Jaime Johnesee – Celebrating Women in Horror 2015

Women In Horror 2015


Jaime Johnesee - Horror Comedy AuthorPlease welcome one of the kindest ladies I have ever had the pleasure to meet, Ms. Jaime Johnesee!  There’s a lot to be said about friends in the digital world and many of us can relate to having cherished pals that we have not met in real life yet.  I am proud to call Jaime one of those friends.  

Even though I haven’t met her yet, she is one of those folks I know when I finally get to meet, it will be as if I’ve known her for years! Her heart is sincere and even within the depths of the most challenging personal times, she is still a light that shines for others.  She is a beacon of happiness and I am so very excited to interview her today!

There are some people who can be classified as genre snobs, or purists if you will, and they prefer to not have horror and comedy lines crossed. How do you feel about this topic and where does Bob stand on it?

JJ: Well, I think that they suck. I think if they were to step out of their stuffy ways they’d soon realize that horror comedy is more popular and loved by readers than ever before. A good friend once told me that horror isn’t a genre, it’s an emotion. That’s why you can have horror in sci-fi, in westerns, in romance, and in detective stories. So, why can’t you have a little horror in comedy (or vice versa)?

Misadventures of Bob  the Zombie by Jaime JohneseeThe reality behind people who write horror comedy is simply that we enjoy making people laugh at the darkness in life. Let’s be honest here, there is nothing wrong with taking a terrifying situation and making it amusing. It’s what many people do to deal with the dark side of life. I know it’s how I cope. *Shrugs*

I completely agree how horror is an emotion and it affects every person differently.

Bob: Well, as the product of a horror comedy I suppose I stand firmly on the side of them sucking. Although I should probably be a little kinder and simply say that if they don’t like it then they don’t have to read it. And, also, they suck. Sure, I may be offending them right now but –and let’s be honest– they already dislike my author for writing me.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

JJ: Make sure this is something you are passionate about and surround yourself with people who will be honest with you and will help you grow. Most importantly, be sure to treasure those who will tell you the raw, honest truth. They’ll be the ones who will truly help your career. I can’t agree with this enough.

Having a trusted set of betas who aren’t afraid to tell you the cold hard truth is more valuable than anything!

What about the horror genre interests you? Disgusts you?

Bob the Spy - Jaime JohneseeJJ: I have always been a big fan of creature features. I love horror movies, books, and TV series. I grew up on shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Night Gallery. As far as books go, I love reading gothic horror best. I wish I could write in that style, but it’s not meant for me.

As for what sort of horrors disgust me, I find real horror far more nauseating than anything an author can come up with. The things we humans do to each other for real is worse than any book or movie because it’s real.

Human monsters are truly the scariest!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? How’d that work out for ya? I wanted to twirl fire batons and dance with the Rockettes.

JJ: I actually wanted to be a zookeeper. I can remember that it was all I ever wanted from the age of seven. Truth be told, it worked out great for me. I had a nearly fourteen year long career at it. My only other career choice as a kid was being an author. I’m working on that one right now. *Grin* By the way, I could totally see you as a professional fire dancer!

NICE!  Now I have to create that character 😉

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

JJ: There have been many times in my life where I was terrified. I’ve been unfortunate enough to have quite a bit of horror in my life and that’s probably why I like horror comedy. Making fun of what scares me helps me deal.

I’m totally there with ya! Making fun of life and moments which are horrific is truly my coping mechanism.  Right, wrong or indifferent it’s the only way I know how to breathe through it.

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

JJ: I did write one short based on a very real fear of mine, but for the most part I tend to create a character first and let them have at it. Occasionally the characters deal with something that happened to me in real life. Like with Bob. There is one real bad luck story of my own in each novella.

What is one stereotype about horror writers that is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?

JJ: There is this stereotype that people who write horror (especially women) are horribly evil people. In truth, most of the authors I have met have been the most loving and caring people in the world. As far as what stereotype is dead on I don’t think there really is one, every horror author is so different from the next.

Tell me how you feel being a woman has either enhanced or hindered your writing in the Horror genre.

JJ: Well, we all know (or at least we all SHOULD) there is a serious gender gap in the genre. I’ve seen a friend have her story rejected with her name on it but when resubmitted under a male pen name I watched the exact same story not only go to print but be called brilliant and innovative by the same soul who originally rejected it. I’ve seen women get paid less per story in anthologies than their male counterparts. I’ve overheard guys talking about keeping “the bitches” out of open calls. As far as my own writing goes, I can say that I’ve honestly never encountered any enhancement, bias, or hindrance that I know of. I’ve been lucky though, the fellows I know are decent folks who want to smash that gap as much as we women do.

Shifters by Jaime JohneseeTell me more about Jaime!  What’s on deck for 2015?

JJ: I’m looking forward to this year. I’m hoping to have two novels out this year as well as more Bob novellas. I really want to focus more on my Bob as well as my Shifters series this year.

I’d love to finish some more of the construction projects we have going on to restore our home. I’m hoping 2015 is a year of growth for me both professionally and personally.

Remodeling the never ending horror nightmare! LOL 🙂

And of course … my signature question – What is something that truly frightens you and how do you deal with it?

JJ: My biggest fear is living through another Michigan winter. I hate the cold. I deal with it through the loving guidance of fleece PJ pants and hooded sweatshirts –the kind that zip up.

Now … I want a picture of that!

Okay, truthfully, I used to be afraid of heights until my best friend at the time got me on a roof to help him with a job. Then I was afraid of cockroaches until I had to deal with them in my professional life. I deal with my fears by confronting and conquering them. There truly is nothing to fear but fear itself, and penguins.

Penguins are evil bastages!

Want to learn more about how to get in touch with Jaime and where her books are available? Connect with her and your life will change with her light!

Website: http://www.JaimeJohnesee.com

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Jaime-Johnesee/e/B007P5CLDW/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaime-Johnesee/e/B007P5CLDW/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JaimeJohneseeLLC

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jaime-johnesee


Lori R. Lopez – Celebrating Women in Horror 2015

Women In Horror 2015

Welcome to Killion’s Kave!  Today I have a very special treat for you.  We’re interviewing Lori Lopez who knows how to scare the heck out of you and isn’t afraid of spiders!  I first met Lori in a Women of Horror group and have grown to love the kind generosity of her posts and the ever-lasting smile in all her photos.  But what I love the most are her HATS!  She stole my heart when she featured a video book trailer that her family helped her create.  She is an inspiration to me that a lady in horror can have it all!

I love how you integrate your family into your whole book marketing. Tell me how did that start and where do you see it continuing?

Lori R. Lopez - Horror AuthorWriting was always something I did, and my sons were around it as they were growing up. They have been very supportive, though they are not big “horror fans” like me. They believe in me, as I believe in them. The respect and admiration is mutual between the three of us. I did my best to encourage and bolster their interests when they were kids.

We share the same talents, yet each of us has our main passion. Mine is for writing. Noél is focused on music, Rafael on acting and filmmaking. But we love doing all of that, and it seemed a good idea to form a creative company. That is now called Fairy Fly Entertainment. We voted, and it meant a lot to me that my sons chose the name from one of my novels, THE FAIRY FLY.

The three of us have many projects and plans . . . for literature, films, and music. I started writing songs in the early Eighties. I’ve always wanted to act and be a musician, and that is possible at last. We started filming some things, such as author readings for my books, with Rafael behind the camera and Noél recording audio plus composing original scores.

We initially released a book trailer several years ago for my first novel, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS. Rafael did the animation, Noél the creepy organ music, and we all sang my lyrics. It was a lot of fun. You can find two versions linked to our Fairy Fly Entertainment channel on You Tube.

In a more recent book trailer for my second poetry collection, THE QUEEN OF HATS, we played characters and filmed an improv scene. I’m a famous reclusive hat model, and my sons are trying to interview me. It’s funny, and the ending was a surprise! We were winging it, but I think the whole thing worked out pretty well. We filmed a couple of other single-take continuous-shot improv films the same night and may release them soon, along with more author readings that we filmed last year.

Rafael has a poetry collection published. He’s working on an author reading for that, an animated film, and more book projects, while his brother is working on musical projects. We hope to release songs this year. There is so much to do, so much going on, it’s difficult to keep up with. I love working with them and couldn’t be prouder that they chose to do this with me! They’re incredibly talented and supportive.

That is so exciting that your children are very involved in your marketing!  How fun is that!!  I bet they think they have the coolest mom 🙂

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? How’d that work out for you? 😀 I Also wanted to ride my bike across the United States … but I gave that up after an hour at the state park!

Odd And Ends Cover by Lori R. LopezHonestly, in Kindergarten I knew I wanted to be an artist. I illustrate most of my books and do my own cover art, so I guess that came true. Next (by Second or Third Grade) I wanted to be a poet and songwriter too. I’m both of these. I’ve built a small following for my poetry column “Poetic Reflections” on our website, Fairy Fly Entertainment.com. We plan to record some of my ballads. I also wanted to write stories, which I am doing.

So far I have four collections of short fiction: OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES; CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES; THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ; and my latest, ODDS AND ENDS: A DARK COLLECTION. Further collections are in progress. I have stories and poems published in a number of anthologies with other authors as well.

By age fifteen I knew I wanted to write novels. I have a few out so far: the eccentric Chupacabras horror-fantasy-adventure; AN ILL WIND BLOWS; THE FAIRY FLY. Some were written around seventeen or more years ago, but ILL WIND was written in one month for a challenge between a group of writers.

Since I can remember I’ve wanted to act. I was in school plays growing up and received First Place for a two-person Forensic Playacting competition in Ninth Grade. In Fourth and Fifth Grade, I would write comedy skits and perform them on the stage at my Middle School. It’s something I loved, but I had to bury it for many years. I supported my sons as dancers and actors, along with soccer and science fairs. Rafael was cast as a dancing Jack Junior for a Jack In The Box commercial when he was a child.

He also acted in an indie film, THE HUNGRY WOMAN. Noél went to the International Science And Engineering Fair in Ninth Grade after winning a lot of awards at the regional level. He went to a few State Science Fairs. I homeschooled them from Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade, putting them ahead of my ambitions. My parents had signed me up for the military while I was in Eleventh Grade, so I went straight into the Navy after graduation, then married and wound up doing court papers for my husband another five years for a lawsuit. When that ended, the homeschooling began.

My life has taken detours, yet I never stopped believing that I would pursue my dreams. I have always been writing to some extent, and I would submit it when I could. I received the usual rejections. We self-published my first book in 2008, followed by a series of hardships and setbacks including divorce, financial struggles, one of my sons being ill for two and a half years . . . I continued to write and publish, meeting other authors online. Beginning in 2013, my sons and I could finally start attending events — festivals and book fairs, conventions — and working toward our goals. It has been an amazing period in my life. Finally, finally, I am doing author things! Signing books, producing them, working with my sons. I’ve never been happier.

You can easily tell how happy you are 🙂 Keep it up, Lady!

Is there a message in your stories/novel that you want readers to grasp?

I usually have a message . . . although I write some crazy poems that really don’t have much of a point other than harmless humor. The environment is a recurrent theme. The human struggle. War and peace, poverty. Respect. Animal and child abuse. I don’t have one area that I focus on. There are many concerns that I need to express. I put a lot of depth, emotion, and substance. It will make you think, hopefully make you wonder and question. Or feel, react . . . I take risks — inventing the occasional protagonist you might not like a lot, for example, and may even need to dig deeper to find compassion for.+

I like to challenge readers and push beyond conventions. I write my own way, by my own rules, so you can expect an unorthodox style rather than one that goes according to the way they now say everyone should write. I know the basics, the standards. I simply do not agree with all of the rules or lists on writing, and I do not use formulas. There is no single “right way” to write.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Find your voice, not anyone else’s. That is the most important possession a writer has. The second is to practice. Write and rewrite. Be patient. Be persistent. Do not give up if it is burning inside you. If it is not, go do something else. Don’t clutter the world with something you’re only lukewarm about. Don’t pretend you’re a writer. Find your true calling, your true passion. I think there currently could be more writers than just readers.

What about the horror genre interests you? Disgusts you?

I have loved horror since I was very small. Watching the FRANKENSTEIN and WOLFMAN movies, THE MUMMY, Alfred Hitchcock; THE ADDAMS FAMILY and MUNSTERS. Reading Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving and so many others. Later, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, Peter Straub. Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman are wonderful. I just love dark things. I love the nighttime and find it tough to stay on a daytime schedule. I enjoyed hanging out in cemeteries as a kid. This is who I am. My sons adjusted to their mom being into Horror. Not everyone understands.

What disgusts me? I worry that things can go too far. Horror without a conscience, a message or meaning. That worries me. That kind of sick and twisted gore, purely for entertainment, isn’t my thing. And I do worry how the choices and decisions of today, artistic or otherwise, will affect our next generations. My generation was influenced by the classics of Horror. I think we turned out okay, for the most part. But what about the future? I think about that as a writer. I worry a great deal about Tomorrow. I feel we have to consider the impact, our footprint, because there have to be some limits. With everything. It’s a delicate balance. Just as there have to be standards for quality. You can’t throw it all out, or you will create garbage. That’s my belief, anyway.

I was raised watching Dr. Paul Bearer.  My father LOVED old “horrible old B-movies.”  I have amazing memories of huge spiders chasing little itty bitty people across the screen in black and white!

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

I tend to be a nervous person, despite loving Horror. I get anxious. I’m working on it, but there were things in my childhood that affected me deeply. I can get really scared just riding on a freeway. I don’t drive. I have been terrified at times, sometimes over nothing.

One time as a kid I heard water dripping and was convinced there was a bomb in my room. I woke my mother. I remember being afraid of Ed Gein. I grew up in Wisconsin and heard stories. I knew he was locked up about fifteen miles from my house, so I would hear sounds at night and be sure he was coming for me. I think I worried about that instead of monsters in the closet or under my bed. My monsters were real. I recall seeing headlines and news about the Manson murders. That shook me up. To this day, human monsters are far more frightening to me than any make-believe creatures.

Without a doubt!

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

Yes, I tend to mix in my own fears and history from time to time. I think all of my writing is personal in some way or other, no matter how far I reach into my imagination. I will find myself tossing in a detail here or there that is about me, from my life.

What one stereotype about horror writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?

People think horror authors are odd, tortured, wacko. I completely agree. I certainly am! Which stereotype is wrong? That we’re odd tortured wackos. I don’t think this is true for most of them. It’s just me. (Wink.)

Tell me how you feel being a woman has either enhanced or hindered your writing in the Horror genre.

Well, I hear there has been a lot of doubt and disinterest toward female horror authors. I cannot say whether it affected my career so far. It is possible, since I do not yet have a lot of readers other than downloads for my free stories. And there are no thousands lining up for those. But I do have a number of male fans. I don’t feel I have more female fans than male. Nor do I write with female protagonists more than male protagonists.

I bring my own particular style to horror, my own individual sensitivity and perspectives. Whether that is a female aspect or just a unique one, I cannot say for sure. I do know that women write Horror as well as the guys do, and we are changing that type of negative attitude by putting our work out there for the world to see.

Tell me more about what’s on deck for Lori in 2015!

Thank you, Killion. I’m excited about my latest books and will be trying to spread the word for them. As I mentioned, I have a new horror collection titled ODDS AND ENDS and a collection of dark and humorous verse called POETIC REFLECTIONS: THE QUEEN OF HATS. (I recommend the print editions, which I did quirky artwork for.) I anticipate doing more filmwork and music with my sons. We plan to be at events. I have a Local Authors Exhibit coming up in San Diego soon. I’m thrilled that one of the anthologies I have a story in, JOURNALS OF HORROR: FOUND FICTION, made it onto the Preliminary Ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards. It isn’t nominated, merely in a preliminary round, but it’s the first time I have anything on the ballot.

I have received honors for my work before, yet being a horror author, the Stoker Award is iconic. It’s very meaningful. JOURNALS is a terrific book that was put together by Terry M. West. I’m just so excited to be part of it and to have the chance to be recognized at that level.

And of course … my signature question – What is something that truly frightens you and how do you deal with it?

Fear of failure is up there. What if I never build a larger audience? Or what if the one-star reviews outweigh the positive ones? If you think about it, readers are busy and somehow find the time to read! They don’t often take time to write a good review. Writing a bad review is appealing to some, on the other hand, as it can be a way to hurt somebody else. It gives them the power to take out frustrations on another person safely, without any repercussions, whether it’s an honest opinion or an insulting one.

They can intentionally give away critical information, spoil the twist or ending. An unfair review can have a serious effect, not just on an author’s emotions. It can cause readers not to read something that might be good — it simply wasn’t what certain readers liked. I’ve had all of this happen. So negative reviews, especially one-star, can be pretty terrifying. Just like trolls attacking others online in comments. The whole attitude of pulling out daggers really concerns me. There are a lot of nice people in the world. But there is a lot of cruelty and injustice out there also, and it scares me.

Something else that frightens me is asteroids. One is passing us tomorrow as I write this. A rock the size of a mountain! There are so many things to be afraid of. I could go on and on. I deal with it by writing about horrors in the hopes that people will want to change it, maybe change their lives, possibly change the world.

Want to learn more about Lori – you can connect with her here!

Website: www.fairyflyentertainment.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/lorirlopez

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LoriRLopez

Fairy Fly Entertainment Channel on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO8H3bHfH1WmzJ-3nDo9Krw

ODDS AND ENDS: A DARK COLLECTION: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RLYNC76

POETIC REFLECTIONS: THE QUEEN OF HATS: http://www.amazon.com/Poetic-Reflections-Lori-R-Lopez-ebook/dp/B00N7CS0ZA

JOURNALS OF HORROR: http://www.amazon.com/Journals-Horror-Fiction-Todd-Keisling-ebook/dp/B00MTB67GY

Leigh M. Lane – Celebrating Women in Horror 2015

Women In Horror 2015


Today in Killion’s Kave: I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to know Leigh for a couple years now, and she was a pleasure to interview.  She WOWed me with her podcasting story for her entry in the Wicked Women Writer Challenge in 2013 which  challenged the whole “sheeple” mentality with nanobots joining the collective.

Since then, I have grown to adore Leigh and her passion for life, and especially her love of grammar.  Let’s get to know this amazing lady and what she brings to the table for Women in Horror.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? How’d that work out for ya? I wanted to be a professional baton twirler with fire batons!!

Leigh M Lane - Horror AuthorWhen I was really little, I wanted to be the next Roald Dahl or Carolyn Keene—could you imagine, lol? I also wanted to be a veterinarian (until I learned about euthanasia).

In high school, I thought it would be pretty cool to be a narc like in 21 Jump Street. I had a thing for Johnny Depp. I also developed a passion for screenwriting and dreamed about writing for Richard Donner or HBO. Right?!  Who didn’t want to be a cop with Johnny Depp! LOL

Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp?

Yes: Be aware of the world around you; don’t allow complacency to slip blinders on you while you’re not paying attention; and you may be just one person, but don’t let that stop you from standing up for what you believe in and effecting change. If everyone says, “There’s nothing I can do” or “It’s not my problem,” rather than “We can do something about this,” the social and political horrors in all of my dystopian works will come to pass. (And that’s a scary thought.) I’ve done my part in the best way I know how—I’ve written these books. What part will you play in it?

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Don’t skip college—and take at least one grammar course. Learn about literary theory. Read all kinds of books, not just what you think will interest you. I hated reading Faulkner, but one of his books changed the way I thought about certain aspects of writing and added a whole new layer of depth to my books.

Don’t be too eager to publish, because that leads to two huge but common mistakes: getting stuck in bad contracts and self-publishing first or second novels when you’re still too green to realize your writing is not yet ready for the world. Patience is truly a virtue.

What about the horror genre interests you? Disgusts you?

I love horror that makes a point, but I want it to be both provocative and subtle. Psychological horror is probably at the top of my list. Zompoc is pretty close to the bottom. I don’t like reading sexual sadism, although some of that has crept up in a few of my works (I blame the muses). Gore for gore’s sake disgusts me.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

A while back, I developed blind spots that resulted most likely from a lupus complication. No doctor was able to tell me how bad the permanent damage would be or whether this was a problem that would continue to recur until I went completely blind. The thought of losing my eyesight terrified me, and that terror ruled my life for some time. It still scares me, but I’ve gotten a better handle on that fear. I haven’t developed any new blind spots for a good year or so, but I still check daily for changes in my vision.

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

Sometimes, although I’ve been hesitant to write about certain fears. Writing about something so personal means facing those particular fears head on. It means admitting they affect me as profoundly as they do. It also means admitting I’m more vulnerable than I’d like to let on.

I have, however, explored certain fears and aspects of past experiences in my writing. If it left such a lasting impression on me, it’s got to be worth something in a story—right? In regard to dreams and nightmares, the first novel I ever wrote, which I actually co-wrote with my twin sister, was based on a series of dreams the two of us shared. (I’m guessing the shared dreams was a twin thing.) As far as nightmares go, if it scared me, I’ll try to find a place for it in a book. Why waste good material?  I completely agree! 🙂  

What is one stereotype about horror writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?

I think some people are unable to make distinctions between the written content and the writers’ personal identities, which might make them view horror writers as weird, potentially violent, or disturbed. In my humble opinion, horror writers are some of the nicest, most passive people out there. I do think we are indeed a morbid bunch, though.

We definitely are not afraid to embrace those things others shy away from at all costs. 🙂

Tell me how you feel being a woman has either enhanced or hindered your writing in the horror genre.

I genuinely believe people—readers and writers alike—view me as a woman first and a writer second. I think people look at pictures of my sweet, smiling face and think, “She can’t possibly write any horror worth reading.”

People judge books by their covers; they also judge writers by their appearances. That’s just life. I just hope I see a little success before I grow into a sweet-looking old lady—because then the likely thought will be, “How could that sweet, old grandma write any horror worth reading?” and I think that would be an even harder sell.

Tell me more about Lisa! What’s on deck for 2015?

Aftermath by Leigh M. LaneMy dystopian thriller The Private Sector is slated for release through Eldritch Press, although I still don’t have the ETA or the cover art. I’m also anticipating a couple of anthology releases that include my short stories “You and I” and “If These Walls Could Speak,” both supernatural horrors—again, no publication dates set as of yet.

I have an agent lined up to read my current novel, which I believe might just be my best work to date. I’ve also been sitting on Aftermath: Beyond World-Mart, undecided as to whether I want to self-publish it or send it off to one of my current publishers. It’s a tough one since it sequels a novel I did self-publish, but I believe it deserves more attention than merely KDP or CreateSpace could offer.

Be sure and keep us updated as to how your new agent works out for you. 🙂

And, of course … my signature question: What is something that truly frightens you and how do you deal with it?

I carry a lot of existential angst. Fear of the unknown gets me worked up more than I’d like to admit. I think it’s a common fear, one that defines humanity on one level or another, and so I use it as a theme in much of my supernatural horror.

Be sure and Check out Leigh’s Amazon Author Page and the amazing novels, novellas, and short stories she has published.  Be sure to connect with Leigh on Twitter at @LeighMLane

Allison M. Dickson – Celebrating Women in Horror 2015

Women In Horror 2015


I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to interview Allison a couple of times now through her talented contributions to the Wrapped in Series for Sekhmet Press. Allison M. Dickson writes dark contemporary fiction, covering both speculative and realistic realms.

Her debut psychological horror novel, STRINGS, released to rave reviews in 2013 and has topped Amazon’s bestseller lists several times. She is also the author of an abundance of short stories as well as the 1940s sci-fi noir Colt Coltrane series.

It’s been told that Allison likes to relax with a cold beverage, a game controller, and no pants!  Way to Rock it Out, Allison 🙂

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? How’d that work out for ya?

Allison M Dickson - Horror Author

I’m so boring. I wanted to be a writer! hahaha! But as a teenager, I did have brief dreams of being a journalist and a chef. I still think about going into culinary arts, actually. But then there was the time I wanted to be a political campaign strategist.

I love the study of politics in an academic sense, but then I realized how much I valued my soul, and selling it to politics at rock bottom prices was a surefire way to make myself miserable. Being a writer ended up fulfilling all of my wishes to do all the things I’ve wanted to do and then some, because I can create characters who can do those things, and experience their mindspace at the same time.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The Last Supper by Allison M DicksonThere is a lot going on in THE LAST SUPPER. Sentient weeds, people with other-worldly powers, and a lot of tragedy. But I think the message lies mainly in the discovery of the truth about the world around you, the process of peeling back all those layers to get to the truth, and how it’s important to not let it drive you mad.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Writing is a craft and a process. It takes time to develop your craft, and the process never really stops. Don’t ever get comfortable, and don’t go into this thing thinking it’s an easy cash grab. Nothing about it is easy, but if you love it enough, you can fool people into thinking it is.

What about the horror genre interests you? Disgusts you?

I feel there are few genres that invigorate the spirit more than horror, at least when it’s done right. It gets the blood pumping, the thoughts racing, the endorphins flowing. It’s like getting a tattoo, only on your brain.

It only disgusts me when people cheapen it by going for the easy scares without giving us characters we can care about. This is largely why I live in the painful dichotomy of loving horror while being disappointed by most of it.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

Such a wide and varied soundtrack, that. But I think I’ll go with the first day my husband went back to work after our first child was born. She was a week old and I was all alone with her, and about 1000% certain I was going to break her. She’s thirteen now, and a great kid, so I must have done something right.

Indeed!  Every first mom’s nightmare! 🙂

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

I don’t have too many phobias, thankfully, and the ones I do have (bugs) are so easily exploited that I couldn’t see going there more than once. I did so in my story “Vermin,” but it wasn’t even the bugs I was attempting to explore.

The stuff I like to really dig into are abandoned old houses and buildings, feelings of isolation, secrets, and this sense there is always something that exists beyond our ability to perceive. And all of that probably does stem from some old nightmare, childhood experience, or fantasy.

I remember standing at the edge of a field behind our neighborhood when I was a kid and straining to imagine what it might be like to just run for the horizon and see what hidden things I could uncover. I suppose that’s what brings me back to the creative well over and over again. I’m looking for something. I don’t know what, but I figure if I never find out, that’s okay. The journey is always the best part.

I love that analogy!

What is one stereotype about horror writers that is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?

The worst stereotype is that we’re weird or disturbed people, or that we somehow get off on the horrible situations we write about, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I find a lot of horror authors to be extremely sensitive people who are just looking for healthy ways to channel the same darkness and pain we’ve all experienced in our lives.

Some people paint peaceful landscapes or write uplifting stories. Others invert the process and try to expose the optimist that lives in us all by showing us what hell REALLY looks like. They’re also highly intelligent, witty, irreverent, and dead sexy. Well, sometimes. If we’ve remembered to shower, that is. If that isn’t a stereotype, then it should be.

Tell me how you feel being a woman has either enhanced or hindered your writing in the Horror genre. You mentioned how people have disdain for a woman to write such violent books. How does that make you feel? And what do you intend to do about it?

I sometimes wonder, if I’d known the disadvantage women experienced not only in this industry as a whole, but particularly in speculative genres like horror and sci-fi, would I have written under a male or androgynous pseudonym?

STRINGS by Allison M DIckson

Because I have not only seen my fellow female authors sell exponentially more books when they write under male pseudos, but I have also experienced first hand a spectrum of emotions from people who, when they read my horror-thriller STRINGS, realize I am indeed a woman. They say things like, “I thought a man wrote this” or “What sort of woman writes these things?” Phrases so blatantly sexist they make me feel like I should be lacing a corset and taking laudanum for my menstrual cramps whilst lying upon my fainting couch.

It pisses me off, to put it plainly. And while the more fiscally hungry side of myself would have decided to play into this wrong and antiquated system by devising a pseudonym, there is an even larger part of me that just wants to put up both middle fingers and thrust my real name into the spotlight. Yeah, that’s right jerkholes, I wrote a violent, gory, visceral, scary as hell book that has made a lot of grown men squirm in their britches, and I ain’t going anywhere.

In fact, I have even more, so buckle your seat belts. The more of us do that, the more accepted and mainstream it will become, and the more we can obliterate this mindset that women only write romance, erotica, or flowery literature. There are so many women writing great horror and dark, gritty fiction, and they’ve been doing it for a long time. A woman wrote what is considered the first horror book, and she did it a century and a half ago, and she put her real name on the cover. If Mary Freakin Shelley can do it, so can the rest of us.

Sing it, Sista!

As a horror novelist – what is your end game? What is your goal?

I want to keep people up at night. I want them to be reading on their backlit Kindles or with their booklights on, and suddenly realize they need to turn on a lamp and maybe put on a nice, benign infomercial. I want to . . . Here, do this for me. Go to YouTube, type “Too Many Cooks” into the search, and watch the top video that comes up. Watch the whole thing. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean, but basically, what Too Many Cooks does to your brain is exactly what I want to do to your brain with my stories. I want you to put that book down at the end and go What. The. F**K. Because I know when a story does that to me, I never forget it. I couldn’t if I tried.

And of course … my signature question – What is something that truly frightens you and how do you deal with it?

That I’ll get to the end of my life and feel like I wasted it. The only way I can deal with it is to create. To leave a footprint. And I make that footprint with my words.

Please tell us what is on deck for you in 2015!!

Colt  - Stolen Sky by Allison M DicksonWell, my agent hopes to sell my dark suspense novel KUDZU in the early part of the year, so fingers crossed I’ll have big news in the coming months on that. Additionally, I am going to be releasing the next book in my Colt Coltrane series, COLT COLTRANE AND THE STOLEN SKY.

If you like detective stories from the height of the pulpy noir era, but with robots and dieselpunk excitement thrown into the mix, I highly recommend folks check out the series. There are two stories out now, and #3 drops on 3/17. You can pre-order at Amazon now, but it will also be available in other formats and print.

(Link for the Colt Coltrane book if you want to hotlink it: http://www.amazon.com/Colt-Coltrane-Stolen-Sky-Book-ebook/dp/B00S2Z4AKG/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1421815330&sr=1-2)

website: http://allisonmdickson.com
twitter: http://twitter.com/msallied
Amazon profile: http://www.amazon.com/Allison-M.-Dickson/e/B0054DW57Y/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1