These are a portion of the top 6 Self-Interviews.
- Harry Husbands:
When Harry entered the room, I was first struck by his shabby appearance. He wore a plain black t-shirt, pyjama shorts, and looked as if he’d just fallen out of bed a moment prior. He was polite enough, though frequently stared at the floor and his sentences would trail off to a mumble as if changing his mind half way through. Despite all of this, I can’t help but feel some intrinsic connection with him; that he is someone I’ve known all my life; someone I’ve shared everything with. He is notoriously hard to get hold of— avoiding social situations where possible and preferring the company of a person much like myself. I was fortunate enough to pin down the man who three people once called ‘alright’ and asked him some questions.
You’re a writer among millions of others; a tiny fish in a giant pond and everyone’s hungry. Why bother?
- Adele Marie Park
Interviewer: The Next Great Horror Writer? What have you learned from being in this competition?
Adele: It is a learning curve for me. At times sharp but I enjoy a challenge and I suck up learning like a sponge I think it’s improved my writing abilities. I appreciate the time that the organisers have put into this competition. When I realised I had got through into the main competition itself, I was so happy, I cried. You never stop learning your craft and anyone who says different is not in love with writing.
Interviewer: Keeping in the horror vein, what frightens you the most?
Adele: Running out of coffee? –laughs- No? Seriously, it has to be demons. No one knows where they come from and all they seem to want is to destroy the human they possess.
Interviewer: Do you write about demons in your work?
Adele: Yes. It’s a subject that in reality, I’m terrified of.
- Jess Landry
What made you get into writing?
I’ve always been a weirdo with odd ideas and a love for spooky things. As a kid, I read voraciously (I’m talking one-Sweet-Valley-High-book-a-day-style voracious); I could never get enough. So when I discovered a book in my elementary school library called Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, something clicked: I could take all my weird thoughts and put them down on paper. I could make my own scary stories to tell in the dark!
Since you’ve taken up writing, have you found that you’re a slow writer or a fast one?
Generally, I’m slower than a turtle stuck in molasses, but with the tight deadlines for the Next Great Horror Writer contest, I’ve definitely had to pick up my pace! When I first get an idea, I’ll plot it out the best I can, which usually involves writing about the characters and their traits, and getting down any pivotal scenes or imagery that come to mind.
- Naching T. Kassa
Naching T. Kassa describes herself as a wife, mother, and horror writer. She resides in Valley, WA with her family and their dog, Dallas. Naching is a member of the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to The Demonic Visions book series. Recently, one of her poems was accepted into the HWA Poetry Showcase Volume 4.
But, what do we really know about this dark lady? Who is she and what makes her so darn scary? We asked Nani K, the person who knows her best, to shed a little light on the shadow.
Nani K: Good morning, Naching. Thank you for sitting down with me.
Naching: My pleasure.
Nani K: First off, I have to say this. You don’t look like a horror writer. You’re always smiling and you seem so sweet. Where do you get these ideas?
Naching: (laughs) You’d be surprised how many times I get this question. Usually, my ideas just come to me.
- Jonathan Fortin
Q: Hello, Jonathan, how are you today?
A: Hello, mysterious voice in my head asking me questions! Presently I’m concerned about the state of my mental health. How about you?
Q: I’m doing just fine.
A: That scares me. Should I go see a shrink?
Q: Please don’t. Speaking of scares: what do you think makes for a horror story?
A: I believe a good horror story needs to be a good story—just one that happens to be horror. For seasoned horror fans, there’s not much that’s actually scary anymore. You become too desensitized. So what’s left is the story. Is what’s happening unique enough that I feel like I haven’t read this thousands of times before? Perhaps more importantly, do we care about the characters? For me, fear comes from empathizing with the characters, not wanting bad things to happen to them, and knowing that they inevitably will.
- Daphne Strasert
What skills do you admire in the other contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest?
The contest is full of talent and all the writers have strengths that I envy. Jonathan is flexible. He has met the theme of each challenge—from humor to romance to suspended terror—with skill and enthusiasm. Sumiko writes visceral horror, like her character description, Cerebus, with a horrifying physicality that scares the spit out of me. Naching rules the opposite side of the spectrum, using suspense and dread to full effect. Jess is a mistress of imagery and detail, not just in her character description, Silt and Bone, which I loved, but in all of her writing. The excerpt from her musical short story, Scordatura, cast a vivid scene that left me wanting more.
The best part about meeting these writers is that, even though we’re competing, there is an atmosphere of collaboration. Everyone encourages each other to submit their best work and that has created a fierce competition.
Listen to the contestants battle for points this season on HorrorAddicts.net