Up a day later than usually, but none the less I have today the last in my series of Author Interviews (for the time being) of authors whose books I have reviewed on Read2 Review. Today I have with me the wonderful De Kenyon.
Of all the interview's I've done, her's is by far the most entertaining and hirlarious. I love her sense of humour! De Kenyon is the author of the brilliant Tales Told Under Covers - a selection of Children's Horror stories. Featuring everything from zombies to wizards to giant sushi monsters (yes you heard that correctly), this book is a must read if you're looking for entertaining horror that's perfect for children. In fact I actually compared De Kenyon to H.P Lovecraft in some way, in the sense that her stories are so wild and imagitive it's hard not to be swept away by them!
Check out my review for the book
. In the meantime, let's see how De Kenyon decided to answer my questions. Enjoy!
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
No. I refuse. I refuse to tell you about my love of comic books, learning karate with my daughter, or living in Colorado with an awesome playhouse in the back yard. You'll just have to live with your despair, which, I see, is making you cry disconsolately.
2. Outside of writing, what would you say your favourite hobbies are?
Reading books. I read a lot of books (and comics). Cooking weird food that I don't know how to cook, just because I want to see how many ways I can mess it up. Well, I suppose I also want to eat it, but mostly I want to see how far I can mess with things before I can't eat it anymore. Playing online games with my family. We usually end up on the bad guys' side. They're just misunderstood, you know.
3. What made you want to get into writing?
I used to make up stories for people when they came to visit us. We lived on a farm, and my mom stayed home all day, so one or two of our cousins would stay with us every year and hang out and do chores and things. And we'd play pretend--oh, for a very long time, probably until I was in sixth grade or so--and go on adventures and things. I'd set up whatever the beginning was, and then we'd all play until everyone got mad at each other. I got bored in school, and one of the teachers decided that I needed to be a writer, because that's what I'd do in class after I'd done all the homework: make up stuff. I was sent to writer camp for a week...only I had to write a story before they'd let me in. Does that make sense, I ask you? First you teach me to write, and then I write the story. But no.
4. Who would you say are your favourite authors and who inspires your writing the most?
I'm a huge Alice's Adventures in Wonderland fan, to the point where I know that the town where the author spent some of his vacations had a bunch of white rabbits running all over the parks. LOTS of them, for some reason. I find that Alice always inspires me. I also love Terry Pratchett, Steven Brust, Spider Robinson, Robert Heinlein, Eoin Colfer, Carol Berg, Jonathan Stroud, Tamora Pierce, Diana Wynne Jones...oh, about a bajillion other authors, too.
5. Without giving away any spoilers, can you tell us a little about Tales Told Under The Covers?
It's a collection of short stories about a) defeating bullies, 2) getting in trouble, and d) a lot of other things. I used to read a lot of horror stories as a kid, like the books with 101 spooky stories in them and stuff. So all the stories are a little creepy in one way or another, and I can't think of any of the stories that doesn't have a fight in it. But all of the stories have mostly happy endings. Because I'm terrible at sad endings, really.
6. How did you get the ideas for the stories in the book?
I asked kids for ideas and then made them as weird as possible. Like for "A Picture is Worth 1000 Chomps," I asked for an idea, any idea, and the girl told me she wanted a story about evil things coming out of mirrors or picture frames. I just changed it to cameras and laptops, because nobody expects your tech stuff to be more or less haunted.
7. Do you prefer writing short stories over full length novels?
I like both, but short stories are harder for me. The hardest part is coming up with the ideas for me, so short stories mean a lot of work for not all that much writing.
8. Which of the stories is your favourite?
It depends on my mood. Usually I like "The Last Voyage of the Mermaid" the best, because my daughter, when she was younger, was always asking me what death was like, and I never knew what to say to her. But when we go out for sushi, it's "Attack of the 50-Foot Sushi Monster," because that's where we came up with the idea. Each of the stories has its own special moments where I'm like, "Oh, story. I love you so."
9. Even though it’s aimed at children, do you worry that some of the content may be a bit too dark for them in places?
Yes and no. Yes, because I know some kids are scared out of their wits by scary stories. No, because the book kind of says, "Hey, there are some scary stories in here." I think adults don't give kids credit for their bravery. They see you be scared about one thing, like spiders, and think, "This kid's a chicken" for the rest of their childhoods. And kids have to deal with scary things all the time--like divorce, parents who have job/money/drug or alcohol problems, not knowing whether you'll ever see your friends next school year, bullies, etc. Why not talk about that?
10. I have to ask this – the story about the Sushi monster is one of the strangest, yet really entertaining stories I’ve read. Where did the inspiration for that one come from?
My daughter. We were eating sushi, as we do, and sitting at the counter watching the chefs chop things up. One of her favorite things to eat was octopus for a while; now it's two different kinds of fish eggs. I told her I needed an idea for my next story. When the rolls came out, we were messing around, and she kind of built a sushi figure from my roll. "What if this was a sushi man and he ate everyone?" I think that's how she put it. I sometimes have to tone down her ideas a little; they're already pretty far out there.
11. Are there any current horror trends that get on your nerves?
The women who scream and get chopped to bits. Really? Really? If I'm ever in a horror movie, I'm going for a cleaver. Or a nice, heavy set of keys. Even a pen. I may die, but I'm taking at least a few bad guys with me. Especially if there are kids to defend. Hooh boy. I'd just put down the chainsaw and run, if I were the bad guy. Don't mess with ladies who are defending little kids.
12. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read. If you want to write, you should be addicted to reading the stuff you want to write. Don't watch mostly TV if you want to write books, for example. And write. A lot. Not just when you feel like it. All the time. Every day. It doesn't matter if it's terrible; if you keep writing, it'll get better. It just will, believe it or not. But write a lot.
I blog at
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. You can get my book in print at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or as an ebooks at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Smashwords, and lots of other online bookstores.
Thanks again to De for the interview - I hope you all found it as entertaining as I did. More author interviews coming very soon!
Normal service should resume for blogging as from tomorrow! Until then, keep reading!