Ginger Nuts of Horror
Alyssa Hubbard is author to Humans and Their Creations, An Austrian March, and the Apocalyptia series. Her poetry has been featured in Crack the Spine and scissors & spackle. She was born in a small town in Alabama, where she spent more time writing and reading than playing outside. Her sister is a two-time cancer survivor, and she is her greatest inspiration. She attends the University of Alabama for a BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Alyssa spends most of her time reading, writing, re-writing, and re-writing, and re-writing, and re-writing… She loves blogging and singing in public. Follow her if you dare.
My name is Alyssa. I’m a Whovian (Allons-y!), I have a fear of heights, and I am obsessed with social-networking. I’ll mainly be posting personal experiences, writing tips (not that I’m a professional on the matter…), and updates on my current projects. I hope you enjoy your stay here, and that you can find a little bit of inspiration on my lowly page. Happy writing! Happy reading!
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
My name is Alyssa Hubbard, I’m from a small, small town in the armpit of Alabama. I like singing in public, though I’m not very good, and I am a Whovian. Allons-y! I’m just your run-of-the-mill nerd, and proud of it.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Reading is the obvious answer, gaming is the second obvious, but if I’m not doing those things, I’m snapchatting terrible photos of myself to all my unfortunate friends. My goal is to see how many chins I can fit into a single photo. My record is currently three.
What’s your favourite food?
Pizza, the most common answer, I’m sure. But let me explain, it has most of the food groups. You’ve got your grains, the crust. Vegetables, the sauce. It can have fruit if you like Hawaiian-style with pineapples. Dairy, the cheese. I don’t have to explain the meats, then the pizza itself is a treat, so there’s your top-tier. Pizza is magic, okay?
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
Hollywood Undead, they sound terrifying, but they’re a rock-rap group that like to talk about making money and having sex. I like it because people just wouldn’t expect that by looking at them or reading their band name.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
I like “horror” because it lets you know exactly what you’re getting in to, but “dark fiction” has that psychological-feel I love in my horror. I’m going to have to go with “dark fiction.”
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I’m preparing for the eye-rolls here. Stephen King is magnificent, let’s just go ahead and get that out of the way.
And I’m also really into manga (Japanese comic book, just to put it plainly), which also helped spark my love of horror. Ryukishi07 is a very talented writer, and I recommend the Higurashi When they Cry series to any Japanese horror fan.
What is your all-time favourite horror novel, and film?
Horror novel would have to be Cell by Stephen King, and film would have to be Saw. I’ve got my realistic, rage virus horror from King, and I’ve got my gore from Saw, and both are psychologically thrilling. The perfect mix!
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
The-serial-killer-always-kills-the-couple-that-has-sex cliché, though I’m generally tired of the serial killer genre all together. The sex would be the main one. I like my horror with a little less boobs, just because I have my own. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Which fictional character would be you perfect neighbour, and who would be your nightmare neighbour?
Perfect neighbour: Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. I could just go to his house, eat pizza, play video games, then go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for things to blow over.
Nightmare neighbour: Ron Burgundy. I’d never be able to sleep, he’d be causing all kinds of chaos outside my house, and I’d probably die of laughter… Or I’d get caught in one of those anchor wars. The latter is more likely.
What do you think of the current state of the genre?
I feel like it still isn’t considered “literary” or “professional,” especially my chosen genre, Body Horror (gore, gore, gore, and psychological mischief). We need more variety in horror.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
One of my sinful pleasures is YA lit, and the last great book I read was the last in the Ethical Vampire series by Susan Hubbard. It’s very detailed, and I sometimes felt like I was reading Stephen King, which I enjoyed.
The last book that disappointed me is actually one I’m trudging through now: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It feels rushed… Not my cup of tea.
How would you describe your writing style?
I would like to think I have a very smooth, very detailed way of writing, but I’ve found that I am actually very stilted. I like short sentences. Then, I like extremely long and drawn out parts of exposition. I like playing with the mind and thoughts, so my writing style somewhat reflects a thought process.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
A teacher I knew from a long, long time ago read one of my books, then invited me to speak to her class. They had all read my work, and one little girl, came up, hugged me, and said I was her hero. It brought a tear to my eye, to say the least.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Editing… trudging through, chopping through things you thought, at one point, were at least decent. It’s very humbling.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Religion. I don’t have a problem with it, but being raised in the Bible belt just has… turned me off from religious writing. I may use religion occasionally to characterize a character, but I will never use it as the sole purpose of my writing.
If you could kill off any character from any other book who would you choose and how would they die?
I would probably kill off… Zoey Redbird from the House of Night series. If you’ve read the series, it speaks for itself. If you haven’t, congratulations.
What do you think makes a good story?
Great characters! If the characters aren’t fleshed out and have their own personalities, then the story probably won’t be too great. Characters lead us through the story, and I want to feel something for them. Whether it is disdain or love, it doesn’t matter. I want to be anything, but indifferent to the main character.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
I go back and forth depending on the story I’m trying to tell. If it’s going to be short, I usually go with meaning. If it’s lengthy I want sound so it doesn’t get annoying to read over and over. Overall, names aren’t extremely important to me. Some of my favourite stories don’t name the main characters at all, which I think has its own wonderful meaning.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’ve gone from short stories about love and happiness to short stories about dismemberment and insanity. It’s awesome.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
A pen and paper. I write everything first before I transcribe it over to Scrivener – another tool I think every writer should have. It’s amazing what you can come up with just by changing your tools.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
“Write for everyone else before yourself.” Without that, I don’t think I would’ve ever said screw it and wrote solely for myself. I couldn’t be happier.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
The best way, I have found, is to simply put yourself out there. I’ve met so many people, and once they become interested in me, then I give them my work. People are much more receptive to that. For my horror work, I basically go around reading it in libraries. Ghost stories work so much better when they lurk amongst other ghost stories.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
From my horror short story collection, it’s a tie between the farmer’s daughter and the young wolf. They don’t have names, which I love. It adds mystery, I think, and I also love how they represent the psychological torment I wanted to pepper through the collection.
How about the least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
It’d probably be Poppy – like the flower. He’s bitter and negative, which I just don’t tend to like in people, but it fits him perfectly. The story just wouldn’t be the same without him.
Fame, fortune, or respect?
Respect. Fame scares me and fortune is… Well, fortune is nice, so I can’t say much. Respect or fortune, then!
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
I am extremely proud of Heterochromia, the first short story in my horror collection. It was the first time I had ever wrote a detailed gore scene, and I am extremely pleased with how it came out.
And are there any that you would like to forget about?
I used to write fanfiction… There are plenty that I wish I could forget about.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, what book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?
It’s a tie between Humans and their Creations and The Mind, the Body. They’re both short story collections, which I feel is the core to my writerly repertoire. Plus, they were my favourite to write and put together.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
The last book I wrote, which is coming out June 20th is actually a romance novella titled An Austrian March. It’s been in the works for a long time, and I am extremely proud to have it come to fruition.
The book I working on right now, which will be out October 1st is The Mind, the Body, my horror short story collection. I am extremely excited about it. It has blood, gore, psychological torment and fear. What we fear isn’t always lurking in the darkness, but standing in the light,
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
Who is your favourite Doctor?
9th, cause you never forget your first Doctor.
A star. It hadn't been a war, a government takeover, or even an earthly disaster. It was a star that had ended the world, with Crystal right at the heart of it, and all that stood between her and instant death was a desk. Her chances at survival were slim, but she did it. Despite her luck, the world did not receive the same fate. With a man she's only just met, Crystal must continue to survive. Determined to reinstate her old way of life, Crystal must come to terms with more than just physical loss, but the chance of losing herself in the process.