13 Questions with Ann Wilkes

13 questions

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 wilkes_annwhen 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.”

 

13 Questions’ Most Horrifically Fun Interviews

13 questions

Alright Horror Addicts, do I have a special treat for you? Well, let me put it this way…would any woman make a deal with a crossroads demon to spend a night with the boys of Supernatural?  If you don’t know the answer to that question, then you my ex-friend are in the WRONG place 😉

In honor of our upcoming 100th episode of Horror Addicts, I have wadded through the years of 13 Questions to bring you MY Top 10 favorite interviews!

Whether it be their insane sense of humor, their demonically seductive personalities, or just their undying passion for what they do…Below you will find the 10 Masters and Mistresses Wickeds that have left a mark on me; (Thankfully it wasn’t the black spot! Phheeewww!) as well as my favorite snippet from their interview.

Each author’s name will be a link to the real goodies (a.k.a. their original interview). Now, let’s get this hauntingly exciting review kimberlysteelestarted!!!

10. Kimberly Steele-

[“I feel that my pathetic, obsessive lurking around Emerian’s fabulous site and community becomes slightly more legitimized because I’ve been asked to interview twice.”

You may have heard the rumors going around that Emerian and Kimberly hate each other. After you read what Steele had to say about the rumors you’ll see what’s going on. “She’s my sister by a different mister, I love that chica. Emerian and I share Criss Angel. We get at each other, but it’s really Criss is to blame. He’s a slut.”]

shaunessyscaredshitless9. Shaunessy Ashdown-

[Shaunessy prefers the “monsters” that are “closest to reality.” “Serial killers, jilted lovers that fly off the handle, the sort of badies you find in thrillers like “Psycho” or “Fatal Attraction.” It’s fascinating to explore what turns a person evil…though in the supernatural realm, witches and ghosts really capture my imagination, maybe because they are the most real to me.”]

8. Patricia Santos-  patricia santos

[Excitingly enough the “short” Patricia will be sharing with us an excerpt of her novel The Weeping Woman. Not wanting to give away too much information, all I could get out of Patricia was a small description about the excerpt. “It’s what I call my Mexican exorcism scene. A healer is removing a curse from a young girl. Pretty creepy. You’ll never look at a snake the same way.”]

7. Crystal Connor-

crystal connor[My writing affects everything else. I write at night, so I really don’t have that much of a social life; everyone I love lives normal lives and sleep during the night. The way you’re supposed to haha. But the transition from punching a clock and being financially secure, to trying to carve out a life on the earnings of book sales has really shown me who my friends are. And luckily for me everyone who was around when I was spending money like there was no tomorrow are still with me today.]

 

6. Rick Kitagawa-

[“Hands down, my favorite monster is probably the Creature from the Black Lagoon and other aquatic-based rick_kitagawacreatures.  While the Gill Man is not the strongest or most terrifying of the bunch, he just looks so frickin’ awesome.  Actually, I’m working on (yet) another comic project that focuses on the Creature and other monsters, but puts them in day jobs and awkward social situations with each other.  It’s actually completely not scary at all (much more slice of life/emo stuff), but that just goes to show how much I like the Gill Man. I’m even willing to do a comic that’s not even remotely creepy because I like him so much.”]

5. Jennifer Rahn-

Jennifer Rahn[“I am a scientist, currently researching brain tumors. I did a stint in the biotech industry after my Msc (sic) in Pharmacology and then did my PhD in breast cancer, so I’ve got quite a wide range of experiences that I could use to build up a story environment. I think it all gave me a lot of background fodder for the first novel, and I have an idea for a scifi whodunit, so it probably will provide me with background again, but the nice thing about writing fantasy is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be scientifically accurate!”]

4. Joshua Heinrich-  joshua_heinrich_2009

[Josh’s relaxed nature took hold and he began to joke around while explaining his story The Basement to me. “It’s a bit over 1700 words.  Originally written in Times New Roman.  12 pt, I believe.  In English.  There’s a basement involved.  Okay, okay.  I’ll stop.  It’s a story I actually wrote a few years back.  It sort of jumps into the story of a woman locked in a pitch black basement, sort of following her actions and inner narrative as things come into focus.  I’m not sure I really want to give any more away before your listeners experience the story.  I guess that’s the problem with promoting stories with twists or that evolve into something else as the narrative goes along…it’s hard give a summary without spoiling the whole thing.”]

3. Shana Abé- 

shanaabe[I watched hawks a lot. Eventually I could identify entire families. They’re graceful and deadly, and one afternoon I was watching them slice through the air when I thought, “Dragons! Aha!” Because although hawks are cool, dragons are even cooler. You can say whatever you want about dragons, create any mythology you want for them. They are purely products of our deepest, darkest imagination.

In fact, there’s a scene in The Deepest Night in which Lora and Armand are discussing why they–their species–are so feared by humans. Armand says: “Because dragons are the most formidable creatures of all. Because we exist at the fringes of their imaginations, nefarious and bloodcurdling and never quite fully defined. We can be shaped however they wish, assigned any horrific trait they dare to invoke. We’re the accumulation of all that they fear, most of all themselves.”]

2. Wicked Women Writers/Masters of Macabre-

There really isn’t a specific WWW or MMM that I enjoyed interviewing over the other. In fact, I found that it was the experience of doing a group interview of so many extraordinary authors that makes my WWW and MMM interviews some of my favorite!

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And my favorite interview of all time is…dun…Dun…DUUUNNNNNNNNN

1. Emerian Rich-

[As the Horror Hostess that she is, I had to ask what actually got Emerian into the horror genre in the first place? “Horror and darkeemmzz beauty inspire me to create, to live, to be. It sounds like a rather strange thing to say, that things usually involving death or terror inspire you, but I think it is the key to horror culture that outsiders will never really understand. I think it is a true test of the soul when someone is tortured or brought to the brink or death. There is a beauty when a character decides to accept the darkside or when they conquer it through personal strength. I am not a fan of mass murder or child abuse or terrorism in our real lives. However, I am a fan of the child or wife or soldier who battles through and shows that our human spirits can endure pain and still prevail.”]

13 Questions with Mimi A. Williams

 

13 questions

 

 

Helloooooo Horror Addicts! Let me welcome you to another horrific year full of stories ‘bout those who go bump in the night…

Tonight for our first episode of season 9 we have author Mimi A. Williams. A longtime fan of HA herself, Mimi was ecstatic to join the growing list of featured authors. “[This is] absolutely awesome! I’ve been a fan of the site for a few years since I discovered it, and I’ve loved reading the interviews. This feels like a rock star moment!”

For episode 98, Mimi decided to share with us a story she had submitted to a Horror anthology. “This story was written a while ago, but it got new life when I submitted it to a publisher for consideration for an anthology called Axes of Evil: A Heavy Metal Horror Anthology. I had written several horror short stories a number of years ago, but I never pursued publishing them – until now.” In short, “Rita is a short story about a woman in an abusive relationship who wakes up one morning and discovers she may have killed her partner. But try as she might, she can’t remember exactly what happened, and if she did kill him, what she did with his body.”

“Under my real name (Kim Williams Justesen) I’ve had five books for kids published, and I have a new Young Adult novel coming out in a few months. My first horror book came out in 2012. It’s called Beautiful Monster and it’s the story of a serial killer and one of his victims written in alternating points of view. My horror short story Rita is in the Axes of Evil anthology which came out on April 1st of this year, and later this year, my horror short Snow Queen will be published in the Heart Core anthology.”bookeyes

Although Mimi’s career doesn’t involve novel writing, her profession is well…writing. “I work as a copy writer for an online retailer. The cool thing is, the company specializes in knives. All kinds of knives, axes, throwing stars, and lots of wicked, sharp, pointy things! So, yes – it affects me quite positively! I keep my writing skills sharp (pun intended) all day, and I learn about CM-154 steel, kukri blades, and weyverne axe blades! What horror writer doesn’t appreciate that? I also teach creative writing for a local university, which helps me stay focused on my own skills and keeps me thinking about fundamentals.”

“I still have a day job, but not much longer. Only for another year or so. It’s tougher to make a living a writing these days than it was when I started (15 years ago!). So many more people are pursuing writing and the competition is so much more challenging – all though I think in most ways that’s a good thing.”

Mimi found herself drawn to the horror genre because it “allows us to look at the dark aspects of life, to confront our fear through the safety of the page or the screen.”

“We somehow think that if we can survive what we confront through books and movies, then anything in real life can’t possibly be all that bad, right? I also really like it because I can plot all kinds of heinous methods of pain and suffering for people who tick me off and all I’m really doing is plotting! And so far, that’s still not illegal!”

Out of all the horror creatures out there, Mimi connects with the general idea of monsters. “[They] serve an important role in society. We identify with their status as misunderstood outsiders, we see the value of the purpose they serve (face it – a lot of deserving people get taken out by monsters), and they each force us as participants in their stories to confront a different aspect of ourselves. Rage, rejection, humiliation, all those dark and ugly emotions we feel are given expression through these creatures.”

9781615727742Mimi then continued on to talk more about her writing and she offered this piece of insight for all the aspiring authors out there. “The hardest part about being a writer is the business aspect. It would be great if you could just write and submit and collect your royalty checks. But the business side is as time consuming (or more!) as the writing is. You’ve got to maintain your public presence. You’ve got to be constantly promoting yourself and your work, updating your Facebook and your website. You have to stay on top of trends, keep reading and staying aware of the market. Then there is the research on publishers and agents, and the submission letters, and the waiting. Writing is the easy part, it’s all the other stuff that gets challenging.”

Off the topic of horror…little known tid-bit about Mimi, she got her first tattoo when she was 37! She now has a total of 4 and is currently planning her next. So her main goal (besides planning her next few ink sessions is to “find a new agent (the last one didn’t work out real well), write at least two books a year and few more short stories, and keep submitting to eventually get to the point of writing full-time for a living.”

Besides that, Mimi is hard at work wrapping up her next few projects. “My young adult novel, Death’s Kiss (a paranormal story) will be out sometime in May. The Heart Core anthology will be out later this year, and I’m working on another short story for Axes of Evil Vol. II.  I always have two or three projects going at a time, so who knows what else may be lying in wait!”

For more information on Mimi A. Williams be sure to check out her personal website at kwjustesen.com

13 Questions with Denise Verrico

13 questions

Let’s have a devilish round of applause for our newest featured author, Denise Verrico. For episode 92 Denise has decided to share with us a sneak peek into her newest novel, Servant of the Goddess.

You may recognize Verrico’s name from her popular series Immortyl Revolution, and the Servant of the Goddess just so happens to be the fourth installment of the series. Since our preview is a part of the series, I wanted to find out all I could about the Immortyl Revolution and Denise was excited to share.

“The idea for the series evolved over a period of time. I kicked the first novel, Cara Mia, around for a long time before I sat down to finish it. Back when I was reading a lot of Anne Rice, I had a dream about a female vampire. I’d never read a book about one at the time. My husband and I brainstormed a little. He suggested exploring the fact that my protagonist was a woman and the implications of being both female and a vampire. Vampire sexual politics–who knew?

I based a lot of the Immortyl culture on ancient ones. I created a multi-layered society that enslaved three fourths of their population. Then I got interested in biotechnology and came up with the idea of a race to harness immortality. The revolution was Kurt’s idea entirely. The little bugger decided to take the series this way. It’s funny how a character can hijack a series. Cedric MacKinnon, the hero of the third book, started out as a love interest for a character in the planned later novels. He soon became one of my favorites. His story begged to be told. An entire religious cult and art form were born from his creation. This is why I love speculative fiction so much. You can do things like this. I really get into building the world and the characters.

I like to tell a story about people and their foibles, even if those people happen to be vampires. All good stories are ultimately about a human inner conflict.”

Denise was also kind enough to attach the official Press Release for all of you to check out: ***Childhood fascination with Vampires serves as Author’s inspiration for book series

Vampires have been capturing Urban Fantasy Author Denise Verrico’s imagination since childhood and now she shares that vivid imagination with countless readers throughout the world. Servant of the Goddess, Book Four of the Immortyl Revolution now available.

Columbus, OH – Vampires have been capturing Urban Fantasy Author Denise Verrico’s imagination since her days growing up in Western Pennsylvania and now she shares that vivid imagination with countless readers throughout the world. “My favorite television show as a child was the soap opera Dark Shadows, and my favorite author in the vampire genre is Anne Rice. I like the Gothic and historical aspects of her books. I must give her credit for influencing me,” says Verrico. Readers of the Immortyl Revolution series are taken with the one-of-a-kind twist on vampires that Denise brings forth and in the unique locales in which her writing takes them. Ms. Verrico says, “Inspiration comes a lot from my non-fiction reading. I’ll read about a place or historical period, and I’ll want to create a character to reflect it.”

Servant of the Goddess is the fourth novel of the urban fantasy vampire series written by Denise Verrico. This installment follows up her debut novel, Cara Mia, which introduces the characters and world of Immortyl Revolution and its sequel, Twilight of the Gods and My Fearful Symmetry.  Set in 2001, Verrico’s My Fearful Symmetry introduced a new vampire hero, Cedric MacKinnon, a temple dancer in service to the Goddess Kali, who learns his beauty and speed render him a lethal weapon. “My vampire society originates in India. In my third novel, My Fearful Symmetry, I delve deeper into the origins,” says Verrico.   “In the fourth book, I unite heroine Mia Disantini and Cedric in a way that raises some sparks.  It takes place in NYC in 2001, so there will be momentous events my characters must deal with.”  As in all her novels, Servant of the Goddess maintains a science fiction twist on the genre, action-packed thrills and a touch of romance.***

Currently there are currently four novels and a collection of three shorts.  I’m concentrating on some other projects at present, but there will be probably two or three more Immortyl Revolution books. For those of you wanting to learn more about the series, be sure to check out Denise’s website: immortylrevolution.blogspot.com

Now, Denise may be a preschool teacher and a small press author; but she hopes to one day make the big move and open her own press. “I’m dog tired at the end of a day, so I need to drink a lot of coffee when I get home to write.  I learn a lot working with kids.  It’s cool to see them interacting, their conflicts and cooperation.  I do have children as characters in my books, but they aren’t in any way based on kids I know.  I write about cast-offs and street kids. I would like to write a kids’ book someday, if I can come up with a good idea. I want to keep writing and having books published.  I’ve been a small press author, but I hope to see the urban fantasy novel I just finished published by a New York press.  My husband and I may start a small press someday.”

As many of you readers know, I’m always curious to learn what lured our authors to the darker side of things and it’s no different with Denise. She was nice enough to answer all my random questions and let us in to how she became infected with the horror bug.

“I like a good scare and loads of suspense.  As a writer, the dark side of humanity is fascinating.  I like to explore what makes a person become a monster.  When I was a kid, horror and sci fi movies were my favorites.  I saw Night of the Living Dead when I was eight and watched Dark Shadows on TV when I was six.  Dark Shadows started my love affair with vampires.  My vampire novels are much darker than a lot of Urban Fantasy.  There are relationships explored, but I’d hardly call them “romance”. I’m also biased toward vampires.  They are the monsters most like us.  I also love serial killer books like Silence of the Lambs and Darkly Dreaming Dexter.  I eat up true crime stories.  My husband is seriously concerned when he sees me watching all those murderer bios on TV.  However, I do like my zombies, if the gore is done in interesting ways and there’s a good story.

Despite the fact that I love horror, I used to be really squeamish about blood.  I almost passed out watching the George Romero film Martin.  However, I had to do a blood draw every day when I was pregnant with my son because I had gestational diabetes.  I got over it somewhat, but I still have to look away when I have blood taken.  I can watch surgery shows and horror films without a problem now.”

Denise has been busy as of late as well, “I recently finished an Urban Fantasy novel, and I’m working on a fantasy novel set in an 18th century culture. I have a steampunk horror story I’m playing with.  In addition to new editions of the Immortyl Revolution novels, there will be a short coming out featuring one of my vampire characters.  I hope before the end of the year.”

For more information on Denise Verrico, please check out these sites:

deniseverricowriter.webs.com

immortylrevolution.blogspot.com

 

13 Questions with Rick Kitagawa

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How was your Spring Break Horror Addicts? Are you dying for your dose the macabre? Well your dark dreams have come to life; we’re back and we’ve got some tales waiting just for you. For episode 88 we have author and artist Rick Kitagawa who was excited to join the other great names featured on HA. “I’m definitely honored and excited to be Horror Addicts’ featured author for June.  The staff has been great and I really hope the excerpt disturbs you in all the right ways (and of course, makes you want to finish the story).”

rick_kitagawaRick’s story he’ll be sharing is titled The White Mask. “My piece The White Mask, was already written, and can be found in my self-published zine “Short Stories of Horror and Darkness” (really original title, right?). It is a twist on the Snow White fairy tale, and I think it expands the mythos of Snow’s world a bit.  Unfortunately, due to the time limit you won’t be able to hear how Snow exacts her revenge, but you’ll definitely hear how she gets into the mess that becomes her life.

On the non-plot side of things, this story is probably one of my favorite that I’ve written, but also one that probably disturbs me the most, which I suppose is a good thing for a horror author.  Hopefully it’ll haunt you as much as it haunts me.”

Like I mentioned earlier Rick is not just an author but an artist as well. On his website http://www.rickkitagawa.com you can find his screen prints, paintings and short stories. “Right now, I just currently have my flash fiction Heritage up there right now, which is really inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s obsession with bloodlines and the Dark Mirror painting series by Marci Washington (which are super fantastic, check ’emArctic-Horror-lg out). I also have up some of the introductory pages to the upcoming comic project The Siren’s Call that I’m trying to get out by October for the Alternative Press Expo.  I also have a one-page, watercolored comic that was just sort of done on a whim in which my totally juvenile sense of humor came out.”

“[Also] by the time you read this, there should be some new silkscreen prints and small originals in the shop, and hopefully a new blog post or two.  Really, for exciting new updates on what I’m up to, I’d recommend liking my facebook page: www.facebook.com/rickkitagawa.art as I post some micro fiction and an illustration that goes with it three times a week as part of my Noon-thirty Creepshow.”

Though, Rick’s stories are on available in print he informed me that he is looking to get a digital version of his short story zine in the near future.

Having so much on his plate artistically wise, I was curious if Kitagawa had a “day job” that affected his work in any way. “Actually, writing is complementary to my (various) day job(s), as I primarily identify as a visual artist, but I often incorporate writing/text/stories into my paintings and prints. Additionally, I also do some event planning and t-shirt hes come for whats dueprinting to pay the bills, and I’m also the San Francisco Bay Area Artist Ambassador for Crescent (the company that makes mat boards, illustration boards…lots of board-like things). If you can’t tell, I need to sleep more. Little Known Fact – I’m actually model and actor on the side, and have been in print for Apple, HP, AT&T, and have done commercials for Heald Business College and Sprite.  Weird where life takes you.”

Now what brought this jack of all trades to the Horror side of things, you ask? Well, I’ll let Rick explain that for himself. “I love the horror genre simply because it really makes us examine the worst part of ourselves and humanity, and forces us to draw a line in the sand on where we stand.  Would we leave our loved ones in a zombie attack to save ourselves?  Would we make that deal with the devil?  Horror shows us the darkest parts of the human mind, and hopefully inspires us to be better people.”

“Hands down, my favorite monster is probably the Creature from the Black Lagoon and other aquatic-based creatures.  While the Gill Man is not the strongest or most terrifying of the bunch, he just looks so frickin’ awesome.  Actually, I’m working on (yet) another comic project that focuses on the Creature and other monsters, but puts them in day jobs and awkward social situations with each other.  It’s actually completely not scary at all (much more slice of life/emo stuff), but that just goes to show how much I like the Gill Man. I’m even willing to do a comic that’s not even remotely creepy because I like him so much.”

Rick has several more projects in the works: “I’m hoping to finish up the other three major short stories that I’m slowly writing/editing/rewriting, and I hope to always find a story that I can take all the way to becoming a full-blown novel.  ILiz_final also want to finish up my comic project and come up with an interactive puzzle/storytelling gallery show that weaves my passion for art, writing, and puzzles together in a big old festering ball of horrific awesomeness. And, definitely keep an eye out for The Dark Wizard’s One Stop Shop, which is going to be a themed online bazaar of madness which will take physical form at the San Francisco Zine Fest this Fall. Also, be on the lookout for my next self-published, yet-untitled book, which will have the full text of The White Mask plus at least two new stories along with some comics, illustrated short stories, and tons and tons of monster/creepy art.”

 

For more information on Rick Kitagawa, be sure to check out these sites:

http://www.rickkitagawa.com/Risk/
https://www.facebook.com/rickkitagawa.art

 

13 Questions with Crystal Connor

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It’s that time of year again addicts, time to fulfill your blood thirsty urges for guts, gore, movies, books, vampires, zombies, and everything else your horrific black heart desires!IMAG0753

To get the 8th apocalypse started, we have the one and only The Darkness author, Crystal Connor! And, as a true HA fan she was more than happy to talk with me for an exclusive interview for all her fellow fans out there. “I’m crazy excited about being interviewed for Horror Addicts. I’m a connoisseur of all things horror so this is like a milestone for me”

For episode 85 of Horror Addicts, Crystal was kind enough to share with us her short story, Best Friends Forever. “[The story is one] that I wrote for my anthology …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! It’s in the process of becoming an audio book narrated by the amazing Kay Richardson who has the most amazing voice. I’m really excited about the audiobook, even though I wrote the stories every time I hear a story it’s like a whole new experience and only serves to take my excitement to even a higher level.”

Crystal didn’t want to give too much about Best Friends Forever away but she was kind enough to give us a little sneak peek into her story. “BFF tells a story of an end of a relationship and the dark and unsettling places a person will go to in order to keep the person they love, or escape.”

Now, like I mentioned above, Crystal is well known for her novel The Darkness. For those of you unfamiliar with the dark tale go out and get it HERE. And for the rest of you, Crystal would like to share with you the beginning of The Darkness. “When I 1st wrote The Darkness I thought it was a short story. I was working in a boat yard at the time, the wielding instructor there is a big prize winning author and he heard I was a writer and asked if he could read my work. So I took him The Darkness and basically flipped out and told me that it wasn’t a short story, that I was being lazy and I needed to start taking my writing seriously because it was more than just a hobby.  That turned out to be the best advice anyone has ever given me.”

Crystal_MorganBook two of the trilogy is also available, if you haven’t heard of it yet then you are in for a treat. You can find book two: Artificial Light on Amazon.

“I currently have three publications. The Darkness and Artificial Light, books I & II of the Spectrum Trilogy and my anthology …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! The Darkness and Artificial Light are available in both print and e-book format. …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! is only available in print because the unique interior design does not translate into a digital format which is why …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! will be available in an audio format.”

Having churned out three publications and other short stories, I just had to know how writing has affected Crystal’s life lately. This was her response:

“It’s my full time job. Right after the release of Artificial Light I started really talking seriously about quitting my job to write full time and what was surprising is how much support I received from my family and friends. They’re not kidding when they say starving artist and it’s been hard but I have a really good circle of support and things are starting to get a little easier.

My writing affects everything else. I write at night, so I really don’t have that much of a social life; everyone I love lives normal lives and sleep during the night. The way you’re supposed to haha. But the transition from punching a clock and being financially secure, to trying to carve out a life on the earnings of book sales has really shown me who my friends Front Coverare. And luckily for me everyone who was around when I was spending money like there was no tomorrow are still with me today.

Sometimes when I think about how much my family and friends mean to me and how they’ve all supported and continue to support me I get so overcome with gratitude that I literally burst into tears. I don’t know why I do that.”

Crystal is looking forward to the day that she can “earn enough fans to be able to make a decent living doing something that [she loves].”

Be on the lookout for future work by Crystal Connor! Being a full time author, there is a lot that she is currently working on. “Well like I said, the production is underway to turn my anthology …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! into an audio book and I am currently working on the final book in the Spectrum Trilogy. I do have some other projects simmering on the back burner but I would like to get these two finished and out the door before I starting talking about what’s next.”

For more information on Crystal Connor…be sure to check out these sites!

http://www.wordsmithcrystalconnor.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CrystalYConnor

And as a special Thank You to all you Horror Addicts out there, here is her interview for the …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! launch party!

13 Questions with JRD Skinner

This is indeed JRD Skinner’s first time on Horror Addicts, but trust me this is not his first time with horror. You will recognize Skinner’s name from Skinner Co. and his popular Flash Pulp site. JRD’s story for this episode of HA is titled Bearing, which you can find in text and mp3 format at http://flashpulp.com/2011/03/12/flash-pulp-140-bearing-part-1-of-1/. Skinner informed me that Bearing, “without giving too much away, it’s about a father trying to deal with a family tragedy. I realize that covers everything from The Changeling to The Shining, but I’ll just say that, while many of our stories end more gorily, I feel like Bearing aims for something more deeply unsettling.” His site Flash Pulp actually releases three stories a week, “and this is an older one from our archive, but it’s a fan favorite, and an entry [JRD is] particularly fond of.”

For those of you unfamiliar with Flash Pulp, Skinner was kind enough to give me a little background into the site. “The site is the central hub for all of our endeavors. Beyond our trio of weekly pulpy stories, we release a comic, about our quite possibly fictional workplace, Skinner Co., and bonus materials surrounding the stories, like fan art and links to background research material. We also produce a magazine style podcast that touches on our recent work, and includes guest segments and mentions of pulpy news.”

The Flash Pulp site is run by three amazing minds, JRD writes the tales, Opopanax provides the art and narration, and Jessica May handles all of the audio production. “Flash Pulp is our attempt at a re-imagining of the old horror mystery magazines and radio shows. I had a huge love of those stories as a kid, and my fascination grew with me. The problem, of course, is that so much of that material features the stereotypes of its time – you can’t throw a skinned cat without hitting some house wife who can’t stop screaming, or a mysterious man from the depths of The Orient. We try to bring more modern sensibilities to the classic archetypes.”

“When we first started I had trouble estimating the length of a story. Some of our releases are multi-part arcs, and there was a time when a story intended to be told in three chapters would stretch to six. I’ve gotten tighter in my plotting since then, but it’s frustrating to have a brilliant idea during a finale that can’t be incorporated due to the need to stick to the plan. [Now] on Saturdays I pick the meatiest nuggets from my notebook and block out the scripts for the week. I then break each entry down into a three act layout, and start writing. Each individual story takes a day or two to complete, including the back and forth editing process with Opop, and the actual recording and mixing.”

As a child Skinner was a huge fan of the popular 80’s movie Gremlins. But it’s zombies that have their moldy fingers wrapped around JRD’s heart. “I love zombies – there’s a zombie thread in Flash Pulp entitled Ruby Departed – although I do fear my favored rotters are falling into pop culture burnout. I think mummies are about due for a comeback, really. People don’t realize that the terror in Karloff’s portrayal wasn’t in the slow shambling of a geriatric ghoul, it was the fire of his creeping obsession.”

And I’m sure you didn’t know that this Horror Addict’s “grandmother claimed to have minor healing powers inherited from St. George.” Though Skinner can’t speak to the veracity of the gift, he was always annoyed that it was supposedly a skill only given to women in his family.

For those of you dying to know what is in the future for JRD and Flash Pulp, read on…“There’s always another episode on the horizon, but we’re also working with some fellow podcasters, a stage group named Radio Project X, (http://radioprojecx.com) to produce the occasional show with a live audience. I’ve also got a slowly growing novel tentatively called Kill All Vampires: A Scientific Romance in the works, but it’s tough to think much beyond finishing Flash Pulp, which should happen sometime around episode 600. If the book ever gets written, it’ll be something of a rebuttal to the ridiculous sparkly vamps that currently rule the popular notion of the undead. Honestly, I’m not generally much for super-powered biting corpses, but I figure they deserve a better fate than what they’ve currently been dealt.”

For more information or to contact JRD Skinner, check out these amazing sites:

http://twitter.com/jrdskinner
http://www.facebook.com/jrd.skinner
http://flashpulp.com

http://on.fb.me/flashmobsters

13 Questions with James Hutchings

 

 

 

 

Hello once again Horror Addicts, I know you are dying to find out some juicy details about this week’s featured author, James Hutchings. James, a HA first-timer, was very relaxed responding to my interview, “It (being interviewed) feels pretty normal and comfortable to me.”

Hutchings’ is what I would call a master of short stories. I was very interested to find James’ Two-Fisted Tweets, which is a collection of stories all shorter than 140 characters. According to James, “I was inspired by a website called nanoism, which runs stories of 140 characters or less. I haven’t tweeted any of them (I don’t use twitter), but a few people have told me that they’ve done so.”

Another one of James’ collection of short stories titled The New Death and Others. “It’s a collection of stories and poems, 63 pieces in all. It’s only a bit over 41,000 words in total, so most of them are quite short. Most of the stories are fantasy, but there’s some ‘general fiction’ in there as well. The style ranges from funny to very grim. [He is] much more influenced by older writers like Tolkien and Robert E Howard. In fact [he has] never read any of the Harry Potter, Twilight or Game of Thrones series, or most other popular modern fantasy authors.”

Like many other authors all around the world, currently all of Hutchings’ works are only available in e-book format. BUT that doesn’t mean James has not been thinking about publishing in print. James explained, “I went looking for print-on-demand publishers that had the option of recycled paper, but I couldn’t find any.”

So if any of our addicts know of a publishing company that fits Hutchings’ needs, please let us know!

Fans of James may have had the same question I did after visiting his website: http://www.apolitical.info/teleleli. “The name ‘Teleleli’ is inspired by ‘Tekeli-li’, which is a meaningless noise made by HP Lovecraft’s shoggoths (in turn taken from a story by Edgar Allan Poe).”

I was excited to find that Hutchings’ is “working on a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing.” The hardest part about writing according to James is “finding the self-discipline to keep doing it, especially when it’s not your day job (as it isn’t for most writers, even for some who are published and quite well-known).” His views on self-discipline is something something I can personally agree with and I know many authors can as well.

Growing up, James was attracted to a dark British production called ‘The Woman in Black’. Which could explain his interest in the Horror genre today.

Hutchings’ is currently working on several projects, that fans can look forward to. “The main thing I’m working on right now is a poem set in the old West, called Confession of a Bounty Hunter. I’ve been encouraged to write a novel set in the fantasy city of Telelee (or Teleleli), which is the setting of a few of the stories in The New Death and others. I have a lot of background for this world, because I blog every day and most of it is setting detail. I also have a half-finished novel called All-American Detectives, which is a combination of a detective story and a story about superheroes, which I’ll probably come back to in the future.”

For more information on James Hutchings, check out some of these websites:

http://apolitical.info/teleleli/] http://apolitical.info/teleleli/
http://teleleli.blogspot.com] http://teleleli.blogspot.com
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4703182.James_Hutchings]
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4703182.James_Hutchings
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=James%20Hutchings]

13 Questions with Marc Vale

Welcome back Horror Addicts for season 7 and the 3rd year of 13 Questions!

What we have in store for you this season (in the words of The Rocky Horror Picture Show) is sure to thrill you, chill you, and fulfill you! And to get this amazing season started, I had the pleasure of interviewing author Marc Vale for HA Episode 72.

This newly converted Addict has written an exclusive story that “you won’t hear anywhere else!” This dark comedy is titled, A Lid for Every Pot: The Wedding. “It’s about a loving couple that had met on a blind date (a previous story titled, A Lid for Every Pot). And now, it’s their wedding day. Everyone’s invited and the guests all share the bride’s style of… ah… appetite.”

You may recognize Marc’s name from his short stories and novellas Silhouette, The Phoenix and the Turtle, Live at Pappy’s Grill House, Irma, and Metric Modulation. For those of you not familiar with Vale or his work… all of those stories “take place in a fictional town [Marc] named, Blue Lake. Some stories have monsters, poltergeists, or situations where time travel is involved. They are all connected either by the town or by characters.

There is also an audio version of the short stories/novellas titled, All Road’s Lead to Blue Lake. Marc shared with me that All Road’s Lead to Blue Lake actually “has an added bonus story, Teacher of the Year, which features one of my characters who played a very minor part in Silhouette. Fans can listen to All Roads Lead to Blue Lake at: Podiobooks.com.”

For all you paperback lovers out there, sadly none of Vale’s works are available in print. BUT they are in fact available as very cheap e-books and free audio.

Marc’s current project which “came about through the inspiration of all the women in his life,” is Strigoaie: The Romanian Witch. Marc kindly explained to me that Strigoaie: The Romanian Witch “is the story of Marie Fatan in which she travels with her grandmother, Granna Lee, to Romania. This is her dad’s side of the family, which is very secretive. Later, Marie discovers why this side of the family is that way.”

This Gran Turismo and Batman junkie lives to write. In the interview Vale told me a little bit about his love of writing. “The dream is to be only a writer, but reality hits me every morning, say around 6:15am and then I get up and ready myself for my day job. Then, I steal as much time as I can find to plot and plan for my next project.”

As a Horror Addict Marc was excited to share his thoughts on horror. “[I enjoy] the suspense, getting scared, the open possibilities of creating any type of situation and having the freedom to muck it up the way you want to. I’m always rooting for the monsters!”

What was his favorite horror story growing up, you ask? IT by the one and only Stephen King. To quote Vale, “the movie doesn’t do it the frightening justice it deserves. Read the book, at night. Don’t worry, nothing will happen to you, clowns are your friends, aren’t they?”

For those of you aching for more of Marc’s work, fear not. He’s got plenty of projects on the way. “First I am going to finish Strigoaie: The Romanian Witch. Then I’m going to start working on a novella titled, One Summer at Camp Falcon. And after that, I’ll begin working on, The Back Roads to Blue Lake (another short story collection) and an idea struck me recently to write another Strigoaie book. The story’s been playing in my head a little bit as I wash dishes, which is where ALL my ideas come from.”

For more information about Marc Vale and his work please check out these sites!

http://www.marcvale.blogspot.com/
http://www.amazon.com/Marc-Vale/e/B005ZVEC4E/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
http://community.podiobooks.com/profile/MarcVale?xg_source=activity
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MarcVale

13 Questions with Henry Snider Part 2

Alright Horror Addicts, let’s welcome back HA veteran Henry Snider. This returning Addict has a message for all you readers out there. “It’s fantastic [to be back]. Horror Addicts is a great place for authors to get their work recognized and, hopefully, build a fan base. Besides, with bands I’d otherwise not hear, movie and book news – what’s not to love? Then there’s the fiction in every podcast. Nightmares become flesh straight through my speakers . . . it’s a cornucopia of insanity! And let’s face it folks, I’m all about the crazies. For episode 61 1920’s I’ve been lucky enough to secure the vocal talents of the delightfully devilish Melanie Skipp to read, Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Now, I’ll do my best not to give anything away but this week’s story, Someone to Watch Over Me, is based off of many real life people and places. The story takes place in “McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, hometown of the original flapper and famous silent movie actress, Olive Thomas. [Who] had a long-running battle with alcoholism. It ultimately took its toll in 1920 when in a drunken stupor she drank her husband’s medication for chronic syphilis, not knowing it was to be administered directly and not ingested. When she was found, the poor gal had already expired.”

“The Mound” which is referenced in the story is an actual location, “a portion of which still exists and can be visited. It was excavated in the 1890s, uncovering thirty-three burials as well as stone and bone tools, marine shell beads and pottery. Rev. Mark Gruber, a former professor of anthropology stated that he agrees with the 1896 address by archaeologist Frederick Putnam that estimated as many as 500-1,000 human remains at the site.” And for all you military buffs out there “The Mound was actually scouted by George Washington as a potential location for a fort, as it sits alongside the river and high on a ridge.”

Fans, you can check out Henry’s now up and running website http://henrysnider.com. There you can find information on his past, present, and future projects. The site includes both his writing and photography, though, as of late Henry has had to put a bit of a hold on both. As mentioned in the previous interview with Henry he was in two car wrecks in 2008 and 2009. “I’m still suffering from blinding headaches due to a car wreck that crushed some nerves in my head. However, the docs are severing them again in a few days which means I’ll be a numbskull once again (the humor of which my wife will never let me live down) and hopefully back behind the camera. As for horror based projects, I’m currently working on two. The first is a different view of anatomy and the second is a erotic horror project based on my short story, The Vessel. Both will be on my website once complete.”

Just curious, I had to ask how many publications Snider currently has. He replied with, “Whoof. Unfair question for the moment. Remember, I just actually started writing for publication in 2010 and lost a good portion of that year to the healing process. How about I answer that one this way – since 2010 I have six acceptances, two rejections, a dozen pieces currently under consideration and am two-thirds done with a novel. Not too bad considering the circumstances.” No, not bad at all!

Now if you’re wondering how to get your hands or well eyes on some of those acceptances, let me give you some details. “To date there’s only one work that will be available on e-book and that’s Last Call. It’s part of the Rapid Decomposition anthology due out later this year. All other acceptances to date are for print publication only. However, one of the stories, A Murder of Crows made the cover of the forthcoming Fearology 2: Beware All Animals Great and Small. Olden’s Wood is in the sequel anthology, Fearology 3: Planting the Seeds of Horror.” More information about his publications is available on the Henry Snider website.

Having already asked what frightened Snider in the first interview; I decided to shake things up and find out what actually got him into the Horror genre in the first place. “Can I blame Mommy and Daddy? They took me to see Jaws in the theater when I was five and I’ve never been the same. No? Well then how about I discovered the adrenaline rush that came with being scared out of my wits addictive. Much like people who go crazy for roller coasters. I like to share what makes me keep the light on at bedtime. Let’s see – I know I read Ayn Rand’s Anthem as a kid and I stayed awake nights thinking about not having an identity all my own, but I’d have to say the two front runners are Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Matheson’s Hell House. Both of those are terrifying (the latter of which caused a few questions and my parents to start monitoring my reading a little more closely).”

Snider’s goals for 2011 are simple enough:

  • World domination.
  • Hunting licenses for tourist season.
  • Making “Naked Mondays” mandatory.

“Seriously, though, my immediate goals between now and the end of August, 2011, are to finish the 8 stories I’ve committed to (and submit them – no slacking here, folks) and finish my novel. Beyond that, rewrite the novel and have it ready for submission by December 31st.”

Keep an eye out for future projects from Henry. “I’ll toss a few bones out there for coming attractions . . . my novel, Drive-In Feature takes place at, of all places, an abandoned drive in theater whose land is cursed and has a dark history. I’ve had a good time with it, though juggling three concurrent time lines has been a real challenge. As for upcoming shorter works, they include demonic children . . . angels . . . killer birds . . . plants that crave human flesh . . . zombies during the Civil War . . . crazed circus performers . . . flappers gone wild (oh, wait, that one’s in Horror Addicts episode 61) . . . religious fanatics . . . cannibalism . . . gateways to other dimensions . . . and vampiric crack whores – gotta have your perforated-hickey-making vampiric crack whores.”

For more information on Henry Snider be sure to check out these websites:

http://www.henrysnider.com
http://www.facebook.com/henry.snider
http://twitter.com/#nightmarescribe
http://www.csfwg.org
http://myspace.com/nightmarescribe