This is a guest post by horror author Yolanda Sfestos.
It’s so cool to be here today. I’d like to thank Cassie for having me over during the spookiest time of the year. Don’t you all love Halloween? I’ve always loved it. Although in Australia, we’ve never celebrated the 31st of October as much as we should. Still, it didn’t stop me from looking forward to it, and then celebrating with horror.
By the way, my name is Yolanda. I’m an Aussie multi-genre author who loves to tell stories, watch shows, go for walks, collecting stuff and hanging out with my family. I’m also a horror addict. No, seriously, I totally am. I’ve been watching horror movies and reading scary books since I was a kid. Some might argue that’s way too young to get started on horror, but I was a kid/teenager during the 1980’s and things worked differently then. There were a lot of horror movies made in the 80’s, and after the invention of the VCR I made my parents borrow countless of them from the local video shop.
I couldn’t get enough of horror, and even got into horror magazines and books. Did I mention I’m addicted? While I was growing up, a lot of people were baffled by my interest in horror. They didn’t understand why a girl would love this genre. How ridiculous is that, right? I never cared. I was never the kind of girl who let others push or bully me out of my interests. Between the horror, the metal bands, hairspray and wrestling, most didn’t know how to take me. There’s only one way, really: take me as I am.
I’ll never forget the first time I watched “The Exorcist” and “The Evil Dead.” I’m mentioning these two movies because I watched them at a friend’s house during the same weekend. While most of the other kids were scared, I was fascinated by these bizarre, dark stories and wanted more. I think that’s when I started coming up with my own horror ideas. It wasn’t long before I put pen to paper in the form of short, scary stories. I immersed myself in horror reading, writing and watching, trying to the capture the exhilarating mood.
Even years later I’m still hooked on my Fave Three: Jason, Freddy and Michael.
The horror industry has changed quite a bit since then. Most of the market has shifted into the psychological horror department, or the found footage slot, but I’m okay with that too. I don’t have a problem when a new direction appears in the horror genre, because it just means that it’ll keep going strong.
For example, I’ve been reading some really cool YA horror books lately, and have a bunch more on my Kindle.
As far as my own writing goes, I find myself in dark territory all the time. No matter what genre I’m writing—whether urban fantasy or sci-fi—I always manage to cross the line into some kind of terror. It’s just something I do with not much thought at all.
I have an urban fantasy series available that focuses on a character called Sierra Fox. She’s a spook catcher and can see, communicate and capture chaotic ghosts. The beginning of her idea came to me years ago after watching “Thir13en Ghosts.”
The movie wasn’t great, but it certainly inspired me to create my own way of capturing spirits. But Sierra doesn’t just deal with spooks. She lives in a world where demons, werewolves, vampires and a whole bunch of other creatures are a reality. I’ve always enjoyed ghost stories, and this is my love letter to them.
Sierra’s world captivated me so much that I’ve actually written two spin-off novels. One is my homage to the demonic. The narrator, Lavie, is a demon hunter who is in love with a demon. This was my opportunity to delve into demonology, demonic possession, exorcisms, the darker side of the occult, and even the “Lesser Key of Solomon.” The second book features a necromancer called Willow, and her story is all about dealing with the darker side of the poltergeist phenomena. Willow is also a character who shares my love for 80’s horror, so I had a blast making reference to as many movies and characters as I could.
One of the reasons why I love writing urban fantasy so much is because I can always blend a horror edge into every single story. But lately I find myself itching to write a straight-out horror. I want to write a scary, creepy story that makes me squirm while I’m writing it. The kind of story that’ll make me jump after every noise, because I’m on the edge of my seat writing one spooky scene after another. There’s nothing better than an atmospheric story that leaps off the page and runs riot inside your brain. It’s an utterly delicious thought.
Man, I really want to write that story soon. 🙂
As you can tell, I love to surround myself with the spooky. Whether book, movie, magazine, website, toy or collectible, I’m not fussy. I’m an equal opportunity horror addict. Even the tropes and clichés that people might find annoying are the very things that keep me interested. I might not be able to explain why I developed this addiction, but I can tell you that it’s survived inside me for years.
Age doesn’t change it either. If anything, it makes me crave horror more. I even signed up for Horror Block because it’s a really cool subscription box filled with horror-themed goodies. See? I just can’t get enough.
Okay, I think it’s time to go because there’s a scary story pounding inside my brain…
Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer. Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast. Movie & music fan. Slave to her muse.
Yolanda lives in Sydney, Australia with her awesome husband, lovely daughter and cheeky cat.
The Sierra Fox series: http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/p/sierra-fox.html