Interview

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Today’s interview is with WD Lady, author of the breakthrough novel Nightmarish Reality.

Now this is a special interview because it is WD Lady’s FIRST interview and you’re reading it exclusively here at Erebus Horror

Here we go!

What made you choose horror as your primary genre?

I actually don’t think horror is my primary genre.  However, I am pretty opened minded and have read a lot of different genres in my life.  I constantly experiment with my writing styles, and one day I decided to do a horror story for a change.  The majority of my stories are lighthearted comedies or fantasy/adventure.  But I wanted to challenge myself and take on a new serious project.  Horror was a genre that I never took on before, until now.  Even though I have written some dark stories…they weren’t generally horror, so horror is in fact not my primary genre.

 

What made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I really didn’t think much about becoming a writer, until I was in a screenplay writing class, back in high school. I had written a thirty page script once, and my teacher read it and told me he loved it.  He said I should write more, so I took his advice.  After that class, I decided for sure that I wanted to be a screenplay writer.  All I did was write scripts and screenplays.  However, writing a novel was still new to me.  I still didn’t think I was good enough to be a writer and publish a book.  If it wasn’t for some of my teachers and friends throughout high school and college, I probably wouldn’t be here.  They were the ones who encouraged me to keep at it and practice. They saw the potential in my work, even when I didn’t believe it.

 

You’re a published author now; how hard was it to get to where you are?

I would have to say it was extremely difficult to get where I am today.  At the time I started writing, I didn’t have much of a support system besides a few teachers and friends.  Sometimes, I would throw away stories, because I couldn’t bear to look at them anymore.  Not only that, but I’m still a perfectionist and I would rewrite a story over and over again till I felt that it sounded right.  It took me nearly eleven years to finally accept that my stories will never be completely perfect and I had to train myself everyday to stop throwing away old drafts.  I even had to discipline myself to take breaks and to write a little bit everyday, so I wouldn’t overdo it as well.  It was hard enough for me to just focus on one story at a time, because I wouldn’t get anything done if I was working on multiple stories.

 

‘Nightmarish Reality’ is the first book in the Nightmarish Reality series. Can you give us more details as to what it’s about? 

In simple terms, the series is about a boy who suffers from constant nightmares.  He doesn’t know exactly what’s causing them and why they seem so real, which is why he has a hard time determining what is reality and what is just an illusion. He seems like an average student; however, he’s constantly picked on by school bullies. It isn’t until he meets a stranger that he begins to question his life and realize how very different he truly is.  So, it’s only a matter of time before the dark demons of his past suddenly begin to reveal themselves. He does have a journal where he records what’s happening to him. If he can put back the missing pieces of the puzzle, he may be able to stop the nightmares before they start to take on a life of their own.  You will have to find out if it’s too late for him to control what he’s already unleashed into the world…

 

What about the next books in the Nightmarish Reality series? What direction will they be going in? 

The following books in my series will be much darker as the story progresses into a completely unique direction, revealing new characters and plot twists.  I don’t want to give too much away, but readers will find themselves going back to the first novel to find the little bread crumbs I left behind, for I speed on straight ahead with the plot, so people’s heads may turn as they go further down the rabbit hole. When it comes down to the final conclusion, I’m hoping that it will not only leave readers speechless, but also breathless.

 

Do you have any plans to write a completely different novel from scratch?

Yes, I do.  I already made plans to write several novels from scratch.  If things do go well with this first series, I’ve been thinking about and planning for an alternative version that is separate in it’s own right, but has many of the same characters from the original story.  Not to mention, I have other projects aside from this that have been simmering in my brain for over a decade now that I’m just dying to write it all out.

 

When you’re not writing or working, what are you generally doing?

I’ll be watching films, drawing, blogging, editing, or reading.  I try to spend my time wisely on anything that’s constructive.

   

If you were to set a goal for your future what would it be?

Hopefully, in the next five to ten years, I’ll have a lot more books published by then.  Also, I hope to be a film director, making scripts out of my books, so they can come to life on the big screen.

 

And finally who is your favourite horror icon?

I actually have three in fact. Stephen King, R.L. Stine, and Dean Koontz. If I had to pick one to save my life, I’d have to say that I read Stephen King’s books before anyone else. The first real horror book I read was IT.

Well it’s Friday the 13th – A day despised by some, but celebrated by others.

This is a day where horror is at its most popular, so we were left wondering how we would celebrate this momentous day. Should we post a toe-curlingly cheesy feature on the movie Friday the 13th? (like so many will probably do…) Or do we give you something new and different? Well, as you know, we’re all about giving you something new to sink your teeth into.  Why should today be any different?

So, on this gruesomely delicious day, we introduce to you an amazing horror author specializing in……. ZOMBIES!

Yes it’s Julianne Snow! Here’s a bit about her;

It was while watching Romero’s Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of 6 that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead.

As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own. The horror and forensic/crime thriller genres top her list of favourites, but she can never turn down a good science fiction, fantasy or mystery read.

Julianne appears in the anthology Women of the Living Dead with a story entitled The Living Dead at Penderghast Manor. Look for her short stories in future anthologies. Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name.

Great right? Well we’re lucky enough to have conducted an interview with this great writer and you’re lucky enough to read it!

Here we go…

What made you decide to become a writer?

I’m not sure if it was really a decision I consciously made. I had always written short stories and prose-like poems growing up, but before going away to post-secondary education it got put on the back burner. I didn’t end up coming back to it until later when a situation that arose that caused me to lose a great deal of my sight for a period of time. As a result, I spent a lot of that time in my head, rediscovering my love for creating plotlines and fleshing out characters. After that moment occurred, there really was no looking back.

You’re a published author now. How hard was it to get where you are?

The hardest part was actually writing the book. That’s a lot of words to weave together in some form of coherency! As the ideas and plotlines swarm around the sieve that controls what flows out of your fingers, it can get difficult to filter which ideas are viable for any given story. The fact of the matter is that I enjoy writing; I enjoy the sense of satisfaction I receive when I finish a chapter or a story. Once the story is completely finished, and the editing starts, there’s almost a relaxation that occurs. You have the story that you wanted to write out of your head and your soul, now it’s just polishing it to the point that it’s the best that it can be. Teaming with my publisher, Sirens Call Publications, helped me to traverse the world of publishing as well. Was it a struggle at times? Absolutely, but in the end it was a labor of love and one that I will happily do over and over again.

Tell us about your Days with the Undead series.

Days with the Undead: Book One is the first thing that I wrote after my sight came back. It’s the story of a Zombie Apocalypse which starts in Toronto, Canada and is told completely via journal entries. You get one point of view, that of Julie, a former pathologist and part-time survivalist but don’t let that fool you; the cast of characters come alive through her words. The action starts from the first second and doesn’t let up throughout – the group of survivors, made up of Julie, Max, Bob, Ben and Barbara are constantly fleeing the growing army of the Undead. The uniqueness of a singular point of view is that you really get to explore the psychological turmoil that flight and, ultimately, survival, wreak on the psyche.

What is it about zombies that you find so compelling?

I honestly believe that Zombies are the most terrifying of the supernatural creatures. They are unwavering in their desires to pursue you and your flesh. Akin to a parasite or virus, they continually seek out new hosts to assimilate. That’s pretty scary when you think about it because there isn’t much that will stop them. The only way to protect yourself is to kill as many as you can…

What has been the most difficult hurdle to overcome on your journey?

My own self-doubt. I had a discussion the other day about narcissism and how some authors deal with it. While I am guilty of being narcissistic to a degree (I did put my own writing out into the public forum), I sometimes wonder if my story is appealing enough to the fans of the genre. I have had many positive comments as well as some negative ones but in the end, I grow as a writer from each and every one of them.

When you’re not writing, what are you generally doing?

Catching up on all of the other things that I don’t do when I’m writing! Mainly just work around the house, reading, watching a little television or perhaps a movie, and my daily walk. Oh wait, I totally forgot about the day job! The kinds of activities that allow your mind to relax and that allow the stresses of the day or the passage that I’m writing to melt away.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far?

It was receiving my proof in the mail. To actually see my name on a printed book was just awesome and it totally buoyed my spirits. As an author, you write, but there are times when the road to getting your work to the masses seems endless. To get to the point where readers can read it – that’s so rewarding!

Will there be any additions to the Days with the Undead series, or will you be starting something new?

I have many plans for Days with the Undead; there is a second book currently being adapted from my online serial series along with a number of companion books. The story is still unfolding so I have a long way to go before it’s over. I do have plans to write non-Zombie genre novellas and novels as well, I just need to get them finished. It’s hard work with a full time job and my other responsibilities – not that I’m complaining, I wouldn’t change my world for anything else!

If you were to set a goal for the future, what would it be?

To reach the point where I can quit my day job and concentrate on writing full time. Isn’t that every writer’s dream at some point?

And finally, who is your favorite horror icon?

That’s a very good question – Ellen Ripley, hands down! Even though I haven’t been able to sit down and watch Alien in one complete sitting, the franchise is still one of my favorites. As a female lead, she demonstrated that given the right incentive, you can do anything you put your mind to. I think her character really opened up the door to the believability of other strong female leads in horror.

Now we know you won’t need any help falling in love with her, but since it’s Friday the 13th we wanted to give you something extra.
 
Curious?
 
Well wait no longer, here’s a snippet from her book;
“In the areas where they were not so deeply layered at the edge of the shore, we could see that some had ventured into the water. Perhaps they felt that they could walk on the water to the prey that they so viciously wanted. Instead, you could see them being tossed about in the crashing surf; the waves pelting them back toward the shore and the undertow of the current talking them back out again. It was a tumultuous jaunt from shore to cresting waves and potentially one that they would have to endure for some time.

The noise of our engine attracted some of the closer ones. They turned as if in unison to stare milky eyed in our direction. I never thought I would see the day when the Undead had a look of genuine surprise about them, but in that moment they actually looked startled to see us.

On the other hand, we were utterly stricken with horror to see them. This was a moment of truth for us…”
Caught your interest? Well here’s an extensive list of where you can purchase her book:

Purchase Links – Print:

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3736479

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Days-Undead-Book-Julianne-Snow/dp/1468007998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330611569&sr=8-1

 

Purchase Link – Digital:

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/137213

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Days-Undead-Book-One-ebook/dp/B007F14OTA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1330471120&sr=8-2

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007F14OTA

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B007F14OTA

Amazon FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B007F14OTA

Amazon ES: https://www.amazon.es/dp/B007F14OTA

Amazon IT: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B007F14OTA

 

You can’t say we don’t spoil you.

Have a great Friday the 13th folks! And remember – watch out for ladders, black cats, cracks and mirrors… Yeah right!

I’ve got a real treat for all my readers today.

This week I interviewed The Daddy of Demonology himself. Sean Hayden! Author of the critically acclaimed Origins; part of the Demonkin Series!

Here we go!

 

What made you choose horror as your primary genre?

Believe it or not, I didn’t. With Origins I was shooting for Urban Fantasy. Things got out of control, there were blood and guts everywhere, and the next thing you know, the main character is lying on a morgue table with nothing but a rib spreader to show for it.  

 

What made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved reading. Even more so than watching television. The last time I went to a bookstore, I bought a whole series of books at once that caught my eye. I cracked open the first one and read about fifty pages into it. I’d like to say I did something noble like donate them. I didn’t. It irked the hell out of me. I threw all of them in the trash and said, “I can do better than that crap.” So I gave it a shot! 

 

You’re a published author now; how hard was it to get to where you are?

I wasted six months of my life trying to find an agent. I spent another two months trying to get a big publisher to even look at it. That was a waste. I found a website called duotrope.com that lists small publishers. I sent it to the first one that sounded familiar to me and they accepted it. Hearing some of the other horror stories out there, I assume I came out relatively unscathed! 

 

‘Origins’ is the first book in the Demonkin series. Can you give us more details as to what it’s about? 

In the world I created, everyone knows vampires, werewolves, mages, and elves exist. They work, play, and die beside them every day. What no one knows is that every breed of vampire and magical creature out there is the offspring of either a demon and a human, or an angel and a human. I used this to explain why there are so many different kinds of vampires. The main character, Ashlyn is the newest breed. Her father is a major demon lord. Humans had lost the ability to summon demons, but Ashlyn’s mother found a way to do it. Let’s just say she didn’t enjoy the experience. Nine months later Ashlyn came about. She’s a vampire, but different. She can only survive off the blood of other magical creatures. It gets her into a heap of trouble with the head vampire of Chicago. Right when he’s got her, she’s saved and recruited by the FBI. They want her to work for them to take care of the vampires who get a little frisky. Her first assignment after Quantico? Yup. Head back to Chicago and take care of their crazed, prohibition era, gangster master vampire.

 

What about the next books in the Demonkin series? What direction will they be going in? 

The sequel, Deceptions, is written and under contract. It should be out in October. Ashlyn’s back and The Great State of California have elected themselves an undead governor. Needless to say, neither the vampires or most of the human population are too happy about this. Somebody tries to make him totally dead. Ashlyn needs to keep him alive and find out who’s behind the attempts before it’s too late. 

 

It’s clear that you’re influenced by demonology, what do you find compelling about demons?

I like things with pointy nails and wings that drool. Okay, just kidding. I do like the Idea that demons are fallen angels. They chose to be what they are. It’s the ultimate fight against good and evil. The demons in my story aren’t charming, debonair, suit wearing demons. They’re slash your face off and dance in your entrails demons. Way more fun to write. Believe it or not, in the story I chose Asmodeus to be Ashlyn’s father. What’s creepy is I made his main rival the Angel Rafael. What’s REALLY creepy is if you do a little research, you’ll find that Asmodeus and Rafael have been going at it since the dawn of time. Totally unresearched and unintentional. I didn’t know till i was watching a special on Angels on the Discovery Channel after my book was out.

 

Do you have any plans to write a completely different novel from scratch?

I have already! LOL. I’ve moved on to steampunk and YA. I just finished my very first full length YA novel. It’s the first of a series too. My Soul to Keep is the first of the Soul Survivor series and is about a teenage kid who inadvertently writes a binding contract to sell his soul for his fondest wish. When the demons show up to make it happen, he panics. When asked for his greatest wish, he asks to be a demon himself. As it is a binding contract, the demons have to honor it. Things go downhill from there, but he saves not only his soul, but falls in love along the way. 

 

When you’re not writing or working, what are you generally doing?

Editing, blogging, networking, marketing, promoting, and a WHOLE bunch of other things that end in ING. 

 

Angels or Demons. Which is better?

Know that thing we all have as humans? Free will? How much free will do you think an angel has? Do this, do that, smite him, collect that. Doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. Now imagine how much free will a demon has? He’s pretty much turned his back on everything and everyone. As characters they’re just chock full of limitless potential. Plus it would be cool to have big leathery, bat like wings. Just saying.

 

If you were to set a goal for your future what would it be?

I want to be as big as an author as anyone. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a conceited bone in my body. I don’t think I’m the greatest author that’s ever lived. I’m just saying that having the name recognition of some of the greats would be absolutely friggin awesome.

 

And finally who is your favourite horror icon?

Clive Barker, baby. If you ask him what the greatest influence on his work is, he’ll say, “The Bible.”  

 

Click on an image for further details

 

 

Want to know more? Here it is

Sean Hayden works in South Florida as a Fiber-optic Engineer for a cable communications company.

Born in the Suburbs of Chicago he relocated to Florida as a child, where he grew up and attended school at a small Catholic elementary and high school. It was there, in literature class, he fell in love with books. Vampires especially fascinated him as well as the realm of possibilities of the urban fantasy genre. This fascination gave birth to his first novel, Origins.

He lives at home with his wife, children, and a plethora of pets.

Visit Sean at http://www.seanhayden.org/

or follow him on Twitter @shaydenFL