Wednesday 26 October 2011

Coffin Hop Part Two: Interview with Coral Russell

Here's my second post for the week long Coffin Hop Web Tour, an interview with fellow Coffin Hopper and horror author, Coral Russell.  As with the first post all people who comment on the post get a shot at a three ebook prize pack of my books, Once Upon a Dark and Eerie..., Killers and Demons, and Ruined City.
Also when you're done here, to continue the Hop, just scroll down to the Author Linky List at the end of my blog and click on a link or pop over to the Author List on the main Coffin Hop page.

An Interview with Horror Author, Coral Russell.

1. Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

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.

2. Could you tell us about your latest book, Amador Lockdown.

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.

Author Bio:

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
You can also stalk the author on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+

And check out my spotlight of her book Amador Lockdown

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.


michael said...

she seems real nice

A. F. Stewart said...

She is nice.

Sheila Deeth said...

Enjoyed this interview. I don't like I'd let endless sunshine stop me dreaming dark clouds and mystery either.

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sheila.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Interesting to hear that she started in nonfiction. I've often been told I should write in that genre, but I wouldn't know how to break out of the grips of my inner horror writer.

Also fun to see that she got most of her writing advice from an erotica writer. I guess the good ones really know how grab your... attention.

Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

Coral said...

AF thanks so much for having me and thanks for the comments.

Michael - thanks! I try to be. :)

Sheila - hehe there's always a darkened room to go to...

Paul - I'm as surprised as you are! But they have been some of the most generous people. Sometimes I feel a little bad because I'm not a writer in the genre (heh maybe if you're lucky o.~), but she still works with me and gives great writing advice.

Non-fiction is awesome. I try to stay tuned up by contributing articles to Technorati.

A. F. Stewart said...

Hi, Paul. It can be challenging to switch between fiction and non-fiction, but fun too.

You're welcome, Coral, you give a cool interview.

Unknown said...

What a great interview.

earthsbooknook at gmail dot com

Sarah Butland said...

Congratulations on being able to make the leap from non-fiction to fiction in such a seamless manner. I envy you for sure!

This tale sounds intriguing, I'll be adding it to my must read list. :)

Thanks for the invite A.F. Stewart!

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks for stopping by, Heather.

A. F. Stewart said...

You're welcome, Sarah and Coral's book does sound intriguing.

Coral said...

Thanks Heather and Sarah! I just got my first Kindlegraph request! Exciting times.

Jennifer S said...

Amador Lockdown sounds like a very good book. I have added it to my TBR list. at Gmail dot Com

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks for stopping in, Jennifer. Amador Lockdown does sound good.

Coral said...

Thanks! You all do know Amador Lockdown is free until Halloween on Smashwords? :)

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