G'day Catt and welcome to the Couch Of Chaos. I appreciate you popping in on a Sunday morning. Let me just lie down a bit, I'm still recovering from my run with Christina Berling yesterday. That girl can move. I'm glad to see you brought a few of your nefarious beasts for Terra to play with. She does like a good dinosaur chase. Yes, that is coffee. Please pass me a cup. Thanks. OK, shall we get this party started.
So from where do you hail? And what is your modus operandi with the blood soaked pen?
I live in Northeast Texas, in Texarkana. It’s on the Louisiana/Texas/Arkansas borders. Home of The Legend of Boggy Creek, Town That Dreaded Sundown, and the Foulke monster. No shock that I write all genres of horror.
A mother isn’t meant to have favourites, but tell me, what is your favourite story that you have written? And why? Just so all those other stories know.
I honestly don’t have one. I like some more than others and have a few I’d like to pretend never happened. At the risk of hurting every book’s feelings, I am partial to several that are historical horror. I loved the research, I felt closer to the characters (because they were real people, there are pictures available), and I enjoyed living in those worlds for a while. Dyatlov Nine and Polar Knights were two that were historical horror novels that I almost couldn’t finish because I was so wrapped in in those worlds.
If there was one thing you could change, improve about your writing or writing process, what would it be? More coffee and less cake are not acceptable answers.
Commas. I would love to make all commas vanish since I tend to type too fast to get some where they belong! Probably not a good answer. Maybe to think more slowly, type more slowly, and get the commas right? Sorry. Commas bug me.
All of our characters have elements of ourselves woven into them. Which poor character is most like you?
I probably always have a bit of me in each novel. Beth in my Z is For Zombie series. She is prettier, thinner, and more of a bad-ass, but Beth is my alter ego. Beth is who I want to be, except without zombies around. Zombies are a pain. I think Virgil in my Virgil McLendon detective-horror series. If I were a man, I’d be Virgil. He’s handsome and a bad-ass as well. This is probably best suited for me to work out with a psychologist.
Imagine I am filthy successful agent (I did say imagine) we are stepping into an elevator. Hit me with your top three elevator pitches for three pieces of your work.
I’m ornery. Instead, I’d tell you that I have over 50 novels, a dozen short stories, and (soon to be) three screenplays with two already going to film. I won’t have the next bestseller, but I’m prolific and creative. I’d ask if you wanted safety or to take a chance on someone willing to screw up the elevator and crash us both to the bottom floor just to show how horrific and gutsy I can be. After the police lead me away for the threat, I’d hope you called!
What is the greatest challenge to women succeeding in horror?
Unpopular opinion here. Nothing. Zero. I thought that was a factor when I started in the business a decade ago (late start), but I’ve never once thought my gender held me back. I don’t compete with men or women. I write. I don’t know if other women have felt differently, and if so, I respect that fully. I would hate feeling that way or having something happen to hold me back. It’s just that I haven’t had it happen. On the other hand, I made friends with a lot of guys in the genre (I’m kind of a tom-boy), which may be why I never saw an issue.
You have a choice of five people to invite to dinner. Any five in life or beyond? Ok, make that four because it is a given you will invite yours truly. Four friends plus me to your dinner party. Who are they?
So I have already cheated one person? Fine. Judas Iscariot. Marco Polo. Adolph Hitler. Henry X111. Notice the historical aspect? I have questions for these four people that only they can answer.
How do you determine success for yourself?
I don’t think I can say I have been a success. I have no idea what event would justify that. I’ve done a ton, and people say I am a success, but I don’t feel that way. There’s more to do. Better to do. This probably why I own a horror press, an VP of HAG (Horror Authors Guild), have a podcast (Wicked Little Things), work to get books on audio with ACX, write full time, and have started screenplays. I work myself until exhausted because I’m not there (in my mind) yet.
What inspires you? No, don’t look at me.
The %^&* (insert obscenity) boy from 7th grade speech/debate class that told me I’d never be a writer and who laughed at me when we discussed what we wanted to be. Yeah, how’s that job that you have, Robert? Huh? Seriously. And then massive support from immediate family and friends helps a ton.
Tell us, why should we read your work? Don’t say because it is better than mine.
I doubt anyone SHOULD read my work. On the other hand, I do have some brutal true crime books, historical horror, sci-fi horror, zombies, apoc, and a lot of psychological terror. I probably have something for everyone, so that’s one good reason. I like to add science and history all over, so that’s a second one. (If readers like that. If now…well….) I write comedy horror! Okay. I’m not politically perfect, I’m kind of violent (in books, not real life), and I write the books I really want to read. Read me because I am owned by 2 cats.