Sunday, March 24, 2013

DEAD GIRL WALKING [AND WRITING] IN MADHOUSE

PATIENT: Nikki Hopeman
ILLNESS: Zombie (Writer)
 
 
• When did you start writing? Why did you pick the genre you write it?
 
I've been writing for as long as could hold a pencil. I still have spiral-bound notebooks with stories from my elementary school days. My mother was my biggest cheerleader until high school when an English teacher entered an essay of mine in a contest sponsored by Penn State University. It won the contest and my teacher encouraged me to keep writing. I didn't intend to make writing my profession, though, and I took the long way around back to it, but I always wrote for myself.
 
I started writing in the mystery genre and my MFA thesis was a mystery about a witch caught up in a series of murders. My horror voice emerged during the year I was mentored by a horror writer, and I realized I loved it more than mystery. There's a freedom in writing horror that wasn't there for me with mystery. I guess my macabre side found her tongue. I haven't been able to shut her up.
 
• Where you get your ideas from? Do you journal at all?
 
Most of my ideas come from observation, whether it's people-watching, something on television, or another book. Most often I see something that intrigues me and then follow it up with "what if?" I used to journal prolifically, but since I started writing fiction seriously, I most often find myself writing notes about whatever project I'm working on. Sometimes I jot down dreams or story ideas, but I rarely take the time to just free write if it doesn't involve a project. Now that I think about it, that's sad and I'll have to try to make time for more personal journaling.
 
I have a background in microbiology and infectious disease, and there's never a lack of ideas from my laboratory days. Combining horror elements with science and medicine is something I love.
 
• What’s a normal (writing) day like for you?
 
What's normal? My schedule is highly variable because I am also responsible for my two kids, but I typically try to set aside a couple of hours of uninterrupted planning/plotting/writing time every week day. I also have a word count goal for each day, but if I don't make my word count in order to work on plot or revisions, I'm okay with that. I usually am at my most productive in the early afternoon, so often I start writing around lunchtime and plan or plot or write until my younger son comes home from school. I also have critique partners, and I set aside time to read for them. 
 
• Favorite author or book? Who are you currently reading?
 
Favorite author… wow, this is like trying to label one of my kids as a favorite. I have favorite authors by genre, naturally, but I guess my favorite of them all would be Jeff Lindsay. His Dexter series is one of my all-time favorites. Lindsay combines horror and mystery so effectively and actually makes the reader root for the bad guy. What a fantastic character. Clive Barker writes my favorite mixed genre books, because sometimes I'm not sure whether to classify him as horror, fantasy, or a lovely combination of the two. I love the Pendergast series by the awesome team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I'm also a big Richard Matheson fan-- "The Funeral" is one of my favorite short stories. I love nonfiction, especially medical and science nonfiction, so I am a fan of Mary Roach and Richard Preston. 
 
I have a 12-year old son who adores YA horror. We've read a lot of books together, including Jonathan Maberry's Rot and Ruin series, which we loved.
 
Right now I'm re-reading Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs. It's a great study in understated suspense and he manages to portray Hannibal Lecter in such an evil way even without Lecter in action. Fantastic. Up next on my list is Ramsey Campbell.
 
• Do you prefer writing poetry or prose? Why one over the other?
 
While I love poetry, particularly Emily Dickinson, and have written it, I much prefer prose. Poetry is a baring of one's soul, and prose is hiding behind characters. I'm much more comfortable hiding. My poetry is generally just for my own consumption. I admire writers who can create beautiful poetry and let the world see it. That takes a kind of courage I haven't found yet.
 
• Do you write in silence or with noise (TV, movies, music)?
 
I prefer music, but it has to be instrumental. Sounds goofy, but if I listen to something with words, I tend to end up typing the lyrics. I love to play horror movie soundtracks in the background, particularly the Saw themes. I also really dig the soundtracks to Drag me to Hell, Sinister, and Woman in Black.
 
• Do you have any weird habits when it comes to writing? Do you type or write longhand?
 
Don't all writers have some weird habits? I do most of my plotting/planning/note taking longhand, but when it comes time to actually write the prose, I type. I like to find pictures of people on the Internet who remind me of my character. My zombie in Habeas Corpses is loosely modeled on James McAvoy and the medical examiner is based on Dr. Cyril Wecht, who I met last year. I keep note cards with each character's information and I tape a picture to the card as well. Sometimes the pictures are of famous people, sometimes they're just random people I find. It feels kind of weird, but it helps me bring them to life.
 
I also have a desk top guillotine that I threaten my pens with when they refuse to cooperate.
 
• Would you consider yourself a Plotter or a Pancer?
 
I am a pantster who is trying to evolve into a plotter. I completely flew by my seat for my thesis, but planned a bit more on my zombie novel. Ideally, I like to have a solid idea of where I'm going when I start a project, but it remains open for reinterpretation along the way. Pantsting is so hard, and it makes revisions extra difficult. I'm learning how to better manage my time, and having a clear idea of what's happening works better for me in the long run.
 
• What do you think is the hardest aspect of the craft?
 
Two things: the "butt in chair" part and the squeaky voice. Every day there are distractions from writing. Many of them. Because I don't go to an office with other people to hold me accountable for my production, some days it's really hard to let go of all the other things that need done and write. I've learned to treat it like a regular job and set office hours for myself. Having deadlines to send pages to critique partners also helps.
 
No matter what I write, there's always the squeaky voice in my brain saying "it's not good enough, it's not smart enough, you suck, someone will laugh at you." I'm sure this is why my poetry has never been outside my own four little office walls. This is why I prefer hiding behind characters. Writing and letting it go exposes a part of myself. The squeaky voice aims to keep it all covered up.
 
I'm also really not a fan of the "what do you do" question. Tell someone you're a writer and you get one of two reactions. Either they give you that "oh, I see, you really sit around and eat bon-bons all day" or you get the "oh, I have this great book idea…" comment. Please. 
 
• Current projects?
 
I'm currently working on Edas Corpses, the sequel to Habeas Corpses, and several short stories based on folk tales, in the same vein as "Black Bird." I take an obscure myth and put my own spin on it. Lots of fun!
 
• How do you balance being an editor and being a writer? (Or double jobs, being a mom/dad, etc.- apply to your situation)
 
My first job is being a mom. I worked in the medical field until my older son was born, then quit to go back to school and take care of the kids. My kids go to an awesome school, but have a lot of activities and days off, so each week brings something new on the schedule. I've learned to carefully schedule my writing time for when they're at school. I'm still learning the art of writing to the sounds of Legos hitting the wall or remote control helicopters whooshing past my head. I'm also fond of the phrase "if it's not broken or bleeding I don't want to hear about it." I also have two corgis, a grouchy cat, a hamster, a frog and a husband. There is never a shortage of distractions, I just have to be diligent about guarding my time.
 
• What do you think people expect from you with your writing? EX: Can they always count on a good gross out? 
 
Since my debut novel is not yet out, I'm not sure that there are any expectations on my writing. Those that have read my work might say that I tend to include forensic details, particularly autopsy and medical procedures. My stories always have a dark element to them, most often murder. I guess my readers can always expect at least a couple corpses and lots of details. My readers can also expect a lot of characterization. I read a book to learn about the human element, the things that change people and make them tick. I love vivid, strong characters and try to write them.
 
• Advice for aspiring writers?
 
Write! Write as much as you can, no matter what it is. Try different forms of writing and different genres. Never be afraid to try something new or something you think might not turn out well, because you might surprise yourself (and if you don't, no one has to know!). Read widely and always with an open mind. 
 
Recent publications:
  • "One Man's Garbage," Hazard Yet Forward (charity anthology)
  • "Black Bird," Mistresses of the Macabre (Dark Moon Books)
 
Forthcoming:
  • Habeas Corpses (Blood Bound Books): Zombie Theo Walker is a forensic technician with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. His biggest problem? Eating the evidence.

BIO: Nikki Hopeman loves the kind of horror that leaves her quaking in the back of the closet, the kind that won't let her close her eyes. Life before writing includes a BS in microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh, and years as a veterinary technician, floral arranger, blueberry picker, babysitter, and VW Beetle mechanic. She holds an MFA in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University. When she’s not writing, she can be found in the tattoo chair or on her Harley Davidson. Nikki shares her home in Pittsburgh with her husband, two sons, two crazy corgis, and a chaotic cat. Her debut novel Habeas Corpses (Blood Bound Books) is due for release this year. She can be reached at www.nikkihopeman.com or on Twitter @nikkihopeman.

Monday, March 18, 2013

WYTOVICH DRIVES MERCEDES INTO MADHOUSE


PATIENT: Mercedes M. Yardley
ILLNESS: Writer

·    When did you start writing? Why did you pick the genre you write it?

MMY: I knew as a child that I wanted to be a writer. Knew it in my bones. I wandered away for a few years when I was in college because I was trying to be Responsible, and we all know that writers aren’t Responsible. Thank goodness I finally came back to myself! I call my work “whimsical horror”.  Fairytales with a high body count. When I finally let myself write what I wanted to write, that’s what I ended up with.

·     Where you get your ideas from? Do you journal at all?

MMY: I get my ideas from everywhere. My antenna is always up. I used to journal like a fiend! I have several journals crammed full with my tiny handwriting. Once I started blogging, I spent more time doing that and less time journaling. I’d like to get back to it, though.

 
·    What’s a normal (writing) day like for you?

MMY: It’s chaotic and unorganized. Mornings are spent trying to slip in a few words while getting three little kids ready. After the morning rush, I try to write while my tiny daughter sits on my lap. Impossible. Once she goes down for a nap, I try to write again. Or clean the house. Then the kids come home and it’s insane again. Once everybody is in bed, it’s back to the keyboard. My current WIP is my lover. I’m constantly slipping away to steal time with it.

·   Favorite author or book? Who are you currently reading?

MMY: I love Watership Down, the Fountainhead, and August Frost. Those are my favorites. I’m currently reading all of the work that was nominated for the Bram Stoker Awards. Voting is in a week and I really like to be informed.

·    Do you prefer writing poetry or prose? Why one over the other?

MMY: It’s funny, because I feel like my prose is poetic, but my poetry isn’t poetic at all. I’m more comfortable with prose.

·    Do you write in silence or with noise (TV, movies, music)?

MMY: There is no such thing as silence at my house. There’s always yelling, laughing, screaming, balls bouncing…things that ping and chirp and spin and creak.  In a perfect world, I’d write in absolute silence. Mmm. Maybe with birds or a river in the background.

·    Do you have any weird habits when it comes to writing?  Do you type or write longhand?

MMY: Oh, I don’t write longhand! What a time consuming task. I type. I suppose a strange habit of mine is glittering the backs of my hands if I’m having a hard time focusing. The glitter keeps bringing my attention back to my hands and the computer. I’m very easily distracted. Know thyself. Even better, know how to counteract thyself.

·    Would you consider yourself a Plotter or a Pancer?

MMY:  Plotting is a dirty word!

·    What do you think is the hardest aspect of the craft?

MMY: I struggle with the discipline. It’s much more tempting to play outside, or spend time with your friends, or shop online than it is to sit and write a NOVEL. Also, if the story isn’t going well? It’s a nightmare. It’s hard to justify why you’re letting life pass you by while metaphorically slamming your head into a brick wall. Discouragement is a writer’s constant companion, I think. 

·    Current projects?

MMY: Oh, so many! My main focus is finishing my current novel. The working title is Stormlight and it’s a dark women’s fiction. I also have a few other projects in the wings. Two novels to clean up, and a memoir about my son’s rare genetic condition. I’m also working on a couple of short stories.

·   How do you balance being an editor and being a writer? (Or double jobs, being a mom/dad, etc.- apply to your situation)

MMY: Balance is tough. I try to write while the older kids are at school. The baby pretty much sits on my lap or plays at my feet. When the kids are home, I try to be present for them, but I’m writing. They know Mom works. They also know they can interrupt me to show me things and talk about their day. I don’t have an office with a door that closes. I write on a laptop, sitting by them on the couch. Mom first, writer second.

·    What do you think people expect from you with your writing?  EX: Can they always count on a good gross out?

MMY: I think they expect some lyricism from me. I’m more than happy to give it. 

·    Advice for aspiring writers?

MMY: Take the word “aspiring” out of your vocabulary. Become a writer. Just write. Even if it’s five minutes a day, do it every day. Words have so much power! Don’t sell yourself short.  Don’t aspire. Just be.

Recent Publications:

  • Let it Snow: Season’s Greetings for a Super Cool Yule anthology
  • Strong Like Butterfly anthology
  • Winter Wonders anthology
  • Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and Serial Killers anthology
  • I’d also like to announce my new short story collection, Beautiful Sorrows, available on Amazon and at  www.shocktotem.com.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

WYTOVICH LOCKS UP SNOW WHITE


PATIENT: DANIELLE MODAFFERI
ILLNESS: POISON APPLE 

When did you start writing? Why did you pick the genre you write it?

I’m pretty sure I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. I was always a very gregarious kid and loved performing and entertaining for whoever would listen. (My poor parents!) In elementary school, I was fortunate to have a wonderful teacher who urged me to participate in a writing competition. I entered with a silly fable about how flamingos came to be pink and I won the competition! And so began my love of writing. Since then I have become an avid poet. Poetry and writing has helped me through so much in my life as a very cathartic practice. It has been my creative outlet and my way to put my thoughts on to paper when I haven’t been able to speak the words aloud.

I tend to write Women’s Lit but am currently writing a Fantasy novel, which has been quite an experience moving from the realistic to the fantastical - a lot more longitude with what you can get away with. (When in doubt, blame it on magic! Haha!)

Where do you get your ideas from? Do you journal at all?

Many of my ideas come from real life observations or situations that happen that I wish would have happened differently. I get to write the dialogue I might not have been brave enough to say myself or the apology I wish I’d given. It’s a chance for a redo. It’s also a way to life more than one life. By day, I am a teacher. I have a wonderfully supportive family. But writing gives me the opportunity to experience other lives, lives that I may never get a chance to live myself. Dangerous lives. Frightening encounters. Romantic fantasies. It’s an escape from the quotidian. It’s like exploring the “what if” question we often ask ourselves. Even though I am very happy with everything with which I am blessed, everyone wants to get away every once and a while.

What’s a normal (writing) day like for you?

In the past, I must admit, I never really stuck to a “normal” writing schedule per se. But due to monthly writing deadlines, amongst a very busy life schedule, I have really been trying to write small amounts everyday. It was quite an adjustment for me to write to a deadline because creativity, unfortunately, is not on tap. I used to just write whenever I felt inspired, but the luxury of time and inspiration doesn’t exist when pages are due. You have to train yourself to write in spite of distractions or momentary lapses in creativity.

Favorite author or book? Who are you currently reading?

I teach English Lit so I love balancing popular fiction and literary fiction. Exposure to what has worked in the past and what is selling at present keeps my mind open as a writer. In addition, as much as I love writing and reading Fiction, I actually do find myself reading a good amount of non-fiction and memoirs. As I mentioned, I pull inspiration from real life and I have found that “real-life”, in many instances, is far crazier than fiction! (At least in my life, that’s true!)

The author I most respect would undoubtedly be J.K. Rowling. Her accomplishment in writing one book better than the next in a series that forever changed a generation of readers is beyond inspiring. I confess I am a Harry Potter nerd to the core (and I have a totally geeky HP tattoo to prove it!). I am currently reading John Green, who is just awesome! He has a magical way of balancing the tragedy and comedy of life without it being melodramatic. His characters are real people and insightful. I am thoroughly enjoying his work.

And one of my favorite memoirists of all time is a woman named Jennifer Lancaster. If you don’t know if her, check her out. (Especially her book about her weight loss journey entitled Such a Pretty Fat. It is laugh-out-loud hysterical.) She is friggin’ hilarious. No seriously, I’m fairly certain that if ever given the chance, we’d be best friends. (And I’m also fairly certain that if she ever read that little confession, she’d have a restraining order in place before I could shout “NEW BESTIE!!”)

Do you prefer writing poetry or prose? Why one over the other?

Though I love writing prose, I am a poet at heart. I like the brevity of poetry. It’s like the Kung-Fu of literature. Hiii-Yah! - A one-two punch of emotion that can feel like a blow to the gut with so few words. I feel like poetry’s been a pretty awesome sidekick through all my ups and downs. (PUN INTENDED! – Man, I am a sucker for a good pun much to the dismay of my students who just think my puns are corny.)

Do you write in silence or with noise (TV, movies, music)?

It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I need something inspirational like “Eye of the Tiger” which, if you are an onlooker, is utterly ridiculous. My brows furrow. Drips of sweat bead down my face. My lips draw into a tight line. And for those three minutes and thirty seconds, I am on fire. But then, I am pooped, and consequently, need to take a nap. So most often, I tend to write while listening to classical or instrumental music since if I write to songs with lyrics, I end up singing along, and then type out the lyrics instead of actual productive pages.

Would you consider yourself a Plotter or a Pancer?

Oh man I used to pants-it. I used to pants-the-hell out of my stories. I would start with a vague idea as to what direction I wanted to take it, but sometimes I didn’t and I just let it flow. I will admit that pants-ing it has turned out some scenes I never intended to write, but ended up being some of my favorites. But the trouble with that method, as I mentioned before, is that when creativity is not-a-flowin’, you’re sunk. So I’d sit there and stare and my computer blankly for awhile and when the words weren’t coming, I’d chalk it up to “writer’s block.” But days and days would pass without me writing anything and I knew that I had figure something else out.

What do you think is the hardest aspect of the craft?

Discipline. It really does take discipline and commitment to finish a work. When I started my MFA program at Seton Hill it was explained to me that once we chose a project idea for our thesis we were pretty much committed to sticking with it. My mentor explained that writers have a million new ideas every minute and if they changed every time they became inspired by another project or their current work in progress was getting to difficult that they would never finish anything. The program has taught me to slog through the tough parts no matter what. It takes discipline to turn out pages. It takes discipline to sit your butt in a chair and write when you don’t want to. And it takes discipline to finish what you started. Many people aspire to write a book. A good number may even start one. But significantly less will ever finish.

Current projects?

I am almost finished my first draft of my MFA thesis project entitled The Girl in the Glass Box, which is a fairytale retelling of Snow White. I wanted to tell everyone that the Disney version that we have all come to know and love is a watered down version of a very dark tale. Snow White has a lot to overcome and the story really paints her as a victim of circumstance – a girl trapped in her own life. (Hence, the title.) But she is really strong and overcomes a lot to find freedom. It is certainly an unconventional look at a familiar story. I’m curious as to how it will be received since readers will have a specific vision or a certain version in their minds before they even begin reading. So far, I’ve heard good things from critique groups and colleagues who’ve read it, so that’s promising!

How do you balance being an editor and being a writer? (Or double jobs, being a mom/dad, etc.- apply to your situation)

I’ll tell you what, it isn’t easy. I am a full-time high school teacher for which I advise several extra-curricular activities. I am a full-time graduate student with class expectations and writing deadlines that come fast and furiously. I have a second job as a part-time makeup artist for MAC cosmetics. And somewhere in there I attempt to balance a social life. (Sadly, this is the aspect that tends to fall by the wayside when I am pressed for time or am stressing out.) It’s hard, but thankfully I work best under pressure and need to be busy in order to be efficient with my time. I would say that the way I balance it roots back to discipline, which I am getting better with every day. And also some days you need to realize that you just can’t do it all; therefore, prioritizing is essential.

What do you think people expect from you with your writing? EX: Can they always count on a good gross out?

I teach at an all-girls school. I have two younger sisters. I have grown up in a supportive household where my parents raised me to know that I have no limitations put on me because of my sex. I, in turn, have always been an advocate of women as respectable individuals and independent thinkers. Therefore, I hope that my audience can expect from me strong female protagonists. This doesn’t mean combat-wearing, buzz-cut coiffed feminists. But it means that these women, though flawed (because hey, who isn’t?), are self-reliant. They will have encouraging people in their lives. Sure, they will need connections to others and passions that drive them, which will help them develop enriching and fulfilling lives, but at the end of the day, they are their own people. You will never see one of my heroines curl in the fetal position and die because life or love didn’t go her way. I want women to be inspired by my heroines’ strength.  

• Advice for aspiring writers?
 
Irving Azoff once said, "When it stops being fun, I'll stop doing it." THAT'S the greatest advice I can give. There are times when it will be difficult. But if you ever find that it no longer brings you joy, then why do it? I guess that's the cerebral advice. The more practical? Get yourself an AWESOME critique group who will be brutally honest, but supportive of your work.  The more you can critique/read the work of others and can receive reciprocal feedback, the more you will develop. Trust me. I feel that having a wonderful critique group, who is knowledgeable and whom I trust, has single-handedly been the aspect that has most shaped my writing and helped me to grow.


Author Bio:
 
 
Danielle is a MFA student at Seton Hill University in their Writing Popular Fiction program expecting to graduate January 2014.  She studied at the University of Pittsburgh for her undergraduate degree, focusing her studies on French and English Literature.  She also lived for a period of time in Paris, France where she continued her study of the French language and culture at the Sorbonne.  She then attended the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education for Secondary Education.

She is currently working on a Fantasy fairytale re-write inspired by the Grimm's version of Snow White. Danielle also dabbles in writing romance and women's fiction, which coincides with her love of romantic comedies and movies of all kinds. 

Danielle has spent the last seven years teaching high school English (and French... ooh la la) and loving every minute of it! She excels in literary analysis and works to strengthen her students' capacity to see beyond what is written.  And, of course this goes without saying but as all writers should be, Danielle is an AVID reader and is not afraid or ashamed to admit that Harry Potter (and J.K. Rowling) has singlehandedly changed her life! She aspires to leave such a legacy on the literary world as Rowling has for this generation and future generations to come. 

When not reading, writing, or teaching, there isn't time for much else (haha!) but Danielle has worked hard training to compete in Sprint Triathlons. She keeps her mind and body fit through swimming, biking, and running as often as she can in order to prepare for her next race. She works to challenge herself physically and considers each trial, tribulation, and success as research material for her writing. 

For daily musings and random nuggets of madness follow Danielle on Twitter @DaniMod115. The more the merrier!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

WYTOVICH LOCKS UP ANOTHER CRAZY

PATIENT: ELSA M. CARRUTHERS
ILLNESS: WRITER


When did you start writing? Why did you pick the genre you write in?

I’ve always told stories to myself and later to my friends. It was a great escape. First, I retold stories I read in books and comics or saw in shows and movies. I’d tweak them here and there, make them a little different. Then I started making up my own.

I write pretty much anything that comes to mind…it just so happens that I’m often struck with very dark ideas and fantasies.
 

Where do you get your ideas from? Do you journal at all?

I get my ideas everywhere. From childhood events, news clippings, things I see on the streets, essays I read. I journal, but not for stories because once I write about them, the stories feel “told” to me and I’m no longer anxious to finish them.

 
What is a normal (writing) day for you.

I write for word count. I try to put down at least 1000 words per day. Often, I sit at my desktop and get about 250 words in at a stretch before being interrupted at least twice. I work like that until I feel like I’ve put down enough words.

 
Favorite author or book? Who are you currently reading?

Oh boy, that’s tough. I love a lot of writers but I find myself returning to the works of Clive Barker, Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, Annie Proulx, S. E. Hinton and Shirley Jackson.

 
Do you prefer writing poetry or prose? Why one over the other?

I write both but my poetry is dreadful. All shmaltzy love lost sort of stuff that should never see the light of day. So I stick with prose. I love writing short stories.

Do you write in silence or with noise (TV, movie, music)?

I prefer silence but that is almost never happens for me so I put on music that I’m not likely to sing along with.

 
Do you have any weird habits when it comes to writing? Do you type or write longhand?

Yes, I never wear pants while I’m writing. Just kidding-no, I think I’m pretty average. I take a cup of cocoa to my desk to drink while I type.

 
Do you consider yourself a Plotter or Pantser?

What’s a plot? Definitely a Pantser. I have tried to plot my stories but I don’t really get a sense of what I’m writing about (theme, etc.) until I’ve written at least one draft.  
 
What do you think is the hardest aspect of the craft?

Besides the isolation, I’d say it’s persevering through long stretching of time when you won’t be paid (or hardly paid), recognized, or appreciated.

 
Current Projects?

Lots! Book-length non-fiction work on reader/viewer response to erotic images in horror, lots of short stories going out the door, and I’m revising a novel!

How do you balance being an editor and being a writer (or double jobs, being a mom/dad, etc.-apply to your situation.

It is very difficult sometimes, but I take it in strides. I usually write, edit, or research in small bursts between taking care of my family, dog, and household. I usually read while waiting for appointments or riding around town; I can't believe how much reading I can accomplish that way. 

What do you think people expect fro you with your writing? EX: Can they always count on a good gross out? I try to put out the best stories I can and I hope people get lost in them and remember them long after they finish reading.

Advice for aspiring writers?

First, believe in yourself. Attend as many workshops and classes as you can, but don't tell yourself that, "I'm learning how to write," or "I'm learning to be a better writer," or "I'm learning the skills I need to become a professional writer." That should help you with some of the doubt that will inevitably come.  Also, surround yourself with supportive people. Anyone who dismisses your dreams or ambitions is dismissive of a big part of you.



Recent publications:
  • “Not One of The Boys” Hazard Yet Forward Anthology
  • “The Came From Somwhere…The Little People” Midnight Movie Creature Feature Anthology Vol. II (May December Publications)
  • “Dave’s Pet” Horrotica Magazine