Thursday, November 2, 2017

What Would Your Search History Reveal?

As writers, we're always researching. And, of course, the best place to do most of that research is the internet.

I've had other authors talk about some of the things they've had to look up for the sake of the potency of their story. I know I've certainly had to look up some strange things!

Some of the things I've researched:

Pagan spells and potions.

Picking locks.

What wounds cause X amount of blood loss.

Types of guns.

Poisons.

Computer hacking.

Oh, I'm sure there are lots of other things, too. I just can't recall all of them at the moment. Other authors have researched inject-able drugs to knock people out immediately, what it feels like to be shot or stabbed. Effects of poisons. What people look like after being dead for X amount of time.

It's crazy, isn't it?!

Tell me in the comments, what's the weirdest/scariest thing you've Googled for book research? I look forward to reading your comments!!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror: Author Interviews ~ Jenna Miller

It's November 1st. Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2017 is now available! So today, I have an interview with the creator of the anthology, Jenna Miller. Not only is she the one responsible for this wonderful, creepy collaboration of chills and thrills, she's also a contributor as well. Let's get on with the interview! Her answers will be in green.



What inspired Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror? 

Way back in 2007, just after I’d published my first fantasy novel, I was invited to contribute to a horror anthology (Concrete Blood: Dark Tales of the City) – it was so much fun and I wanted to do my own anthology. We were also just starting Word Weavers (a writer’s group) at the time, and doing anthologies through there … I wanted one that was just for women, and more importantly, just for women in horror. When I approached people about it, I got mixed responses. A lot of women didn’t want to do it. I got a lot of flak about exploiting women and how it wasn’t “positive.” I also had a few guys who joked about not having a men only anthology.

So I decided to do both, a Ladies and a Gents, and a combined.

How often have you contributed to the anthology? 

I contributed in 2008, 2013 and 2016.
What are the titles of the stories you’ve contributed? 

Addiction, Bitch and Slither (respectively).

What was one of the hardest scenes you’ve ever had to write? 

The rape/cannibal scene at the beginning of Addiction.

How does your family feel about the production of the anthology? 

They’re encouraging, but hate that they essentially lose me for the few months I work on it.

Why do the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society? 

The anthology doesn’t make enough money to pay each contributor much at all, so in 2013 the group decided that donating the profits to charity would be best. As a group we chose breast cancer, but finding a charity that actually puts your donations towards the cause is hard, and that’s why, after much research, we chose the ACS.

I’ve asked all the authors, now I’ll ask you, too. Do you Google yourself? 

Sometimes, and while I have one of the most common names ever in the history of ever, I’m always in the top ten or so. Which is scary.

What is your preferred genre for writing? 

Horror, though I do love the occasional dabble into fantasy and sci-fi.

How do these contributors make you feel? 

I love my contributors. Each and every one has taught me something and helped both me and the anthology grow. I’ve developed long lasting friendships and also learned a few hard lessons working with people from all over the world over the last nearly ten years.

Has the success of the anthology grown over the years? 

Yes. Bit by bit, I see its popularity growing. Even now I’m booked up for the next two years in both the fantasy and the horror—which is hard to fathom, considering as I used to have to sell my soul, and seduce or otherwise entice people in order to get contributors.

How does one contribute to the anthology? 

By sending a query of interest (details can be found in the “notes” on our websites (Queries or Submission Queries) or on the FB pages ( Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror or Ladies and Gentlemen of Fantasy ) or to Email (horror) or Email (fantasy).

*~*~*

Thanks so much for your time, Jenna! I wish you much success with these anthologies as time goes on.

Don't forget, you can purchase your copy of the anthologies now!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror: Artist Interview

Hey everyone! Today is going to be a different sort of interview, but not the final one, I can promise you that!

I'd like to introduce you to John Sowder, the artist behind the cover art for the Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2017 anthology.

His answers will be in purple:

How long have you been doing art?

When I was young my mother put a pencil in my hand and challenged me to draw anything I see. So it's been a pretty long time! 

Do you have a preferred media?

I like traditional Western comic books, so I like to work with pen and ink. 

What drew you to the Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror?

Jennifer Miller contacted me, No doubt through my work with writer Rick Powell. I don't recall off hand but I'm certain that was our connection. 

What inspires your art? 

A lot of the same things that inspired me when I was a kid: Universal and Hammer horror films, Japanese monsters, Corman Poe movies, DC and Marvel comics from the 70s. But mainly other artist or other creative folks who share an enthusiasm with the things that are close to my heart. 

Can you describe a time when you first realized that creating was something that you absolutely had to do? 

Yes, taking it back to my childhood once again … in grade school I couldn't help but draw during class. It's something I did so often that my teachers just decided to leave me alone and let me doodle.

What's your favorite thing you've ever created?
I'm usually not happy with my work in general. Basically the stuff I've done for the LOVECRAFT E-ZINE looks good and my cover art for Rick Powell's story TRUE NATURE actually reflected what I was going for: part Jack Davis/ classic E.C. horror comic and part Charles Burn. And I like the covers I created for Divine Authority Comic's MIDNIGHT WARRIORS annual 1 and Drew Edward's HALLOWEEN MAN: AMERICAN NIGHTMARE. I like to think my best work is before me still. I hope it is anyway. 

Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven't yet? 

Film making, which I have dabbled with in the past. But also writing for audio dramas. I'm a fan of old time radio shows like NIGHTFALL and QUIET PLEASE and this type of format has made a comeback with podcasts like WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE and PSEUDOPOD.

I've asked authors, so I'll ask you too. Do you Google yourself? 

I haven't done that in maybe ten years or so! I used to dominate the google search. Not anymore though.

What's the hardest thing about being an artist? 

Lots of things actually! Not having the time to do everything you want to do. Wanting to make comics or draw full time, but realizing whatever money I make doesn't equal my bi-monthly check from my real job. Not being able to keep up with digital technology as it relates to art. Like I said, lots of things! 

Please tell us where we can find more of your work? 

You can check out Drew Edward's comic HALLOWEEN MAN on comixology, and Midnight Warriors or Divine Authority Presents though Indy Planet. You can find various Rick Powell stories I did cover art for on either Amazon or lulu. And, of course, there is the LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF HORROR 2017 edition, which I'm looking forward to checking out simply for the pleasure of reading it.

*~*~*

Thank you so much for your time, John! I look forward to this year's anthology. Have a Happy Halloween, everyone! Stay safe and have a great rest of your week!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror: Author Interviews ~ Rick Powell

Welcome to another Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2017 author interview session. Today, I'd like to introduce you to Rick Powell! You'll find his answers in red. Enjoy!



1) Is this your first year participating in the LgoH? 

Nope. This is my second run and I could not be happier.

2) If so, tell us what drew you to this anthology. 

I was introduced to this anthology through the mutual friend, and past contributor, Hydra M. Star.

3) If you’ve written for previous LGoH anthologies, list the story titles and years. 

The Ladies & Gentlemen of Horror 2014 with my story Friends Like These.

4) What is your preferred genre? 

Horror, erotic horror, anything along the lines of the strange and the unusual.

5) What other titles do you have published? 

I have been in numerous publications throughout the years, but I have been a pretty consistent contributor to Infernal Ink Magazine (edited and compiled by Hydra M. Star), and have two books of poetry titled My Soul Stained, My Seed Sour and More Regrets Than Glories. I also have a collection of short stories titled A Vault of Whispers.

6) Where do you get your ideas? 

Anywhere and everywhere. A good number of my poems are inspired by either songs I have heard, personal experiences, or stories I have read. My ideas for stories just pop out of the blue. I have been a lover of the horror genre going on 40 years, so I guess you can say that this is a way of “giving back” to the genre that I love so much.

7) Does writing energize or exhaust you? 

Both. There is a point when you are writing a story or poem when you get “in the zone” and everything is flowing with a life of its own. The rush you get when everything is clicking, is something that is hard to describe. It is feeding you and draining you at the same time, and when you are done, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment that cannot be put into words.

8) Do you write for yourself or your audience? 

Oh, I write for myself. I tend to write something that I would like reading. My poems, stories, and such are like my family. They are my own little world I concocted and reading some of them now, I see a little of myself in each and every one.

9) What other authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer? 

Hydra M. Star has been a friend and like a sister to me for more years than I could remember, and I would not be on this fabulous journey if not for her. She has been there to give me support, advice, or that regular kick in the ass when I needed it. And I will be indebted to her forever. Jennifer Miller (the driving force of The Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror) has been an inspiration to me with all she does with her amazing anthology. What she does with the proceeds of TLAGOH--where they all go to The American Cancer Society—prompted me to do the same with my first collection of poetry, My Soul Stained, My Seed Sour. All the proceeds of that go to The American Heart Association dedicated to my late wife.

10) What was the hardest scene to write? 

There are a few. A couple I cannot name here because of the graphic depiction and nature of the subject, but one that does come to mind would be in my story Winston. It involves a scene where a step-father does something unnameable in the middle of the night. I left that scene ambiguous, and left the events be imagined in the mind of the reader, but it still unnerved me nonetheless.

11) Do you Google yourself? 

Oh, heck no. I am afraid of what I may find. Haha

12) Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? 

In my story True Nature, I placed names and references to classic werewolf films all throughout the story. No one has picked up on them yet, but it was fun to place them in there.

13) Do you have any little known facts you’d care to reveal to us now? 

One that I always make reference to is that when I was 2 years old, I was lost near the haunted Bachelor’s Grove woods near my childhood home in Illinois. My story The Grove is based on the legend of those woods. I still have the article from my mother when it was in the Chicago Tribune at that time. I was lost for almost 6 hours I believe. I always tell people that “ I got lost in the woods as a kid, and have been there ever since”. Haha

*~*~*

Rick Powell lives in Oak Forest, Illinois. He is a lover of horror and dark fiction and his poetry and stories have appeared in numerous publications, Don't Look Back: 13 Terrifying Tales of Urban Folklore, The Ladies & Gentlemen of Horror 2014, Infernal Ink Magazine, and the forthcoming cannibal anthology Bon Appetit: Stories and Recipes for Human Consumption.

All the proceeds from his first book of poetry, 'My Soul Stained, My Seed Sour', will go to The American Heart Association.

His other books include his other poetry collection More Regrets Than Glories and his first book of short stories A Vault of Whispers.

He could be found on GoodreadsFacebook, or his Amazon page.

Rick, thanks so much for your participation! I think I am going to have to check out "True Nature" and see what films you've placed in there! Everyone, have a great rest of your week! 

And don't forget, tomorrow, October 31, 2017, the Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror Anthologies will be available!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror: Author Interview ~ W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh

Greetings and welcome to another author interview for the Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror! (LGoH) Today's author is Walki Freedreamer Tinkanesh. Answers will be in purple!




Is it your first year participating in the LGoH?

It is the third time. In 2014 I contributed several stories and poems. It included three stories not available anywhere else: ‘Alive or Dead’, ‘The Blood of an Enemy’ and ‘Michaela’. In 2016 I contributed the art work for the book covers. It was fun. Being part of this project is always fun. This is why I am one of the many recidivists begging to contribute again and again to this unique anthology.

If so, tell us what drew you to this anthology.

In 2008 my friend Jane Timm Baxter contributed to the anthology. This is how I found out about it. I immediately liked the concept: as many women as men are featured, it is as much about the writer as it is about their writings, all proceeds go to a charity. As a reader, I discovered some wonderful gems like ‘I Am Morte’ by Elyse Draper.
I like the diversity of genres and styles this anthology offers to the world every year.

If you’ve written for previous LGoH anthologies, list the story titles and years.

Stories: ‘Control’, ‘Alive or Dead’, ‘Michaela’, ‘The Blood of an Enemy’.
Poems: ‘Clad in Black’, ‘Maybe It Is Time’, ‘Spiky Choker’.

What is your preferred genre?

I haven’t got a preferred genre, be it to read or write. I consider myself a speculative writer.

What other titles to do you have published?

In spring 2012 I published a novel entitled ‘Outsider’. The punch line could be: “Vampires and lesbians enjoying rock music in London.”
In 2014 I published ‘Tales for the 21st Century’, a collection of diverse short stories.
I meant to publish a fantasy volume in 2016, but I decided it needed one more story.
I also contributed to a few other anthologies: ‘Write Now, ‘Threads’, ‘Out Is the Word by The Word Is Out’, ‘Eclectica – the World of Shadows’, No One Makes It Out Alive: an end of the world anthology’, ‘Blessings from the Darkness’.

Where do you get your ideas from?

The Universe, Life, Death, Dreams, conversations with my cats (well, just one now, the 17-year-old died last spring), conversations with trees, conversations with rivers. I need to get out more.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

?!
Both.
Writers write with blood, sweat and tears.

Do you write for yourself or your audience?

Both. I write stories I would like to read. I’d love to have written ‘Monster Stalker’ (a scifi/fantasy/horror/etc novel by Elizabeth Watasin) or ‘Stoner McTavish’ (a detective story by Sarah Dreher).

What other authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer?

Jane Timm Baxter, Elyse Draper, SW Fairbrother, Jennifer L. Miller are on the top of the list because they’ve done some editing for me or some beta reading. They drove me to make some of my stories better, or reconsider them to get them back on track. They encourage me to keep on writing.

What was the hardest scene to write?

The middle one. Starting a story and finishing it are relatively easy. It’s like a sandwich. What stuffing do you want? What stuffing do you have? Some days are thin and bland. Others are rich and tasty.

Do you google yourself?

It takes too long. I have many names…….

Do you have any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

A few people think I do and they think they know what they are and what they mean. In truth, maybe my secrets are too secret to be found by anyone but myself, but I’m not even sure I could figure out their meanings. I am a very reserved person. This said, without experiencing life, I wouldn’t be able to write. And while I use my experience of life to write, I only use it at a starting point. Besides, I’m a speculative writer.

Do you have any little known facts you’d care to reveal to us now?

I prefer banana smoothie to coffee. I used to drink coffee while painting, and now I opt for herbal tea while writing. I don’t know what happened to chocolate…. I like spinach in my smoothie. Nowadays I prefer sticky rice first thing in the morning and banana smoothie for dinner. I have weird taste buds.


~*~*~

Walki, thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview! And yes, we do write with blood, sweat and tears. Also, sorry to hear about your cat. :(

If you'd like to connect with W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh, see the links below.

Live Journal

Chromebook

Music pages: Band camp and Soundcloud

Goodreads

Twitter

Hope you have a great rest of your week, everyone! See you soon with more interviews!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror: Author Interviews ~ John H. Howard

Welcome to another Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror author interview! I'm a little biased about today's author, as I've been working with him on my BREED project as well. Today, I introduce to you, John H. Howard! His answers will be in purple.



1) Is this your first year participating in the LGoH?

No, my story “Effigy” appeared in the LGoH 2015 and I was asked to provide the foreword for the LGoH 2016.

2) If so, tell us what drew you to this anthology.

My mother was a 17-year breast cancer survivor until she finally lost her battle to that beast in September 2016. Because all proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society, there’s no way I would ever say no to contributing to that cause. Plus, the anthology has gained quite a following and a reputation over the years, so there’s a certain amount of prestige in being asked to contribute.

3) If you’ve written for previous LGoH anthologies, list the story titles and years.

See #1.

4) What is your preferred genre?

I used to think it was fantasy, but it seems my mind tends to be drawn more toward horror anymore. It’s a great way to explore the human psyche and our collective inner demons.

5) What other titles do you have published?

“Cry of the Banshee” in the Tome of Distant Realms, 2008; “Mrs. Culling’s Reformatorium for Wayward Children” in Isabelle Rose’s Twisted Fairy Tales, 2009; “The Goblin Lantern” and “Obsidian” in Ladies and Gentlemen of Fantasy, 2014; “Moonville” in The Horror Society Presents: Forgotten Places, 2015; “Mrs. Culling’s Reformatorium for Wayward Children” (reprint) in Fiction Foundry Presents: One, 2015; “Effigy” in Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2015; and finally, I recently released a novella entitled “Ordinary Heroes,” which is available in print and Kindle formats on Amazon.

6) Where do you get your ideas?

From everyday life, ordinary situations. I think the key to having great story ideas is just to keep an open, active mind. I’m constantly asking myself what would make any given situation more interesting or creepy or horrific, or if I were a character in a story in that moment, what could happen next.

7) Does writing energize or exhaust you?

A good writing session will energize me for hours. A bad one will exhaust me.

8) Do you write for yourself or your audience?

I write for myself, but edit for an audience.

9) What other authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer?

Jennifer L. Miller, who was the first person to publish one of my stories back in 2008 (“Cry of the Banshee”). She has been a constant source of encouragement through the years and every time she asks me to contribute to something, I try to make each story better than the last.

Julia Press Simmons, one of the most badass self-made women you’ll ever meet. Not only is she an author, but she’s currently in the process of building her own multimedia pop culture empire. If not for her, “Ordinary Heroes” wouldn’t exist in its current form. I had originally drafted it as a short story for submission to a super hero-themed anthology and she asked me why I was wasting my time submitting to anthologies like that when she felt I could do well self-publishing. She told me to add 10,000 words to the story and that she would help me put it out there. I did and she did. I’m very grateful for her time, advice, and mentorship.

Also, there’s the Fiction Foundry Freaky Fridays peer review group: Jennifer Caress, Carolyn Kay, Klara Gomez, Robbie Knight, and Sarah Walker. We’ve been critiquing each others’ work for more than two years now and do our best to strengthen each others’ writing. It’s great because everyone brings something different to the table. I have learned and grown so much over that time period, I don’t even think I’m the same writer I was two years ago.


10) What was the hardest scene to write?

Not so much a scene, but an entire story: “Effigy,” which appeared in LGoH 2015. In it, a young woman awakens tied naked to a tree with no memory of how she got there or even who she is. Throughout the story, other people do horrible things to her. I almost didn’t submit it because it was so rough (and I was slightly worried about being labeled a misogynist), but I tentatively sent it to Jenna Miller. She loved it and printed it. It got a really nice review on Amazon, too. Now, it’s one of the stories I’m most proud of because it pushed a lot of boundaries, both as a story and also for me as a writer.

11) Do you Google yourself?

I did once and learned that the former Prime Minister of Australia had the same name as me. But otherwise, no.

12) Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

In my fantasy stories I almost always reference wights of some kind, usually mist wights, but you’ll also see fire wights, water wights, and occasionally the elusive shadow wight. In my fiction, they’re not so much spirits or ghosts, but closer to elementals. It’s something I came up with way back in my twenties and I liked the idea, so I’ve tried to continue it.

13) Do you have any little known facts you’d care to reveal to us now?

I hate coconut, but I love German chocolate cake. Weird, I know.

*~*~*

Thank you so much for participating, John! And congratulations on getting "Ordinary Heroes" out there! Have a great rest of your week, everyone!

Find links below to connect with John H. Howard:

Facebook Author Page

Fiction Foundry

Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror: Author Interviews ~ Grigori T. Cross



Welcome to another Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror Author Interview. Today, I'll be featuring Grigori T. Cross!
For the rest of October and in to November I will be interviewing the authors who contributed to the 2017 Horror Anthology created by Jenna Miller. The anthologies will be coming out Oct. 31st and all proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. So get scared for a good cause!
All right, let's get to the interview! Grigori's answers will be in teal.



1) Is this your first year participating in the LGoH?

This is my first year participating in the LGoH, and I’m happy to say it won’t be my last.

2) If so, tell us what drew you to this anthology.

Jennifer L. Miller, the mastermind behind the anthology, has a sterling reputation for being professional and accommodating among those friends of mine who have participated in previous years. When the opportunity to trust her with my work presented itself, I was very pleased to seize it.

3) What is your preferred genre?

The genre of film I prefer is drama and film noir, but the only thing I really prefer in what I read is good writing. The truly great works of any genre are filled with inspiration and fantasy, and I like to indulge in healthy doses of both.

4) What other titles do you have published?

Before appearing in LGoH, a short story of mine was published in an e-zine that is sadly no longer active. That story, “The Duels at Midnight,” is set to be re-published in this year’s anthology, though, so there’s no need to do any electronic grave-robbing.

5) Where do you get your ideas?

Anything I experience or think about experiencing has the potential to give me an idea for a story. I’ve written poetry based on nothing more than the humming of electrical power lines. A novel I’ve just begun writing is partly inspired by works of philosophy I’ve read. It’s even a fun challenge to see how I might make something worth reading out of something totally dull and uninspiring.

6) Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Pinpointing the words that most aesthetically complement each other while accurately reflecting what it is I want them to say can be a severe drain on time and energy. I usually save that process for second drafts, during which any given piece can end up twice the length it was when I first wrote/typed it out. Still, none of that negates how enervating it is to see the words spill from my fingers when I’m in the throes of writer’s flow.

7) Do you write for yourself or your audience?

I’ll only ever write for myself. Should it ever come to pass that I’ve allowed myself to be less than proud of the quality of my work because I’m catering to my audience, I’ll know that my integrity as a creator has been compromised. I’ve no problem allowing creative parameters to help inspire me, but nothing creatively fulfilling can come out of me if I’m pandering.

8) What other authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer?

I'm fortunate to count such authors as Rick Powell, Evelyn Eve, and Hydra M. Star among my friends. However, we talk so rarely about our respective writing processes that the way they help me most is by encouraging me to keep writing. Being worthy competition doesn't hurt, either.

9) What was the hardest scene to write?

When I’m asked which scene was hardest to write, I end up thinking about the scenes I’ve written that have been the most violent, or perhaps the most heartbreaking, because that’s where I think the question is leading, but the truth is that those scenes are usually full of passion. Passion is not the most difficult to write. For me, what’s seriously hard is when I’m in the middle of a second draft, realizing that the story has changed along the way to the point that the next scene doesn’t make any sense with the rest of the story. Granted, that’s what revisions are for, but trying to reconfigure plot and story structure can be totally disorienting.

10) Do you Google yourself?

I’m a millennial clich√©, so yes, but not often.

11) Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Hiding Easter Eggs in creative work is just what creative people do, whether intentional or not. In my case, it’s always intentional. How to correctly interpret those Easter Eggs is a different matter entirely.

*~*~*

Thanks so much for participating in my interview, Grigori! It's nice to learn about authors and what inspires them, or compels them, to write. I also have to agree, trying to reconfigure your story after it's taken a turn is definitely difficult!
If you'd like to connect with Grigori, please check the link below! And have a great rest of your week, everyone!

A link to my Facebook, where people can follow me.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror: Author Interviews ~ Henry Snider

Welcome to another Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror author interview! These anthologies will be available October 31, 2017. I thought it would be nice to let you all get to know them a little better. Also, proceeds from this anthology go towards the American Cancer Society, so it's for a good cause as well as a good scare.

On that note, please meet Henry Snider! His answers will be in gold.




1) Is this your first year participating in the LGoH? 

Yes, actually. I only found out about it last year.


2) If so, tell us what drew you to this anthology. 

A friend who's a member of our writing critique group, John Howard, told me about the anthology and what a good cause it was for.


3) If you’ve written for previous LGoH anthologies, list the story titles and years. 

This is my first go around with Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror.


4) What is your preferred genre? 

Horror for the most part, but I have to admit recently dipping my toes into the fantasy realm.


5) What other titles do you have published? 

Several stories in different anthologies over the years. I spent most of my time teaching and running writing groups until recently. Short fiction is being sent out regularly while my first novel is currently under review with an agent.


6) Where do you get your ideas? 

Now you know, this is the one question that all authors hate. We fantasize about all the terrible things we could do to people who ask us this question. You know, like tying the interviewer to a chair and force them to suffer reruns of The Brady Bunch until madness sets in. Seriously though, I'm afraid my answer isn't all that different from everyone else's - I get my ideas from everywhere. I wake up and see a bird fly by the window, it becomes a crow with a nefarious agenda (you'll have to read A MURDER OF CROWS in this year's LGoH to know what it is), or a little kid refusing to take a creepy clown mask off (THE CLOWN - Best of the Horror Society 2015). Even a boring drive across Wyoming can give birth to something (SANDCASTLES - Canopic Jars). Letting an author sit quietly isn't punishment, it's opening the door to an amazing playground.


7) Does writing energize or exhaust you? 

It actually depends on the scene I'm writing. If I'm building to a climactic point then it's energizing and I just don't want to quit. Of course if I've just written the scene I'm left exhausted, both emotionally - and in some cases physically - spent.


8) Do you write for yourself or your audience? 

Early on I was writing what I thought others wanted to read. It wasn't very good. Then I focused on only working on things that filled my daydreams...and sometimes my night terrors. I've stayed on that side of the fence ever since.


9) What other authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer? 

Not a fair list. Beyond the normal list, my wife who's a fellow author and editor, everyone in my writing group, Fiction Foundry - we really are just one big dysfunctional family. They make me twitchy, but usually in a good way. But - for the record, they've made me have a drink or two, too.


10) What was the hardest scene to write? 

So far a sex scene in my novel because my protagonist is a woman. I wanted to make sure I got the physical /and/ emotional aspects right. Again, my wife, along with the other women in my critique group were fantastic at guiding me through the scene with no teasing (smell that? that's sarcasm, readers - they teased the out of me).


11) Do you Google yourself? 

Once in a great while. It's entertaining to see how dead I am in different parts of the country. Boring obituaries, though. Not one rustler, car thief, or drunken pilot in the bunch.


12)  Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? 

Yes, all the time. A fun one is the abandoned drive-in my novel takes place at. In reality, it's based on an old drive-in theater that was on Broadway in Richmond, VA. In the summer of 1979 I was still eight years old and my parents took me to the drive-in. The double-bill was Fantastic Planet (freshly released here in the states in English) followed by Phantasm. They thought "Oh, a cartoon for him to watch and he'll go to bed." They sat through it mortified at what they'd taken me to. Then came Phantasm. No sleep for me - I fell in love with the silver sphere, demented jawa zombies (let's face it, that's what they are), and - of course - the Tall Man. I told you all of this to pass on that the summer of 1998 - almost twenty years later - I was introducing my wife and nearly two year old son to family back in Richmond and got the grand idea to see if the drive-in still existed. Hollie was in for a movie and off we went. While in line I commented about how high the pines were so no one could even see the screens. She noted that there only appeared to be men and one other couple sitting in line. Yes folks, this is going where you think it is. The old drive in had become - you guessed it - a porno drive-in. And there we are, me with a shocked expression on my face, a wife who's laughing so hard she nearly shot soda out her nose (totally the /wrong/ way to do Coke, by the way) and an infant seat in the back - all three of us lined up innocently to see a skin flick. We left, with me more than a little embarrassed. I didn't hear the end of it until...hell, I think she mentioned it last month. That brings me to my novel which takes place at an abandoned drive-in theater whose history oddly mimics the actual place. The short answer's, "Yes, I do put secret things in my writing," but it's not nearly as fun.


13) Do you have any little known facts you’d care to reveal to us now? 

I don't know - I tried out to be an extra in the original Red Dawn and discovered why my parents always caught me in lies - I can't act. I had a hard time keeping clothes on until I was in my mid-twenties (mooning, streaking, skinny-dipping - let's just say Calvin and Hobbes has the right idea). I have little-to-no shame when it comes to a good laugh. Be warned.

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Thanks so much for your interview! And yeah, sorry about question number six. But you know, all readers want to know! Plus, I get my ideas from very strange sources. I'll have to tell everyone some day. 

Here is another link from Henry for all you readers to visit. It's amazing!:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror: Author Interviews ~ Alex S. Johnson


Hey everyone, here is another installment of my Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2017 author interviews! Up to the plate today is Alex S. Johnson! His answers are in green.



1) Is this your first year participating in the LGoH? 

Second year.

2) If you’ve written for previous LGoH anthologies, list the story titles and years.

 LGOH 2016.

3) What is your preferred genre? 

Fabulism—as in the fabulous, or fable-like, tales of writers such as Vladimir Nabokov, Franz Kafka, Nicolai Gogol, Neil Gaiman, China Mieville.

4) What other titles do you have published? 

I’ve had many stories published in magazines and anthologies—Terror Train and Terror Train 2, Ugly Babies, Surreal Nightmares and much more from James Ward Kirk Fiction, Tall Tales with Short Cocks from Rooster Republic, Bizarro Central, etc. I did a work for hire novel for New Line Cinema spinning off the Jason X movie, titled Death Moon. I’ve put together several collections of my stories and poetry such as Skull Vinyl and the Doom Hippies, and MorbidBooks has issued Doctor Flesh: Director’s Cut and Wicked Candy.

5) Where do you get your ideas? 

I’m not sure where they reside, but they seem to live in that space where I’m not purposefully concentrating on any one thing, and sort of letting my mind travel, particularly after highly organized work and thinking, which amounts to the same thing. I like to do what I call “mulching,” which is reading and watching a wide variety of different kinds of entertainment or informational sources with no particular goal other than collecting the material in my subconscious, and later, just watching to see what has stuck.

6) Does writing energize or exhaust you? 

When the writing is good, it’s like going into a light trance, a pleasantly alternative state of consciousness where all that exists is the logistics of making the story better once it’s arrived from my fingertips intact in its basic form.

7) Do you write for yourself or your audience? 

I like to think that somewhere out there, there are people like myself who will get all the references to culture, other writers, art, movies, music, history, and so forth, who are equally voracious about their culture and want to be immersed in cool media 24/7 if they possibly can be. When I write for myself, I’m writing for those others, some of whom I know, most of whom I don’t. Surprisingly enough for a writer whose work is so weird and experimental, I have readers who get exactly what I’m doing and want more of it.

8) What other authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer? 

My closest writer friend is a guy named Chris Ropes, who I met when we were both associated with an “extreme” horror publisher. Since then, over a few years, we both went our ways from that publisher—I was forced out and he quit in protest. But if nothing else, that connection began a conversation that has lasted for what, four years now. He’ll call me up from his home in New Jersey—I’m in California—and we’ll have these long, rambling talks that cover everything from postmodern philosophy to the best Slurpee flavors. Usually I’ll come off the phone so inspired from some throwaway bit of business that emerged from our conversation I’ll go directly to writing that story. For example, that’s how I got the story “Barking Squirrels” which was published in Bizarro Central. It’s magic, it nearly always happens between us. Our styles and approaches have very, very little in common, but we’re very good for each other.

9) What was the hardest scene to write? 

There’s a scene in my novelette “Shattergirl” in which this insane homeless lady has kidnapped my protagonist and forces her and her husband to have a m√©nage a trois with a corpse. Because the setting and the whole tenor of that story is ultra-realistic—very rare for me—it went beyond just an awful but ultimately surreal nightmare situation into something I had to envision as it might literally occur. While I was writing that scene I felt very uncomfortable. I’m gratified to have a reader who works near the story’s setting and wrote a review where she called the story “harrowing” because she could precisely imagine it happening to her. That’s a true compliment.

10) Do you Google yourself? 

Yes, I admit I have self-Googled.

11) Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? 

Yes and no. Some of the scenes in my least realistic stories actually happened to me in life, whereas my most realistic stories are often the least based on fact.

12) Do you have any little known facts you’d care to reveal to us now? 

My story “Deatherz” in the Rejected for Content: Splattergore anthology was based on a real party I attended in 2011, that I was invited to on my birthday. The porn-set background is real. A number of the details of my goth-rock star protagonist, Razor Blakk, belong to an actual person. 

~*~*~

Alex, thank you so much for participating in this interview! It gives a whole new insight to how other authors operate and what sort of works inspire them.

You can find out more about Alex S. Johnson in the links below:

Amazon

Facebook

Facebook Author Page

Thank you, everyone, for dropping by. Hope you have a great week!