I recently interviewed author A.L. Mabry about her new collection of short stories she recently published – Darker Daze. I’ve had the honor of working with her in the past, and I must say she is an impressive person in many ways. Darker Daze is, as the name implies, a collection of darker tales pulled from her past experiences that are sure to strike a chord within you.
Tell us a bit about you. Where did you grow up?
I was born in the hills of Kentucky but I was raised in the Sunshine State. I miss the salt air and sound of waves. And Disney. And sea shells. And retirees. Not having a basement…I could go on and on…
I am very attached to the beach myself. How has your upbringing affected your writing?
That’s a loaded question. I had a rough childhood. I read as an escape. Now the emotional build up from my childhood and my first marriage bleed into the majority of my work.
It’s funny how some of life’s most challenging moments spur the best art. How long have you been writing?
Since early elementary school. I have the first book I ever “published” on my desk. It’s truly awful.
I know you are a multi-talented person – what do you do when not writing?
I am always busy. I don’t even watch TV unless I am in bed! I read, I woodwork and create items for my Etsy shop. I go camping and hiking and kayaking. I explore new towns. I work in a metaphysical shop two days a week and another store 5 days a week. I am teaching crystal classes…I am getting tired just answering this question…
I hear you! What is the one thing about you that you think would surprise most of your readers?
I think people are often surprised by my personality versus my writing. My writing tends to be very dark but I am a ball of sunshine as long as I’ve had coffee.
Venting darkness into prose can be quite cathartic. You’ve been published in multiple anthologies before this collection – what is your preferred genre?
I am a genre slut (can I say that here?) but I favor fantasy and horror above all else.
Same here. Do you outline your stories ahead of time, or “pants” it?
I do a strange combination. First I write a bunch of random scenes. Then I order them the way I think they will go. Once, I have a vague grasp of my plot and arcs, I outline. Then I mostly ignore my outline and write some more. Then I update my outline. Eventually I get to a point where my outline is my guide for finishing up.
Fascinating. Which authors have influenced you the most?
Stephen King and Dean Koontz heavily influence my dark fiction writing. I love the process of pulling a reader through a mundane set up before throwing them into horror. I also love blending horror and supernatural elements.
What is your favorite passage that you’ve written?
It’s funny how people show up to eat when someone dies. What is it about death that makes everyone so hungry?
Half of them showed up with their casseroles and pies, the other half with their empty stomachs and open mouths. They shared fond memories out loud, with gusto. And then, in the corners and the shadows, they whispered their gossip and assumptions. When she caught them, they stared right through her, without a hint of guilt on their faces.
They were all gone now, and quiet filled the apartment. Bonita sat on the back porch and stared out at the empty yard, her blue eyes glistened with unshed tears. She was all alone now. The weight of this new reality swirled through her mind. Her brother, Ryan, had been the last one left who cared for her. No one else even bothered to acknowledge her most of time. She sighed and picked at the dandelion fluff in her hand.
How long would it take Aunt Joe to realize she had forgotten Bonita here.
That sounds all too familiar. I know you are one of the owners of Our Write Side. Tell us a little about your company and the role you play within it.
Our Write Side was originally found as a support network for writers and has grown to be a literary power house. We do All Of The Things and we have an incredible team. We strive to help authors overcome whatever obstacles they are facing whether it be financial, personal, or that pesky Imposter Syndrome. We offer everything from a la carte services and coaching, to full publishing. We even launched an online school this year!
How exciting! Your new book, Darker Daze: The Storms Within, is a collection of short stories that explore the darker side of the human condition, is out now. Can you give us a synopsis?
Darker Daze is collection of short stories that share a theme of suffering, told from various perspectives. Each story is gut gripping in it’s on way and is meant to give voice to the voiceless. The fact is, not everyone gets a happy ending. That’s real life. A lot of people get the extreme opposite of happy endings and their stories are important too.
Were any of the stories included in DD inspired by real-life events?
Every one of the stories in Darker Daze was inspired by real life, even if in the most minute way. The Next Best Seller was a story written as I tried to deal with writer’s block and author envy. Sweet Release was built around moments pulled from one of my old journals.
I can’t wait to read it. What is on the horizon for A.L. Mabry?
I am currently working on the revisions for Soul Purge. Soul Purge is the first book in my fantasy trilogy and will be out in October. I will be having a Big Birthday Bonanza. I am also finishing up a couple smaller projects. Cinder Baby will be in this year’s OWS anthology, Glass and Ash. And another story, Not Wonderland, will be up on my Patreon soon.
A trilogy! Any advice for new\beginner writers?
Write your stories and find your tribe. Everything else will come in time. You will learn the rules and how to break them. You will find your voice and you will learn your flaws. Your perseverance will take far, but your tribe will carry you when you fall.
Excellent advice! Anything else you would like to add?
If anyone is going to be in Kentucky the weekend of July 14th, come see me! I’ll be at the Legendary Lexington Book Bash.
More about A.L. Mabry:
A.L. Mabry is one of the founders of and the Executive Marketing Manager for Our Write Side (OWS Ink, llc), an online community for writers, readers, publishers and more. She writes occasional articles on OWS focused on the connection between life and writing. She publishes articles on Medium and also has a weekly writing prompt; Coldly Calculating: Writing By The Numbers: Putting a dark twist on colloquial phrases with a numbers theme. She was previously the Editor in Chief for Eat, Sleep, Write and once ran a successful special needs blog, Rage Against the Washing Machine which has since been retired. She is a highly sought freelance writer who specializes in research-based writing. This allows her to provide quality content on a variety of topics. She enjoys helping other authors find their way with private coaching and sharing what she has learned from personal experience, for example, this post on Perfecting Your Bio. As an author, she enjoys writing in all genres and forms, even grocery lists. She is an artist at heart and Wiccan by nature with an obsessive love of vampires, kilts, and blue butterflies. She is passionate about many topics, and her posts and stories are often laced with the snarky sense of humor one acquires from raising five teenagers, all at once.
Title: Darker Daze: The Storms Within
Author: A.L. Mabry
Publication Date: March 28th, 2018
Paperback Price: $14.99
Digital Price: $2.99
Pages: 110 pgs
E-book ISBN-13: 978-1-946382-24-5
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-946382-25-2