Interview with Horror Author Rebecca Besser

This week I interviewed the lovely Rebecca Besser.

Isn’t she cute?  Here’s what she had to say about her inspiration, writing process, and upcoming work…

1.     What would you say was the defining influence (author/book/movie/family member, etc.) that pointed you toward horror?

 

Experimentation. I force myself to try things I haven’t tried before, or am leery of. When I stared writing a few years ago, I was nervous about writing in first person, so I forced myself to try it only to find out that it wasn’t so bad. After that, I was determined to try various genres – horror seemed to be a good fit for me and it stuck! LOL I still write other things, but not as often.

 

2.     What was your inspiration for Nurse Blood?

 

Justin T. Coons’ amazing art! The cover art inspired the story.

 

3.     What is your gory main character, Sonya Garret’s favorite tool of the organ-harvesting trade and why?

 

Graphic representation of the live organ harvests

Graphic representation of the live organ harvests (Photo credit: longtrekhome)

 

She uses a surgical scalpel a couple times to inflict harm in the book, so I’ll have to go with that. When harvesting human parts, nothing comes in as handy as a small, very sharp knife. 😉

 

4.     I love the polarity of healer vs. killer.  Do you think that your MC is more evil than your average serial killer because she is a person charged with the care of others when they are at their most vulnerable yet she abuses that power?

 

I don’t know that I would call her evil. I see her as being broken inside… She’s dealt with a lot in life, but she’s still strong and willing to make her own path no matter what other people think of it. What she chooses may not be right, but it’s what she wants it to be. I guess she’s strong with a warped moral compass. LOL

 

5.     Do you have any inspirational music for your writing?  Any favorite artists to get you in the murderous mood?

 

Not really. Mostly I prefer silence. I think this is because once I get into a story, I block everything else out. I’m in my zone, so to speak, and very little gets in.

 

6.     I know you edit as well as write.  Do you find it difficult to step back and forth between the two roles?  Is it tough to refrain from changing an author’s voice while editing, or can you easily distance yourself while editing others’ work?

 

It’s complicated. I find I have the hardest time editing work by people from other countries. I get accused of ‘Americanizing’ it. Some hate it, while others don’t mind. I do tend to warn them at the beginning though, and I try to only make changes that will strengthen others work. I also try to be somewhat flexible when working with others, because, at the end of the day, it still represents them.

 

7.     What is your favorite writing project you’ve worked on so far?  Favorite editing project?

 

My favorite project would probably be Nurse Blood; it was really fun. My favorite editing project would probably be Earth’s End; it was a struggle, but ended well. 🙂

 

8.     What genres besides horror do you dabble in?  Do common subgenres or themes frequently sneak into your work?

 

Supernatural. I tend to write about the Devil.

 

9.     What is in your bug out bag, Rebecca?  How about five must-have survival tools and one luxury item?  Feel free to explain your choices.

 

Gun, ammo, matches, survival/herb book,   water, and luxury item…hmmm…hair brush!

 

10.   What new projects/books/stories are you immersed in currently?  Pimp ‘em, sister!

 

I’m finalizing Nurse Blood and starting on my zombie novel series: The Hunger Plague. I also have a few short stories in the works. 😀

Sounds great!  Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog, Rebecca!  I look forward to checking our your work!

You can find Rebecca Besser on Facebook here.  And check out her website @ www.rebeccabesser.com or her blog: blog.rebeccabesser.com

-Kim

Advertisements

Female Horror Authors Writing Male Characters (and Vice Versa)

I’ve been mapping out a tale in my mind for the past week or so.  Initially, I thought that my main character would be a guy.  Initially being for about a day.  And then I got to thinking that I would much rather it be a woman.  Why?  I can’t say, exactly.  I know that I enjoy writing strong female characters.  The thing about this one is that she is flawed–psychologically scarred, tough-as-nails, and an alcoholic.  All of the traits the original character possessed only minus the penis.  I didn’t change the character, only the sex of the character.

The feeling that my MC would be better as a female got me thinking about women authors writing male protagonists, and conversely, men writing women leads.  There is no law against it.  If you do a good job with your voice, your characterization, your authenticity; your story will fly, right?

But is there a stigma where women horror authors are concerned?  I know my dad, a rabid horror reader when I was growing up, just about refused to read female authors.  I remember picking a horror novel for his birthday present, going by the blurb on the back (and let’s be totally frank, here–by the creepy cover).  My dad’s reaction was “I don’t read women authors.”

I didn’t get it.  I’m still not sure that I do.  I’ve always given equal billing to the sexes, I think.  Sure the horror I read was dominated by male authors and the romance, YA, chick-lit was all…chicks.  I don’t think that was a conscious decision on my part.  That’s just the way the numbers generally play out.  There are the exceptions.

I wonder if that author had used a manly (or at least ambiguous) pen name, would my pop have given her a fighting chance?  Would he have seen through her duplicity via her naturally feminine voice?  I know I read it and liked it, but, hey, I’m a girl.

See this article…

http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/improve-my-writing/he-said-she-said

The author seems to be saying that employing less gender-specific style and dialog will make your work more appealing to a wider audience.  Makes sense to me.

But what about my main character–a little rough around the edges, even manly in some ways–will her less-feminine attributes make her more likable for male readers?

I don’t plan to change my name.  And I doubt I will play “Pin the Penis on the Protagonist” before I am done with my story.  Maybe guy readers will never get close enough to find out if it’s any good.

At least I can make my dad read it.  I’ll bring my festering outline to life for that alone.  I’m pretty sure I’m his favorite author these days. 🙂