Mercedes M. Yardley is our featured author for episode 118 of the Horror Addicts podcast. Mercedes has written several essays, short stories, poems and novels. She said her writing specializes in the dark and beautiful. Recently Mercedes answered a few questions about her writing for us:
When did you start writing?
MMY: I’ve always been writing. I was writing and reading stories aloud to my classmates when I was about eight years old. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I loved telling stories. I especially loved telling ghost stories and seeing the other children’s eyes widen. There’s something so elegant about darkness.
What do you like to write about?
MMY: I’m a bit schizophrenic in my subject matter and style. I use writing as a way to process, and sometimes I really don’t know how I feel about something until I’ve written about it. Some of my themes include monsters who love and broken people who have shine. Flowers, stars, and water turn up quite a bit. I write about pretty, deadly things.
Who are some of your influences?
MMY: I was heavily influenced by Erma Bombeck and Elizabeth Berg. Erma Bombeck because she was funny and wrote about everyday things. I loved that she made these common experiences fascinating and meaningful. Elizabeth Berg wrote a book called “Pull of the Moon” that had such a feminine style. It was full of mystery and unabashedly womanly. Up until that point, most women I read sounded stereotypically male, so Berg’s work impacted me.
What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?
MMY: I adore the emotion of it. I love that the horror genre can pull fears and thoughts and sorrows out of readers. It’s a safe place to let those anxieties run free and hopefully get them out of the reader’s mind and soul. I think it’s healthy. I also think there’s something that bonds horror lovers together. We just shared this amazing experience that made you feel things. There’s something so personal about that. Being afraid? Catching your breath? That’s what being alive feels like.
What are some of the books you have out?
MMY: My first book was a collection of short stories called Beautiful Sorrows. It’s 27 different tales ranging from sweet to quite dark. I’m also in an anthology called Grimm Mistresses with my darkest work in there, called “Little Dead Red.” I have a novella called Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, a novel called Nameless (Book 1 of the Bone Angel Trilogy), and Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. It’s my favorite thing I ever wrote. Unfortunately, Apocalyptic Montessa, Nameless, and Pretty Little Dead Girls are temporarily out of print since the beginning of July. I split with the publishers, which was a very tough decision. But another publishing house seems interested in acquiring and releasing all three, so they’ll be out again very soon. Meanwhile, all three books are available as audiobooks on Audible, if somebody would like to experience them aurally. The narrators did a wonderful job.
Publishing is a tricky business and things like this happen. I think the important part is to be happy and keep writing. Writing is one of my biggest sources of joy, and if it isn’t working with one place, it’s time to come at it from a different angle. If I lose the passion to write, then something is drastically wrong and it’s time for change.
What will you be reading for episode 118 of the Horror Addicts podcast?
MMY: I’m so excited for this reading! This is an excerpt from Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. The setup is that Bryony, the girl, is destined to be murdered, and since Peter, the runner, is a serial killer, he’s delighted to help her out. But then somebody else trespasses on his territory. The scene starts with Peter hiding in the blackberry bushes while Bryony jogs down a popular running trail. Then she begins to scream.
Where can you we find you online?
MMY: I’m all over the place online! You can find me on my blog at www.abrokenlaptop.com. I’m also on Twitter as @mercedesmy, and Facebook under Mercedes M. Yardley. Please stop by and say hi! I’d love that. Thank you so much for the interview! It was great fun.