It’s interview time. This week we have Jennifer Loring—a horror writer. All right, enough from me, let’s here from the interviewee.
Jennifer Loring has published nearly 30 short stories and poems in various webzines, magazines and anthologies, and has received an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for her short story “The Bombay Trash Service.” Jennifer is currently studying for her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She works as an editor for Musa Publishing's YA imprint, Euterpe, and is a member of YALitChat.org.
-What book and/or experience made you want to be a writer?
I started writing when I was about 12. I'd been reading Stephen King since 10 (Misery was my introduction to him), and I knew I wanted to write horror. King is to this day one of my biggest influences. Also, my mother is a writer, so I grew up watching her at a typewriter every night. I would even help her edit some of her work.
-What genre(s) do you write? If more than one, what’s your favorite?
I write horror and dark fantasy primarily. I've dabbled in fantasy and science fiction as well. Horror is my favorite, because exploring the darker emotions can be very cathartic.
-What project(s) are you working on now?
Four short stories that need to be finished, nine short stories and a novella that need to be revised, and of course my first novel. Never mind the giant list of story ideas I haven't even begun to tackle yet!
This is part of a scene that comes about halfway through my novel. I've always really liked it.
"Time no longer exists for me as it does for you. There was a day, a long time ago, when I stopped to watch the flowers blooming on a tree in the forest. I saw the blossoms burst forth as if mere minutes had passed, yet it turns out I had stood in that same spot for a month.” A tiny gasp escaped Blessing’s lips. The sun’s warmth bled away, and a cocoon of frigid air encased her. A shudder, followed by a frenzy of shivering, wracked her entire body like a seizure. As if turned to ice, she could not escape no matter how urgently her body willed it.
“Do you notice how no one sees me? Even when standing still, I can be invisible to others just by wanting it. I can be anywhere I choose, at any time. I am everywhere and nowhere, for the dead travel fast.”
Every hair on Blessing’s body stood on end. She stared down at her hands folded in her lap. “So you really aren’t human.”
“Not in a very long time. It’s harder and harder to remember what it was like. There are many things I cannot remember anymore.” Anastasia turned her face to the sun and closed her eyes. Bathed in tones of peach and gold, her white skin took on an almost natural appearance, and for a moment the girl she must have been so long ago sat there in her place. “But I remember I had a dress once. Just like the sun. My father gave it to me.”
Her lips trembled, but not with grief. What lay beneath them struggled to burst free and, unable to restrain it, her mouth contorted into a scowl. “I hate the sun.”
Anastasia opened her eyes, the eyes into which Blessing swore she’d never fall again, she must never fall, and flames ignited by the sunset or by some unholy inner conflagration danced within them. Then Anastasia stretched her jaws wide, her horrible sucking lamprey mouth full of pearlescent and razor-bladed teeth, as if she would devour the sun itself.
-For other aspiring writers, any tips?
Take some classes on craft--and the business of writing, for that matter. I've learned more in the past year and a half of grad school than in the previous 13 years (which is how long I've been publishing my short fiction) combined. The rise of self-publishing has unfortunately perpetuated the myth that writing is easy, when it's anything but. You should never stop striving to become better at it.
-What’s your favorite book/genre to read?
It would be impossible to name my favorite book! However, the last three books I've read are House of Leaves, The Passage, and Eyes Everywhere, and I enjoyed all of them very much. I love reading horror, but I'm also a big fan of non-fiction. I get tons of ideas from it.
-What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
That's another tough question. My favorite is probably my short story "The Bombay Trash Service," which earned me an honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. My novel is finally shaping up to be something I really like, too.
Want more from Jennifer?
Check out her blog.