Tag Archives: interview

Ten Questions with K.Z. Morano

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adamickes-thumbWelcome, minions. This month’s special guest is the lovely K.Z. Morano, of 100 Nightmares fame. No doubt you’ve heard of her. If you haven’t you must be living under a rock, or you are a rock. Why didn’t you tell me you were a golem? That’s pretty awesome. But this isn’t about you, now is it? This is about K.Z.

Question One: Would you like to tell my lovely minions a bit about yourself?

KZMorano-thumbI’m an eclectic eccentric… a beach bum, a shopaholic, a chocoholic and an insomniac. I adore weirdness. I’m a girly girl… which is probably why people are often shocked by the content of my published works. I read and write anything from romance and erotica to horror and SF, F and WTF.

adamickes-thumbI’m going to be honest here. I have no idea what the hell you just said. You lost me at the first word. Too big of a word for me. I’m kidding of course. Where you really lost me was a few words later… electric, was it? Anyway…

Question Two. What can we expect next from you?

KZMorano-thumbI used to post an erotic fantasy series on my blog… Romance, dragons, swords, sorcery, seething battles and lots of steamy sex… But it was only for a few a weeks. I soon realized that my writing wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. I didn’t want to be unfair to the readers and to myself, so I stopped posting the series.

However, my writing style has evolved over the past few months. The story attracted quite an audience before and I think that it’s worth revisiting. Meanwhile, I have several stories in various upcoming horror and non-horror anthologies.

adamickes-thumbSay it ain’t so K.Z. The last thing the world needs is another author of smut, especially a writer with your horror chops. Please allow me a moment to wipe away my tears and collect my thoughts.

Ok, now that I’ve had a good cry, let’s get into some more horrible questions. Er, horrorful. Is that a word? My spell check is telling me it’s not. If it’s not I’m coining it and claiming it as my own.

Horrorful Question Three: Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen one? Would you like to?

KZMorano-thumbAs much as I believe in fairies.

No, I’ve never seen one before.

But can I tell you a secret? I smell dead people.

I’m not even kidding. I wish I were but I’m not. You see, sometimes, dawn-ish, I smell stuff. Not the stench of decay or anything—thank god—but fragrances. Yeah, I smell fragrances… the smell of unfamiliar perfume wafting in the air. Don’t know where it comes from, it’s certainly not mine. A friend told me that perhaps it’s just evening flowers. Yeah right. It would’ve been a legit explanation if my bedroom is actually near a garden. ><

Anyway, it doesn’t really sound so bad… until you realize that where I live, it’s an old custom to spray perfume on the dead. (So their loved ones will know when the ghosts are visiting them)

And as for your second question… Oh hell no! If a ghost suddenly reveals itself to me, then that probably means that it needs my help. And I’m afraid that I won’t be up to the task. I’m a very busy girl. I have a lot going on right now… things to do, places to see. I have a demanding grandmother who takes up a huge chunk of my time. I’m at that certain point in my life where I have to make a living while figuring out how to live. I’m just, you know, not ready to enter in a commitment with a needy, clingy specter. Besides, you know how these ghosts can be when you fail at helping them…

adamickes-thumbYou smell dead people, huh? That’s just plain weird. Not to say it isn’t oddly interesting. It’s just weird.

Also, I can certainly see your dilemma. Who would want a needy, clingy specter demanding attention? Get a life, ghost. Wait. That’s probably a poor choice of words.

Horrorful Question Four: You have a bunch of stories about bizarre creatures born from myth in 100 NIGHTMARES. (Great book by the way, minions. Go buy it immediately if you don’t yet own a copy!) What is the creepiest myth you’ve ever come across? I’m not talking the standard, boring everyday myth. I’m talking something that burrowed into your skull and set up a hobo camp at the base of your brain and whispers to you to avoid dark corners and makes you throw cautious glances over your shoulder when you’re alone.

KZMorano-thumbBeing a Catholic school girl, I’ve encountered plenty of crazy stuff—from haunted toilets to possessions of attention-seeking teenagers by attention-seeking demons.  I’ve always thought they were full of crap.

There are plenty of scary Philippine mythological monsters but I think the creepiest creature ever is the Dwende (elves) No, they aren’t tall, fair-haired hotties like Legolas in LOTR. They’re not even remotely attractive. These little “old men of the anthill” dwell underneath the earth and do all sorts of evil stuff from causing unexplainable illnesses to raping and impregnating women. It’s the whole raping and impregnating part that really scares the shit out of me.

adamickes-thumbCatholic school girl, you say? No. Not going there. Nevermind. Let’s just move on.

Horrorful Question Five: Let’s pretend you woke up in the middle of the night and there was a young girl you didn’t know sitting at the foot of your bed with her back to you, rocking back and forth, and mumbling words you couldn’t understand. What would you do?

KZMorano-thumbI would take a photograph (for the blog) and run!!!

 

 

adamickes-thumbIt seems highly odd that you’d take the time to photograph it and then run. I’m not calling you a liar, but you’re a liar. You’d run without a photograph, or you’d take the time for a photograph and end up a vengeful spirit’s bitch because you couldn’t help her.

Horrorful Question Six: What does horror mean to you in six words or less?

KZMorano-thumbA milder reflection of real life.

 

 

adamickes-thumbMilder than real life? I beg to differ. I’ve always seen it the other way around. Horror seems more like an amped up version of reality to me. Somewhere the horrible attrocities of the world can be so over the top that the sting of the real world horrors isn’t so disheartening. But we all know I’m full of crap, so you’re probably right.

Horrorful Question Seven: What would be your weapon of choice for disposing of pesky zombies? Why?

KZMorano-thumbA Katana (Japanese sword). Because I’m awesome. (I want to feel awesome before the zombies take me)

 

adamickes-thumbThat’s pretty badass. Too bad you wouldn’t last very long. I’d be right there beside you with an axe though, so at least we’d both go down swinging. Then probably get up biting.

Horrorful Question Eight: What would you say is the scariest place on the planet? Why? What would it take to get you to spend a night alone there?

KZMorano-thumbHaunted hospitals.

Or just hospitals.

I used to do volunteer work in an indigent hospital. A lot of kids died there, often during the night shift… sometimes during my shift. Even when you know it’s inevitable– because there are those who can no longer be helped– it doesn’t change the fact that it’s heartbreaking and horrifying.

In the hospital, you witness everything… It can be beautiful. It can be terrifying.  I mean, where else can you see life begin… and end. There, you observe people’s capacity for love and hope… and evil.

I tell you, there is nothing that scares me more than the horrors of real life. In my brief years of existence I’ve seen a lot… I’m not afraid of corpses—I’ve seen and touched several of them. Blood, intestines, that’s nothing… It’s the general aura of the hospital that I can’t take. The sickness and the suffering… and people’s responses to those things. (especially when coupled with poverty/ignorance). Once, I gave a baby a name and baptized her myself just before she died. She was malformed and the family just left her there.

What would it take to get me to spend a night alone there? Nothing. I’ve turned my back on years of education and training so I won’t ever have to spend the night in what, for me, is the unhappiest and therefore the scariest place that I’ve come to know. Some may see it as a place of healing and hope. They may be right. It’s just not the place for me… it has never been…

adamickes-thumbYuck. I hate hospitals. Only good thing that ever happened in a hospital was the birth of my daughter. Otherwise I try to avoid those places. I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re the scariest places on the planet, but your reasoning is certainly sound.

Horrorful Question Nine: Tell me about the most horrifying thing you’ve ever read and/or watched. What was your reaction to it?

KZMorano-thumbThe Blair Witch Project ruined my life. I was a kid vacationing in my uncle’s home in San Francisco and my older cousins made me watch the damned film with them. They were into horror; I wasn’t. Then I started sleeping with the lights on. lol

adamickes-thumbInteresting. Do you still sleep with the lights on or did that bizarre reaction eventually fade into obscurity, much like the actors in that crapfest of a movie?  Sorry. I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t find it even a tad scary. Weird maybe, but not scary.

Horrorful Question Ten: How would you dispose of a body if you “accidentally” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) killed someone?

KZMorano-thumbI would feed the corpse to the pigs. I’m not trying to be gruesome, just sensible. By the time people notice the disappearance, the body has turned into digested matter. It’ll be the perfect crime!… err accident.  😉

adamickes-thumbPerfect accident indeed. I may have to borrow that for the next time someone I know has an unfortunate accident.

Sadly, that’s all the time we have today, minions.

A big thanks for the time, K.Z. You’ve been a good sport about me making jokes at your expense, so I’m going to plug your awesome book for you. It’s the least I can do.

 

Copy of 100 nightmares ebook cover100 Nightmares

100 Nightmares by K.Z. Morano is a collection of 100 horror stories, each written in exactly 100 words, and accompanied by over 50 illustrations. Inside, you’ll find monsters—both imagined and real. There are vengeful specters, characters with impaired psyches, dark fairy tales and stories and illustrations inspired by bizarre creatures of Japanese folklore.

Praise for 100 Nightmares:

“This book is filled with some of the creepiest and horrifying illustrations and flash fiction I’ve ever come across. Keep an eye out for this writer, my friends, she’s going to be delivering horror the way it’s meant to be.” 

-Charles Day, Bram Stoker Award®-nominated Author

“Excellent collection”

 “She reaches into the depths of the disturbed, deranged and disgusting, and sews a quilt of horror that will wrap you up and not let go.”

 “What makes this collection of horror stories particularly disturbing is the way the author weaves the familiar with the seemingly unthinkable. Parents, children, twins in utero, she turns them all into believable, shudder invoking beasts.”

 “A word of caution – don’t read this over dinner (unless you want to lose it), or while on public transport – your facial expressions might worry your fellow travellers!”

Links:

Amazon.com | Lulu.com | Smashwords | Goodreads Page | Facebook Page


Blog Tour Interview: My Writing Process

Dawn over at Tales from the Motherland has passed the torch on to me. I am honored that she found me worthy enough. (Cue the Wayne and Garth “We’re not worthy” clip.) I’m also wondering if maybe she’s a bit loopy to have chosen me. She’d have to be, right? I just throw some words together, change those words half a dozen times, and call it a story. I almost can’t comprehend the idea that some people like the things I write. It’s both weird and unnatural to me. I’m not the kind who accepts praise openly. I’m more a keep my nose to the grindstone and go unnoticed kind of guy–which incidentally is a terrible thing for a writer to be, especially a writer trying to get noticed and get his name out there.

Also, Dawn is awesome. Go check out her answers HERE. I have no doubt that mine will pale in comparison.

Follow her BLOG and like her FACEBOOK PAGE.

Question #1: What am I working on?

The short answer is: a lot. But you didn’t come here for the short answer, did you? Nay, you want this man of few words to be verbose. Not my strong suit, but I’ll bite the bullet and give it a try.

#1. 100 tiny tales of terror

Technically I’m no longer working on this. I just finished it so I’m going to give it a plug. This is a collection of 100 stories, each 100 words. As the name implies, terror is involved in some way in each of the stories. Some are more-lighthearted while others smack you across the face with a bloody limb torn from some unfortunate soul walking down the wrong path during a full moon.

It’s available in both Kindle and print format. Pick up a copy HERE. I’d love to know your thoughts. The kindle version is actually FREE for the next couple days so you’ve got nothing to lose.

#2. Sins of a Father

When it boils down to it, this is the story of a father’s love for his daughter and the extreme lengths to which he’d go for her. This novella is “finished” and I’m still awaiting reply from Nouvella on whether or not they want to publish it. I’m exactly five months to the day into a “four to six” month wait and I’m getting very anxious to know one way or the other. If they don’t want it, I’ll be self publishing it after one final run through to make sure I didn’t miss anything. No harm, no foul. Less publicity though, but I absolutely love this story and I won’t allow it to not be published one way or another. Honestly, this is probably some of my best work to date, but I may be too close to the thing to accurately judge that. This one was born from my very first Friday Fictioneers story and I’m happy I ended up expanding on it. This was definitely a story worth telling.

#3. The Trials and Tribulations of Cherokee Johnson

This one’s been in the makings almost as long as Sins of a Father and has made it through the second draft, a trial and tribulation in itself. This one fought me tooth and nail the whole time. Here’s the kicker: after all of that work, I now realize that the second half of the story is complete garbage and needs to be dropped entirely. Let me repeat… THE ENTIRE SECOND HALF IS SCHEDULED FOR INCINERATION. The real end of this particular zombie infested tale is actually in the middle of its current state. Everything after that could be another story, if it were worthy of love, but it isn’t. It’s complete crap and will be treated as such. Let’s give it a goldfish funeral–say a few words, then… flush. Also, the first half is in need of a complete overhaul with some new bits added in here and there and the current bits ripped apart by rabid wolverines and reassembled by a team of strung out, cocaine addicted elephant seals. Let’s all collectively scream “arrrgh” to give it the emphasis it really deserves. I’m collecting donations to support the elephant seals’ habit as payment for their services. Anyone want to chip in?

#4. Starship Dreamers

This one is currently in the planning phase. This one revolves around the life of an adolescent who has run away from home. There may or may not be aliens involved. If said aliens are in fact in the story, they may or may not be friendly. We’ll leave it at that for now.

#5. There Will Be Blood

This one is a collection of three short stories, and yes, there will most certainly be blood. This one has at least one, probably two more edits to go through. It’s likely to be the next thing to hit the digital shelves with my name on it, for better or worse.

 #6. Currently Untitled

This one is actually the one taking up most of my time right now. I was experiencing one of those times when all of my ideas felt like crap, so I needed something new and fresh to get my mind off of the other stories for awhile. This one deals with a cryptid creature of my own creation (as far as I know anyway–I’ve heard of many cryptids, but never any quite like this one), a teenager, a bunch of jerk-wad crows, and a whole shit ton of evil.

I could go on, there are a handful of others in the works. Some of the stuff I’m working on may never see completion (including some of the ones listed above), but I’m sure it goes that way with a lot of writers. Sometimes a story just doesn’t work no matter how much you try to polish that turd.

Question #2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Honestly, I don’t really know how to answer that. First off, I’m not even entirely sure what genre most of my work qualifies as. It’s usually dark, but it’s not all horror, not exactly anyway. I really don’t know what to call some of it. Maybe some obscure subgenre of horror.

Second, I don’t write to be different or to be the same. I write to tell the stories that lurk in the deepest recesses of my brain. Those cobwebby corners that sane people like to avoid–where their skeletons collect the dust that hides them away forever–that’s where my writing comes from. Whether or not I’m different or similar doesn’t matter in the least to me. Perhaps that’s a bad thing. I’m not “finding my niche” by not actively trying to separate myself from the crowd. For now, I’m okay with that. For now, not knowing is knowing enough.

Question #3: Why do I write what I do?

This seems a bit of a silly question.

I’m not good at selling myself. I am an admittedly horrid marketer; don’t know the first thing about it actually. Even if I did understand the whole magic of marketing, I wouldn’t be comfortable with it. That probably comes from spending my life being overly shy and a bit backward. I’m still that way if you’re curious, but not nearly as bad as I used to be. So, obviously, I’m not in it for the money.

The truth of the matter is far more simplistic and far more interesting in my opinion.

I write to stay sane.

The stories inside are on a constant quest to get out. They grow claws and teeth and rip and tear and generally destroy everything that is worth protecting inside my head. I write what I write because those are the stories fighting the hardest to get out. They are the ones with the sharpest claws and the pointiest teeth. They are the ones who demand release.

Question #4: How does your writing process work?

 My stories start with an idea that flickers to life in one of those deep dark corners I already mentioned. Sometimes that idea is a phrase, sometimes an image, sometimes as little as a title, and sometimes just a single word.

I write down that idea in a little notebook where most of my ideas go to die, not because I don’t like them, but because I’ll never have enough time to get to them all. Sad, but true. Sometimes I look at what I wrote and wonder what the hell it means. I don’t remember some of the ideas I wrote down or why I wrote them down. One time I wrote down a time: 6:07. That’s the only thing on that page. I have no idea what it means, but maybe someday it’ll come back to me. Obviously something happens at that time, but I’ll be damned if I know what. For the most part though, most of the ideas stick with me once I write them down.

Once I’ve written it down I go back to work on whatever else I’m working on until the seed takes hold and ravages my every waking moment, taking memories hostage and threatening to destroy them if I don’t comply with the demand to let it out of my head. Side note: I attribute my poor memory to these dastardly little pricks mass murdering my less than cherished memories when I’m otherwise preoccupied and can’t give them the attention they want. Perhaps that’s where the story of 6:07 went–murdered by a sibling. What a way to go.

I could feed you a line of crap about how I sit down and outline every little detail, but I don’t. I occasionally make an outline, but my story never ends up following it, so I generally don’t even bother anymore. Sometimes I still do the outline, then never look at it again while I’m writing. I can’t make myself work by an outline. I’ve tried many times and failed many times. For me the first draft is more about figuring out the story as I go. Every word I write influences the ones that come after. How can I possibly outline a story that will change with every single keystroke?

In reality, the first draft for me ends up sort of being the outline. The second draft almost always ends up at least double the length of the first and makes for a far better story. The third draft begins the fine tuning and the fourth is usually considered final, unless I stumble onto some major mistakes.

This is how it goes for everything I write, whether it be a 100 word story, a 5000 word story, or a 300,000 word story (the last of which I’ve never written but I’ve no doubt doing so wouldn’t change my process).

I despise editing. That’s why I work on so many things at once. Between drafts of one story I work on one or two other stories. It kind of feels like I never get anything done, but the truth is there are usually just as many near completion as there are in the beginning stages.

Also, I have a MAILING LIST now. You should sign up. It might net you some free stuff in the long run. And if you haven’t already done so, please like my FACEBOOK PAGE.

 —–

 These lovely minions are up next week, so be sure to check them out.

K.Z. Morano

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K.Z. Morano writes anything from romance and erotica to horror and SF, F and WTF. Her stories have appeared in various publications over the past few months. Her first horror story collection, “100 Nightmares” will be released this April.

Links: BLOGFACEBOOK – TWITTER

Latashia Figueroa

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I read my first horror novel in 7th grade- Pet Sematary by Stephen King and never looked back.

The dark and macabre, the strange and unknown has always captivated me. Why? Well, I believe there is very little separating us all from shadow and light, sanity and lunacy. And since those malevolent little thoughts constantly haunt my mind, I decided to explore them because they won’t allow me to subdue them. And although my stories may be a little disturbing, I assure you, I am not- (My husband disagrees).

My debut horror anthology “This Way Darkness” will be available May 2014.

Links: BLOG – TWITTER – GOOGLEGOODREADSPINTEREST

Anja

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Anja is a woman who lives on an island who is inspired to write, draw, and paint.

Links: BLOG – TWITTER


The Interview

This post was written for Friday Fictioneers based on the following prompt:

Copyright -Claire Fuller

Photo Copyright -Claire Fuller

Leon took a long drag from his cigarette before dropping the butt in the grass and stamping it out. Sighing, he ran his hands through his hair and went back inside the building.

He approached the man tied to the chair from behind, his footfalls echoing through the deserted workshop. “We’re going to try this one more time, Jimmy.”

He knelt before Jimmy and looked him square in the eyes. “Should your answer be less than satisfactory, things will, unfortunately, get a bit messier than either of us would like.”

Leon took a deep, calming breath. “Where’s the money, Jimmy?”


Interview with a me

I was tagged in a game of blog tag by Paula Acton, but I don’t often go with the flow, so I’m going to do things a bit different than the rules state. I’m just going to answer the questions she posed for anyone interested in knowing a bit more about me. I’m not going to tag anyone else and I’m not going to pose any questions. Feel free to do this yourself and use these questions or make up eleven of your own, or don’t do it at all. Totally your call.

1) If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be and why?

Any animal? Does it have to actually exist? I’ve always wanted to fly on the back of a dragon, so I think I’m going to make that my answer, although I’d probably need to get another job just to feed the dang thing.

2) You can have a star named after you what would call it and why?

Interesting question. I’d call it “Snowball’s chance in Hell”- because that’s about the likelihood that there would be life revolving around it.

3) What was your favourite childhood toy?

I had a lot of toys growing up, but they all shared one thing in common- they required me to use my imagination. For that reason I’d have to say my imagination was by far my favorite toy. I could play with a stick and be content for the day. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today if I didn’t have that growing up.

4) What was your nickname at school and how did you get it?

I didn’t really have a nickname until I was about ten. Some of this kids I played hockey with started calling me Snowball (see, the star in #2 actually was named after me). I don’t know why they called me that, but that name stuck for about five years then mysteriously vanished. I never bothered to report it missing. I was kind of glad to see it go.

5) You can go on a dinner date with anyone from past or present who do you take and why?

My wife, because she’s my favorite person in the world and we don’t get the chance to go out to dinner very often with a one year old. If she isn’t available, I guess I’d settle for a bite to eat with Stephen King.

6) What is the most embarrassing chat up line you have either used or had used on you?

I landed my wife with “What’s the difference between roast beef and pea soup?” The answer is “Anyone can roast beef.” Think about it. You’ll get it. I have no idea why she liked me after that. Haha.

7) Who would you want to play you in a film of your life story?

I’d probably go with Michael Cera or DJ Qualls. What? You were expecting Johnny Depp or something?

8) Someone wants to create a cocktail for you what do you call it and what are the three main ingredients?

Well, I don’t drink alcohol, so my three ingredients would be water, sugar, and tea. I’d call it sweet tea. That doesn’t exist already does it?

9) What guilty pleasure tv show do you indulge in?

I don’t watch a lot of tv and I don’t feel guilty about anything I do watch, so I’d have to say I don’t have one.

10) Would you have plastic surgery if so what would you change?

No surgery for me. I’m happy with who I am.

11) Who was your teenage crush?

My last teenage crush was my wife, no one before that matters. We started dating during our senior year of high school. Nearly thirteen years later, we still don’t fight. We always joke that there is something wrong with us because every other couple seems to fight, sometimes a lot. Oh well, I’d rather be happy and weird than pissed off and normal.

 

And that’s the end. Feel free to answer the questions yourself, or don’t. Either way.