Hello Horror Addicts, please join me in welcoming our featured author for episode 101, Ann Wilkes.
When asked how she felt about being on the show Ann replied, “I’m thrilled, naturally. Emerian has a top-notch site. It’s an honor.”
She has submitted to HA twice a flash fiction piece, as well as her audio story for the podcast. “My stories often have a sociological or even first contact bent to them. I have a hard time getting really hard with my science, though, going more for drama and humor. My stories are always character driven.”
Ann’s work is available in both in print and electronic format. “I have stories in anthologies that are available electronically, as well as archived flash fiction in various places, such as Every Day Fiction.”
As “a journalist, copywriter and entrepreneur by day and a dance teacher and dancer by night,” it’s surprising that she has any free time to write her stories. I also wondered how her “day job” played a part in her writing.
“Only as far as time commitments. Until you’ve “landed,” you can’t sit down and write a story to pay the bills. The stories come when they come and money follows when it follows. It’s not a guaranteed paycheck, so it’s hard for me to make myself write new stories, when writing ad copy or working on the dance site will give me more instant renumeration. Those are the ugly facts about the writing life I’m afraid.”
I was curious as always to see what had initially dragged Ann into the horror fandom. “The fast-paced action and the psychological thrillers. The creepy ones that you chew on for days and the adrenaline rush of the chase scenes.” Ann finds herself drawn werewolves and claims them to be her favorite horror monster. “They can be normal for the most part, but can’t let anyone get too close to them and discover their true nature. They are like Jekyll and Hyde, only they have a set schedule for their alter egos. But then they have to deal with the aftermath of their rampages. And the guilt. They’re both tormented and tormenter. They are driven by intelligence only until the moon is full, when they act only on animal instinct.”
Did you know that Ann often has dreams in which she is escapes the bogey man? “They are scary, yet empowering, because I always get away.” Another little known fact about Ann, is that she is “distantly related to the famous train/bank robbers, the Younger Brothers, who rode with Jesse James.” She also wanted to note that “it was the Younger Brothers gang, not the Jesse James gang.”
For the future, Ann has a couple of projects in mind and in the works. “I would like to create a collection of speculative fiction stories all relating to or about elephants and partner with an elephant sanctuary to market it as a fundraiser for the sanctuary and get a wider audience for the stories.”
“I’m shopping a few stories around that I have high hopes for. In one, In my psychological thriller set in space, I invented a sport.
“In another, there are monsters from the future, which are transported to our present instead of our past, as punishment for political crimes. The damage that ensues, with these huge rhinoceros-like creatures landing in a small Pacific Northwest town, is devastating compared to what would have happened if they were warped back to the dino-age as planned. It’s important to note that they arrive extremely hungry.
“Another involves a water world where the humans’ hosts are dying. They live on leviathans in a symbiotic relationship. There are symbiotes in the monster story, too. I guess I was going through a phase.”
For more information about Ann Wilkes, visit her website: annwilkes.com. “There’s nothing new about my website. All my energy has been going into a new venture that is rather off-topic. I just launched Sonoma County Dance Beat (socodancebeat.com) at the end of March.”