Mary Ann is a wonderful person and always has something to add to any conversation. I have only 'known' her a short time, but I must say I am intrigued.....passionate, honest and playful, she is a force to be reckoned with.
- When did you start writing horror?
I began writing horror in the late 1990s.
2. Have you written in any other genre?
I also write paranormal sort-of-romance novels and more mainstream literary short stories as well.
3. What makes you uncomfortable?
Cannibalism, necrophilia, pedophilia. I can't think of much else right now.
4. Does your family read your work?
Only rarely. My sons are disturbed by it, and my husband doesn't understand it. My daughter-in-law can't bear gore, so she doesn't read much of it for that reason.
5. Does your writing make you uneasy?
Occasionally. I wonder where these ideas come from. I am, in my real life, very non-violent. Not so much in my writing.
6. Who would you say you write like?
I have no idea. One writing teacher said my paranormal sort-of romance was like "Janet Evanovich, only funnier." A reviewer said one of my short stories was the zombie story Tennessee Williams would have written if he'd written zombie stories. I try to write like myself.
- Who are your favourite authors?
Jaime Johnesee, Billie Sue Mosiman, Killion Slade,Jessica Meigs, James Lee Burke, Ruth Downie, J.D. Robb (I don't read Nora Roberts, but I love her work under this pen name), Sue Grafton, Chuck Wendig (not only his craft books but his fiction), Kai Wilson-Viola, Valerie Douglas, George R.R. Martin, Dane Hatchell, Jim Butcher. I have a *lot* of favourite writers. I could probably list 75 more.
8. Who influences you as a writer?
Not so much who as what: the daily news.
9. Do you remember what your first horror book was that you read?
I read Bram Stoker's "Dracula."
10. How old were you?
I was about ten years old.
11. Is there any subject you will not touch as an author?
Necrophilia and pedophilia. Probably everything else – even cannibalism, which disturbs me a lot – is fair game.
12. What was the best advice you were given as a writer?
Oh, so much. Do I have to pick one? I like Chekhov's advice about the gun. It's been expanded to say, if you write about a loaded rifle in act one, someone had better fire it before the end of the play. So I'll drop a line about something in chapter one, mention it again in chapter ten, and then it'll pay off in the climax.
13. If you had to start all over again, what would you do different?
I quit writing entirely in 1976 and didn't start again till the late 1990s when I began writing "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fanfiction. I wanted desperately to write again, but I didn’t feel confident in my skills anymore, especially in my ability to create characters. So I played in Joss Whedon's sandbox for a while. As I gained confidence, I quit writing fanfiction and began writing my own fiction. If I had it to do over again, I would never have quit writing in the first place.
14. How many books do you read a year?
Probably 75 to 100 every year. I read a lot.
15. Do you write every day?
Yes, I write something every day. It might not be much, but it'll be words on the "page."
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