Hello my Freaky Darlings,
Today on 13 questions we have Sèphera Girón, Sèphera was born in New Orleans, grew up in London, Ontario, and currently resides in Toronto. She has over 17 books traditionally published in several genres. Her latest releases are WEIRD TALES OF TERROR from Scarlett Publishing and BORROWED FLESH from Necon E-books. When Sèphera isn’t writing, she is helping others write with her editorial services. She is also a professional tarot counsellor. You can stalk her on twitter and Facebook. You can also find all her books on Amazon.
1. What drives you to write?
There has always been something inside of me that compels me to write. Ever since I could hold a pencil, I’ve been recording my thoughts. Even when I recently had a two year “writer’s block” I was still writing constantly. I don’t know what drives me to write. Perhaps it’s some kind of insanity.
2. What attracted you to writing horror?
I suspect I’m genetically pre-dispositioned to horror. I’m half Spanish and a quarter Finnish. I was attracted to and repelled by gory fairy tales. As a young kid, I read a lot of science fiction and weird stories. When I was a teenager, Stephen King hit the scene and the face of horror changed forever. I realized that I loved horror so I wanted to give back to the genre that entertained me so much during my teenage years.
3. Who are your favourite horror writers?
Stephen King and Clive Barker, however, so many of my peers are magnificent authors. My list would be about two hundred. You really can’t go wrong with most of the modern horror authors.
4. Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?
The Books of Blood
5. Ebooks or paperback?
6. What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?
Word of mouth and/or cover blurb and/or review (not necessarily a good review either!)
7. Who is your favourite fictional character?
Scarlett O’Hara, who is her own kind of horror story.
8. Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?
I enjoy a story that just unfolds, however, the reality is, once you’re a contracted writer, you have to give a synopsis before you start your book. So I don’t often have the luxury of just letting a story happen although I can do that with most short stories.
9. Do your characters take on a life of their own and do things you didn’t plan?
10. Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?
The majority of my work is inspired by music, often by a song that is on the radio that gets stuck in my head. I often become obsessed over a specific song so I have to use it in a story. I think this might have to do with being raised by musicians and having a musical childhood. In fact, on my Facebook author fan page, I’ve been sharing which songs inspired which work. However, during the actual process of writing a first draft and/or editing, I must have silence.
11. Do you do a lot of research for your stories?
Some of them, most definitely. In MISTRESS OF THE DARK, I had to learn how to shrink heads. For BORROWED FLESH, I had to learn about urine drinking. In THE BIRDS AND THE BEES I learned about the lost boys of Sudan. There’s always something to learn!
12. Facebook or Twitter?
I’m on both but I think Facebook is still my preferred if I had to choose.
Probably the same things that have pissed off writers since the beginning of time.
The idea that “anyone” can do it. The idea that writing isn’t work. The idea that authors are expected to work and live on substandard living wages while working just as hard as lawyers or dentists but no one expects lawyers or dentists to work for free.
Authors need to band together and stop giving work away for free. I don’t mean promos, or specials, or prizes, or charity, and other freebies that have been done forever. I mean, seriously, expect a living wage, a proper paycheck, a proper hourly rate or word rate. Don’t be “grateful” for “exposure” or a couple of free copies. Demand to be treated as a professional who has been trained and educated as well as any other profession.
Nothing upsets me more than someone saying, “Oh, I need to earn some money, I think I’ll whip up a book.”
“Oh, now that I’m retired, I’m going to write a best-seller.”
Or my absolute favourite!
“I have an idea. I’ll let you have it and you can write it and we’ll share the profits.” Yeah, right!
Just because everyone learns how to write in school doesn’t mean that everyone is capable of becoming a “professional author” and juggling all the crazy activities you need to do to let the world know you wrote a good book and want some coin for it. There’s much more to being a professional author then scribbling a few words on paper and expecting the masses to worship you and even more hilarious, that they will throw you bags of money.
The art and act of writing in itself, I love. Bring on the deadlines, for deadlines mean paychecks!