Horror Addicts Guide to Life – Available now!

FinalFrontCoverHorror Addicts Guide to Life

Available now! 

Cover art by: Masloski Carmen

Editor: David Watson

Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre?

Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society.

Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette, Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi A.Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir.

 

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Mimi A. Williams on Horror Writing

by Mimi A. Williams

Beautiful Monster, the story of a serial killer and his stalking of one of his victims, came about as a way to take a break from other writing projects. I had been mentoring a student of mine, Jared Anderson (Alistair Cross) who’d become a good friend, and we’d spent the better part of six months crafting his first novel. During the same time, I’d been working on two different novels of my own. The idea of working on a book together seemed like a nice way to take a break and share the load.

My initial idea was the story of a medieval priest possessed by a demon and the young girl who falls in love with him. Jared liked the idea of the girl falling in love with the demon, but he wasn’t too keen on writing the historical aspect. We let the idea float around for a bit, brainstorming on other alternatives that kept the same storyline at the core. He had been doing a lot of research on serial killers, a subject that I had a great deal of interest in as well, and we started looking at possible storylines using a young girl who somehow falls for a very evil guy.

We both liked the idea, but we wanted to make absolutely sure the characters were believable. We asked a lot of questions, bouncing back and forth in almost a Socratic method. How does this guy hide openly in society? What does he do that makes him a successful killer? Why would a normal, healthy young woman fall for this guy? What makes her appealing to him as a victim? How will she survive – IF she survives? We would work together to identify character traits, to talk through interactions, and to develop the storyline that looks at each character individually  before bringing them inevitably closer to their fates.

Our process became a comfortable pattern: Jared wrote the first chapter, sent it to me for comments, and then I sent it back and started on chapter two. I’d finish my chapter, send it off for Jared’s comments, and then he would start on chapter three. It took us less than six months to write the book this way. At times, I’d have to stop midway through a chapter to run lines of dialog past Jared that involved his character, and he would do the same with mine.  The day I finished writing the last chapter, I was also helping Jared pack his house to move three states away! As we drove, I read the chapters out loud, and we made corrections as we went along. All the revisions were done living three states away from each other.  We sent copies off to a few trusted beta readers, and with their feedback, we would coordinate on Skype to make the necessary changes. I was in charge of sending out the queries, but it was Jared who came across Damnation Books, the publisher who ultimately accepted our manuscript.

I’ve coauthored one other book, an adult nonfiction that is now out of print, and Jared has coauthored a few others with Tamara Thorne (under the name Alistair Cross). There are some very important considerations when choosing whether or not to collaborate with another writer. First, you’d better have a strong foundation to your friendship and a really good sense of humor, because it’s guaranteed to get stressful as you go along. Another consideration is being able to compromise. If you want your book to be your way, then do it by yourself. Jared brought some exceptionally good ideas to the table. He wrote an amazing character who is two parts evil, one part charm, one part utter psychopath. He put some aspects of the book in place that I would never have considered, and it is stronger as a result. If I hadn’t been willing to listen to his suggestions and apply them, the book wouldn’t have been as powerful as it is. I become a stronger, more diverse writer as a result of this process, and I’m proud to this day of the result.

Will I ever collaborate again? I don’t know. It would take the right person, the right situation, and the right story for me to consider it. It was the perfect storm for Beautiful Monster, and I don’t know that I’ll ever get that lucky again. But, stranger things have been known to happen!

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YumMimi A. Williams is the coauthor of Beautiful Monster, a novel about a charming serial killer and his innocent victim. She has also had a variety of short stories published, including “Rita” in the Axes of Evil 1 anthology, “The Groupie” in the Axes of Evil 2 anthology, and “The Lamb on the Tombstone” in the Old Scratch and Owl Hoots anthology (coming in 2015). Mimi holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College and she has taught college English and Creative Writing for 18 years. When it comes to horror, Mimi loves old school: Edgar Allen Poe, the original “Halloween” movie, and the classics with Bella Lugosi, Lon Cheney, and Boris Karloff. Despite her love of horror and all things dark and scary, she is actually a very sweet person who loves her pets (three kitties and a dog) and her adorable grandson. https://www.facebook.com/m.a.williams.1214

HorrorAddicts.net 098, Mimi A. Williams

Horror Addicts Episode# 098

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

Listen now!
[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/horroraddicts/HorrorAddicts098.mp3]

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196 days till Halloween!

mimi a. williams, endless sunder, jeremiah donaldson, sweeny todd, tales from the crypt

sweeny todd, tales from the crypt, best band poll, mrs. lovett’s pie, end of the world radio, dawn wood, endless sunder, fashion, cheap ebooks, night’s knights, lilith’s love, the vampire family, silhouette, the wickeds, horrible disasters, one hellacious halloween, cecil and bubba meet the thang, guy portman, edgar allan poe, erika henrike, bugs, jeremiah donaldson, events, dead mail, mimi a. williams

 

direct link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/horroraddicts/HorrorAddicts098.mp3

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

 

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Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

horroraddicts@gmail.com

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h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

Sapphire Neal, David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle, Dawn Wood

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

 

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

Guest Blog: Mimi A. Williams – Why I Hang Out in Graveyards

For most people, graveyards are places they choose not to visit unless they absolutely, positively can’t avoid it. That either means that someone close to them has passed away, or they themselves have. But I have a slightly different take on things: I find graveyards to be very inspiring.

As a writer, I find inspiration in a lot of places, but what appeals to me about old graveyards (the older, the better!) is that they are filled with stories waiting to be told – or to be imagined. My former writing partner and I used to spend a lot of time wandering around two of the oldest graveyards in our city. We found that the environment was not only useful because it was quiet, but we found that being surrounded by death makes you look at life in a new way. We even found things to laugh about! For example, meaning absolutely no disrespect, what would you think upon discovering a tombstone with the name Studness on it?

Graveyards are great sources for names as well. Many of my characters names have been uncovered on tombstones, wholly or in part. I find names of towns I’ve never heard of that go into a book of story notes I keep. I also find pieces of history that inform the present. In one tiny family cemetery down in the southern part of Utah, I noted how several members of one family ranging in ages from 13 months up to 34 years, had all passed away within weeks of each other. Clearly this was some sort of epidemic that hit their family, and perhaps the wider community (such as it was) at the time. My mind immediate went to the idea of being one of the survivors, or worse, of being the only survivor. From that point on, a new story began to take shape in my mind and it is now lined up (behind a few others) waiting for me to work on.

The headstones themselves tell a remarkable story. The large, ornate mausoleums stand side by side with the traditional arched grave markers. To me it’s an interesting contrast, and a little bit ironic. No matter how much money you had in life, and even how you try to flaunt it once you’re gone, if both graves were excavated you couldn’t tell by the bones who belonged in which location. But there are those who insist on leaving a lasting mark even though eventually, no one will remain to appreciate who lies within nor what his or her net worth once was.

Cemeteries also force us to confront our own mortality. Little else speaks to us of death the way a bunch of dead bodies can! For many people the idea of death is a frightening one. Sometimes it’s the fear of the unknown. Sometimes it’s a fear of some form of eternal punishment. I don’t want to get into a philosophical or religious discussion here, but I will say, I don’t find anything frightening about being dead. How could it possibly be worse than the hell we humans have created in this life? For my part, I’m comfortable with the thought of death because it truly is the great equalizer. We all end up in the same place (more or less) dealing with the same circumstances. Death is far less frightening than the dentist I went to as a child – that’s for sure.

The old Salt Lake City cemetery is located on the north end of the city, up in the foothills, and I often wonder if there were to be an earthquake of any significant magnitude if we wouldn’t be seeing some of our dearly departed once again. My favorite cemetery here, however, is Mount Olivet located near the University of Utah. Lovely, large trees, a man-made stream that meanders through the location, and a resident herd of deer make this place idyllic. There is a section where many members of the Greek community are buried which is very near the Jewish section of the grounds. The marble mausoleums are there, and sculptures of angels and young girls as well. Many members of the various Masonic fraternities are buried here, and they even have their own amphitheater for holding services. It’s a lovely place to sit and write as well, might I say.

I have on my Facebook page a collection of photos taken at Mount Olivet, including one of Studness, and a few others I have enjoyed for various reasons. If you happen to be in the area, I encourage you to stop by and visit. I think you’ll find, as I have, that hanging out in cemeteries can be a very life-affirming and inspiring way to spend some time.

mimimtolivet

Mimi A. Williams is the pen name for Kim Williams Justesen. She is a Salt Lake City native who has been writing for more than 15 years. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English/Theater from Westminster College, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Kim has taught English, Writing, and Humanities classes at local colleges and has been actively involved in a number or writing organizations. Her first horror novel, Beautiful Monster, came out in 2012. You can learn more about her at her web site and blog: http://kwjwrites.wordpress.com