Where do you get your ideas?
Some stuff comes from real life experiences--I think everyone’s childhood is filled with pleasant memories of the shambling undead and zombie infestations. My short story “Down the Pike,” however, about a woman who is desperately unhappy and plans to murder her morbidly obese husband and his little dog, too--is pure fantasy. It’s just coincidence that my morbidly obese ex-husband has a Chihuahua.
What does your family think about what you write?
My mother is wondering when I am going to give up the horror stuff and get cracking on my career as the next Erma Bombeck. My sister is happy that I’m writing at all. My Aunt Joanne, who has a similar sense of humor to my own, finds my stories of mulching with baby mice hilarious. And I suspect my in-laws might not be aware of my budding horror-writing career at all.
I think you still owe me $20 from college.
Who is this? Heather?
Remember? When we hung out on Lance’s balcony and we were all going to chip in for beer? You never chipped in.
Debbie? Is that you?
How much does writing pay, anyway?
Not a lot. Unless you’re Stephen King, you may want to keep your day job.
No, I mean, does it pay you enough to pay me back for the beer? With interest?
Nope. I can offer you a free copy of “Rapid Decomposition” when it comes out. Maybe. I have to check with the editor – let me get back to you on that.
Besides killing off your ex, have any of your other acquaintances shown up in your stories?
Sure! The main character in “Good Night, Francine” is based on the sweet little old lady that lived across the street from me growing up. "Max Elliot, Exterminator," is a hybrid of actor Sam Elliot and my father. And one of the dispatchers where I work shows up in my short story “In Sickness” as the unfortunate victim of one of the newly undead. I do try to keep my libel lawsuits to a minimum, though.
Does your family know you’re a deadbeat?
Let’s look at this rationally. It was over 15 years ago. Clearly there was alcohol involved. Of course I didn’t remember to chip in for beer. I probably didn’t remember my name by the end of that party. Let it go!
Why do you mention cat barf so much?
Writers write about what they know. I have two cats, Wednesday and Pugsley, and they both have veeeerry sensitive stomachs. Unfortunately, cat vomit happens every day in my life.
I hope that this has answered all of your questions about my fabulous life as an author. I do not have the answers to what the secret of happiness is, and I do not know which one's Pink. I didn't try to seduce Joe Hill when I met him because I am happily married (really, Mom, what a question!) Any further questions or debt settlement requests should be directed to Attorney Tom Kane, New London Tpke, Glastonbury, CT.
And for the record, that really was a great party on the balcony.