Ginger Nuts of Horror
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Sure. I’m a college student graduating in English Literature and currently live in South Florida with my family and two cats. I’ve always loved to write stories since I was five years old, but I didn’t get into horror fiction until I was sixteen. Before that, I was trying to write drama and romance stories, inspired by Sidney Sheldon and Danielle Steele, but they weren’t working out so well. Other stories that I was reading in my early days of writing were the typical urban lit about thugs and being hardcore in the streets. Although they were great stories, as a black female I wanted to do something different and be different. So, once I started reading authors such as L.A. Banks, who was a huge influence for me as a teen as she was the first black female that I discovered who wrote dark/horror fiction, Edward Lee, Stephen King, and Jack Ketchum, I knew that horror was the genre for me and I’ve been writing it ever since.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to cook, play video games, watch a bit of tv, hang out with friends, yoga and meditation. Exercise and maintaining good health is one of the things that I love and passionate about that helps to keep me sane when things can get a little stressful, plus a sexy body never hurts when finding a boyfriend in my book.
Other than the horror genre, what else has been a major influence on your writing?
I’m influenced by life and experiences that has either happened to me or others that I’ve witnessed. I was a bit of an introvert when I was growing up, more so then than now, so turning to writing became therapy for me to release negative emotions next to punk rock and heavy metal. I also turn to crime shows, movies, and music when I feel a bit stuck on a certain part in my story which usually helps in creating a new twist or idea for what I’m writing.
What are the books and films that helped to define you as an author?
A lot of people have probably mentioned him, but it is the king of horror Stephen King. His book On Writing has helped me a lot in terms of honing my writing skills, made me feel like I was taking an English course with an awesome teacher. Another magnificent author’s novel that has helped me a lot is the late Jack Ketchum’s Off Season. He was amazing at capturing true terror, shock, and horror through his words; once I read that book, it instantly inspired me to write with such emotion, shock, and gripping terror.
How would you describe your writing style?
Emotive, gripping, clear, and concise. When I started writing stories, I was all the all over the place, so over time I taught myself through reading different authors how to produce stories without being over-descriptive and long winded. I’m also a visual person so not only do I love stories that grab you immediately and won’t let you go but I want the reader to feel like they’re experiencing the events in the story and not just reading words.
Writing, is not a static process, how have you developed as a writer over the years?
I’ve become more disciplined. I try to have a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1,000 and try my best to not go to sleep until that is accomplished. Yes, lack of sleep and making caffeine a food group has become part of my routine as of late, but I’ve managed to work best at night although there have been times where the second I wake up in the morning an idea for a story would pop up.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
On Writing By Stephen King. Also, being persistent, having faith, and being patient with yourself. Oh, and coffee.
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?
In my opinion, America is in a horror story given the way things have been going down as of late, making plenty of material for new horror stories.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Dialogue. For a while, it was one of the hardest things to achieve but when I started a creative writing course on dialogue, it has become less of a difficulty.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
Not really, no. I always try to use different subjects as a challenge and new twist on any story.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, which of your books do you think best represents your work and why?
If I were to pick one, I would say Highway 54. It’s a short story that I wrote for an online magazine in Feb. 2017’s Women In Horror Month for Sirens Call Publications and it was about an unfortunate car accident between a father and his son with an unexpected twist. I feel that story really helped me grow as a writer and really cemented the ‘show and not tell’ aspect of writing. Plus, the reactions to it after people read it are always great, it makes them think and it sticks with them.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My last story was called Decency Defiled, it is featured in the anthology ‘Rejected For Content 6: Workplace Relations’, which is available on Amazon Kindle and paperback, and it was about a well-known plastic surgeon named Eric Flynn who was raised to believe that body modifications are disgusting and there’s nothing more beautiful than beautiful skin. So, after years of “altering” his clients’ looks, his office unexpectedly closes down and he becomes unemployed. After spending a year looking for jobs, Eric decides to become self-employed and do whatever it takes to reclaim his name as a well-renowned plastic surgeon. I just recently completed a story called Alternative™, which will be featured in an anthology titled ‘Black Magic Woman’, and it is about a new birth control pill that is being sold but has disastrous side effects and will be available on Amazon on February 14th. I feel honored and excited to be a part of a great anthology that showcases black women that writes horror, something that is long overdue. I’m currently working on a story titled ‘Eat Fresh’, which is about a militant, deranged vegan who became tired of being mocked for having a healthier lifestyle by family and friends so decides to put ethics aside and make homemade pizzas to serve for them. Unfortunately for them, there’s a hidden agenda behind the pizza and the source of the ingredients are pretty sketchy.
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
Jump scares in horror movies. They’ve become so overused and make horror films lazy to me if we need a constant jump to feel terrified instead of letting pure silence and imagination do some of the work.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
Would you accept this $5 million-dollar check for your writing services? My answer would be of course! Hell yeah!
If you would like to connect with Tabitha please use the links below
Instagram Wordpress blog