This week we have author Sumiko Saulson. Sumiko’s one talented chick! She has a new book, Happiness and Other Diseases, coming out this month, she is a brilliant journalist, artist, and also plays in a band. Talk about an urban Renaissance woman!
For #109, she brings us “I, Stammer (in Disbelief)”, a first person story about a misogynistic bus driver named Harold Stammer who just can’t believe how superstitious his family and friends are about the Craigslist Killer.
Let’s find out some more about Sumiko’s horror tastes.
HA: What was the spookiest night of your life?
I hate to admit it but, having post traumatic sleep disorder and bipolar disorder I’ve had a lot of spooky nights. It’s hard to pick out just one. But some of the scariest ones were around the time my grandmother died in 1980. We had just moved to Hawaii and there were a lot of creepy noises I wasn’t used to, some of which were natural, animal sounds such as the ones that the cows on a nearby farm made. Being from Los Angeles, I wasn’t used to them. I was also having nightmares because I’d recently, ill advisedly, read Dune at the age of 12. I was starting to have hallucinations, so I am not sure if the experiences I had were real, but cabinets in our house were banging open and closed all night. Later, my neighbors said there were ghosts in the town we lived in, Pahoa. They alleged it used to be a leper colony, but I don’t believe that is true.
HA: What is your favorite horror flick?
Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors. I had a hard time explaining to my 28 year old fiancé why, but it was the first horror flick I saw as a teenager that I thought was about my generation. That terrified and amused me.
HA: If you were to battle a hoard of zombies, who would be your dream team fighting next to you?
Michonne from The Walking Dead. She’s awesome! But not beside, in front. I’d be behind hiding in a metal locker or something hyperventilating.
HA: What is the most horrifying costume experience you’ve ever had?
I had this perfect Lucy wedding dress costume I’d made myself, Lucy from the Bram Stoker’s Dracula movie, a couple years after it came out. One time I was at Halloween on the Castro in San Francisco and some a*hole purposely burned my train with a cigarette. Now THAT was horrifying.
HA: What is your most recent work for sale and what is it about?
Happiness and Other Diseases is a dark fantasy about Flynn Keahi, a conflicted young man whose nightmares are starting to have real-life consequences.
Flynn Keahi has had a rough year. His nightmares are starting to manifest in reality, but no one believes him. Terrifying creatures are trying to cross out of dreams into the physical realm. Only Flynn can stop them – but doing so might cost him his life. Complicating matters further, one of these creatures cannot help wanting him — in every forbidden way. Will she be able to save him from his fate? Can she even protect him from herself?
Find this book on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Other-Diseases-Somnalia-Book-ebook/dp/B00MQC0BHW#
HA: How do you create stories? What is in your writers tool kit?
I use a computer to write, I use a notebook to write character sketches and take notes about plot direction. I also draw in a drawing pad sometimes. I posted some of the cartoons I drew related to Happiness and Other Diseases on the website http://www.HappinessAndOtherDiseases.com
HA: What era do you feel most at home in?
Definitely this one. Why would a woman of color want to live in the past? I have more freedom now, I believe, than I would have had in another era. Besides, I love video games. If I couldn’t stay here, I would have to choose some destination in the future.
HA: Who is one person you’d like to meet, living or dead, and why?
Edgar Allen Poe. He was my first writing rock star. I still love him.
HA: Where can readers find you on the web?