For the next few Sundays, I will be interviewing horror authors to celebrate my favorite holiday – Halloween. My first interview is with the author, Patricia Stover.
Patricia Stover is a Horror author from southern Oklahoma. Her works have been published with Scout Media Books and Music, The Horror Zine, and in the anthology Café Macabre II. Her work ranges anywhere from short stories to novelettes and poetry. As an 80s kid, Stover was raised on horror. She spent late nights watching horror movies and series like Goosebumps, Tales from The Crypt, A Nightmare on Elm Street, anything with Elvira or Vincent Price and basically every cheesy 80s horror flick ever made. You can find her work at www.patriciastover.com or you can follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorjkenedy
I am not a horror author. I’ve only written a couple of pieces that could be considered horror, so I have to know – what scares you? What genuinely terrifies you?
In all honesty, a lot of things. This is why I write horror. There is no one answer. Especially with the past couple of years we’ve had. I’ve learned so much about the people around me. I think that thinking you know someone and then finding out that they aren’t who you really thought they are, that is really scary. People are scary. The way we treat each other is terrifying. Oh, and spiders. Screw those guys.
Who are some of your favorite horror directors?
You know what? I should probably pay better attention to what directors that I like. But I am not much of a snob when it comes to horror movies. This is a bit embarrassing to say, but I grew up in the 80s and I absolutely adore cheesy horror. I love slasher films and I love Y.A. horror films like Monster Squad. I have the DVD and I rewatch it and my Elvira Mistress of the Dark movie, over and over. I love The Lost Boys and Halloween. But some of the newer things I have enjoyed, some shows and movies – Midnight Mass. Boy, did that resonate with me. Growing up in a small town, that really hits home. I don’t get time to watch horror movies like I’d like because nobody else in my house likes them. So I have to sort of isolate myself to watch them.
Do you listen to music as you write? If so, what artists/genre of music and how does it influence your writing? If not, does the silence ever scare you since you write horror?
You know, I have a hard time with distraction. I like my silence. But I have never really tried writing to music. I might give it a try some time though. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire me.
Who are some of your greatest influences, and what about them influences you to write in the direction you write?
Growing up, I read a lot of King and Stine. You can definitely see that in some of my works. I love to write young characters. I think they are the most fun. Kids are so honest and brave compared to adult characters. But I always loved King for his complex characters. Each time I start a story, I try to start with the character. I think if I can write a deep character that people can really relate to, one that is not perfect, that has their flaws, that is what gets readers hooked. Because we all have our flaws. We are imperfect and we want to know that other people are too. We want to feel less alone in this crazy world. That is what books give us. Not just something to entertain us, but characters who help us feel less alone.
Paperback, hardback, or eBook?
Paperback or hardback. I don’t have a kindle or tablet or whatever. I grew up in the pre-internet era. I remember when computers first started to be a thing. Cellphones were the size of bricks and if you had a car-phone you must be rich. Plus, there is nothing like the feel of a vintage paperback in your hands. I love the old covers.
What got you into writing horror? How were you sucked into this macabre world?
I’ve always loved horror. I started watching horror way before I was even old enough to be watching it. I grew up watching Tales From the Crypt late at night and old VHS tapes like Night of the Living Dead and A Nightmare on Elm Street at my grandparents’ house with my cousins. I would be absolutely terrified, covering my eyes at the scary parts, then begging my parents to sleep with them.
But I always came back for more. It was that thrill of being frightened, I guess. As for the writing part, I didn’t discover my talent for writing prose until college. I dabbled a bit with poetry and such in school, but I never really tried writing stories until college.
I was in my mid twenties and had taken my first creative writing course. My teacher was this quirky woman with loud outfits who encouraged me in my writing. I’ll always be thankful to her for that. I knew when she assigned a two page screenplay and I was like seven pages in and still not even near finished. I just knew I was meant to do this writing thing. I loved it. The thrill of inventing characters and creating the stories that had always been living inside my head. I had always had a wild imagination.
I daydreamed a lot as a child. But I had never known what to do with it. I just thought I was weird. So, I never told anybody about the daydreams and went on about life. It was amazing to finally find a blank page to put these dreams on. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me to write them down before that moment. Growing up, my school never really encouraged the arts. It was a small town and everything revolved around football and other sports.
How do your family and friends react to things you write?
I think my mom is proud, no matter what I do. But with everyone else, we don’t really talk about it. My son likes it though. Every time I order a book and it comes in the mail, he’ll ask, “Are you in that one too?” If I say no, he gets this disappointed look on his face. It’s too cute. I love that he is my biggest supporter.