Carrie Ryan's Nine Rules for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

There are few things better in the world than a great writing group. I'm lucky enough to have one of these--and even luckier to have one that includes the fabulous Carrie Ryan! Carrie is the author of the mind-blowing New York Times Bestseller, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, a post-apocolyptic YA novel that burst onto the scene last spring, and it's companion, The Dead-Tossed Waves, which was released last month. (If you're one of the thirteen people who has not yet read Forest, make sure to check out the end of this post for a fab contest!)

Naturally, when you're lucky enough to have a famous author in your writing circle, you use that to your advantage. And so, when I came up with the idea of the Nine Rules celebration, I forced Carrie to participate. She did so, graciously. And here are her...

Nine Rules for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse:

1. Learn how to can, pickle and preserve. You know how you wanted to start that "all natural" diet? Well, now's your chance!

2. Start fattening up your cats and dogs now. Zombies may not eat animals but that doesn't mean you can't in a pinch!

3. Increase your aerobic stamina. That new exercise program you wanted to start? See #1 above -- surviving the zombie apocalypse is an endurance sport.

4. Don’t neglect your upper body -- head to the batting cage to work on your skull-crushing swing and climb a fence or two to limber up. Trust me, those skills will come in handy!

5. Search Google maps for the best land or nearest prison/boarding school with high walls. You'll want plenty of land to use for gardening but nothing beats the security of life behind layers of fences and bars. Natural barriers like canyons and swift running rivers work too!

6. It's time to make a list of who's been naughty and nice -- who gets to join you in your post-apocalypse paradise and who gets left behind to keep the zombies off your trail?

7. Plan ahead - determine what will happen if you get bitten. Will you let yourself turn into a zombie or do you want someone to save you from such a fate?

8. Get over being squeamish. The zombie apocalypse involves blood and guts… hopefully none of them yours.

9. Take a good book -- as fun and exciting as the zombie apocalypse promises to be, everyone’s gotta have something to do in the down times. Nothing kills faster than boredom!

I'm paying close attention...you never know when you might be invaded by the undead!

Remember how I asked if you were one of the remaining thirteen people who hadn't read The Forest of Hands & Teeth? Well, now's the time to get excited! I've got signed copies of BOTH Forest & The Dead-Tossed Waves that are just looking for a new home! To enter, comment below, telling us your strategy for surviving the Zombie Invasion (don't forget to leave your email address), and Carrie will pick the best answer on Saturday!

And stay tuned for the rest of the month--and a dozen more Authors Rule(s) posts from an awesome range of authors! To read more of Authors Rule(s), please click here!