Interview with Sam Stone, author of Zombies in New York
Sam Stone's frightening collection of stories, Zombies in New York is now available on audio book from AudioGO. Here's our interview with Sam about her books, the audiobooks and zombies!
Please can you tell us what Zombies in New York is about?
With the collection I set myself the challenge of creating as many varied stories as I could, but all within the horror genre. Thus there are a variety of monsters - from the traditional vampires, werewolves and ghosts, to new creations of my own devising. I also explore many themes and ways of writing the tales: thus there is a black comedy, an erotic story, a crime story, detective thrillers, and an intense psychological thriller. I wanted to show that horror came in all guises, and that I could write into whatever genre or theme I chose ... it was all about challenging myself as a writer, and doing my best to entertain (and terrify) the reader.
Is Lucrezia a favourite character of yours? Why?
At the time of writing the Lucrezia stories I had just completed my second novel 'Futile Flame' which features her life. I had left a huge chunk of her story unanswered because it wasn't relevant to the plot of the novel. Even so I always wanted to explore those missing years. I think she is an intriguing character, with multi-levels, and by writing the stories about other experiences she had, I was able to develop her complicated personality further.
Do you have to be in the right sort of mood to write horror?
I am always in the mood to write horror. I think it is a subject matter that I find challenging and limitless. Finding new ways to write about known monsters is particularly difficult but something I most enjoy. And if you are moved to create new monsters and creatures in the process, then that's even better.
What got you writing horror?
I started writing horror when I was very young. My mother was an avid reader and we always had books lying around the house. One day, aged eleven, I found a copy of John Fowles' 'The Collector', opened it up and began to read it. It was terrifying. It was a psychological horror novel about a man who became obsessed with a beautiful woman and kidnapped her. After that I began to watch the old Hammer horror movies and first became interested in the idea of the vampire. My curious young mind soon found the works of Stephen King and my love of horror stories expanded even more.
What are your inspirations for your writing?
I draw a lot of inspiration from real life. I love watching people, seeing how they move and react. I also love the idea of using real historical characters, but creating alternative histories for them. My partner David is my biggest muse though. He randomly says things that inspire my deepest and most complicated story plots.
And what’s the hardest thing about writing?
Writing, particularly novels, takes a lot of stamina and dedication. Starting something new is easy but seeing it through to the end of the first draft is always the challenge. I find that the more you write the easier it is to generate ideas and to sit down and write about them. I set myself challenges of a number of words to write every day to help keep me focused. When you write full time you also have to treat it like any job. You work set times and don't stop until you've completed them.
What do you think the audiobooks add to Zombies in New York?
I think audiobooks are wonderful because they reach all kinds of readers. I was recently speaking to a friend who has dyslexia. They were thrilled because they can now 'read' my stories - whereas previously this was something they were unable to do. To hear someone read/perform a story brings in new depths and levels that help the reader enjoy it even more with the use of music or sound effects to emphasis an atmosphere or a mood.
If there was an outbreak of zombies where you live, what would you do?
I have a game plan and it involves a sturdy lock on my toilet door and a great deal of practicing the 'double tap'.