I give you an interview with the ever indomitable Lori Titus!
What attracted you to writing horror as apposed to other genres?
I like the element of suspense, and the feeling of fighting against the unknown. If I hadn't been part of a family who were all horror fans, I might have leaned towards something else, but I doubt it. There is something about breaking the ordinary rules of how the world works that has always attracted me. Fiction allows everything that we can't experience to be real. Horror fiction pulls that off better than any other genre.
You host both a flash fiction website and an internet radio show, write novels and novellas and shorts and a serial, and maintain a job. How many hours are in your day? Seriously though, what drives you to keep on keeping on?
I didn't write for several years, and even when I was writing, I wasn't actively pursuing publication. Four years ago I decided that I was going to be more serious about pursuing my writing goals, and I have been going at it ever since. It's become enough of my routine now that I feel weird if I am not doing something geared towards writing. I'm not an author that writes every day, but I am always editing or reading, which are important parts of the process.
The website and the radio show both help give me steam to keep going. I get to hear stories from other people; not only their fiction, but how they started writing, the challenges and accomplishments they experienced along the way. I find that very inspiring. It reminds me that the only way to reach anyone with your writing is to start, and just keep going.
It helps that writing is my favorite hobby, so I have no problem committing the lion's share of my time outside my day job to it.
Which do you think is more cuddly, lions or tigers or bears? (oh my!)
Well, at the risk of being eaten alive by any of these creatures, I think that I'll go for the bear! Maybe it's because we all had teddy bears as kids. I love cats, but we all know how how angry the average house cat can get, much less one of their bigger, undomesticated cousins.
My favorite used to be vampires, mostly for their ability to control humans and get away with it. That's changed over the years, for a couple of reasons. First, all monsters are meant to evoke certain emotions and reactions in humans. This is their greatest power-- the fear that they produce in those that are being stalked by them. On that playing field, all monsters are equal, even though our fear of them differs slightly.
Secondly, all traditional monsters have weaknesses, and you have to be careful how you apply them within your stories. Werewolves, in older forms of the legend, were pretty much stupid beasts with big appetites. I toy with werewolf lore in my own stories, giving them a culture and lineage that is a little separate from humans, but with tradition and history to go along with the hunger pangs.
Third, all monsters have their day. Literally. Zombies are popular right now because of their complete wrongness. Something dead and smelly just should not be able to walk and kill! There is a whole allegory to the decay of morals and society, so the creatures strike a chord of understanding in the reader.
My taste in monsters shifts depending on the time and the story.
Do you think female authors get the same treatment as males in horror , or is the genre a bit lopsided?
Female horror authors really do have a harder time getting recognized. Male driven stories are often expected, and with a few exceptions, these come from male writers. With the recent changes in the publishing industry, I hope this will change. Many horror fans are women, and I believe that everyone would like to see some part of their experience reflected in fiction.
If offered 10 grand by Vincent Price to stay in a haunted house overnight, would you do it? How would you stay out of trouble for the night?
Oh no, I'm going to be a chicken right now and say that I wouldn't. I've seen enough Vincent Price movies to know that they aren't expecting me to actually survive until the next morning!
You should check out Lori's blog The Darkest of Lore and her ongoing flash fiction website, Flashes in the Dark.