Catherine Gracey

Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Interview: Alexander S. Brown

In American, Author on October 25, 2012 at 9:00 am

Alexander S. Brown is a horror and steampunk author from Mississippi. You might recognise his name from his book, Traumatized, or from short stories in Dreams of Steam 2, and Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells. You might also recognise him for his work with The Things that Go Bump Celebration and The Yuletide Souls Fest, events for artists that are geared towards raising funds to help prevent child abuse in his home town. Alexander recently took time out from his writing to answer my questions.

1)   What is something you do in your professional or artistic life that you think is really cool, and why do you think that about it?

I think it’s really cool how my mind works. Since I was a child I have always lived in a fantasy world but I never had imaginary friends, only characters. I feel that I am the storyteller I am today because how my mind can be melodramatic and elaborative.

2)   How did you come to be in the career position you are currently in?

I have always wanted to be an author or an artist. The passion was there since I decided I had a vision to share. By the stepping stones that other masters have laid before me, it made me feel more comfortable in the shoes I decided to try on for size.

3)   What is something from your personal life that you are very proud of, and why are you proud?

I am proud to be able to keep balance in my life. I feel that so many people overdo one or the other. Everything has to have balance, even the dark side which everyone has but most are ashamed to share.

4)   What is a personality trait you possess that other people might not notice, and how would they miss it?

The personality trait I have that most people might not notice and actually have said they have missed is my ability to be melodramatic with my jokes and complements. I sometimes tend to over exaggerate my dialog so it sounds like the poor dialogue in a B rated 80’s flick.

5)   If you could change just one thing about the world, what would it be and why would you change it?

I’d like to change the economy. I grew up in the 90’s and I miss seeing those inexpensive gas prices.

6)   If you could give a young person one piece of advice, what would it be?

March to the beat of your own drum. People might not catch the beat at first but they will eventually.

7)   What is something that you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet, and why haven’t you done it?

I would like to visit Ireland and Germany. I haven’t done this because I’m not a bestselling author yet.

8)   What is something that you have sworn to never do again, and why won’t you repeat it?

I swore I’d never drink that much ever again. I hate hangovers.

9)   If you could break one personal habit, what would it be and why would you break it?

I would break the habit of eating foods that were bad for me. I would do this for health reasons.

10)   If you could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, what would it be and why?

I’d like to play cello, I feel it would add to my image of overdrinking coffee, wearing thick framed glasses and enjoying sushi.

11)   Is there anything from you that we should be looking out for in the future?

Hopefully, my new novel, Syrenthia Falls will be released sooner than later. Although I specialize in horror, I am one day hoping to write a dark comedy collection.

Thank you, Alexander, for taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to know more about Alexander, you can visit his website or find him on Facebook.

Next Week: Stephanie Osborn

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Interview: Jay Wilburn

In American, Author on October 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

Based in South Carolina, Jay Wilburn is an American author who you might recognise for his book, Loose Ends: A Zombie Novel. He has also published a range of shorter works, such as novellas and short stories, in a variety of anthologies. His work focuses primarily on horror, but he has also branched into other genres such as steampunk and paranormal. In addition to this creative work, Jay also writes columns for Dark Eclipse and Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.

1)   What is something you do in your professional or artistic life that you think is really cool, and why do you think that about it?

In addition to my own constant efforts at writing, I write reviews for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. I gives me a chance to see other work and establishes a bar for my own writing that I need to top. I believe I serve other writers and readers through that column.

2)   How did you come to be in the career position you are currently in?

I dared to enter a writing contest and came in third. I published other pieces and started to believe I could be a writer. I challenged myself to try styles that were once alien to me. Before long, other people believed I was a writer too and they haven’t discovered I’m still figuring this out.

3)   What is something from your personal life that you are very proud of, and why are you proud?

I’m a teacher. I believe I do an excellent job of serving families and students. I believe it helps me be a better parent.

4)   What is a personality trait you possess that other people might not notice, and how would they miss it?

I’m naturally introverted. I put on a good show, but I’m happy to be on my own banging out words for a story.

5)   If you could change just one thing about the world, what would it be and why would you change it?

I would remove the personal insult people feel when others disagree or believe differently from them. I think all sides of most arguments have guilt in this.

6)   If you could give a young person one piece of advice, what would it be?

Get used to the grind and sacrifice that comes with striving for things that matter so you will stick with your dreams instead of settling for something easier and more empty.

7)   What is something that you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet, and why haven’t you done it?

I would like to make a living solely from writing. I’m striving for it. There is far more rough edge that needs to be scoured off my craft before I can convince the world and myself that that is an option.

8)   What is something that you have sworn to never do again, and why won’t you repeat it?

I don’t want to go back to school for more degrees. The squeeze isn’t worth the juice for me anymore and that’s not what I want to be doing when my body decides to stop breathing.

9)   If you could break one personal habit, what would it be and why would you break it?

My tendency to find the negative in most situations. I’ve made it work for me in handling disappointment or pain, but it makes others more unhappy around me. I don’t like that about myself.

10)   If you could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, what would it be and why?

Other languages. There is a lot to be discovered outside our own cultures and a lot of good can be done, if we speak each other’s languages.

11)   Is there anything from you that we should be looking out for in the future?

My novel Loose Ends: A Zombie novel with Hazardous Press is moving into wider release. I’m working on a time travel horror novel that is turning out better than I expected. I’m in a number of anthologies including a couple disturbing tales in Face Paint with Rainstorm Press and in Lucha Gore: Scares from the Squared Circle with Cruentus Libra Press both coming soon.

Thank you, Jay, for taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to know more about Jay, you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter.

Next Week: Alexander S. Brown

Interview: Brent Abell

In American, Author on October 11, 2012 at 9:00 am

Brent Abell is a horror author from Indiana who seems to project his plans for world domination onto his dog. Fortunately, he is willing to claim the credit for his writing, with short stories such as Stonewall and As I Crossed Lincoln Bridge. He has just released his debut novella, In Memoriam. Brent recently answered my questions.

1)   What is something you do in your professional or artistic life that you think is really cool, and why do you think that about it?

I think that being able to create my own worlds and characters is really cool.  I have also had the pleasure to meet other authors and publishers who I have become friends with and we never would have met had it not been for my decision to give the writing career a go.  it has opened many new door s for me and I’ve been able to some awesome things like read at conventions, seeing your name in print, and signing books for people is fun.

2)   How did you come to be in the career position you are currently in?

The writing career was a long slow path.  I loved to write when I was little and I would write short stuff to read to my friends in high school, but once I got in the real world and had to work, I lost my way.  When I got the job I have now, I met someone to expanded my horror reading list and got me interested in writing again.  He asked if I wanted to go to a horror writing convention close by and I agreed.  Friday night at Mo*Con in 2010, I read the first short story I’d written in about ten years at the open mike readings.  It went really well and one of the authors there tried to get the story sold that night at the after party.  Once that weekend was over, the bug bit me and I was off to the races.  Now at this point I have 15 stories in 13 books and coming up I have the novella and a short story collection.

3)   What is something from your personal life that you are very proud of, and why are you proud?

My wife and two sons.  They are everything to me and all three make me proud to be called their husband or their dad.  I want this to work so I can do more for them.  I work constantly at my other job and I am not home a lot, so I hope this thing can take off and I can spend more time at home with them.  Oh, I forgot my pug.  If Cody found out I skipped over him, he’d never forgive me.

4)   What is a personality trait you possess that other people might not notice, and how would they miss it?

I am really a shy person.  I’d rather be in a quiet room by myself then with a bunch of people.  I can be a social butterfly when I need to be, but I’d rather keep to myself.

5)   If you could change just one thing about the world, what would it be and why would you change it?

I would change the divisions that separate us.  It seems we all keep digging the ditch bigger and we can only go so far out before we all fall in.  In reality, I’d not fall in and it’s just easier to be nicer to each other anyway.

6)   If you could give a young person one piece of advice, what would it be?

What ever you want to shoot for, do it!  I wish I’d stuck with the writing.  If I hadn’t been drug back kicking and screaming into the fold, I’d never have come back.  Those years I could have been working and refining my craft are lost years I can never have back.  Do it!  Do it now and don’t let others dictate your path.

7)   What is something that you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet, and why haven’t you done it?

Right now would be finish my first full length novel.  I have the outlines done for two of them and the first couple of chapter are complete also.  I really haven’t moved forward on them because I feel I’m not quite ready yet.  I set goals of starting with short stories.  Once I got the feel for those and had some success, I moved on to novellas.  Now that one of those has sold and the second has interest from a publisher, I have to write the three or four novella backlog.  When those are complete, I’ll be ready for the novel.  I wanted to build up to it.  By working through the different forms and word counts, I’ve learned so much about my voice and writing style that will set me up better to succeed when the first novels roll around.

8)   What is something that you have sworn to never do again, and why won’t you repeat it?

I’ve sworn to never sell myself short again.  I can have some low self esteem problems and when I put my soul out for the public, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle it.  My skin grew thick surprisingly fast.  Don’t get me wrong, a bad review or comment sucks, but I look past it and focus on the people who liked it.  Keeping positive I believe will keep the bad low esteem away.

9)   If you could break one personal habit, what would it be and why would you break it?

I’m a completist.  From my book collection to my Star Wars collection…I must have it all.  It is expensive to be like that too!  No, really in the last few years I’ve been able to pare back some of the stuff and even get rid of some.  I cut back on the authors I buy everything from and sold off my extra copies of things.  If I had to get rid of a habit I still have though, it would be my sarcastic attitude.  I would break it so people wouldn’t think I’m such a jerk sometimes.  Sometimes I mean it and some times I don’t.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell which way I mean it…

10)   If you could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, what would it be and why?

Painting.  I love art, but I’m terrible at it.  Being able to create with a brush the same images I can create with a pen would be awesome.  Since I want to script a comic or so one day, good art would make it easier.  I could just do my own art for a comic instead of finding someone else.

11)   Is there anything from you that we should be looking out for in the future?

Lots of scary stories for older kiddies!  Next year I hope should see a couple more novella releases and I hope to complete the first novel next year. To keep up with what’s going down you can follow the blog at http://brentabell.wordpress.com.  From there you can find my links to Twitter, Facebook, and my Amazon.com Author page.  I’d like to see everyone stop by and say hi, because the next few years are going to be a hell of a ride!

Thank you, Brent, for taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to know more about Brent, you can visit his blog, Twitter, Facebook and his Amazon page.

Next Week: Jay Wilburn

Interview: Kat Yares

In American, Author, Film Maker on October 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

If you are attending the Offshoot Film Festival this month, you might recognise Kat Yares for her work with The Truth of Becoming. Based in Arkansas, this American is an author and film maker who specialises in horror. Her primary focus in the horror genre is to make her audience think, and her favourite work to date is Vengeance Is Mine. Kat recently took the time to answer my questions.

1)   What is something you do in your professional or artistic life that you think is really cool, and why do you think that about it?

In all honesty – my laptop (or computers in general) simply because they make writing and movie making so much easier. I started writing on a manual typewriter, which for me was not very productive since I tend to try and be a perfectionist. One misspelled word and I would pull the paper out and start over.

For the movie making side – computers and Non-Linear Editing software make putting together a digital motion picture much easier than film ever was or will be.

2)   How did you come to be in the career position you are currently in?

I have always been a writer, coming up with stories on paper since I was a young child. For a number of years, I supported myself and my children by writing confession stories – the type you used to see in magazines such as True Love and True Confessions. I started writing horror during the 80s and 90s but was afraid to send it out, fearing it wasn’t good enough. My husband is the one who encouraged me and still is my biggest supporter.

3)   What is something from your personal life that you are very proud of, and why are you proud?

My marriage. We’ve been together for 15 years – raising six kids between us. Lots of Ups and a few Downs, but we’ve been united through it all.

4)   What is a personality trait you possess that other people might not notice, and how would they miss it?

I’m basically shy and not a people person, but once I’ve had a glass of wine or two, no one would know as then I’m able to talk and socialize just like any extrovert.

5)   If you could change just one thing about the world, what would it be and why would you change it?

For people to act more like human beings and not just people. If that were to happen, most of the world problems would be solved as you would see more kindness, compassion and love for your fellow man (or woman) no matter what their circumstances.

6)   If you could give a young person one piece of advice, what would it be?

Never say – I can’t. At least try. And not just once, try over and over. The last thing you want to do is be on your deathbed in old age and think ‘if only’ on anything you may have wanted to try in your lifetime but were afraid to tackle.

7)   What is something that you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet, and why haven’t you done it?

Have enough sales from books and short films to earn a respectable living. Haven’t got there yet – but I don’t believe it is impossible.

8)   What is something that you have sworn to never do again, and why won’t you repeat it?

Allow myself to judge myself on how I feel others judge me. I’ve finally reached the point where I don’t care what others think – I am who I am – love me or leave me.

9)   If you could break one personal habit, what would it be and why would you break it?

The answer to this should be smoking, but that isn’t going to happen – at least in this lifetime. So, I’ll go with procrastination. It’s a very easy thing for me to fall into – chasing this shiny thing or that great blog post, etc.

10)   If you could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, what would it be and why?

I always try to learn something new every year. This year is photography, last year it was learning to play the dulcimer. Come December, I’ll start thinking about what next year’s hobby will be.

11)   Is there anything from you that we should be looking out for in the future?

Two new novels – Beneath the Tor and The XIII. More short movies, as that is a passion that both myself and my better half, Kevin, share. My one hope is that I remain creative and productive until the end of my life – so who knows what the future holds.

Thank you, Kat, for answering my questions. If you would like to know more about Kat, you can follow her blog or peruse her Amazon listings.

Next Week: Brent Abell

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