Posts Tagged ‘interview’

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Welcome back, folks. I’d like to now shine the spotlight on South African horror writer, Joan De La Haye. Thanks for stopping by my blog to answer a few questions, Joan!

 

Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Well … I’m South African. I live in the capital city, Pretoria, with my two cats.
I was raised in Germany, Namibia, and Austria. My parents were South African diplomats so I had a pretty interesting childhood.
I studied art and design, and I’m also a qualified clinical hypnotherapist.
I write pretty dark, and twisted, horror.
Q. What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where something made you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?  
When I was growing up I always thought I’d write more literary fiction or crime novels. I never pictured myself writing horror. But then when I sat down to write my first book, Shadows, I just naturally gravitated towards the horror genre. I was a bit of a late comer to the genre, but I haven’t regretted a moment of it. I love the freedom involved in writing horror. Most of the other genres, especially crime fiction, have so many rules. But horror doesn’t. As long as I can scare you, or make you incredibly uncomfortable, I’ve done my job. And I love my job.
Q. What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies? 
Misery by Stephen King
It’s one of the first horror novels that I read and it’s probably the book that got me into horror in the first place.
I think it’s the human factor in the story that got to me. It’s not some supernatural entity being evil, it’s a flesh and blood human being.
It’s one of those stories that reminded me that humans are the scariest monsters out there. It’s the thing hiding under your bed, it’s the quiet guy down the road that you need to wonder about.
Q. What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?
I’ve written two full length novels (the third one will be out soon) called Shadows, and Requiem in E Sharp. Two novella’s called Oasis, and Burning.
I’ve had short stories published in about 10 anthologies. I also had an article published in Horror 101: The way forward.
Q. Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook
I love reading and writing novels, but there’s also something about the immediacy of a short story. A novel can take a few days to a few weeks before you finish it and know what happened to the characters, but with a short story collection or anthology you can read one in a night. With time being so precious short stories are brilliant for the person on the go.
Q. What are you working on at the minute?
I’m busy wrapping up my new novel Fury, it’s with my editor at the moment, and starting the planning phase for the first book in a new series. The working title at the moment is Awakening – Book One of The Cursed Witch Series. I may change it as the story progresses. I’m also still waiting for the title to grow on me.
Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?
There are so many great female writers out there, I can’t just name one.
Sarah Lotz
Nerine Dorman
Sarah Pinborough
Mary Shelley
Karin Slaughter

Ann Rice

Q. What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?
At the moment I’m busy reading A small town in Germany by John Le Carre, next on the TBR pile is Autumn by David Moody.
Q. What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the  challenges have you faced that are complicated by your gender?
The main thing that gets to me is that most readers over look women writers in the genre. They don’t seem to think that women can do the horror genre justice, that we can’t be dark or bloody enough.
But I think women bring a subtlety to the genre. Horror isn’t just about shock value. Fear is in the mind and that is where women excel.
Q. Why is Women in Horror month important/important to you?
Women in horror month shines a much needed light on the many women writing in the genre.
It’s just a pity that we still need to shine that light, though.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Just sit down and write. Don’t focus on the blank page. Focus on putting one word and then the other on that page. Then focus on the sentence and the next one. Before you know it you’ll have finished that first page and it won’t be quite so intimidating.
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Today’s interview is with wrtier and editor, Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Following on from her debut novel release, Silvia has been receiving a fantastic amount of well-deserved recognition for her work and I’m really pleased to be able to ask her a few questions.  Thanks Silvia! 

SMG


Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I have been writing since 2006, mostly short fiction. My debut novel, Signal to Noise, came out in 2015 and was named on multiple year’s best lists: B&N’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, RT, BookRiot, Buzzfeed, i09, Vice,tor.com and the Locus Recommended Reading List. My debut collection, This Strange Way of Dying, was a finalist for a Sunburst Award.

Q. What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where you something made you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?

Horror is just one way to tale a story, it’s a tool, and I use that tool as necessary. I know exactly where I’m going into when I write a short story, so there are few surprises at that higher level. Also, a lot of the short story work I’ve done in recent years was solicited stuff so obviously I knew that if The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu: New Lovecraftian Fiction was asking for a story I was going to be writing a Cthulhu story. Actually, what I wrote for that is more like Mayan fish people in 1960s Mexico, but you get the drift.


Q. What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies?

I don’t like picking favorites. With that said, Tanith Lee died last year and she is sadly not as known as I’d like to her to be. She also wrote a huge number of horror stories and novels, some very fine work there, and it’s worth a look. Some of her stuff is harder to get, but I recommend looking for her Paradys work or some of her short story collections.

Q. What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?

Everything. I write across genres and categories. I like to write short but with the market these days truly short novels, 50,000 word novels for example, don’t seem much in vogue.

Q. Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook

No, but I don’t like series. My novels are standalones and I like to switch genres. My debut novel was called a literary fantasy, the second is urban fantasy and/or noir, the third will be a romance, fourth horror, and so on.


Q. What are you working on at the minute?

I finished edits for my second novel, Certain Dark Things, which is about narco vampires in Mexico City, and I’m moving onto working on the final draft of what will be my third novel.

Q. You’re an editor as well as a writer. Do you have a preference?

Writing. I’m not interested in any editing projects in the near future.

Q. What attracts you to editing the work of others? And is there any quality or skill etc that makes a good horror editor, specifically?

I like seeing a project from beginning to end, from the concept to the final, bound volume being sold. It’s a process of discovery. When I edited Dead North, a Canadian zombie antho, the questions was what is zombie fiction? And is Canadian zombie fiction different from American zombie fiction? So it was a quest to see what the writers told me through their stories.

Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?

I don’t like picking favorites. However, there are very many women who are ignored. Many times you see lists of “horror” writers and not even Mary Shelley or Shirley Jackson make the list. To me that’s insane. People like Daphne du Maurier or Joyce Carole Oates have contributed multiple, magnificent horror stories but we often forget their work unless it’s Women in Horror Month. And even then it’s a bit of a slog. There’s also a big historical hole because women wrote for stuff like Weird Tales but a lot of them are forgotten. Anya Martin and I talked about how doing a retrospective, reprint anthology of women from the Weird era would be valuable, and I think she should edit it.


Q. Are there any projects involving other women that you’re looking forward to or would like to get on board with?

I edited She Walks in Shadows which was the first all-woman Lovecraft anthology last year, so I think it’s too soon for me to tackle anything else with a similar mandate. Right now that made it into the Locus Recommended List so I’m just going to bask in that. Someone should Anya, though, and try to put together a Women of the Weird Era book.

Q. What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?

Mostly non-fiction and non-genre stuff. Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, for example. For genre stuff: I got Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen for my iPad.

Q. What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the  challenges have you faced that are complicated by your gender?

Well, when io9 did an article on She Walks in Shadows I got some angry comments and a memorable e-mail saying we were menstruating all over Lovecraft and tainting his legacy.

Sometimes, spaces are just not women friendly. I left more than one Facebook group because it was just incredibly draining. There was one group where people kept putting pornographic images of women and some of us complained about it. We were told to stop whining. Listen, if I wanted to sign up for the Porno Image of the Day Group I would, but I thought I was in a horror group. But people tell you to shut up or tough it up. I simply left. Same thing when I commented on the cover art of something being kind of sleazy, you know, boobs and more boobs, the response was so rude.

You are just not going to get invitations to certain things because you are a woman and an afterthought to certain people. Not everyone, but I have indeed seen this happen where it’s like oh, circle of bros.

I’m fine about not breaking into certain markets or doing work with certain people. If they don’t want me, I don’t want them. After all, who wants to spend time with someone who honestly says stuff like “stop menstruating” or thinks women can’t write horror (yeah, I’ve been told this)?

In the end, I just choose my friends and associates carefully, and try to weed out the more obvious sexist pigs.

Q. Why is Women in Horror month important/important to you?

I feel sometimes it’s the only month anyone remembers women writers, to be honest. I wish it was a year round thing and that we didn’t to have an excuse to include women in the conversation, but sometimes it feels like it’s the one month a year we get to materialize in the field.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing since persistence makes the writer, but learn to be critical about your work.

Website: http://www.silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/
Twitter: @silviamg

Book Links: (http://www.amazon.com/Signal-Noise-Silvia-Moreno-Garcia/dp/1781082995/

http://www.amazon.com/Certain-Dark-Things-Silvia-Moreno-Garcia/dp/1250099080/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1454369743&sr=8-2&keywords=certain+dark+things

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user_status/book/22609306-signal-to-noise

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28220785-certain-dark-things?from_search=true&search_version=service

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This year, for the 7th annual Women In Horror Month,  I’ve committed too doing a bunch of interviews with cool ladies from the horror community who either write or edit horror fiction.   For more news, interviews, and WiHM related shenanigans, check out http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com

First up is my long time friend, South African author and editor, Nerine Dorman. I highly encourage you to check out her work, both her writing and her edited works.

NERINE DORMAN

nerine dorman

Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
In short, I’m a South African creative who dabbles in writing, design, music and art. Somewhere along the line I happen to make money from all these skills and a combination thereof. Oh, and I edit too. Actually, that’s probably the mad skill I’m best known for. I live in the far south peninsula of the Western Cape, which means if you look at a map of Africa, it’s that little dangly bit at the bottom that looks like a little willy. I’m right there at the point. [laughs]
Q. What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where you something mad you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?
Basically my writing just happens. I *am* influenced by horror (especially my short fiction), but tend to mix and match as I see fit. I could say I write fantasy with horror elements for some stories, but then might end up writing SF the next or straight-up horror the next. It really depends on what mood I’m in and whether I’m writing for a specific editor or publication in mind. To be honest, I find this need to pigeonhole authors to be limiting. So far as genres go, I love dark fiction, especially when dished up with some sly, snarky humour too.
Q.  What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies?
I was about 12 when I didn’t finish Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. That story scared the living bejebus out of me – specifically the part where the protagonist wakes up in the middle of the night to see the recently deceased jogger standing by his bed. When he wakes properly the following morning, he thinks it’s all been a bad dream – until he sees that his feet are dirty – and that’s when he realises that his nocturnal wanderings were all too real. So, that time when dreams and reality blend, and you can’t tell what’s real, or when you know something bad is going to happen, and you’re yelling at the protagonist “No! Don’t you dare bury the child there! You know it’s not going to end well!” Yup, that story scared me plenty.
Q. What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?
I’ve written a bunch of stuff, but if I’m put on a spot I’ll tell folks to go pick up a copy of Dawn’s Bright Talons, which is a fantasy novel involving vampires in a kinda pseudo-Victorian setting in the same (ahem) vein as Anne Rice. Otherwise, if short fiction is more their thing, my anthology, Lost Children, might tickle them – there’s a nice little cross section of my work there. I’m also particularly proud of having sold stories into Storm Constantine’s Wraeththu Mythos anthologies. Para Kindred is available, but the Para Animalia collection is due out soon. Then, I was also honoured to be part of the ToC for Clive Barker’s Midian Unmade anthology brought out by Tor recently.
 Q. Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook
I love writing serial fiction, and have two stories running over at Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction.net (writing as OnyxDrake9 and OnyxDrake respectively). Yes, I love fanfiction. It’s lots of fun and it’s a good way to flex creative muscles without the pressure to succeed (and I totally encourage folks to practice their mad writing skills there). Novels require a great investment, and I try to have at least one novel-length work on the boil, but it’s short fiction that I’m focusing on because there’s a faster turnaround. It’s a whole different beast where you have to focus on telling a story in a limited amount of words.
 Q. What are you working on at the minute?
Currently, I’ve got a Wraeththu Mythos novel in the pipeline for Storm Constantine. This has been a bucket list item for years, which I’m taking advantage of now that I’ve got a novel on sub. Then there’s always a short story on the boil. I take my time with these, and plan them quite thoroughly so I can make sure my layering is effective and I’ve threaded in all the subtexts I want.
 Q. You’re an editor as well as a writer. Do you have a preference?
If I’m approached by a client, I’ll edit whatever’s thrown at me, though I prefer fantasy. I do the nearly annual South African HorrorFest Bloody Parchment anthologies, which are turning into a bit of an institution. But my preferences are for stories that are textured, lush and detailed, filled with nuance. I’m kinda old school that way. And it doesn’t matter the genre, so long as the author has grabbed me with his or her prose.
 Q. What attracts you to editing the work of others? And is there any quality or skill etc that makes a good horror editor, specifically?
A good editor has an eye for story – and personal heroines for me include Jaym Gates, Ellen Datlow and Storm Constantine. You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, so a good editor will know *when* to pick up a decent story. Then of course comes the pruning and polishing. There are some basic gremlins that an editor should catch, without interfering with an author’s voice. It’s a delicate game, knowing when to insist and when to hold back.
 Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?
Storm Constantine. No contest.
 Q. Are there any projects involving other women that you’re looking forward to or would like to get on board with?
At some point I’d like to edit a themed collection of novellas or novelettes bundling my favourite authors. We’ve talked about this but until I finish with a few other projects, this is but a pipe dream.
 Q. What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?
Too many! I’ve a history book by Sampie Terreblanche that’s quite … hefty. But then I’m busy with my reread of Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy, which is making things all kinds of better. I’ve a pile of review books too… Which I’m horribly behind on.
 Q. What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the  challenges have you faced that are complicated by your gender?

I sometimes just get the feeling that women authors in genre fiction are often ignored by media. I’ll argue that there are as many women writing and getting published as men. So seeing equal attention paid to us along with the usual culprits would be nice.

Q. Why is Women in Horror month important/important to you?
We have a month (yay!) But seriously, exposure is good. Even if it means getting a special month set aside.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write what you like. Read widely, and often outside of your genre. Critique other writers and have them offer critique to you. Never stop learning. Never stop revising. Submit often. Write every day if you can. Rinse and repeat. Oh, and grow rhino skin. Very, very thick rhino skin.
Blog:
Facebook:
Twitter:
@nerinedorman
Amazon Author Page:
 
Goodreads:
 

www.goodreads.com/author/show/3256274.Nerine_Dorman

I first bumped into Benjamin Knox on the pages of Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories.  Bloody Parchment is the literary component of the South African Horrorfest. It’s a competition held every year and the finalists are published in the Bloody Parchment anthology edited by the fantastic Nerine Dorman.   Ben Knox is one of the most exciting new writer’s I’ve come across and his story “A Keeper of Secrets” in Suspended in Dusk, is some seriously creepy shit.

I hope you enjoy my little chat with the super talented and super creepy, Benjamin Knox.

 

BK portrait cropped thumbnail

 

Tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from and what brought you into writing? What drives you to continue writing?

I’m mostly known for my short dark fiction. I’m of Scottish origin but have lived in too many countries to name here (my folks moved a lot, hmmm, – dawning realisation – perhaps they were secret agents?). I was always making up stories and drawing pictures, so I can’t believe it took me until my late twenties to realise that I should be writing them down. Since then I’ve not stopped.  I can’t stop and don’t want to. I think I’d’ve been that weird type back in prehistory that made up weird stories by firelight to entertain and terrify.

It’s just in me. Besides, it’s too much fun.

 

What genres interest you most and which do you write in?

Mostly I’m into Pulp Horror, you know the type with slimy monsters and classic tropes. However I do like my grim, eerie and creepy stuff too. Both of which I write as well as read. Also there is a wonderful overlapping where horror meets thriller, that is a place I am very comfortable in; non-supernatural suspense.

 

What are your thoughts about short stories and the short form? Do you have a particular favourite short story?

Tough to choose. Probably Thomas Ligotti’s The Red Tower or maybe The Bungalow House (anything from Teatro Grottesco really). I love short form fiction. Personally my preference both for writing and reading is the novella. Enough length and depth to sink your teeth into, but not too much that it gets bogged down – or if you have a short attention span like me. More often we have little time to dedicate to reading these days. What time we do set aside is often short, hence reading habits have changed. Reading during a commute is now more prevalent than in the evening curled up in bed.

Also, as a reader myself, I’m much more likely to invest my time in a new author with a short story or novella than I am with 300+ pages. I’ve discovered many authors I thoroughly enjoy this way. And it’s because I’m willing to give 100 or so pages of almost anything a shot.

 

What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?

So far; having VIRAL, a four part novella series (which I wrote with Toby Bennett) published through Dark Continents Publishing. It’s 30 Days of Night meets Resident Evil by way of Bladerunner.

 

Do you have any outstanding writing goals you’re working to achieve?

I’d really like to have work published with DarkFuse. They are home to two of my favourite authors (who have influenced me quite a bit) William Meikle and Tim Curran. Meikle is fun adventure pulp all the way and Curran’s undead are ultra-violent and ghoulish, totally up my alley. DF also do limited edition hardbacks of the novellas they publish, which certainly appeals to the book-geek in me.

 

Do you have any interesting projects on the horizon that you’d like to share some info with us about?

Too many to name here. I’m gearing up to release four novellas each year, one every season. Each will be stand alone and will be different in theme and style from the others. I also am looking forward to starting a fresh project with Toby Bennett before we get stuck into a possible VIRAL sequel.

 

What advice do you have for new or aspiring writers?

Little that would be encouraging. Basically if you are looking for praise, money and fame…you are in the wrong industry. However, the main bit of advice I can give aspiring authors is this; turn off the internet and get your daily word count done. If you actually want to write, no excuses. Get it done.

Originally, I was going to co-edit Suspended in Dusk with a good friend, Nerine Dorman .  Nerine is a very big fan of Angela Slatter and so, mostly for shits and giggles, I made her a bet that I could convince Angela to lend a story to Suspended in Dusk. Due to over-commitment to her many projects Nerine could no longer work on the project, but somehow I did manage to convince Angela to lend a new story to the anthology!  This is super exciting for me because Angela really is highly awarded and very well respected Australian writer.

I give you the super talented, super nice – Angela Slatter:

angela2

 

Tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from and what brought you into writing? What drives you to continue writing? 
I’m an Australian writer of dark fantasy, horror and something that only very occasionally resembles science fiction. I’ve always been a voracious reader and scribbler, but only made the decision to try writing as a career in about 2004. I keep writing because all the stuff in my head has to go somewhere, or said head will explode.
What are your thoughts about short stories and the short form? Do you have a particular favourite short story? 
I love short form because it’s such a challenge to fit everything in and convince a reader they’ve just dipped into an very immersive new world for a while. I love the challenge of sending a reader away feeling as if (a) they’re still half in the story world and (b) the story is still going on somewhere. Favourite short stories include: “The Tower” by Marghanita Laski, “Gabriel Ernest” by Saki, “Looking for Jake” by China Miévielle, “Singing My Sister Down” by Margo Lanagan, “Wild Acre” by Nathan Ballingrud, and “Wolf Alice” by Angela Carter. Favourite short story writers include: Aimee Bender, Lorie Moore, Karen Russell, Karen Joy Fowler, Kelly Link, Sheridan Le Fanu, M R James, and Lisa L. Hannett.
What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?
Winning a British Fantasy Award for “The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter” (from A Book of Horrors, Stephen Jones ed.)
Do you have any outstanding writing goals you’re working to achieve? (sale to a particular market or publication/book deal/award/NaNoWriMo/etc) 
My main goal is to just finish things and get them published. I’ve never had any ‘goal’ markets as I think that sets you up for an obsession that you may never fulfil. Similarly, while awards are nice, they’re not something you can predict or count on. They’re not something you deserve and they certainly don’t make you a better writer if you win, or a worse writer if you lose. They’re a nice bonus, that’s it.
Do you have any interesting projects on the horizon that you’d like to share some info with us about? 
I’ve got three collections out this year: The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings (Tartarus Press), which has illustrations by Kathleen Jennings and is a prequel to Sourdough and Other StoriesBlack-Winged Angels (Ticonderoga Publications), a limited edition reprint collection, again with illustrations by Kathleen Jennings; and The Female Factory (Twelfth Planet Press), which is a collaboration with Lisa L. Hannett.
What advice do you have for new or aspiring writers? 
Write, learn, write, pay your dues, be polite, write, don’t be an ass.
You can find Angela online here:
Twitter: @angelaslatter
Everyone,
I’d like to take the time to introduce you to the super nice Toby Bennett, from Cape Town, South Africa. He is featuring in Suspended in Dusk with a story called Maid of Bone.
He’s a very talented writer and I highly recommend you check out his work if you come across it.
S.
mepic
Tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from and what brought you into writing? What drives you to continue writing? 

Officially I’m from Cape Town, but I only say that because the body I inhabit was born there! As far as what started me writing goes I’d have to say the answer is cruel fate. I don’t seem to find anything else satisfying, but a passion for quadratic equations might have been more useful! At least then I might be able to get this blasted death-ray to work – or at least it wouldn’t be made out of old toilet rolls!

I keep writing because I love it, I’m still far from perfection but I hope I get closer every time I work. It’s certainly going better than my army of winged monkeys; not one of the little brats has written even a line of Shakespeare yet.

What genres interest you most and which do you write in?
Always a difficult one to answer, I pretty much go where my story takes me so it really depends what’s leaking from my head on any given day. My natural inclination is towards the fantastical, with just a hint of something nasty thrown in. I like it when elements of fantasy or humour mix with the macabre. After all, it’s a spoonful of bile that brings the medicine up.
 
What are your thoughts about short stories and the short form? Do you have a particular favourite short story? 

I’m a big fan of short stories because of their capacity to catapult the reader into the action. With none of the slower run up of a longer work they have a wonderful power to captivate and explore many themes without overstaying their welcome.

As far as a favourite short story goes I can’t say I have one (I always hate being asked to rank anything as the best). I’m always game for work by Mr. Lovecraft or Mr. King. Most recently I enjoyed the Doom Bunny by Benjamin Knox, well worth it, it helped me to forget that I didn’t get any chocolate this year!

What did you find interesting about writing a story for an anthology with the suspended in dusk title/theme? Was there anything in particular that you wanted to write about or explore? 

I’ve a terrible confession, my story started life as a pun.  It was only as it unfolded that I truly started contemplating the themes behind the anthology. The concepts of being trapped between states of being, limbo existence on the edge of what we regard as normal.

I hope it is clear enough from the story itself but I was trying to explore questions of sanity and perception. “Little questions like did that statue move?” and “can I trust my own perception?” In Maid of Bone, there is a lot that the protagonist takes for granted. She is trapped in her twilight world by her failure to address her presumptions about what is actually happening to her, I hope that readers will pick up on this ambiguity between what she thinks is true and what might be true. It is an ambiguity we all face.

 What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?
Ah the chance for some shameless self-promotion eh? Again I’m loathe to pick just one great moment. I could say the first time I finished a book or when my book Heaven’s Gate got nearly eight thousand downloads on Kindle in a week (okay, it was free at the time). I’m also really looking forward to the publication of ‘Viral’ a collaborative work with Mr. Knox and one that I expect big things from (I’m even hoping for groupies!) Small victories, yes, but things that have meant a lot to me. I think the best part of being a writer is the thought that you have made a connection with other people so I’d say that the highlight is when I hear back from people who enjoyed something I wrote.
 
Do you have any outstanding writing goals you’re working to achieve? (sale to a particular market or publication/book deal/award/NaNoWriMo/etc) 

Well I’m currently working on two books and I really want to get cracking on the sequel to Viral so yes plenty of goals, if only there was enough time in the day!

Do you have any interesting projects on the horizon that you’d like to share some info with us about?

It seems I’m going to mention Viral again, damned book’s like a disease! Seriously, if you like your sci-fi dystopia mixed in with a little horrible mutation and politics set against the backdrop of a ravenous media industrial complex I’d say it’s not to be missed– everyone needs to find out what a dumpling is!

Apart from that I’m also working on a historical piece set during Germanicus’s campaigns in Germany ( wish me luck with getting the research right on that!) I’ve also done a reboot of my book the Endless Ocean and will be releasing its sequel on Kindle in the next few months.

What advice do you have for new or aspiring writers? 
Not sure how original it is (the best advice often isn’t) but: keep at it and be true to your vision. It’s worth remembering that there is no right way to tell a story and that you’re probably better making your own mistakes than someone else’s. The important thing is that you build on those mistakes and hopefully speak more clearly every time, everyone’s not always going to like what you have to say but popularity isn’t the only way to judge if something is worth hearing. Most important have fun, if you’re not enjoying it how can anyone else?

Hey everyone.

I had the distinct fortune of meeting the fantastic Sarah Read while studying a horror writing course at Litreactor.com. I”m very excited for Sarah’s story Quarter Turn to Dawn to be featured in Suspended In Dusk.

S.

sarah-read

Tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from and what brought you into writing? What drives you to continue writing?

I suppose I’m from northern Colorado. That’s the easiest answer—I’ve lived lots of places. But I’ve been here the longest, and I call it home, most of the time.

I don’t know what brought me to writing—I’ve always done it. But if you go back far enough, I suppose the thing that brought me to writing was reading.

I think the drive to continue (when it’s not a compulsion) comes from the passion of other writers and readers. There’s so much good storytelling out there.

 

What genres interest you most and which do you write in? 

I love reading a lot of genres, but my tastes tend to skew dark. I read a lot of horror and dark fantasy. I’ll read just about anything, though.

I write horror. Occasionally some dark fantasy comes along, but it is usually more horror with fantasy elements. Some gory, some literary. Anything spooky.

 

What are your thoughts about short stories and the short form? Do you have a particular favourite short story? 

I adore short stories. I really enjoy how the short form concentrates the intensity. And you can take bigger risks—both as a reader and a writer—when there are only thirty pages at stake.

If I had to choose one short story that stands out as a favorite, it would have to be Father, Son, Holy Rabbit by Stephen Graham Jones. I love all of his work, but that story punches me in the face every time.

 

What did you find interesting about writing a story for an anthology with the Suspended in Dusk title/theme? Was there anything in particular that you wanted to write about or explore? 

I wanted to write about how it’s been feeling like we’re in the dusk of our time on earth—how our species feels as if it is speeding toward bedtime. And I thought about how that’s happened in the past—with ash clouds blotting out the sun, and nature turning nasty. So I ran with that.

 

What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?

I recently made a sale to a magazine that I have loved for a long time. It was a story that I edited in a workshop with Jack Ketchum, and when I told him about the sale, he said he was very proud. I caught myself grinning, just now, thinking about it. As a new writer, having someone I admire enjoy my work is so validating. It gets me through the piles of rejection letters.

 

Do you have any outstanding writing goals you’re working to achieve? (sale to a particular market or publication/book deal/award/NaNoWriMo/etc) 

I am in the middle of what is (probably) the last round of edits on my novel manuscript, before it starts getting sent out to the agents I’ve had my eye on. Fingers crossed.

 

Do you have any interesting projects on the horizon that you’d like to share some info with us about? 

Is this where I get to plug stuff? In that case, keep your eyes on Pantheon Magazine. I recently joined the staff as a first reader, then got bumped up to Fiction Editor. We’ve increased our pay rate from token to semi-pro, and we’re seeing a lot of really amazing work come through!

 

What advice do you have for new or aspiring writers? 

Well, I’m still a new writer, myself. What seems to have made the difference between aspiring writer and new writer was finding a community of writers to work with. For me, that is LitReactor. I’ve met lots of people in the forums, spent time reading, reviewing, and submitting to the workshop, and taking classes with great writers, editors, and agents. My first (real) sale was to one of my class teachers. Several members have become good friends, and now we have our own critique circle—always reading and sharing our news. Writing can be a lonely business—it’s good to have a group of people who get it and who believe in your work.

Hey folks.

Over the next month or so I hope to bring you some short interviews with some of the fantastic authors whose stories feature in the forthcoming Suspended in Dusk anthology.   I encourage you to check out these authors and their other work and hook up with the on social media. You won’t be disappointed!

Without further ado, please meet the totally awesome Armand Rosamilia.

Armand Pic

 

  • Tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from and what brought you into writing? What drives you to continue writing? 

I’m a New Jersey boy (44 years old) living in sunny Florida. I write full-time and have many, many things on my plate at all times: author, radio DJ, podcaster, movie treatment writer, publisher, running the Authors Supporting Our Troops event, and a few more hats. I have a huge head, so it helps. Dean Koontz brought me into writing at 12 and I’ve never wanted to do any other job, although I’ve done far too many. What motivates me to kep going? Paying my bills so I can eat.

  • What genres interest you most and which do you write in? 

I mostly write in the horror genre, but I have also written thrillers, erotica, contemporary fiction, crime fiction, non-fiction, and anything else I feel like writing.

  • What are your thoughts about short stories and the short form? Do you have a particular favourite short story? 

I love short stories, both as a writer and as a reader. Shorts often help me decide who my next author I’ll follow will be, when I read something great in an anthology or start a collection. My favorite zombie short is definitely “Dead Like Me” by Adam-Troy Castro.

  • For those who submitted new stories: (without giving your story away!) What did you find interesting about writing a story for an anthology with the suspended in dusk title/theme? Was there anything in particular that you wanted to write about or explore? 

When I saw the theme I was immediately intrigued, because dusk is always a weird time of day, when shadows play tricks on you and as it gets darker your mind sees things that might or might not be there. I’d had the idea for this story for some time, but never had the reason to write it out. It came together quickly, and took several new turns I hadn’t thought about until the story started talking.

  • What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?

I’ve been blessed with quite a few, actually (going to brag a bit): pro-rate sales, which let me into the HWA as a voting member… the ability to write full-time and pay my bills and live happily… invites to invite-only anthologies and projects… a few of my works becoming movies in the near future… and each day something new and exciting happens to me!

  • Do you have any outstanding writing goals you’re working to achieve? (sale to a particular market or publication/book deal/award/NaNoWriMo/etc) 

I think getting into the HWA as an active voting member has been a dream come true. Going to the WHC conventions each year (this year will be my second) and being noticed as a peer of some great authors is amazing.

  • Do you have any interesting projects on the horizon that you’d like to share some info with us about? 

I’ve just optioned my Keyport Cthulhu horror book to a movie company, and I’m excited to see where it goes. I’m also working on finishing my Dying Days 4 extreme zombie book, which will be longer than previous books.

  • What advice do you have for new or aspiring writers? 

Start drinking heavily. OK, maybe not that advice… don’t stop writing. No matter what else gets in the way, keep finishing stories and books and keep building the pile of stories finished. Trust me. Once your career takes off, some of this older crap could be rewritten and sold.

 

Armand Rosamilia

 

You can find Armand online on his website:

http://armandrosamilia.com

And on twitter:

@armandauthor