I recently had the honor of interviewing author, editor, and publisher Stephanie Ayers about her new book, The 13 Tales of Illusory, a collection of horror shorts, released yesterday, October 4th – just in time for Halloween!
Hello Stephanie, thank you for agreeing to do this! I‘d like to start off by getting to know a little bit more about you as a person. Where you were raised, and how would you describe your childhood?
I’m a Virginia girl through and through. I grew up in Northern Va, a DC surburbanite. I got a new daddy at 6 and discovered Christianity at an early age.
Where do you live now?
I now call the Central Va area home, a much more countrified and laid back yet very conservative county just south of the Northern Va boundary line.
What challenges do you face in getting your writing in?
As a publisher and graphic designer, my biggest challenge currently is time.
How does your childhood and current day-to-day life affect your writing?
My childhood was dark. Depression and anxiety hound me. I watch a lot of SVU and read a lot of Stephen King. There’s a bit of everything in my writing.
Have you ever found that some of your stories mimic a past or present situation for you?
The only time that really happens is when I write a memoir. I did pen a story I’ve never shared when my husband and I went through some bad times.
I know you specialize in Speculative Fiction. Are there any genres you haven’t written in that you would like to try? Conversely, are there any you would never write in, or a topic too taboo?
I might want to try my hand at Steampunk, and while I hear I’d write great erotica, but that’s just not something I would ever put out there.
The world wants to know – are you a “pantser” or a “plotter”? Perhaps a hybrid?
100% pantser. The very idea of an outline makes me break out in hives.
Have you ever written something so emotionally evocative, that you had to take a “breather” either in the middle of writing it or shortly thereafter?
Yes. I’ve gotten so invested in some of my stories, leaving my heart on the page, I’ve had to stop and regroup.
What authors have influenced you the most?
Stephen King certainly.
What motivates you to write?
Everything. I get particular inspiration when driving. That lone abandoned shoe on the side of the road never fails to get the gears going.
What is your favorite passage you’ve ever written?
Down, down in the depths they fell, bodies in the dark of a liquid hell. It’s from my dark poetry ‘Soul Survivor’ which opens The 13: Tales of Illusory.
I know that in addition to being an author and mother, you are also the Executive Creative Director of the writing website Our Write Side. Tell us a little about them, the role you play with them, and how you came to be a part of the team.
Our Write Side began when Amanda Mabry and I realized the huge need in the author community for quality goods regardless of financial status. We began as a community to connect authors, publishers, readers with each other, offer resources, and writing advice for all levels of writing. Our goal is not for financial gain, but rather to serve the author community.
We will celebrate our 2nd anniversary Oct 1 and just celebrated our 1 year anniversary as a business. We publish, offer marketing, editing, coaching, and design services to all authors.
As the Executive Creative Director, I am responsible for the visual aspects of books, author platforms, author websites, and ensuring each book is ready to fly to the top of the sales list. I am the cover to cover guru and I absolutely love it. I am 1/3 owner of OWS Ink, LLC, the official title of our company. Catterfly Publishing is out imprint for any books outside the anthologies we produce annually.
Your new book, a collection of horror shorts called “The 13: Tales of Illusory” is coming out Wednesday, October 4th. Give us a brief synapses of the book.
13 enchanted horrors–from the Devil in the sea to evil pixies and a pissed off god– 13 spine-chilling tales– from vampires and serial killers to hauntings– Can you survive all 13?
What can we next expect to see released by you?
As a publisher, we release another poetry collection from Sam DeLoach called The Colors We Render on October 24 and our annual anthology, Mirrors & Thorns, a collection of 14 dark fairy tales, on Oct 25. It will probably be sometime in 2018 before I put something else out for myself. I’ve got 2 fantasies, another horror collection, a horror novel, and more to mull over.
Finally, what words of wisdom can you give to newer writers?
I have a few quotes of my own that sum it up nicely… “A blank page is the canvas on which a writer paints a story.” “One single letter cures the blank page.” “Editing is like attending a 10-year reunion with your characters.” and finally, “The more an author doubts his writing and strives to improve, the better he writes.”
Thanks for having me!
Thank you, Stephanie, for letting us get to know you better!
More information on the book:
Title: The 13: Tales of Illusory
Author: Stephanie Ayers
Publication Date: October 4th, 2017
Paperback Price: $10.99
Digital Price: $2.99
ISBN ebook: 978-1-946382-14-6
ISBN print: 978-1-946382-15-3
More about Stephanie:
A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
Stephanie Ayers is a published speculative fiction author, full-time world-building ninja, and graphic designer from central Virginia crafting her own story and resisting adulthood at all costs. She mothers her children, two cats, and a pitbull; neglects housework as often as possible; loves her husband; and avoids all things zombies.
Stephanie has been a regular contributor and leader for Bloggy Moms and Just Be Enough and currently writes content for Our Write Side.
Bannerwing Books published her debut novella, Til Death Do Us Part, in 2013, and her work appears in several anthologies and collections, most notably The 13: Tales of Illusory, a collection of her short and scary stories. Her poetry has been published in Ambrosia, in magazines and literary journals.
Her favorite quote is: “The blank page is a canvas on which the writer paints a story.”-Stephanie Ayers
Favorite Books: The Stand, Divergent, Through the Looking Glass, The Forgotten Garden, and Inkheart.
Favorite Songs: Anyway by Martina McBride, Chasing Cars by Soul Patrol, Dream On by Aerosmith, Nothing Else Matters by Metallica, Shape of You by Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5
Favorite Movies: Hope Floats, Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood, The Messengers, The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins
Favorite Foods: pizza, pasta, ice cream, chips, second breakfasts
Favorite TV Shows: Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Law & Order SVU, The Voice, This Is Us
#occult #supernatural #spine-tingling #paranormal #horror #specfic #thriller #chillinghorror