I met EV when we recorded an episode together on The Ghoulish Gallery, and she's an absolute badass. She's the perfect example of not just overcoming chaos and horrible events, but thriving and becoming an inspiration for others (and I'll never quit telling her as much). Her horror writing is boosted by her medical knowledge, and the way she weaves so many elements together to create such compelling tales, is nothing short of magical (in the worst ways😉).
1. During your recording of our Ghoulish Gallery episode, you absolutely stunned me with the fact that you went BACK TO SCHOOL after completing med school. What inspired you to go back?
I knew I wanted to write and it had been a while since college. Also, college for me was pure science. Every class I took, I took thinking it would help me succeed in medical school (even when I took Latin as my foreign language—spoiler alert: it didn’t help me at all). So, I knew if I was going to be a successful writer, I need to relearn how to write, relearn grammar, and learn the business of writing. There was only one clear way in my mind to do that in a timely manner—go back to school.
2. What is your favorite sub-genre of horror?
I really like psychological horror and paranormal horror. I think the scariest things are the things that could actually happen and that typically requires another human being in some form. As antagonists, animals and monsters go for the throat—humans rip out the heart.
3. If we livestream during the full moon/Friday the 13th apocalypse, what will be your drink of choice?
That’s a toughie. One of my favorite drinks is a Moscow Mule but that seems a little light for the apocalypse. I think the proper drink would be a Blood and Sand which has scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry liquor, and orange juice. A little stronger and I like the name—it fits the end of the world.
4. What non-human monsters/spooks are the most terrifying to you?
Anything squirmy. If it has tentacles or is a giant blob, slug, or is described as “writhing” or “undulating” fuck that shit right there. I’m done. I can’t even with the squirmy things.
5. If you were going to be stuck in a haunted house for three nights, what would you take with you?
1. A flashlight: for obvious reasons, 2. A sleeping bag. I know this seems petty but I am always cold and when I get cold, I get cranky and that is no state of mind to be in when you are in a haunted house. It’s important to stay warm. 3. A Ouija board. I want to see and/or interact with a ghost. That’s what I would be there for. There are a lot of new-fangled ghost hunting implements, but I don’t know that I fully understand them enough to trust them. So, I’m going old style.
6. What was your favorite movie of 2022, and why?
It’s a tie. Speak No Evil and Barbarian. I love horror films but most let me down. Rarely am I surprised of creeped out. Speak No Evil made me super uncomfortable the entire way through the movie and the ending just destroyed me. Barbarian pulled the rug out from under me so many times. Every time I thought I had a handle on what was going on, it surprised me. I loved them both. I’ll throw in an honorable mention for Violent Night as well because I don’t know how you can make a bloody, gory, action Christmas movie and include all the Christmas feels—but Violent Night did it. Definitely a new Christmas tradition for me.
7. What’s the first horror movie you remember watching, and did it stick with you in any specific way?
The first horror movie I remember seeing was Phantasm at a drive-in theater. My mom and her cousins would go for double features. The first one was usually more family friendly and then the next one was more adult. I guess assuming we’d fall asleep, they would stay and watch the second one. But not me, I liked watching those creepy things and Phantasm was the first one I recall seeing and being utterly terrified. Images of thick yellow blood and being chased down corridors still pop into my head even after all these years.
8. What are a few of the things you enjoy about writing horror, as opposed to other genres?
Writing horror is a way to face your own fears/demons. It’s therapeutic. It’s also filled with emotions everyone can relate to. Fear is universal. And fear is tangible. I like that. Horror is also often free of the formulaic. You can do so many plot lines with horror, there are not hard and fast rules or expectations beyond creeping out the reader. I like the freedom of it and the realness of it.
9. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the horror writing community?
I would strongly recommend going to horror cons and/or joining the Horror Writers Association. These people will help you navigate the world of horror writing. You’ll want to have a critique group as well. Stephen King says, "Write with the door closed, rewrite with it open…” You need like minded people to help you improve and make your writing the best it can be. Interact, introduce yourself and you’ll soon have a community behind you. And of course, read. Read everything, especially the indie press and independent published stuff. There are some amazing writers out there and some of the best stuff isn’t published by the big publishers.
10. What kind of environment is the most conducive to writing for you?
For me, I like to have a large workspace because I take copious notes and plot everything out. So, I need a big table and lots of room. I like background noise but no music with lyrics. Lyrics distract me. Sometimes I’ll find background mood music on YouTube or Spotify and sometimes, I like to go to a coffee shop or a park. I rarely work in the same place all the time and I have no set time for writing. My day job schedule is chaotic therefore I can’t ever set specific times or word goals for each day. As long as I have space to spread out and something going on in the background, I’m good to go.
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