My next interview is with Angeline Trevena, who is the author of ‘No Smoke Without Fire’ which is included in the Tales of the Undead: Suffer Eternal Volume II anthology.
When did you realise you wanted to be a horror writer?
I’ve always been a big horror fan; my brother and I watching every old horror movie we could get our hands on, but when it came to reading and writing, it was all about fantasy. It was only a few years ago that I started reading horror. It all began with Stephen King’s On Writing which I received one Christmas. I read it in just a few days, unable to put it down. I went on to read Green Mile and Misery, and found I couldn’t get enough. They made me jumpy and
nervous, just like horror movies do, but they got into my bones in a way that a 90 minute movie never could. This started me writing horror, and with the publication of my first short story, a ghost story, I decided that this was where I wanted to be. I still write fantasy, and a mash-up of both genres, but I tend to class myself, first and foremost, as a horror writer.
What was the first story you got published? Is there anything you’d change about it now?
The first story I had published was ‘The Vincent Orphanage’ which was picked for the Mirador Fantasmagoria anthology in January 2011. It’s a ghost story about a girl who is forced to confront her past when a journalist wants to tell her story.
To be honest, I’ve not read it since; I’m too scared that I would want to change all of it because my writing has developed so much over the last two years. That’s what I love about writing – you never stop learning, or honing your craft. And I think, left to our own devices, us writers would never consider any of our work completely finished. We could probably tweak it forever.
What’s your thoughts on authors and social media? Which sites do you prefer?
I’m a big social network addict. I’m active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and Blogger. Largely, I don’t think I’m reaching readers that much, I mostly interact with other writers. But this has been brilliant for me. I am a member of a fantastic little critique group on Google+, and they have helped me to polish and tighten up my work, just as I’ve helped them with theirs. I hear about calls for submissions, interview and guest blogging opportunities, and chances to promote myself as a writer. I love the amount of encouragement, support and advice that’s on offer. Everyone’s so willing to help each other, and I, in turn, love to pass on tips and help other writers out where I can.
What’s your favourite horror monster and why?
I’m very fond of vampires. I love the huge variety of guises and attitudes they’ve been given over the years; from the sophistication of Interview with the Vampire to the animalistic brutishness of 30 Days of Night. I think we’ll always be fascinated by a creature higher up the food-chain than ourselves, superior creatures, creatures that represent the one thing we, as a race, seem desperate to hold onto – the beauty of youth.
What is the worst mistake a new writer can make? And what advice would you give them?
One of the worst mistakes is info dumping, not just back story, but generally giving far too much unnecessary information. One of the reasons readers love to read is because they have great imaginations, and they love to use them. Don’t describe and explain everything in detail; let your readers fill in the gaps. Information should be drip-fed throughout a story, not crammed into the start of it. And it should be revealed through speech and action. Don’t narrate the story; let your characters tell it themselves.