Monday, 23 February 2015

Women in Horror Month EDEN ROYCE

Eden Royce is a native of Charleston, South Carolina whose great-aunt practiced root, a type of conjure magic. She now wishes she'd listened more closely. Her stories have been published with several presses, including Kerlak/Dark Oak Press, Sirens Call Publications, and Blood Bound Books. 

She also reviews books for Hellnotes, a website dedicated to horror in fiction, art and movies and is a contributor to Graveyard Shift Sisters, a blog dedicated to purging the black female horror fan from the margins. She is also the horror submissions editor for Mocha Memoirs Press. Besides writing, she enjoys roller-skating, listening to thunderstorms, and excellent sushi.

  1. iWhen did you start writing horror? I started writing horror in 2007, when I took a job at a large financial institution. I was so stressed during the day, that writing dark fiction helped me shake off the day.  Well, that and kickboxing.

2.   Have you written in any other genre? I have and I do!  Most people know that I write horror and dark fiction, but not everyone knows.that the first story I ever had published (aside from that little tale about Bugs Bunny when I was five) was a romance/erotica story.  I like writing quirky romance stories about slightly awkward heroines that end up getting the guy. I’ve also had a steampunk story, titled “The Clockwork Gin” published in an anthology. That one was fun to write. 

3.  What makes you uncomfortable? I don’t have an overly developed sense of schadenfreude—joy at seeing the misfortune of others—so I don’t like to see or hear about bad things happening to people.  Movies and tv programs that show people being embarrassed or humiliated for others to laugh at… I can’t watch them. Maybe I’m too empathetic. 

4.  Does your family read your work?  Yes, my husband reads just about everything I write before I send it to a publisher. He has an amazing eye for picking out what doesn’t work. Thankfully, he brings things he thinks are well done to my attention too. Both of my parents will read my work once it’s published. Although my mother will only read the horror on Sundays during daylight hours. *grins*

5.  Does your writing make you uneasy? I don’t worry whether what I’ve thought of makes me a sick, strange person, if that’s what you mean. I’m good about being able to separate the author from the work itself. I don’t go down to the marsh at midnight to work spells—well, not anymore…
I have scared myself, though. When I first started my novel, I was writing alone in the house and a storm was approaching. It was an old house and the little moans and creaks were new to me—they made a fantastic ambiance for the Southern Gothic story I was writing, actually—but I found myself a little freaked out that what I was typing seemed like I was recounting a story about real people.  

6.  Who would you say you write like? I’ve always had trouble with this question because I don’t like to compare my work to others. That way lies madness.  But I stumbled across a website a while back that analyses an except of your writing and states another famous writer your work resembles.  I tried it with one of my short stories and the site said I write like L. Frank Baum, who wrote The Wizard of Oz.  I’m pleased with that result. If you want to try it for your own work, the link is here:

7.  Who are your favourite authors? I love gothic horror, so Daphne Du Maurier is a favourite.  I enjoy reading fantasy too, so I’d put Terri Windling on that list.  Also on the list are the Kings, Stephen and Tabitha. For mystery, it’s British authors, Agatha Christie and Dick Francis. 

8.  Who influences you as a writer? My hometown, Charleston, South Carolina.  It’s full of history and mystique. Many of my stories are set there. I also dream a lot.  A notebook by the bed helps me make sure I don’t forget any gems I can use later.

9. Do you remember what your first horror book was that you read? I don’t recall the first one, but I don’t think it was a book written for kids.  I started reading extremely early in life, and I loved classics—still do.  So it may have been Bram Stoker’s Dracula or it may have been Poe’s Collected Works

10.  How old were you?  So long ago… Ha!  Maybe nine or ten?

11.  Is there any subject you will not touch as an author?  

12.  What was the best advice you were given as a writer?  Keep writing.  Don’t overthink it. Get the first draft done. My favorite? Writing is like building a sandcastle; you have to gather all the sand first, before you start shaping your castle.

13.  If you had to start all over again, what would you do different? Start sooner. 

14.  How many books do you read a year? This varies so much depending on what I’m writing and what’s going on in life at the moment. I edit and proofread professionally, and I beta read books for several authors, as well as do book reviews so I will add those to my total.  Maybe four to six per month for work purposes and about two or three for fun.

15.  Do you write every day? Not unless you count shopping lists and to-do lists. I try to take the occasional break from writing, especially if I’m overwhelmed with another project.  I recently moved, so that took a lot of my time and energy. Now that’s behind me, I hope to have fewer days where I don’t get anything on the page. There are times I do feel like I’m getting stuck, so I will change genres and write on another story to keep a rhythm going. 

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