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An Interview with Horror Author, Coral Russell.
I always say I'm a nobody. I like to think I'm fairly normal. I'm married to a wonderful husband and have one daughter, three step-children, and three grandbabies. I have a little dynasty going on here. I live in the SW which is a strange place to write horror/paranormal because it is always so freakin' sunny and bright here.
It's inspired by a real lockdown at the real Amador Hotel that I went to with my step-son. He and a friend helped with a rap that I used in the book. The pictures in the book trailer are real and were taken at the Amador. It is about a paranormal case gone wrong and also a father who tries to save his son. It has a twist ending that everyone whose read the story so far said they never saw coming.
3. What attracted you to write in the paranormal/horror genre?
It's the one genre that I feel I know pretty darn well and when it came time to start writing, the story just naturally leaned in that direction.
4. What is the hardest part of writing horror fiction?
Nothing. That was the first genre I cut my teeth on as a teenager. Not only in books but also movies. I guess I just like to be scared. Not grossed out mind you. I like the anticipation and tension that you get from a good horror story.
5. You started out writing non-fiction. Was it hard to make the transition to fiction?
Terribly hard! Horribly hard! Fiction is such a different animal. My poor crit partners have been so supportive and patiently corrected every wordy sentence and awkward phrasing that I churn out in a draft. I love them for taking the time to teach and support me. They understand what my background is and I'm learning... Slowly... BUT, I can say that I'm one of those freaks that loves research and I still do a lot of research (physical, books, Internet, movies) for every fiction story that I write because I like how it fleshes out the story and makes it seem 'real'.
6. Where do your ideas originate and what is your greatest challenge as a writer?
I've done a lot of living and I always wondered what I was going to do with all those experiences. I ended up moving back to the Southwest to be closer to family and went to my 25th High School reunion. My friend Chef Ruli at Rulis International Kitchen said that in the end 'our stories' were the only thing we're left with. That made sense to me and I had the idea that I could write those down in the form of fiction. Also I have strong opinions and voicing them through characters seemed like an ideal way to get that out without getting into trouble. My biggest challenges as a writer are those darn passive and awkward sentences I seem to love.
7. Do you have any favourite authors of paranormal or horror fiction, and did they inspire you as a writer?
Stephen King is the grand-daddy of them all and I've read everything by Laurel K. Hamilton as well. I loved Frank Herbert, John Saul, Peter Straub, but the one writer that had a whole section on her website about writing advice was Emma Holly, an erotica writer. That's where I got my first resources about writing fiction. I've learned that writers that selflessly share their information, are the best people on the planet. I try to do that myself in that anything I learn I'm more than happy to pass on to whoever wants to listen about my experience.
8. What advice would you give writers thinking about writing in the paranormal/horror genre?
I took Lawrence Block's advice in that you should know and be very well read in the genre that you chose to write in. I believe that's what has made it so easy for me to start with the horror genre. So take his excellent, expert advice. If you plan to write in a certain genre, read all the books you can in that genre so you know what readers expect.
9. What’s next for you?
I thought I would want to take a break after Amador Lockdown, but a detective anthology offer came up. When I went to outline the story, it turned out to be a novella or full-length novel, not a short story, so now I'm excited about working on that for maybe NaNoWriMo. Then I happened across an email and that gave me a great idea for a follow-up story to the Paranormal Posse in Amador Lockdown. I hope to finish both these stories in 2012.
Coral Russell won the 2003 McCaleb Peace Initiative which produced the non-fiction articles Peace on the Peninsula about South Korean's view on reunification. You can also find various articles written by her on Technorati and BlogCritics. After winning a fiction writing contest (a fluke), she caught the fiction bug. An encounter with something paranormal on a local ghost tour inspired her to start writing the ghost hunter series.
Her titles include Peace on the Peninsula, Twelve Worlds, Playing with Fire, The DIY Guide to Social Media Marketing and eBook Publishing, and Amador Lockdown.
Ms. Russell runs the blog alchemyofscrawl.wordpress.com
You can also stalk the author on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+
And check out my spotlight of her book Amador Lockdown: http://afstewartpromotion.blogspot.com/2011/10/book-spotlight-amador-lockdown.html
And be sure to pop back in on Halloween as I welcome a guest, author Gordon A. Kessler, who talks about his new scary thriller, Jezebel and getting that scare right when writing horror.