I read Fear Farm: No Trespassers* way before I'd really gotten into the horror community, and once I actually got to know SJ, I had an even greater appreciation for it! She's super sweet and very creative - make sure you're following her after this, if you aren't already, to see some of the amazing photos she takes - and I loved her approach to this book.
Her talents are very diverse, and it's great how she combines her hobbies to find inspiration! It's always fascinating to see how differently writers approach their work when they're equally into movies/screenplay writing, photography, or other artistic mediums. It provides a different perspective that's so much fun to dive into!
Read on friends, and see what SJ has to say! ☠️💖
1. I love your photography and how you incorporated it into Fear Farm: No Trespassers. Which developed first – your love for taking photos, or writing horror?
Thank you so much. Although horror in general will always be my first love, photography (and art) came way before writing. My love for photography came about in my teen years. I had a favorite camera and would often be seen carrying it around, mostly taking pictures of nature or searching for something creepy to capture. I learned how to develop film in a dark room, which was a really cool experience. It only made that passion move forward. I then branched into incorporating my photos with writing and now it all intertwines in some way or another. It has been a blast for me, creatively.
2. Do you feel like you base your characters on people you know/have encountered?
Absolutely. Quite a few characters in Fear Farm No Trespassers are based off people I know and have encountered, as well as some of the events that took place. Some friends, family, and people along the way have all shared in the creating of this story. It’s a nod to the experiences that have occurred over the years. Names were changed for the sake of fiction and additions were made to help pull it all together.
3. Have you ever watched a horror movie with locations that felt similar to what you pictured for your book?
Yes, quite a few horror movies share similar settings. The ones I pictured for my book would be, for example, Friday the 13th type locations. That killer in the woods vibe is what it’s all about. Since the location of the story is in the country with well wooded areas I think any horror movie with that kind of setting could fit.
4. Do you think you view the world differently as a horror fan? (Scenery that might seem serene to others, but I feel like we imagine the monster below the surface just out of habit.)
It’s funny that you ask that because I believe I do. I catch myself many times with visions and imagining “what if” scenarios during the most serene moments. I joke that I watch way too many horror movies or read too many scary books while my mind goes wild. Truthfully, I do just view things differently…I see beauty in things just as much as I can see the evil unfold.
5. Where is the most unnerving place you’ve ever been?
I went through a period where I wanted to visit locations of local urban legends. One night I took a ride with friends to visit an abandoned hospital that was meant to be haunted. It was surrounded by trees and you had to walk through the over grown roads to get to it. It was very dark there and a flashlight wasn’t enough comfort. Their were a ton of odd noises and you had to open many doors to walk through. All the creepy vibes were there. Every whistle in the wind made me turn as if someone was coming after me. I ran out of there pretty quickly. It was too dark and unnerving for me. Maybe there is some truth behind those legends after all.
6. What do you feel has been the best part of joining the Twitter horror community?
The best part of joining the Twitter horror community has been the connections I’ve made. There are so many individuals sharing what they love and supporting others. The common ground of creepy things seem to bring twitter people together in a positive way. It’s also great to see so much talent out there in the horror loving world.
7. For the more technical folks out there, what’s your favorite camera & any equipment?
I have a very old Canon camera that my father passed down to me when I began taking photos. It was my first professional camera. Everything on it was manual and I remember it being heavy. I lugged it everywhere. It came in a fancy bag with a ton of pockets, three different zoom lenses, and a tripod. I have upgraded a few times since then and even now much is done on cell phones, but I still have that camera stored away for another day.
8. Do you plan to write any more horror stories (short stories or novels)?
I do plan to write more horror stories and am currently working on a few different writing pieces. I have a couple of shorter stories being edited and one in the planning phase. I have also drafted out book 2 which is to be included in the Fear Farm series. It will tie into the series based on its setting, but also work as a stand alone, similar to how No Trespassers can be. I have many other ideas for Fear Farm and look forward to building on it in the future.
9. If you were out on an average, everyday hike through the woods, what’s a “normal” thing you might encounter that would legitimately scare you?
Spiders! Hands down it would have to be spiders. They are normal, and living in their own habitat, out their in the wild just doing their thing but if I encounter them I am done for.
10. In a lot of movies (monsters, natural disasters, etc.), it seems like there’s always at least one person who stops and takes pictures. Would you be that person if you saw something insane, or would you be running ahead of the crowd?
I know I would not stop to take a photo at that moment, but I can definitely see myself running while holding the camera up trying to catch a quick click of what I was running from. The photos will most likely be blurry and I will certainly fall more than once but I would try.
Where to find her:
Goodreads: S.J. Krandall