An Interview with Horror Bites Author, Adam L. Bealby

An interview with
Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars author,
Adam L. Bealby.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always loved writing! When I was about ten I was obsessed with thinking up zany characters and concocting outlandish situations for them, plotting be damned. Political correctness and copyright also be damned. I lived in a fairly closed-minded ex-mining community, and I was as naïve as a barefoot pilgrim. So in the mix was a crippled baby clown, an Indian taxi driver called Curry (ooff!); as well as a couple of characters from an obscure British Marvel comic book I liked, and a lengthy character-jamboree sequence stolen from (we’d call it ‘parodying’ these days) the third Star Trek movie, entitled The Search for Bogart.

 

Actually, there’s something to be said for liberating yourself from social (and literary) mores and graces when you’re writing. I don’t think poor Curry will be making a comeback any time soon, though…

Who were the biggest influences on your writing?

I’m a huge fan of Michael Moorcock. I like the idea you can write about anything, and that there’s really no barrier between high literature and genre writing. Be bold and brave and go where your imagination leads you!

I’m also very impressionable and tend to be influenced by whatever book I happen to be reading. I have to make a concerted effort when I’m writing to find my own voice, or a voice that suits the story, and not appropriate the stylistic traits of other writers. Although I was impressed with a rather nasty little story I wrote off the back of my time with a Chuck Palahniuk anthology! It won’t be seeing the light of day any time soon, but as a taboo-breaking exercise it was very therapeutic!

What is “Alice’s Scars” about?

It’s about a guy who meets a gal and they fall in love. Only the gal is all messed up and leads him down the rabbit hole into her abusive past – one in which she retreated into a Wonderland-inspired fantasy.

What inspired “Alice’s Scars”?

The first book I ever bought my wife was the collected Alice works. It was the first year of Uni and I even wrote a loving dedication in the frontispiece. That was over twenty years ago. So when I heard the call for Clockwork Wonderland, the HorrorAddicts.net anthology “Alice’s Scars” was originally written for, I knew I had to mine the first few months of our burgeoning relationship for inspiration.

I’ll say now that my wife isn’t Alice/Katie, the main character in “Alice’s Scars.” She’s much more together than that! When I asked her what was in her drawstring purse that first night, it proved to be money, not a rabbit’s foot – which is clearly completely different.

Many of the scenes in the story do riff off people and situations from my Uni days, including an episode in which I merrily chased a distraught girl through the night. But enough of that.

Did you have to do any research for the story?

Just a quick flick through the Alice books, really. The same collected works I bought for my wife all those years ago! As I said, there’s a lot of real life in there, jumbled up with the stuff-I-thunk-up, and that feels like a good compromise for a story about the grey areas between reality and fiction.

What are your favorite things to write about?

Psychological horror, especially the type of story where you can lead the reader to question what’s real and what’s not. I also like writing rollicking adventures for kids – it makes a nice change of pace.

What are you currently working on?

I’m writing a book about a suicide cult, alternating between research and drafting short ‘suicide vignettes’, which will be interspersed between the chapters of the main story. My internet search history makes for worrying reading. Let’s see: ‘I want to commit suicide’, ‘slitting your wrists’, ‘suicide bag’, ‘I want to drink anti-freeze’, ‘experiences of depression’, ‘suicide and reincarnation’…

I really hope I can do the subject justice. I’m very proud of how some of the vignettes are turning out.

Where can people find you online?

Many of my stories are available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Adam-L. -Bealby/e/B01EE49YWW.

You can also catch up with my sporadic ravings at @adamskilad.

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Author Interview: Lily Luchesi

 

Who doesn’t love a good vampire novel? If you enjoy reading horror stories with strong female characters, lots of action and maybe a little romance, then you should check out the books of Lily Luchesi. If you’re not convinced then check out our interview with Lily:

When did you start writing?

I started writing with the goal of making it my career when I was eight years old. I had a teacher who inspired me and made me want to pursue it. I’ve always been creative, though. When I was little I used to draw quite a bit, and act out scenes with my “imaginary friends”. As I got older, I just started writing them down instead!

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Well, I will always love writing about monsters and creatures. They’ve been an obsession for me since I was a toddler and saw a vampire on an old Scooby-Doo rerun on the Cartoon Network. But I write about many deeper subjects, disguising them in between horror and action. I write about unconditional love, xenophobia, racism, LGBT+ issues, women’s rights, and the growing violence in America (particularly in my home city of Chicago).

I like strong female leads who don’t look like Victoria’s Secret models, and male co-stars who support and encourage them. Real people are flawed in many ways, so I believe characters should be as well.

What do you like best about vampires?

You know, that’s harder than you might think for me to answer. I don’t know what initially attracted me to vampires, but now that they’ve evolved so much, I think it’s an unnatural allure for danger. Even if a vamp is sexy, they’re still deadly. They might be the deadliest creature of them all, yet humans are undeniably attracted to them. I love that power they have over the human heart.

What was the first horror movie or horror novel you read?

The first horror movie I watched could be considered the cartoon version of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree, or possibly Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Non-animated, that would be Carrie (the original version) when I was twelve.

My first horror novel was YA horror when I was ten, and that was The Cirque Du Freak Series by Darren Shan (also about vampires, you can see where my tastes ran). Adult horror was also Stephen King, I got a used copy of Rose Madder for free and fell madly in love with his writing.

What are some of your influences?

Stephen King is definitely a big influence. I love how so many of his books are interconnected (like with towns, characters, even plots) and that he can bring fear over seemingly innocuous things like those wind-up monkeys with the cymbals, or a painting, or even your own grandmother. It takes great talent to be able to do that.

Other horror authors who have influenced me are Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, Thomas Harris, and Darren Shan.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

The fact that there are so many ways to scare people! And that fear doesn’t just come from gore and violence. It comes from the shadow outside your window at three in the morning, or the scraping sound you hear inside your walls when it’s quiet, or a strange car following you down a deserted road. Fear is the core of humanity, because fear fuels every emotion. Fear spiders? Kill them. Fear losing someone? Hold them. Fear failure? Work harder. Fear is everything and to be able to bring it, even a little, is power.

What are some of the works you have available?

I am the author of the Paranormal Detectives Series published by indie horror/UF great Vamptasy Publishing. The story follows mortal detective Danny Mancini as he discovers that monsters exist and are everywhere. In the first book, Stake-Out, he finds a vampire murdering a human and it sends his life into a tailspin. Angelica Cross, my female lead, recruits him to help the FBI apprehend the offending vampire and the series goes from there.

It’s not strict horror: there is a romantic subplot that plays a big part that readers discover slowly as they go through to book five, Last Rites. It deals with destiny and humanity and the true meaning of what constitutes a monster.

There are four books: Stake-Out, Miranda’s Rights, Life Sentence, Right To Silence, and Last Rites. The series is complete as it is, with book five being the “end of an era”, so when the series picks up again next year with book six, Skin Deep, it will be set further into the future after book five ends and won’t affect those original five books.

What are you currently working on?

Well, I just released my fifth book, Last Rites, on June 14th, and am now working on editing my December WWII urban fantasy release Never Again, which is a standalone spin-off of the Paranormal Detectives Series. It follows male siren Sean Wireman (whom you’ll meet in Last Rites) as he discovers his powers, and moves on from 16th century Israel, traveling over Europe, and eventually fighting for America in WWII, where he finds terrifying monsters being controlled by Nazis. It will feature some cameos of other PDS characters, too, for faithful readers, but will hopefully appeal to an entirely deeper demographic.

Where can we find you online?

You can find my books at http://smarturl.it/LilyLuchesiAmazon (I have plenty of other stories in anthologies, all of them horror)

You can find me on social media or my official site:

http://lilyluchesibooks.wix.com/lilyluchesi

http://facebook.com/lilyluchesi

http://twitter.com/LilyLuchesi

http://instagram.com/lilyluchesi

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7369101.Lily_Luchesi

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant Naching Kassa

Get to know the contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest!

 

What do you love about horror?

The best thing about horror is the fun. I enjoy watching a movie and identifying with the girl who creeps through the haunted house with a killer on her tail. I love cheering for Ash as he revs his chainsaw or Kolchak as he fires a crossbow at a shape-shifting monster. I can’t wait to turn the page of a great Dean Koontz, Stephen King, or R.L. Stine novel and see whether the character falls victim to a killer or triumphs over him. Most of all, I like to scare those who read my work, to make them question the creak in the floorboard or the scratch of skittering feet. Horror entertains and I love that.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

The first horror movie I fell in love with was Dracula (1931) with Bela Lugosi. I saw it on TV when I was five and I loved it. I liked Vampires for a long time after that. (When I grew older, I liked werewolves but that’s another story.) My first horror story was told at bedtime. It’s called “Where’s My Golden Arm?”. The ending was especially startling. My first book was “The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux. Eric was frightening and tragic. He’s an all to human monster. And, my first horror TV show was “Kolchak: The Nightstalker” starring Darren McGavin. The first episode I saw featured a female vampire. She was frightening. The scene where she killed her sister was just brutal and I loved that a clumsy guy like Carl Kolchak could vanquish such a monster.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

I write stories of good and evil, of hope glimmering through the darkness. My stories are character driven and entertaining. If the reader isn’t deriving some pleasure from my story, I’m not doing my job.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

I listen to a lot of rock (mostly Journey and Kiss). I also listen to some country. Tim McGraw’s “Southern Voice” album is haunting and kind of macabre. (There are several songs referring to death.) Bernard Herrman is great. (He composed music for Alfred Hitchcock films.)

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I bead, cross-stitch, and embroider.

What is your favourite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is meeting the characters for the first time. I don’t use an outline so everything is a surprise. I just go where the characters lead.

What is your favourite word?

My favorite word is LOVE.

What is your least favourite word?

My least favorite word is HATE.

What turns you on in a book?

Strong emotion turns me on. (Watchers by Dean Koontz is a prime example of a book that evokes strong emotion.) I have to care about the characters or I won’t enjoy the book.

Why should people be on team Naching?

I’m going to give them chills and thrills. This contest isn’t about me. It’s about the people listening and I want them to have fun. A good writer serves the reader and I’m going to do just that.

Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant Patrick R. McDonough

Get to know the contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest

What do you love about horror?

I love how it seems to never run out of scares.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

The first one that I remember falling in love with, was the 1999 remake of “House on Haunted Hill”. It’s a movie that I can watch over and over again, and never lose my love for.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

My horror stories tend to be more on the strange and macabre side.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

I almost always listen to music while I write. I listen to nearly everything, from classical to movie and video scores, classic rock, EDM, and nu-metal.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

Outside of writing, I enjoy playing video games, riding my bike, and working with my hands.

What is your favourite part about writing?

My favorite part about writing is that I don’t need to pay a therapist loads of money. It’s my positive outlet.

What is your favourite word?

Love, that is my favorite word. That word alone conjures up too many images to describe in this interview. I lovvve it.

What is your least favourite word?

My least favorite word, hmm, never thought about that one before. I don’t think I really have one. I love words! Ut-oh…there I go again with that word.

What turns you on in a book?

Compelling characters and a stimulating story turns me on more than anything in a book. Throw in some fun, new, or obscure words that flow nicely, and you got me sold.

Why should people be on team Patrick?

My roots are buried in New England. My mind is spread amongst the odd wonders of the universe, and my hands release the combination of the two. If those aren’t good enough reasons to join team Patrick, then maybe my stories can convince you otherwise.

 Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant Jess Landry

Get to know the contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest!

 

What do you love about horror?
That’s a tough one to pinpoint, but I suppose the love is a nostalgic one. My childhood was full of horror, from the Goosebumps books that gave me nightmares, to TV shows like Tales from the Crypt that I used to sneak around to watch — I have nothing but happy memories when I look back at my upbringing. That, and I’ve always had a strong infatuation with strange things.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?
The first movie, in general, I remember falling in love with was Army of Darkness — it definitely shaped my taste in film (and totally leveled up my sarcastic abilities). Book-wise, my first memories are from a kids book called Popcorn. In it, a little bear is left alone on Halloween night while his parents head out to a party. He decides to invite some bear friends over, and everyone brings popcorn as a gift. There’s so much damn popcorn that it fills the whole house and the kids have to eat their way out of it. When his parents come home, they bring him a gift for being a good kid while they went out. And yup, it’s popcorn. I actually still have the book, and it’s now in my little one’s library.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?
I tend to write stories about family bonds, be it between sisters or a father and daughter, any combination, really. I try to focus on having strong yet believable characters that go through extraordinary events. Usually, the characters do not come away unscathed.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?
When I’m writing emotionally charged scenes, I put on Max Richter. He composes some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard. I usually listen to instrumental songs only, as I find lyrics can sometimes be distracting (I’m a toe-tapping sing-a-longer).

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?
I’m a voracious reader and movie-watcher: I will read and watch anything, good or bad (I actually love terrible movies. It’s weird.). And, because I had a baby last June, I’ve now taken up crawling as a hobby. It’s a great way to see all the disgusting things living in between your floorboards even though you just cleaned (or, at least, thought you did).

What is your favourite part about writing?
It’s definitely the creative expression. I love being able to put down the images that pop up in my mind onto paper — it’s like taking a weight off the old shoulders.

What is your favourite word?
“Bescumber.” It’s the fanciest way to talk about flinging poop.

What is your least favourite word?
“Moist.” Nobody likes that word. I feel gross having typed it.

What turns you on in a book?
Nothing turns me on more than Canadian spelling. It’s a delight to my eyes to see a “U” where it’s supposed to be.

Why should people be on team Jess?
If you’re going to be on a team, be on Team Everyone. Sure this is a competition, but writing is tough. Hell, writing and putting it out into the universe is even tougher. I’m already a fan of everyone participating in the contest because it takes guts to pursue your dreams. So, go Team Everyone! I’m rooting for you all.

 Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant Timothy G Huguenin

Get to know the contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest!

What do you love about horror?

Part of that has to do with the themes that can be dealt with in horror in a unique way, like death, the afterlife, the supernatural, evil, the darkness in human nature. It is true that I like to read and write horror to explore those themes, even though I don’t usually like stories that are simplistic and overly moralistic (I do love complex layers of meaning when you don’t notice until you really start mulling over the story after reading). I keep that answer ready for most people who ask because it’s easy to understand and package even if one isn’t really drawn to the horror aesthetic.

But honestly, I mostly like spooky, creepy books, for the same reason I like vanilla ice cream over chocolate, even though my dad thinks I’m crazy for it (chocolate rules in his house). I just, you know, like it (you remember the old Apple Jacks commercials?). My grandfather always says, “Everyone goes crazy different.” Some people like to read high fantasy. Some people like to watch Hallmark Christmas movies. Some very strange, disturbed souls think Florida Georgia Line plays good country music. I like to read books with a creeping sense of dread.

Okay, so maybe there might be something a little weird about that…

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

My parents bought me a collection of stories by Edgar Allan Poe one year for Christmas. I think I was in middle school at the time, though I’m not certain. I’m not sure if that was the very first, but I do know that Poe was highly influential in my desire to write horror.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

I don’t necessarily limit myself to this, but I tend to set my stories in the Appalachian Mountains, where I have lived most of my life—West Virginia, in particular. I feel a deep connection to the area, and I often like to integrate its culture and myths into my fiction, as well as kind of be a creator of new Appalachian lore, if I can. So there is that about my work, that makes it a little more distinct. A bit of my fiction falls into pretty standard categories like haunted house or ghost stories, probably because that’s the kind of stuff you grow up hearing as a kid late around a campfire on a cool summer night in West Virginia. On the other hand, some other short stories I’ve been working on fall a little more into the realm of weird fiction, or if not that, than some other murkier category that is hard for me to pin down. I’ve written stuff with really twisted human villains, too. I don’t really gravitate toward monster fiction as much as the supernatural or weird. But I’m open to almost anything.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

I wish I could be one of those cool, rockin’ writers jamming to favorite tunes while cranking out novel after rad novel. Unfortunately, I find music too distracting. It’s hard enough sometimes to get the words to really flow even in complete silence. Even classical music makes it hard for me to write.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I like a lot of outdoor activities. I love to ski in the winter. I grew up next to two downhill ski resorts and did a lot of that in high school. Lately, I’ve gotten more into cross-country skiing. I’ve done some rock climbing, but I’m not really dedicated to it like most climbers are, so I’m not very good. I like to go backpacking, I like to fish, and even better if I can do both of those at once. I’ve run a couple ultramarathons, but over the last few years I’ve gotten out of shape, and I’m hoping to get back into trail running when the snow melts.

As a kid, I was interested in building and programming computers, and while I haven’t stayed current with that kind of thing these days, once in a while I’ll tinker around with installing different Linux distros on my Macbook.

What is your favourite part about writing?

When your characters really come alive, saying and doing things that take your story in a direction you didn’t expect, that is so cool. There are a few scenes in When the Watcher Shakes near the end (I would describe them but I don’t want to spoil anything), that just kind of happened, and I remember just stopping and thinking, This is really cool, I don’t even feel like I thought of this myself, it just happened on its own this way.

What is your favourite word?

I was a kid in the nineties, so I say “dude” a lot. I also get all warm and fuzzy inside when I hear the phrase, “Do you want some ice cream?”

What is your least favourite word?

“Irregardless.” It’s not changing or adding to the meaning of the word “regardless,” and it isn’t shorter or easier to say. It doesn’t even sound better. It’s just a wasted syllable that immediately compromises the speaker’s credibility.

Now, “dude.” That word makes you sound like a genius, dude.

What turns you on in a book?

Characters that feel like real people. Not just characters that are realistic. The ones that are real. You finish a book and you’re sad because you feel like you’re saying goodbye to friends you’ve known your whole life.

I’m also a sucker for terrible, depressing endings. Especially if an ending depresses or unsettles me in a new, creative way.

Why should people be on team Timothy?

Alliteration is always a good reason to follow someone, right? Listen peeps, join my fan club, and I’ll even let you say “Team Tim.” That’s quick and catchy enough to win over anyone, I’d reckon.

Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!

#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant: Jonathan Fortin

Get to know the contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest!

What do you love about horror?

There are a lot of reasons. I like how free it is content-wise, and I’m a sucker for anything with a pretty gothic visual style or a unique, well-developed monster. But on a deeper level, I think it’s because it makes me feel like I’m facing my fears. When I was young I was too scared to watch horror movies, but as I got older I forced myself to do it more and more until I was totally desensitized. It made me feel brave to take myself out of my comfort zone. Good horror frightens us, but in so doing it also makes us feel strong because we faced something we were afraid of and lived through it. And that is, ironically, extremely life-affirming.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but it was probably the Goosebumps books. I think even as a kid I knew they were stupid, but still, I got a kick out of them. I mean, where else could you read about a tornado made out of werecats? My favorites were the Give Yourself Goosebumps choose your own adventure books–the ones where almost anything you did would lead you to a horrible fate with “THE END” written in big bold letters. You’d make the wrong choice and end up becoming a wax figure or getting eaten by a vampire poodle or whatever. I loved it.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

Primarily dark fantasy and gothic horror. I’m big on dark magic, bloody rituals, demented characters, macabre visuals, and otherworldly monsters that call into question our very beliefs about reality. Gothic horror also tends to be highly plot-driven, building complex mythologies and twisted worlds that we can really dive into, and I enjoy that. That said, my sense of humor is pretty sick, so I’ve also been known to write horror/comedy. I’ll also write erotic horror now and then.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

All the time, partly because whenever I want to write in public it’s too noisy for me to concentrate. I’m very easily distracted by sound and tend to find music with discernible words too distracting to write to. So I’ll often listen to movie and video game soundtracks, as well as ambient or instrumental music. Metal is also great to write to–bands like Alcest, Opeth, and Wolves in the Throne Room are always nice to have in the background. Black metal is also a good bet, not only because the dark tone matches my writing style, but also because the growled lyrics are difficult for me to understand without paying attention, so it isn’t very distracting.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

Acting, voice acting, playing video games, watching anime, dancing (poorly), doing death growls (poorly), and wasting far too much time on the internet. I also really like cute animals. No, seriously. I squeal like a kid when I see red pandas.

What is your favorite part about writing?

Connecting the dots in my head. I tend to plot novels like delicate houses of cards, and I love that “ah-HAH!” feeling of realizing how the ideas I’ve come up with can link together.

What is your favorite word?

Aberrant.

What is your least favorite word?

Toss up between “Chagrin” and “Preternatural”–the former because Twilight overused it, and the latter because Anne Rice overused it. Those words are dead and gone.

What turns you on in a book?

I like it when a book grabs me by the throat and never gives me time to get bored. I want lush prose, a fast pace, and interesting characters. I want action and mysteries and hanging threads of suspense that build to explosive crescendos. I want sub-plots tying together in interesting, unexpected ways. I want stories that fill my head with incredible visions, and take me to worlds beyond my imagination. I want to laugh and cry and bite my nails in fear. And I don’t want to be bored, not even for a second because then I might never finish reading, even if everyone tells me “it’ll get better.” I have a stack of half-finished books next to my shelf that I keep telling myself I’ll finish someday, and then years have passed and I still haven’t done it because, for whatever reason, I got bored with them.

I really admire books that feel like they take place in unique worlds, but also do a good job of orienting the reader in them. China Mieville’s Bas-Lag books and Dan Simmons’ Hyperion series blew my mind and made me rethink what speculative fiction could be.

Why should people be on team Jonathan?

You know, I think that’s up to you. The other contestants are all very talented writers who are more than worthy of your support. Do I hope to win the contest? Oh, absolutely. But I respect my competition too much to act like I’m better than them this early in the game.

Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!