hendrix, y'all live an extremely dangerous world. Has there ever been a time that you were truly terrified  for your life?"
Hendrix: “Sure. I mean, I’ve been in some pretty intense situations where I was sure I was going to die. But that’s not been when I’m most terrified. That’s just kind of the day to day reality of my life. It’s when I’ve had to worry about the lives of my brothers or sister, even Reagan and Haley that I feel the fear most acutely. *awww* That’s when it could easily paralyze me. I could care less about my life except that I can use it to protect those I care about. So I fight through it, use it to keep those I care about safe.”  *smiles & nods head at Hendrix*

"Now that there's the possibility of love in your lives ( thanks to Haley & Reagan) do you think y'all can make room/time for it?"
Vaughan: “Go ahead Hendrix. I’m pretty sure this question is directed at you.” *looks at Vaughn & winks*
Hendrix: “You sound jealous.” *Smirks* “I think we’ve already made room in our lives for love. Neither of us was prepared to take on an entire family and the kind of love it takes to hold it together. Yet here we are, playing mom and dad to a bunch of wild bastards. As far as girls go, I’m still a man, I still have needs. *sighs* If anything our situation has magnified the need for love in my life and put a spotlight right on how empty that place is since it’s missing. Everything is so desperate now, so elemental. Of course I need love. Love is one of those things that separates us from the Zombies trying to kill us. Not to get all philosophical on you, but it’s like that whole Descartes quote, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ Only, in our case, it’s like I love, therefore I’m human. There’s definitely room for love in my life. Definitely room to love and be loved.” *stares at Hendrix for a little too long* "Right, good answer Love."
Vaughan: “Good grief, college boy.”
Hendrix: “Well, some of us went to school to learn. And I mean things out of a textbook, not just the proper way to do a keg stand.”
*puts hands up* "Boys!"
Vaughan: *Rolls eyes* “I have to agree with my brother, even if he sounds ridiculously pretentious. Love is definitely one of those things that distinguishes us from our enemies. And not just Zombies, but the corrupt and greedy remnants of humanity too.*nods head* The world we live in is tragically ugly and immoral. Love is one of those things, when it’s true and deep, that is above all that. *sigh* It adds civility and hope to life, a happiness and ease that would otherwise be absent. Those are things we all desperately need and crave. I won’t have to make time, because I’m already making time for it- pursuing it, waiting for it. I have to believe it’s out there because with so little else to look forward to, it’s probably the only big thing left in my life I’ll get to experience. *sigh* I won’t ever graduate college now, or own a house; I won’t build a career or do something extraordinary with my life. I get to survive, that’s it. And that’s if I’m lucky. So if I’m fortunate enough to find love, you better believe I’m going to make time for it. I’m going to just let it take over completely and run every part of me. Why wouldn’t I? "Uh huh" It would make everything I do and sacrifice worth it times a million. And it would add a whole other layer of purpose for this wandering existence we live. I’ll take love and gladly give it back. *sighs with dreamy eyes*
Hendrix: “You’re going to make me cry with all that deep bullshit.” *scowls & throws pen at Hendrix*
Vaughan: “Sure, sure.”

*looks outside again & notices the sun is fixing to set. Anxiously looks at boys & says* "Ok y'all we're quickly running out of time, but one more question?" "I know undergarments are um...." *clears throat & blushes* "Do y'all prefer boxers or briefs?" "Fan girls everywhere are dying to know!"
Vaughan: “Haha! Well, I’ll take either if they’re available.”
Hendrix: “Yeah, we’re not exactly picky as long as they’re semi-clean, not covered in blood and somewhat intact.”
Vaughan: “Not all of us were as lucky as Reagan and Haley. They’re practically carrying a lingerie department around in their backpacks.” *looks over at Hendrix & wonders if he's thinking about green panties*
Hendrix: “But the whole commando thing has grown on me.”
Vaughan: *Shrugs* “Truth.”
*giggles* "Nice!"

Alright y'all I need to go before it’s too unsafe but *puts up finger & hurries to kitchen. Comes back dragging several bags* I wanted to give y'all some supplies to thank you for meeting with me! *smiles as the boys look excitedly  through the bags* After watching "The Walking Dead" my hubs thinks he's an expert on zombies so all the military stuff *whispers* & guns was his idea! But the cross bow is from me! Anyway, there's something for everyone from food to work books/chapter books for Page. Oh & extra make up for Reagan & Haley.
Vaughan: “Thanks! I’ve needed new boots and Page is going to love this!” "Oh good, I asked Rachel about sizes!"
Hendrix: “This is really awesome. Thanks Kelly, you’re fantastic. Crossbow? This is going to make my next kill epic.” "I'll be looking forward to that!!"
Vaughan: “For real, Kelly, this is great. Thank you.”
*smiles* "I'm SO glad y'all can use all of it!"
"Thanks again for meeting with me y'all!" Stay safe!" "I can't wait to see what Rachel has in store for y'all in Episode Three!!"
So what did y'all think of the Vaughn & Hendrix Parker? Want more? Make sure to go grab Rachel's first two episodes so you're ready for Episode Three!  
About my girl Rachel:

was born and raised in Nebraska, but spent my college years traveling the world. I fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. But I came back home to marry my high school sweetheart and now I spend my days raising our growing family. In those few spare moments I have, I am either reading or writing Young Adult Fiction, because I am obsessed with it.
Five other things I'm obsessed with right now:
1. My Kuerig Coffee Machine. Genius.
2. 90's music. Oh man, the 90's speak right to my soul.
3. Chocolate smelling body wash. Who doesn't want to walk around smelling like a bakery?
4. Colored Chapstick. And if it's Dr. Pepper Flavored, that's kind of my nirvana.
5. Spotify. It's like the mixed-tape of this generation and I have probably three hundred hours of music on there. Can't get

Where to Stalk Rachel:

Just incase you forgot what Hendrix & Vaughn look, here's some more pics.... you're welcome!!
Vaughn notice the crossbow??
Are y'all ready for more zombies & the Parker brothers? Let me know what you think!!!




  1. Thank you so much for hosting my boys!!!! They LOVED this interview!!! It was so incredibly fun!!! I just love you to pieces!!!!!!!

    1. I love you more!!! Thank you SO much for letting me talk to them!! They are very fun!!!

  2. So awesome! Love the oldest two Parker brothers!!!

    1. I'm SO glad you enjoyed it!! These boys are a blast!!