Interview With Tanya R. Taylor, Author of Infestation

In celebration of Women’s Horror Month, please welcome my special guest Tanya R. Taylor, author in mostly the paranormal/supernatural genre. Please enjoy her insightful interview.

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1. Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?

I would say make sure to study the craft before publishing because you want to ensure that what you produce for the public is as well written and professionally presented as possible. No book that I’ve ever seen, whether it was Indie published or traditionally published, is error-free, but at least we can strive for ‘near letter perfect’ as a seasoned agent once told me. So, once you’ve written the story you’d love to share and have covered these bases, you’re good to go.

You may find that some people you think would automatically support or encourage you with your creative endeavors actually don’t. They may feel that you’re just wasting your time, but if that happens, don’t be discouraged. Use it as fuel to move forward and accomplish your dream of becoming a published author.

2. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! I am so grateful to all my readers — many of whom have also subscribed to my newsletters. Sometimes when I don’t quite feel like writing, I think of all the people who are looking forward to my next release and there’s no way I would let them down. The procrastination disappears and I immerse myself in the new world I have begun creating in my mind.

3. What are your thoughts on the fact that both trade and self-published authors have to promote their own work?

Some people believe that traditionally published authors just sit back and relax while their publishers handle all the marketing. Not true. It’s still that person’s book and although they’re under contract, the publisher expects them to be proactive right along with them when it comes to promoting their own title. Indie authors obviously must market as well in order to see a good number of sales. I know it’s not an easy task for writers who are not good at marketing and would rather just write, but in order for your hard work to pay off financially, you must view it not only as a hobby, but as a business. Every successful business regularly implements promotional strategies. Marketing helps visibility and visibility often leads to further sales.

Choosing not to promote can keep a good book “hidden” for years and even decades to come.

4. What genre do you write for? Your favorite aspect? Your least favorite aspect?

I write mainly paranormal/supernatural, although I write in other genres as well. I love getting into these types of stories and feeling what my characters feel. And I try to present a good theme regardless of how eerie, scary or troubling some events in the story may be. My favorite part is when something really touching comes up and my own emotions are stirred even though the story is purely fictional. There’s nothing about writing these types of books that I don’t like.

5. What are your current/next projects?

I’ve just released a drama titled ’10 Minutes before Sleeping’. There’s nothing paranormal about that, but it’s a powerful story nonetheless. Now, I am working on ‘The Haunting of Merci Hospital’ which will be released on April 30, 2017. Then onto the fourth book of the Cornelius Saga – ‘We See No Evil’. I’m also wrapping up a ghostwriting project and will have to get back to adding more books to the Real Illusions series since some readers have been asking me to not end the series with part 4 which was my intention. After receiving another request recently on my Facebook page to add more books to the series, I know I must include that project in my schedule for this year as well. I aim to please my readers.

6. How do you find time to write?

Sometimes it’s really tough to find time to write with so much going on from day to day. But I treat my writing as a priority by scheduling time into my day whether it be early in the morning, late at night or both, for working on my projects.

7. Did you always want to become an author?

Always. I was writing stories from very young.

8. Is there any writing rituals you complete before creating your manuscripts/drafts?

I take time to envision the plot, then I start an outline. I try to follow that outline as much as possible, but oftentimes, my stories take on a life of their own and I go with the flow. However, the main parts of the plot I always manage to include.

9. Do you write the beginning/opening first or do you tend to write out of order (with whatever scenes interest you the most)?

I always write the beginning first.

10. While you were writing, did you ever feel like you were one of your characters?

Oh, yes. Some of my characters have some of the same characteristics as I do.

11. How did you come up with the title?

It usually just falls into my head. I don’t have to brainstorm.

12. What inspired you to write your latest book? What is the book about?

‘1o Minutes before Sleeping’ was on my mind for about two years. I had learned about a mother who was having a tough time and as I thought of her, I got ideas about a fictional story involving a young woman who’s been pretty much rejected and abandoned by those who should have loved and cared for her. As those ideas came, the entire plot unfolded in my mind.

The story takes the reader on a journey of a lady named Eva — from her infancy to adulthood — and the things she suffered along the way. There was a time when she found happiness for the first time in her life, then tragedy occurred. Eventually, it seems as if things are beginning to improve, then a series of events take place that culminate to something completely unexpected. It changes Eva’s life forever. This story is quite touching and wasn’t so easy to write due to some of the scenes.

13. Any blogs, websites, social media you’d like to share?

Thanks again, Tanya!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

What Writing Has Scared Myself, Wondering Where My Wild Imagination Came From

Celebrating Women’s Horror Month, I’d like to share my personal writing experience. Today I was asked an awesome question: Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?

My answer–absolutely yes! I really pushed myself to the limit when I was writing Twisted Obsession. I scared myself how easily the words flowed on the page, it’s a pretty dark story. I scared myself how much fun I had writing Miki. Let me tell ya, Miki was a real piece of shit, and I held nothing back. I wanted my readers to feel disgusted by him. No leeway.

But, the most important thing that scared me while writing my suspense novella…how calmly I wrote Chapter 28. I couldn’t believe what I did to the son Jahlin. Some of my beta-readers demanded I change the ending, but I stuck to my guns. How demented and creepy Miki was, there couldn’t be a different ending.

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I remember after writing Chapter 28, I needed to compose myself. I held back tears, fearing what I had in store for Finia next. I felt like a piece of shit because I don’t condone violence. Heck, I’ve never been in a fight before. I’m a peaceful hippie. But, when you write dark fiction, you have to get out of your comfort zone and enter the mind of your villain with no apologies.

That scene was hard for me, but I’m proud of myself. I stayed true to my dark, creepy, obsessive suspense novella. I didn’t chicken out and give a happy ending to please readers.

If you don’t mind spoilers, here’s a sneak peak of Chapter 28:

Miki chuckled and looked at his son, then he scanned the area in the front, back, and sides of the boat. On the lake, they were near an open field, so he had to make sure no one else was approaching. He had gone to the least favorite fishing spot in the area for a reason. Taking a deep breath, he said, “Buddy, do you know how to swim?”

I shuddered typing that, knowing what happens next! If you want to read Twisted Obsessionclick on the title. For all of February, the book is only 99 cents.

For all the writers out there, have you ever been scared of something you wrote? For all the readers out there, have you ever read a scene and felt some way about the author, wondering where that wild imagination came from?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Horror Interview With Yawatta Hosby

Oh my goodness, I’m so excited! Tonight reached my blog getting over 200,000 views! I can’t even believe it.  2011 began my blogging hobby. 2013 began my publishing journey. 2017 still going strong. What if I had given up on my dream? I can’t even imagine…

In celebration of Women’s Horror Month, I thought it’d be fun to interview myself, to share with you guys some of my deepest fears. That takes a lot of me because I’m a very private person.

Okay, here goes:

1. What’s your favorite horror movie?

Scream, hands down. I loved the slasher and pyschological aspect. Syd didn’t ask to be stalked. Syd didn’t ask for everyone around her to die, one by one. Syd just wanted to be a normal teenager and get through high school. Too bad her boyfriend had other plans…It was the first time I experienced a human as the monster in a movie.

In 1996, I was in junior high, 9th grade to be exact. That’s when the movie came out in theaters. Let me tell ya, I was beyond spooked. The murder scenes were gruesome, and the situation was something that could happen in real life. Someone obsessive could be plotting my death. Someone close to me could betray me in the worst way. I already have trust issues and keep my wall up. You can bet your bottom dollar I didn’t date in high school (the movie Fear and my shyness contributed to that also haha).

2. What’s the first horror book/story you remember reading?

Oh my goodness, I still remember this day like yesterday. I read one of R.L. Stine’s books on the couch at grandma’s house. She was watching her soaps. School had been cancelled. I was in the 7th grade.

The story was of a kid who had a ghost as a babysitter. The older lady terrorized the kid when he figured out her secret. I was breathing rapidly, sweating profusely, and trembling with fear. Even though I was scared, I couldn’t look away from the page. The scariest scene–the little boy looked out the second floor window and saw the ghost’s head floating outside…without the body attached!

No lie–to this day I’m afraid to look out a window.

3. What scares you?

I’m a huge scaredy cat. Here’s my long list in no particular order: showing weakness, getting attacked from behind, tornadoes, storms, fear of heights, water (fear of drowning), being mauled by a dog, ghosts, frogs and toads, insects, crazy people, antique dolls, knifes, guns, the woods, bears, mountain lions, birds, being stalked, cancer, crossing bridges, haunted tours, under my bed and closet (places the boogeyman can hide), and getting behind a wheel of a vehicle (fear of driving).

Surprisingly,  I’m not scared of snakes or mice.

4. Do you have any fun Halloween experiences?

My brother and I always had a competition of scaring each other. He was in junior high. We’re 13 years apart, I’m the oldest. I went to The Devil’s Den in Winchester, VA for a haunted tour, leaving RJ at home. He said he was going to the Haunted Fairgrounds. And, since I wouldn’t let his friend stay over, he said he would be back in the morning.

When I got home, it was pitch dark and freezing cold. Oh no had a ghost followed me home! Calming down and thinking a burglar broke a window, I searched the house, grabbing a hammer. In the hallway, I noticed all the bedroom doors closed. I went down in the basement, then I crept upstairs to the second floor.  Now, RJ’s door was cracked open. Holding the hammer over my head, I was prepared to use it. No flight response. I was prepared to fight.

I was on the top step. I paused, then tip toed to his door. I braced myself, sweat dripping from my forehead, my heart racing. Either I’d hurt the burglar or the burglar would kill me. I pushed the door open. RJ yelled “BOO” from the bathroom.

Let’s just say, I begged him to call his friend so he could stay. The more, the merrier. Mom was spending the night with her boyfriend. She only came home on the weekends. Turns out, RJ never went to the Haunted Fairgrounds. He waited for me, turning off the heat. He knew me well. Coming back from the haunted tour, I would walk into a freezing house and freak out, thinking a ghost followed me home.

I respected him after that prank. What did we do after that? We all watched The Unborn. No wonder I have nightmares quite often.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Interview With Amy Cross, Horror Author

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.

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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.

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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!

Reader Interview With Mandy, Fan of Horror Fiction

Please welcome my special guest Mandy, fan of anything horror. I often see her curled up with a murder mystery or a book about some killer terrorizing people. We can spend hours talking about our favorite horror movies. For Women’s Horror Month, I knew I had to get inside that twisty brain of hers.

Please enjoy her short, yet insightful reader interview. Without understanding what our readers want, authors couldn’t make a living 🙂

1. If you were a character in a horror book, would you rather be the villain, the one being chased, or the hero?

Mandy: The villain. Playing the role of a “bad” person or someone truly hated would be fun because it’d be outside the norm of my regular life.

Great minds think alike. I’d want to be the villain too. They tend to have more personality than the Mary Sue/Gary Stu hero. Six Plus One was created from my coworker’s challenge of writing a story about a killer offing their coworkers. Setting. Check–creepy woods. Job. Check–filming webseries about aliens. Killer (s). Check–I would tell you, but then you wouldn’t buy the book when it’s released haha.

Mandy, maybe one day I’ll brainstorm a story idea with you. With your crazy ass, we could make horror magic.

2. If you were a character in a horror book, would you want the monster to be a human or a creature?

Mandy: A human. Makes the story more realistic, in turn making the story more frightening.

3. What do you find exciting about the horror genre?

Mandy: The excitement, the thrill, the adrenaline.

Absolutely! That’s why I love writing horror. The plot is fast paced, something is always happening even during those quiet, subtle moments. There’s nothing more exciting than scaring yourself. There’s nothing more thrilling than your adrenaline rushing through your body as you get chills down your spine reading a disgusting scene. You’re on edge, full of suspense, flight or fight senses in full effect.

4. If you could read the ultimate horror book, what would be the perfect scenario or plot for you?

Mandy: The perfect scenario would be anything that holds my attention, has suspense, and makes me stand on edge.

5. Would you rather:

Be in the woods or in a haunted house? Haunted house. I’m still waiting on that ghost adventure in Shepherdstown 🙂

Be alone or accompanied by a group? Group of people. More distractions for the monster while I’m finding clues on how to destroy it.

Fight the monster yourself or save the day by getting someone else involved? Myself! It’d be fun outsmarting the monster.

6. When you find a book to read, what appeals to you? Book cover, blurb, etc?

Mandy: The blurb. I like to see what plot or type of story I’m committing to because that dictates what heightened emotions I’ll experience throughout the hundred plus pages.

Thank you so much, Mandy! I had fun interviewing you.

Are you a horror reader looking to be interviewed for Women’s Horror Month? If so, email me at author.yawatta.hosby (AT) aol (DOT) com. Looking forward to hear from you.

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Oh yes, it’d definitely be fun playing the villain in a book haha.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby 

 

 

Interview With Gina Moray, Author of Cemetery at Devil’s Bend

I’d like to welcome my special guest author Gina Moray who writes horror and thrillers. Please enjoy her insightful interview.

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1. Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?

Don’t be ashamed to write what you love or to self-publish it. Always put your best foot forward and whatever you do publish, make sure that it’s the best you can do. Take your time and take advantage of people who are willing to beta read and critique for you.

2. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope that my stories frighten you and make you a bit uncomfortable, but that you love them enough to come back for more.

3. What genres do you write for? Your favorite aspect? Your least favorite aspect?

I write horror and thrillers mostly. My favorite aspect of both genres is frightening the readers, hopefully to the point that it sticks with them long after they read my book. I want to write a scene like the shower scene in Psycho. Thirty years later and I still peek out of the shower curtain. My least favorite aspect is that sometimes I have to write darker than I feel comfortable with and it leaves a lasting effect on me.

THE GUARDIANS COVER

 

4. What are your current/next projects?

I am currently writing a horror novel called The Candy Man. The best way to explain would be to say that if Sinister and Children of the Corn had a love child, it would be The Candy Man. I am also working on the first book of my thriller series and a few short stories.

5. Do you prefer to work alone or with critique partners/beta-readers?

Initially I work alone,  but I do value the opinion of critiques and beta readers after I have a completed draft.

6. How do you find time to write?

I work full time, so I usually write during lunch, while waiting for meetings or appointments, during the evenings, and on the weekends. I have perfected the art of writing in the living room with my family, so I can interact with them, and still get words down on the page.

7. Did you always want to become an author?

I always wanted to be a writer, but until recently, I didn’t have the courage or confidence to see a story through to the end. Once I did that, there was no turning back.

8. Is there any writing rituals you complete before creating your manuscripts/drafts?

Since I grab writing time whenever I can, I can’t afford to have much of a ritual. I’m always creating new stories and I’m a pantser, so there are no outlines for me.

9. Do you write the beginning/opening first or do you tend to write our of order (with whatever scenes interest you the most)?

I always start with the opening chapter, but after that, I will write sequentially for as long as I can, until I hit a brick wall. Then I skip to the next part of the book that I can clearly see and go on from there, then fill in the holes later.

10. Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Some of my early short stories make me happy that no one ever saw them. They were atrocious, but I am rewriting some and bringing new life to them.

11. Which  is the easiest for you–novel, novella, or short story? Why?

At first, all I could write was flash fiction and short stories. After I completed my first novel, I found it easier to write them because I have more space to develop the story and get creative. Short stories are always a challenge due to the length restrictions, but I still enjoy writing them.

12. While you were writing, did you ever feel like you were one of your characters?

Actually, no. I’m telling the stories of characters in my head and to be honest, I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with some of them. I can relate to some aspects of their personalities, but I try to distance myself from them to a degree because my stories frighten me.

13. How did you come up with the title?

You know, I’m not sure really. For some books, I just start writing and it comes to me. Others, the title comes while I’m writing notes on a new book.

14. What inspired you to write your latest book? What is the book about?

I came up with the idea when I was half listening to something on TV and I thought I heard someone say “nightmare candy.” As soon as I heard that, my mind spit out a story synopsis. It works like that sometimes. I had to end up creating the creature in the story and a legend to go with it, in order to make the story work. It’s about a creature that comes to town and preys on the children, through the use of candy, to steal their souls.

Moray

15. Any blogs, websites, social media you’d like to share?

Thanks again, Gina. That shower scene still gives me the creeps too, which reminds me of what just happened on A&E’s Bates Motel. Norma, no!!!!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Check Out My Author Interview on Creative Barbwire’s Blog!

I’m so excited! I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the author Barbara G. Tarn. She also has a short story in When the Lights Go Out anthology (free by the way).

If you want to check out my interview, here’s the link–Sunday Surprise.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby