Trumbull High teacher mixes zombies and romance in first novel

Trumbull High English teacher Lisa Acerbo may have tapped into publishing gold.

Her first book, Apocalipstick takes place in a post-apocalyptic world occupied by zombies and a group of outsiders called the “others.” Her main character is also caught in a love triangle.

“I’ve kind of merged The Walking Dead zombie genre with paranormal romance,” Acerbo said. “I hadn’t read a lot that mixed those two elements.”

Acerbo’s first foray into fiction comes out on Aug. 1, published by Eternal Press.

“I’ve always loved horror and science fiction,” Acerbo said.

Going into her sixth year as a high school teacher, she has also read all the popular young adult novels her students read, like Twilight and The Hunger Games.

She says her book fits into the “new adult” category, for older teens and people in their 20s.

It is set in a stark and violent post-apocalyptic world. Jenna Martin, the main character, is on a quest to survive in this dystopia filled with zombies, referred to as stalkers. The stalkers instill a constant sense of unknowing in Jenna, according to the book description. Jenna is faced with a romantic uncertainty as two men battle for her attention.

Acerbo hopes readers can relate to the story on many levels.

“When I began the novel, I hoped that my audience could, on some level, relate to Apocalipstick,” she said. “Analogous to the characters in the book, we must fight daily battles, whether it is with school, jobs, illnesses, or family problems. At times, we also feel detached, similar to the characters called the ‘others.’

“There are even occasions when we might wonder about the possibility of zombies and question if humanity can become similar: dead to the world around us and passing the time waiting for our next meal.”

The unique title of the book relates to the main character’s connection to putting on lipstick and how that small gesture connects her to humanity and memories.

“It’s so funny, I thought I was being very creative with my title and then I looked it up and saw there is some random band that already uses that name,” Acerbo said.

Finding a publisher was a challenge until she reached out to independent and niche publishers and found Eternal Press. On the book release date, Aug. 1, Acerbo will be taking part in live author chats at 2 and 7 p.m., at Copies of the book for e-readers can be purchased on and Aug. 1, and by Aug. 15 paperback versions will be available.

Acerbo also plans to promote her book at the Trumbull Arts Festival Sept. 15. To get updates, visit, where you can also find a link to the book’s Facebook page and read the novel’s prologue.

When asked if she thinks her students will enjoy the book, Acerbo says she hopes so.

“It does have some violence, so I wouldn’t recommend it for middle school or young high school but I’m hoping it’s something older teens enjoy,” she said.