Meet horror writer, Shannon Lawrence.
Here to discuss her writing projects
and answer a few questions.
1. What was your hardest scene to write?
In Blue Sludge Blues, the hardest scene for me was a deeply personal one. In the story "What the Fire Left Behind," I wrote a scene where the main character is fleeing a fire that has overtaken her neighborhood. She's on the phone with her family when something horrific happens. The story was based upon my experience fleeing the Waldo Canyon Fire as it swept through the nearby neighborhoods, burning to the corner across the street from our neighborhood. I was separated from my husband and a friend who had seen the fire sweeping down the final hill from the window of her workplace and rushed to our house to help us. It was about an hour before I knew they were alive. Every time I tried to call, the overloaded phone lines would say, "All circuits busy." Not only was the scene (and the story) hard to write, but I had a panic attack while reading it to my critique group, which told me I was definitely not over the horror of that situation. But it was incredibly cleansing to write, to face those fears head-on. (BTW, the stormtrooper in that story was real.)
2. What makes you run screaming?
Snakes. Given, I don't literally run screaming. I actually find them beautiful and fascinating, and I would never hurt one unless my life depended on it (or someone else's). But I'm deeply phobic. I frequently have nightmares about snakes. In fact, about two weeks ago, I had a night terror that a snake was coiled up next to my pillow. I sat up and flung a hand at it, trying to sweep it off the bed. What I actually sent flying in the middle of the night was the controller to my heated blanket. It made quite a racket. My husband's used to my night terrors (I also suffer sleep paralysis), so he just pulled me in close and fell asleep again immediately.
3. You're about to be dropped in a remote spot for a three-week survival test. Where would you go? What three tools would you take?
I'd do best dropped in the forest and/or the mountains. I've got an uncanny sense of direction, and I love the woods. I'd take some manner of water purifying tablets, moisture-wicking clothing, and a first aid kit.
4. What behind the scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?
Horror rarely scares me. But true crime, especially concerning stalking, can make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
5. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Oh boy, that's hard. There are so many places I'd love to disappear to for a writing retreat. But honestly? I'd choose the mountains right here in Colorado. A cabin. Limited technology. It would be amazing. Some day I may be able to make that a reality.
6. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I'd tell that insecure gal to keep writing and submitting, and not to give up for so long after her first few rejections.
7. What does literary success look like to you?
It looks like people reading my work and enjoying it. Hopefully, because it scares them or touches them in some way.
8. Tell us about the book you're working on now.
I've got a couple projects going right now. I just released another collection of horror short stories after I answered the questions for this blog. Bruised Souls & Other Abominations was released on March 13th.
I'm also planning a holiday collection (horror) for release in late fall 2020, plus a nonfiction book on the business of short stories (the stuff I most wanted guidance on, but couldn't find). As far as long fiction, I'm back to working on a project I loved, but that became tricky: a horror-comedy involving squirrels.
Read my REVIEW of Bruised Souls HERE!
A collection of frights, from the psychological to the monstrous. These tales are a reminder of how much we have to fear: a creature lurking in the blue, sludgy depths of a rest area toilet; a friendly neighbor with a dark secret hidden in his basement; a woman with nothing more to lose hellbent on vengeance; a hike gone terribly wrong for three friends; a man cursed to clean up the bodies left behind by an inhuman force. These and other stories prowl the pages of this short story collection.
Read my Review of Blue Sludge Blues HERE!
A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes in her dungeon when her minions will allow, often accompanied by her familiar, Cleo. She writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her stories can be found in several anthologies and magazines, and her horror short story collection, Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations, is now available. When she's not writing, she's hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings.
Shanon's website and social media links:
And thank you for all my recent nightmares!
So folks, do you have a horror story to tell or a question for Shannon?