The Dogs of Depression: A Guide for Happy People

The Dogs of Depression: A Guide for Happy People

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Women in Horror Month: M.L. Roos

Yup, thought I would get in on the action on the fifth annie-versary of my brain surgery. I thought I would never write again. I believed my life was over and my career finished. Five years later, I still have the affects of the ruptures, but I push as hard as I can, learn a new thing every single year to increase neural plasticity and live life on my terms....most of the time. And I write, better then ever. 

1.When did you start writing horror?

I started writing when I was six. My first piece was called Dracula and the Duck, a very descriptive piece about living in Saskatchewan (my first Canadian Winter after leaving Holland) when Dracula meets a duck swimming in the slough....yeah, deep stuff. The teacher liked it and had me read it in class, then at the school assembly. Knew I wanted to write ever since.

2.   Have you written in any other genre?

I write non-fiction, Circle of Survivors: A Care Guide for Brain Aneurysm Survivors and Caregivers. And horror. Nothing else seems to work. Romance always ends up with people dying and screaming and all the blood and intestines gets between the kissing scenes.

3.  What makes you uncomfortable?

Not too much. I won't read or listen to animals being hurt or abused. I leave when people talk about hunting, animal abuse and things like that. Can't stand it. Makes me crazy, gets in my head and won't leave. Lingers for weeks. I am way too visual. 

4.  Does your family read your work?

My granddaughter has been begging for years to read my stories, but I said for her 13th birthday I will give her copies. My niece does, but I think that's it. 

5.  Does your writing make you uneasy?

Yes. I remember writing Red for Omnium Gatherum's Death to the Brother's Grimm anthology and turning my head to the side and grimacing in one particular scene. Still wrote it though. My writing dwells in my head and lives there. Stories linger......

6.  Who would you say you write like?

I write like me. I don't think I have a style. Would love to write like Richard Laymon or Bentley Little, but I am nowhere near that talented.

7.  Who are your favourite authors?

Richard Matheson, Bentley Little, Richard Laymon, Stephen King, Anne Rule, Anne Rice, Dr. Robert Hare (Psychopathy), Jonathan Kellerman, Lars Kepler, Roald Dahl....used to like Dean Koontz but he got lame.

8.  Who influences you as a writer?

Everyone and everything influences me. Walking into a room and seeing something out the corner of my eye, talking to people at lunch about inane things, seeing a bag float across the road. My mind takes off and creates its own journey into "what if" and I am gone.

9. Do you remember what your first horror book was that you read?

I don't remember the first, but I do remember the passion of A Wrinkle in Time, The Lottery, Carrie, The Stand.

10.  How old were you? 

A Wrinkle in Time was grade one I believe. Left a huge impression on me. It is not technically horror, but speculative fiction.

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

Animal abuse. Nope. Nope. Nope.

12.  What was the best advice you were given as a writer?

Give yourself permission to write crap. The first few years I wrote, I thought everything had to be perfect and was constantly re-writing as I went along. Then I remember reading that somewhere and thought, yeah. It doesn't have to be perfect. Write crap. Edit later. Or throw it out. Just write.

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

Send my work in for publication early. I always wrote, but I didn't send anything to a publisher because if they told me I sucked, then I wasn't a writer. BUT, if no one rejected me, I was still a writer. 

I remember pushing the send button and feeling nauseated. Man, that was horrid. But it was accepted. The story even won first place. Then the next piece sold and the next and the next. 

14.  How many books do you read a year?

Between 250 and 400, depending on what's going on in my life. I have been reading every single night for over 4 decades; the last twenty on a device. First was a Palm Pilot, then a Treo, Tungsten and finally iPhone. 

15.  Do you write every day?

Not fiction. I do a lot of writing for work. In the summers I take time off and write and over holidays. This past year sucked because I was upgrading my education, but I plan to put out two books this summer; a collection of short stories and the other, a full length novel based on a true story. 


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  1. Great interview! ;) Malina, you are my role model on how to really LIVE life.

  2. I try....or maybe I am trying as Olle says LOL