5 Questions for Sheri White

39883813_1974035935950232_5578200990290542592_nSheri White has lived in Maryland all her life and has the crab-picking skills and the big can of Old Bay in her pantry to show for it. Her stories have been published in many anthologies, including Be Very Afraid (edited by Edo Van Belkom), Decadence 2 (edited by Monica J. O’Rourke), Once Upon an Apocalypse (edited by Scott Goudsward and Rachel Kenley), and Fresh Blood, Old Bones (edited by Kasey Lansdale). Magazine appearances include Lamplight, The Sirens Call, Devolution Z, and Beware the Dark. She is the editor of the UK magazine Morpheus Tales.  Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sheriw1965.39876072_314619939295348_5891970908431581184_n

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Sacrificial Lambs and Others is Sheri White’s first collection. From quiet horror to bloody violence, these flash fiction pieces and short stories are chilling and emotionally visceral. You will find people teetering on the brink of sanity, dark farms, creepy carnivals, weird kids, and Armageddon. These stories will stay with you long after you’ve closed the book.

Did something in the real world inspire Sacrificial Lambs and Others?

My stories are inspired by my childhood. I was raised by abusive parents. In addition, my mother became a “born-again Christian” when I was 12 and suddenly everything I did or thought assured my eternity in hell, which was going to happen when God destroyed the world in the year 2000. I spent years in a constant state of fear of dying in an apocalypse and burning in hell.

What is your favorite scene in the book?

My two favorite stories in the collection are “Scarecrow Night” and “Things Happen Here After Dark.” They were fun to write and actually creeped me out as I wrote them. Scarecrows unsettle me. What if you see one move out of the corner of your eye while you’re in the pumpkin patch? And carnivals at night are definitely spooky. Everyone knows that!

What was your writing process like as you wrote Sacrificial Lambs and Others?

Since these are short stories, they were mostly written for specific submission calls or contests. I don’t have an office or a desk; I write while sitting in my recliner with my laptop. Usually a dog or cat is sleeping next to me.

What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?

The best part of having my collection published is that my mother-in-law, who was my best friend and mom, got to see it and hold it before she passed recently from cancer. She was my biggest fan and always read everything I wrote. After she passed, my father-in-law gave me a folder of everything I had emailed her to read, printed out. She also kept every small-press magazine and anthology I had stories in.

What do you have planned next?

I’m still writing mostly short stories and have several subs out I’m waiting to hear about. But I’m also planning a memoir based on the trauma I suffered from my parents, which, while not in the horror  genre, is still dark.

You can pick up a copy of Sacrificial Lambs and Others on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2N8a0bg.

 

 

 

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The Marquis de Sade and Me

One of our local movie theaters is showing a series of movies about authors and writing every Thursday evening this month. Local authors have been invited to read a little beforehand.  This Thursday (September 13) I’m going to read a taste of my succubus novel Lost Angels before Quills, which stars Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade in the madhouse.

The movie explores the gray area between creativity and madness and the challenge imposed by censorship. I’m looking forward to seeing it again. Hope you can join me.

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5 Questions for Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith 2018Angela Yuriko Smith’s work has been published in several print and online publications, including the Horror Writers Association’s Poetry Showcase, volumes 2-5, Christmas Lites, volumes 1-6, and the Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology.

She has written nearly 20 books of speculative fiction and poetry for adults, young adults, and children. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award.

Her newest book is The Bitter Suites:

Book a stay at the Bitter Suites, a hotel that specializes in renewable death experiences. Whether you schedule your demise as therapy, to bond with a loved one, or for pure recreation, your death is sure to give you a new lease on life. Renewable death is always beneficial… at least to someone.

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Did something in the real world inspire The Bitter Suites?

I had a friend that was trapped in suicidal behavior set on repeat. She could pull herself up for a short time, but then she would slide back into the negative situation she had created for herself.

I wish she could just kill herself and move on, I thought one day. Of course, I didn’t mean actually die, but just somehow get it out of her system. I wanted her to have a near-death experience that would illuminate her shadows and show her the path up and out of the pit she had created. I wished she could get it out of her system, realize it didn’t help, and move on.

Bitter Suites was born from that fantasy. When the curtain of depression falls across our vision, the world is colored melancholy. People that have never experienced suicidal thoughts can’t understand. Even those of us that have may not understand—but we can empathize. Bitter Suites is my wish that there was a return path.

What is your favorite scene in the book?

Probably the Romeo and Juliet romantic partner death. I’m not a huge fan of romance, so it was really entertaining to write my idea of how two lovers would get along trying to re-enact the infamous death scene from Shakespeare’s play. Of course, pain brings out our true selves… along with other, even more unpleasant things.

What was your writing process like as you wrote The Bitter Suites?

At the time, I worked a lot of hours in my day job, so I really had to squeeze in a few words anywhere I could. I switched all my work over to Google Drive so it would be in the cloud and I could work anywhere with just my phone.

I had all the chapters laid out so I didn’t have to waste time thinking of would happen next. I still got surprises, when the characters went rogue and did things on their own. Popcorn was written almost entirely on my phone as I waited for an appointment to show up.

What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?

Officially I released it at Kansas City Crypticon on Friday the 13th. Sales were good and I came very close to selling out. Just in case, I had grabbed a stack of some of my older books that I happened to have on hand.

On the last day, this wonderful gentleman came up to purchase a copy of Bitter Suites and he noticed there was only one copy left of one of my other books. Next thing I knew, he had grabbed a copy of every book I had out on display and bought them. Signing and writing a message in each one felt like I was writing another story. It seriously made my day.

What do you have planned next?

Right now I’m wrapping up two poetry collections. They are Psychonauts and Altars and Oubliettes. My husband has written a massive dark fantasy called Shadow’s Lament that I am pre-editing for him. Of course, I’m also busy writing Suite and Sour, the second Bitter Suites book. I hope to have it ready by early next year.

You can follow Angela’s blog at http://angelaysmith.com/ and keep an eye out for her new books at her Amazon page: https://amzn.to/2Af9aUA.

Pick up a copy of The Bitter Suites at https://amzn.to/2LZTLce.

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199 Cemeteries at Cypress Lawn

IMG_0546Next Sunday, September 16, I will show some of my favorite photographs from 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die at one of my favorite cemeteries in the book, Colma’s Cypress Lawn Memorial Park.

Cypress Lawn was founded in the 1890s as a garden cemetery. To this day, it is full of lovely statuary, an exotic arboretum, carpet flowerbeds, and monuments to the founding fathers of San Francisco. It also has acres of stained glass in its public catacombs. It’s one of the loveliest cemeteries in Northern California.

My talk starts at 2 pm in Cypress Lawn’s Reception Center at 1370 El Camino Real in Colma, California. It’s free and there will be refreshments. You can get more information here: http://www.cypresslawnheritagefoundation.org/events/lectures/ or call 650-550-8812.

I’ll have copies of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemeteries Travel available for sale. You’re also welcome to bring your own copy for a signature.

This is the only 199 Cemeteries event I’ve got scheduled so far this far, so don’t miss it. In fact, come early and have a lovely ramble in Cypress Lawn.

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Author Interviews

I was just interviewed by Fiona Mcvie for her long-running series of chats with authors via Here is my interview with Loren Rhoads. I talk about the Alondra chapbooks.

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