Naching T. Kassa https://nachingkassa.wordpress.com/ is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, and a staff writer at Crystal Lake Publishing. She resides in Eastern Washington State with her husband Dan. They are the proud parents of three children and a dog.
NOX: Our readers may know you as a runner-up in the Great Horror Writer’s Contest, a staff member, writer, and publisher for HorrorAddicts.net. But a search of the internet shows so much more! Can you give us a rundown of your major accomplishments from your viewpoint? And where you are now?
Naching: Well, I wrote a story called, “The Darker Side of Grief,” which appeared in Arterial Bloom, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085QLBYSS an anthology edited by the amazing Mercedes M. Yardley and published by Crystal Lake Publishing, and that book was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award ®. And, I’ve been writing and editing stories for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Patreon series, Still Water Bay, https://www.amazon.com/Guild-Small-Horror-Still-Water/dp/B09MG866BM and producing audiobooks for the series. I’ve also had several Sherlock Holmes stories published by Belanger Books, MX Books, and Mango Books. And my poem, “A Home to Those Who Fly,” appeared in the Blackspot Books Poetry anthology, Under Her Skin. https://www.amazon.com/Under-Her-Skin-Marge-Simon-ebook/dp/B091ZH59G2
It’s been a pretty exciting time!
NOX: Tell us a bit about your writing history. What made you decide to be a writer? What did you write at first?
Naching: Oh wow. Let’s see. I’ve always wanted to write, ever since I was little. When I was eight, I used to draw and illustrate monster books for my second grade class. One was about a monster called Henry, who was so ugly, that he had to wear a paper bag over his head.
In high school, I was very into fantasy and I wrote that for a while. When I had my first child at 33 and decided to be a stay-at-home mom, I started writing horror and mystery. I’ve been writing in those genres ever since.
NOX: Why the horror genre for you?
Naching: I have always enjoyed frightening things so it was natural I would gravitate toward the horror genre. Dean Koontz is a particular favorite. He really inspires my writing.
Nox: In the Anthology, Crescendo of Darkness, your story, Audition, is a great piece. The characters are so real and reminiscent of musicians we have heard stories about. Will you share your methods of character development?
Naching: Sure! All of my characters–even the villains–have a moral code they follow, a list of things they will and will not do. This gives them dimension and makes them who they are. Some characters have a flexible moral code, one they can adapt to their experiences, while others have a rigid one they won’t violate.
A character should also learn and grow during the arc of a story. Ideally, the person they are at the end of the story should be different from the person they were at the beginning.
NOX: What kind of challenges do you face as you write? Any stumbles along the way?
Naching: Oh goodness, I’m always stumbling. My editing process is a long one. Haha!
NOX: You have written, edited, critiqued, and published. Which part of the literary life do you like best?
Naching: Writing is my most favorite part of the literary life. I just love the creative process.
NOX: Have you any advice or encouragement that would be helpful for horror writers reading this interview?
Naching: My advice comes in three parts. First, read. Read absolutely everything you can. Read new authors, old authors, authors in and outside of your genre. Just read. Second, learn to accept criticism. Nobody on this planet is a perfect writer (though some do come close!) Put your ego on the back burner. And Third, never ever give up. If you get a rejection, just keep going! The publisher or editor isn’t rejecting you as a person. Keep going, keep learning your craft and you will make it!
NOX: Good advice! Thank you so much for talking with us today but before we go, can you tell us what’s ahead for you. And where can we read more of your writing?
Naching: I have a new episode of Still Water Bay coming out in a few months and John Linwood Grant, Angela Yuriko Smith and I have a Sherlock Holmes book coming out from Crystal Lake Publishing next year. I’m afraid the rest of my projects are secret right now!
You can find my work on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Naching-T-Kassa/e/B005ZGHTI0
Thank you, Nox! It’s been a pleasure!