- Name one horror author you admire and explain how they helped you become a better writer.
Though I didn’t begin writing until I was in my mid 30s, my love of horror blossomed with reading Christopher Pike in Junior High. When I started writing, I initially tried to write in more of a literary style, and I tried genres that just weren’t a good fit for me (contemporary, romance, science fiction). I realized I needed to embrace writing what I enjoyed rather than trying to meet the expectations of others. It was my love of Christopher Pike that helped me realize young adult horror was my passion, and when I gave myself permission to write this instead of worrying about the judgment of others, I started enjoying myself and saw more success in selling my work.
- As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot and why?
My immediate instinct is to say a cat, but I think that’s just because I love them. Really, I think my mascot would be a crow or raven. They’re black, and I love wearing black. They’re intelligent and adaptable, which I strive to be. They’re also loud, which I definitely am. They hold funeral rites for deceased crows and a group is called a murder, which is just generally spooky. I also loved Poe’s poem “The Raven” from the first moment I read it, and even named my first cat Lenore. Now if only I could learn to fly…
- Name six of your favorite horror movies or books.
Wow, this is tough to narrow down to 6. For books, I would start with Dr. Sleep, Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining. It was such a perfect continuation of Danny’s story, and Rose the Hat is one of my all-time favorite villains. I also loved The Girl With All the Gifts. It was a new take on a zombie story, and the main character, who was a child, was extremely well done. One of my favorite recent reads was The Sawkill Girls, which had a diverse cast of girls in every story role and it also had a really great villain who you sympathize with in the end.
As far as movies, I love a good slasher film, so the original Halloween is one of my all-time favorites. I enjoy horror/comedy as well and could watch Slither a hundred times. For a more recent pick, I really enjoyed Ready or Not. Samar Weaving was amazing in it and is my new favorite scream queen.
- What is the next story we can look forward to reading from you?
My next release will be a short story coming out in February titled “Night Terrors,” which is part of the Strange Girls Anthology. It’s about a girl who begins to experience menacing figures surrounding her at night while she’s unable to move. She initially thinks she’s experiencing night terrors but discovers that what’s happening may actually be real.
– Interview by Desi D