For the 5th post celebrating Women’s Horror Month, please welcome my special guest Angel Gelique, author of Expulsion and the Hillary series. She’s interviewing a favorite author of mine–Amy Cross! If you read my book reviews on here or Goodreads, then you’ll see I’m also a huge fan of Angel Gelique’s dark writing style. Please enjoy 🙂
Celebrating Amy Cross, an Amazing Woman in Horror
by Angel Gelique
February. What a great month! The groundhog tells us whether we can expect more weeks of winter. There’s the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras. Who can forget Valentine’s Day–time for love and romance? But for me, February is the best because it’s Women in Horror month.
Recently, I had the good fortune to discover a brilliant horror author, Amy Cross. If you haven’t heard of Amy Cross or haven’t yet read any of her stories, I strongly advise you to rectify that grievous oversight immediately! Seriously, if you’re a fan a horror, you’ll thank me once you give her books a try. Author of an impressive number of books (almost a hundred–WOW!), Ms. Cross has certainly left her mark on the world.
I’m honored that such an incredibly talented author has granted me permission to conduct an interview. What a treat it’s been learning more about one of my favorite writers!
INTERVIEW WITH AMY CROSS
1. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer? What led you to that realization?
When I was very young, my mother used to write stories for me. Just short things, a few pages long, but I suppose that made me realize from an early age that stories weren’t just things that other people wrote in books for me to read. I realized I could try writing them too. It took me a while to really get started, though.
2. Are there any books from your childhood that were instrumental in luring you down the writer’s path?
I really loved the Narnia books when I was younger, and the way C.S. Lewis told entertaining stories while building up those whole incredible imagined worlds. Also, I think I must have read The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster at least a hundred times by the time I was fifteen.
3. Which authors have most influenced your writing?
Emily Bronte, definitely. If you read Wuthering Heights, it has romance and adventure and melodrama, and it’s also very experimental. I always come back to Wuthering Heights as an example of a book that refuses to be just one thing or just one style.
4. If you could meet any author (living or dead), which one would you choose and why?
Either Emily Bronte, so I could learn more about the influences behind Wuthering Heights, or Carl Sagan so I could pepper him with questions until he told me to go away.
5. What do you find most challenging about writing horror books?
The hardest part, for me, is avoiding repetition. Sometimes I use certain words a little too often, so I have to banish them for a while, and the same is true of story elements and characters. Occasionally I have to write a list of things that absolutely cannot happen, or appear, in my books for a while. For example, at the moment, no-one is allowed to mutter or hiss, because I think I over-used those words. And houses can no longer have strange bumps in the night, because I had too many of those as well.
6. As a writer of horror, do you ever feel compelled to limit the amount of gore/violence present within your stories?
No. I think each story is different, and some need lots of violence while others benefit from having much less. Sometimes you need blood splattering against walls, and sometimes you need something more subtle. Emotional violence can be just as powerful as taking a hammer to the face.
7. If you were able to meet one of your characters, which one would you choose and why?
Patrick from the Dark Season books, mainly because I think I finished his story a little too soon and I’d like to spend more time with him.
8. Have you ever based a character upon someone you know?
Only Harry in The Dog.
9. Which one of your characters most closely possesses your personality traits and characteristics?
None of them. I don’t really write autobiographical elements in my books, so I can’t think of any characters who are anything like me. Which is a good thing, because I think I’d be a pretty boring character in a book!
10. What fuels that incredible imagination of yours?
I’m not sure it’s really very incredible, but I get most of my ideas while I’m taking the dog for a walk, or while I’m sitting on the train. Long train journeys and long dog walks, without anyone to talk to, can be pretty good for forcing your brain to come up with things, because then you have to kind of talk to your own thoughts and ideas. Reading that answer back, I hope it doesn’t make me sound crazy…
11. What has been your hardest topic/scene to write about?
There were times when I wanted Harry to have an easier time in The Dog, so parts of that book were very tough to write. There are also occasions when I want a character to have a happy ending, but the book demands something nastier, and I always have to go with what fits the book. So I’d have preferred The Printer From Hell, for example, to be less bleak at the end, but I couldn’t think of anything uplifting to put in there.
12. Have you ever considered writing a screenplay and/or adapting any of your stories for the screen?
I have. I know nothing about screenwriting, so I should probably leave it to the professionals, but I’ve been thinking on and off about writing an adaptation of A House in London, mostly just for my own amusement. I just need to find the time.
13. How long, on average, does it take you to compete a short story? A novel?
I try to write 10,000 words each day, so a novel with 80,000 words would take eight days to get the first version done. Sometimes they’re pretty much finished at that point, but others need a lot more work. At the moment I have three sitting on my laptop in varying stages of completion, and the beginnings of several others. Short stories can be anything from a day to two or three.
14. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
At the moment, I spend most of my spare time walking the dog and trying to learn to cook. Apart from that, it’s good to meet friends from time to time, otherwise writing can tend to be a very quiet life.
15. What are your goals for the future?
In the immediate future, I need to get a few books knocked into shape so they can come out in February. One of them is a complete reboot of the Joanna Mason series I started a few years ago. In the first few books, she was a loudmouth US cop. Now she’s a much quieter, more introspective British private detective. I like the new version much more. Longer term, I don’t really have any plans. I’d like to see one of my books turned into a movie, but I don’t think I’d want to be heavily involved in that process.
Nope, I’m not yet done praising Ms. Amy Cross….
For those of you who are considering giving this author a try, you’ll be delighted to know that she generously offers her stories for free. On any given day, you find at least one of her books on Amazon, free of charge. Of course, once you read them, you’ll be hooked and want to buy more!
😉 Check out her Amazon page to see what’s available today.
For more information on her books and latest releases, visit her website.
You may follow Amy Cross on Goodreads.
Many thanks to Amy Cross, not just for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my interview questions, but also for entertaining me with her awesome stories!