Ginger Nuts of Horror
Madelyn Serrato was born in California and attended college in Washington, where she received a BA in Psychology. She currently resides in Arizona and will start medical school by the end of the summer. When not writing, she enjoys boxing, reading, and watching terrible movies with friends. Wolves of Calderwood has been a labor of love for many years and is her first to be published. Join
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Madelyn Serrato is a pen name I came up with late one night when I was first publishing my book on Amazon. I've always liked the name Madelyn (no one likes their own name) and Serrato comes from a woman I used to work with for whom I have the upmost respect. She is a incredible human being who has the remarkable ability to show compassion and empathy for the most reprehensible people. I learned from her that you are only truly empathetic when you can show compassion towards those who do nothing to deserve it.
Currently, I am in medical school, holding on by the skin of my teeth. Unfortunately, I have little time to write,. Regardless, I try to make time for myself; I go to a bar, order some hot wings, and just write until I can't write anymore.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
I suppose Horror, but only because it stirs, in me at least, old school movies of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Rosemary's Baby, or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and so forth. Weird Fiction and Dark Fiction feel more modern, I suppose. Not that there is anything wrong with modern horror, but I like a bit of nostalgia in my labels.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Richard Preston: If you want to read real life horror, pick up any of his books. Ebola, anthrax, and the like. Fantastic reads if you want to feel like mankind is just a sneeze away from extinction.
Brandon Sanderson: I love how he weaves concepts of government and politics into his high fantasy works. That sentence just made his books sound incredibly boring, but I promise they are not; I suppose a better way to put it is that he is able to include real world problems into books with magic and monsters. Also, Mistborn was one of the few high fantasy books where the main character is female and not a complete cliché. Seriously, Vin is a real badass.
George Orwell: My favorite George Orwell book is Down and Out in Paris and London, with Homage to Catalonia in a close second. If you've only read Animal Farm and 1984 for class, you haven't really read Orwell. The man had some incredible life experiences, from serving in the Spanish Civil War to being outright homeless in two iconic cities. He had a real talent for blending dark humor and tragedy.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon: He writes mystery novels with beautiful prose and compelling characters. It was recommended to me by a patient and I was sold the moment he said “Cemetery of Lost Books”.
What are you reading now?
Does Netter's Anatomy count? No wait, those are mostly pictures. I've got a bunch of books on my Lindle waiting for my breaks to start, from other self published authors that I'm rather excited for. The last books I read were Demon in the Freezer, by Richard Preston and the Angel's Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
How would you describe your writing style?
I love to write in a fractured sort of style, with long sentences intermixed with short, sometimes fragmented sentences. There's a hint of stream-of-consciousness too, which I've always loved as a reader.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
As a said before, one of my favorite places to write is a bar. There is something about the chaos of movement and noise (and lets not forget alcohol) that really gets the creative half of my brain going. Writing in absolute piece and quiet is just awful.
What’s your favourite food?
That's tricky. I don't know if I can say 'foodie' any more without sounding a little pretentious, so I guess I can just say I really like food. 'Foodie' also seems to imply a level of quality that my favorite food often doesn't meet. Regardless, it means I don't have a favorite. Generally, I like food that's simple and terrible for me. So I balance it all with a ridiculous amount of exercise, which is probably a poor reason to exercise.
When I used to live in Tucson, my favorites included the Italian beef sub and Basco's breadsticks (basically breadsticks stuffed with cheese) from Kenny D's, Super Fries from Nicos (think of all the things you can dump on nachos and dump them on french fries instead), and the Blue Suede Cow burger (peanut butter and bacon on a burger, seriously) from Lindy's on 4th. Yeah, all terrible. All incredible.
What’s your favourite album?
No favorite albums, as I don't really collect albums anymore. When I was a kid in high school, Battle for Los Angeles by RATM was my life.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
Don't get hung up on a writer's block. Just get what you can out and edit later. It keeps you moving forward.
Fame and fortune, or respect?
I guess respect, but fortune would certainly be nice. Anyone who says they couldn't do with more money is either lying or insane.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
This is my first published fictional book, so I suppose I can't really answer that yet. I am listed as a co-author in a medical textbook, which was pretty awesome (not as Serrato, of course).
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
I am currently working on a sequel to my first book, but it is rather slow going. I'm hoping to have more time to work on it over the winter holiday breaks.
Early morning and a woman lies dead in the street, her end violent and strange.