Friday, 13 February 2015

Women in Horror Month HOLLIS JAY

  1. When did you start writing horror?

  I started writing when I was five, so I have to say that my love of the horror genre came around the same time.  I started watching horror films at a very young age and I read quite a few horror stories.  The horror genre was always my favorite as a child and not much has changed as I have become an adult.  The horror genre always seemed to have an infinite number of possibilities, plus I loved (and still do) the idea of writing horror with an appreciation for life (much like Stephen King).  The first time I actually wrote something horror based, I would have to say that I was six or seven.  I already knew from what I had seen and read so far that I would become a fanatic of the genre.  
2. Have you written in any other genre?

  I have written in several other genres.  Everything accept for “romance.”  I never could stomach those “romance” novels.   But, I have explored different avenues when it comes to my writing.  I believe in keeping yourself open to new writing styles.  I have tried fiction, non-fiction, poetry,  westerns, and I even outlined a children’s book at one point in time.  But, I would have to say that everything that I write has an element of horror.  I see things from a dark perspective when I write and immerse myself in the characters that I am portraying.  I have always been a bit morbid.  But, I see happiness and fulfillment in that sense of morbidity.
3. What makes you uncomfortable?

  I would have to say that over the years I have come to dislike arguing or fighting in any form.  I will fight for myself and my loved ones, but honestly life is so short.  I also have a huge stipulation involving personal space.  I like have my own personal time and when someone interferes with that I tend to lose my balance.  Plus, clowns.  Clowns are usually a sign of trouble.  

4. Does your family read your work?
  Not often and not fully.  Most of my writing goes unread.  

5. Does your writing make you uneasy?
  My writing used to make me feel uneasy.  Very uneasy.  But, over the years I have accepted who I fully am in reality and in the world of writing.  I think that we all have parts of us that make us feel uneasy.  Thoughts that we don’t act on or impulses to do things that would be unwise.  I am lucky.  As a writer, I get to act on those thoughts and impulses through my characters.  You could say that my characters give me strength.  I am also allowed to acknowledge those questionable parts of my personality through my writing.  Everything that I write is a part of me.  Even if I am a slaughtering serial killer.  It’s allowing yourself to accept the fact that you can be a slaughtering serial killer through your writing, which enables sanity.  

6. Who would you say you write like?
  Well, I have been compared to Shirley Jackson and Stephen King.  I also had a good friend of mine tell me that I wrote like Hemingway, which I took as a compliment.  But, ultimately I write like me.  I have nurtured and continue to nurture my own writing style.  My own voice.  And my voice changes as time and experience progresses.  I write like Hollis Jay.

7. Who are your favorite authors?
  There are quite a few authors which I adore, but I would have to say that the top five would be: Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Edward Lee, Edgar Allan Poe, and Kazuo Ishiguro.  I am  also a fan of graphic novels, comic and anything “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (accept for the original film with Kristy Swanson).  

8. Who influences you as a writer?
  To be honest, everything influences me as a writer.  The good and the bad.  I am influenced by everyday life and by the realization that one day I will die, so I better try and make the best of everything that life has to offer.  I think that people take so many things for granted and overlook all the minute details of what is happening around them.  Some things are not what they seem to be.  Sometimes, one has to pay attention.

9. Do you remember what your first horror book was that you read?
  I read quite a few Grimm’s Fairy Tales as a child.  I enjoyed those more than the stories with happy endings and prince charmings that save the day.  But, I would have to say that “The Shining” is the very first horror novel that I read.  It is also the only book that still scares me to this day and I reread it often.  

10. How old were you?
  I was twelve.

11. Is there any subject you will not touch as an author?
  No.

12. What was the best advice you were given as a writer?
  Work out an outline.

13. If you had to start all over again, what would you do different.
  Nothing.

14. How many books do you read a year?
  Too many to count.

15. Do you write every day?
Yes.  

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