Ginger Nuts of Horror
Amber Fallon lives in a small town outside Boston, Massachusetts in a home that she shares with her husband and their two dogs. A software engineer by day and a horror writer by night, Mrs. Fallon has also spent time as a bank manager, motivational speaker, produce wrangler, and apprentice butcher. She collects maces (as in, the medieval melee weapon) and books. Lots and lots and lots of books.
Amber's publications include The Terminal and Daughters of Inanna, as well as a handful of small press anthology appearances.
For more information, please tweet her @Z0mbiegrl or visit her blog at www.amberfallon.net and listen to her podcast, It Cooks, on Project Entertainment Network!
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
My name is Amber Fallon. I write, mostly horror, with a smattering of sci fi, bizarro, and whatever else strikes my fancy woven into the mix. I host a podcast about food with a slight horror bent to it. I have a french bulldog that I might be slightly obsessed with. Only slightly.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I'm a software engineer, for a living, anyway. I also read a good deal, cook, spend time with my family (Including the aforementioned french bulldog).
Other than the horror genre, what else has been a major influence on your writing?
Comics. I fell in love with Batman at a young age. There's also a great set of trading cards from the 1980s called Dinosaurs Attack! that I really loved.
The term horror, especially when applied to fiction always carries such heavy connotations. What’s your feeling on the term “horror” and what do you think we can do to break past these assumptions?
Horror is, and will always be, stigmatized. A rose is a rose is a rose, to coin a phrase. Whether you call it horror, dark fiction, or something else entirely, horror will always be the dark, creepy things that cling to the undersides of rocks, metaphorically speaking of course. As a term, I'm quite happy with it. I identify as a horror writer and a horror fan. I try not to worry about breaking assumptions so much as putting out the best books I can and getting as many people as possible to read them. I'm alright with being classified as a "guilty pleasure".
A lot of good horror movements have arisen as a direct result of the socio/political climate, considering the current state of the world where do you see horror going in the next few years?
I see a lot of dystopia in our future. Oh, you meant fiction wise? Heh, yeah. A lot of the best movements (Splatterpunk being my personal favorite) have emerged in times of strife. It's our job as artists to paint with the colors we're given, what we see. Not usually literally, but the flavor of our work is often determined by what's around us, what we see and hear and experience... and of course, what we fear. I think we'll see a lot of that sort of thing in the coming years, whether directly or indirectly.
What are the books and films that helped to define you as an author?
J.F. Gonzalez's Clickers series, Brian Keene's Ghoul, David Robbins' Hell-O-Ween, just about anything by Ruby Jean Jensen or Shirley Jackson. Mary SanGiovanni's The Hollower.
What new and upcoming authors do you think we should take notice off?
Other than myself? (smirk) I'm not sure you'd call her new, per se... But Tiffany Scandal should most definitely be on your radar. Ditto with Rachel Autumn Deering. She's not new, but she's new(er) to prose fiction. John Boden. Wile E. Young is someone to look for in the future, as well.
How would you describe your writing style?
Pulpy. I write junk food horror. The kind of thing that's not really substantial or filling, but is cravable in the same sort of way fast food, snack cakes, and cheese doodles are.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
Someone emailed me personally after reading my book, The Terminal, to tell me that he burned his copy because I didn't feel the need to "warn him" that my protagonist is gay. That one threw me for a loop.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Linear progression. I'm all about the interesting stuff, the action scenes, the cool monster bits... it's when it's time to chain those things together that it gets dicey for me.
Is there one subject you would never write about ?
Romance, probably. I tend to shy away from heavily love-laden story lines as well as outright erotica. It just reduces me to giggling and I find it very hard to take seriously.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Titles, you mean? Or character names? My titles usually just come to me. Often I know the title before I start writing. Characters' names are usually names of friends or family, or some derivative thereof. I've also paid homage to other influences (actors and actresses, authors, artists, etc).
Writing, is not a static process, how have you developed as a writer over the years?
I've gotten a handle on outlining, which has definitely improved my ability to create plots. I've also gotten better about rollercoaster endings.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Must haves... a writing implement and something to write on. That's all you NEED. Nice to haves... a Duotrope account (it's worth the subscription fee!), someone you trust to give you an honest opinion of your work, and an understanding and supportive spouse or partner.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received with regards to your writing?
If you sit around and wait for the muse to pay you a visit, you won't write much of anything. Do it, treat it like a job.
Getting your work noticed is one of the hardest things for a writer to achieve, how have you tried to approach this subject?
I've gone to several conventions to promote myself. I infamously did two conventions in very different parts of the US (Scares that Care and NECON) in the same weekend, hoping that the sheer insanity behind such a thing would get me noticed. I also made up some clever (I think, anyway) bookmarks as giveaways.
To many writers, the characters they write become like children, who is your favourite child, and who is your least favourite to write for and why?
Hannah, from The Terminal is both. She was hard to write for a number of reasons. She made me feel old, cruel, and powerful. No spoilers, but she wouldn't shut up, either.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
And are there any that you would like to forget about?
No, honestly. I've learned something from everything I've ever written and that knowledge and experience is far too valuable to just Eternal Sunshine out of my head.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, which of your books do you think best represents your work and why?
The Terminal. It's pulpy, it's fun, it's cheesy, it's gory, and it's action packed. It's exactly the kind of thing I like to read, which is probably why I had so much fun writing it.
Do you have a favorite line or passage from your work, and would you like to share it with us?
There are a few... but here's my very favorite one:
"I had found my way out, and it wasn’t a magical portal to fairy land after all. Fuck those fairies. I hear unicorns are dicks, anyway."
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
The Terminal was released this past summer. It's about aliens invading an airport during the Christmastime travel rush. These are no little green men, either. They're hungry, bloodthirsty savages bent on taking over the world by brutal force.
I have a book coming out this September from Eraserhead Press. It's called The Warblers, and it's sort of a coming of age story told during an infestation of monsters on a farm in rural 1900s Appalachia.
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
That women can't write horror every bit as brutal, bloody, and terrifying as men can.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
Spungunion by John Boden is REALLY phenomenal. But you'll have to wait to read that one as it's not out yet. (I was asked to blurb it so I got to read it in advance). I can't think of anything that has disappointed me off the top of my head.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
I'd like someone to ask about why I love aliens so much... Because I really, really do. I could talk for hours about aliens in movies, books, and television shows. There's just something about beings that are completely foreign to us, have unique physiologies and capabilities, and are just unknown to us in every way that's exciting and terrifying and utterly fascinating all at the same time.
Air travel during the holiday season. Yuck. Stupid people, flight delays, and long lines at security are pretty much the worst things ever - or so Dirk Bradley thought until a horde of bloodthirsty psychopaths from beyond the stars invaded the airport, cutting a swath of death and destruction through everything he knew and loved. Can he survive the attack and live to tell the tale? What hope does an average Joe have against a race of brutal killers bent on world domination?