Author Meet & Greet!

Author Meet & Greet

All are welcome here.

Connect with authors through their social media links (if they choose to share them), learn about their writing process, and purchase their works.

The 4 most current interviews are posted here. Older ones may be found under the Archive: Author Meet & Greet on the main page of this blog by the author’s last name.

**Jack Ketchum’s Interview from December 2017 is PINNED at the bottom of this page**

So, without further ado, let’s get to know

Meet & Greet Author:  #191

Megan Deppner

Your Name: Megan Deppner

Pseudonym (if you use one): M.K. Deppner

Genre(s) of your work: Horror/supernatural/paranormal

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Photographs of October – May 2020,

everything i wanted – Forthcoming, Fall 2022

Bio:

M.K. Deppner knew she wanted to be a writer from a very young age. A far cry from the horse and unicorn stories she was writing at six years old, her favorite genre now is horror and supernatural. She lives under the shade of the cottonwood trees near the Flint Hills where Photographs of October and everything i wanted take place.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I love exploring the psychology of horror—why we love being scared, what scares us, and why we keep coming back for more. I also love exploring supernatural/ghostly avenues—it’s another topic that people love because of the unknown surrounding it.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Writing has gotten me through the best and worst of times. When I feel bad, I write. When I feel good, I write. There’s nothing like a great writing session to put me in a better mood, even if I felt good to begin with!

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Stephen King was my first and greatest love. That’s where I learned to love horror. His characters came alive for me, and the horror aspects kept me up at night! I also love Nora Roberts’ romances that have magical elements.

Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?

I think audiobooks are somewhere in between. In my opinion, they’ll always have their usefulness, especially as an accessibility option for those who need it, but the printed word will survive and thrive.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I think they’re a necessary evil…just kidding, sort of. I prefer to see my titles in independent bookstores because I know the money is going right back to that local area, though from a buying the groceries perspective, I wouldn’t mind having a few books in mainstream bookstores.

What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?

Social media gets the trophy for being both good and bad. It’s an excellent way to connect with readers, but it does require consistent engagement. A tool that has only been good to me is BookFunnel. It makes it easy to send my readers free chapters and extras!

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

For myself, there may be topics that I won’t write about, but I’ll cross that bridge if I ever come to it. I do write horror, so some of the topics I cover—death, murder, and psychological torment just to name a few—might already be taboo to others. I think it comes down to each individual and the intent/purpose behind their writing.

Where can people find you and your work?

Website: www.mkdepper.com

Instagram: mkdeppner

Facebook: Author M.K. Deppner

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/M-K-Deppner/e/B087BDDCQ6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4&sr=1-4

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Edward J. Spock

Your Name: Edward J. Spock

Genre(s) of your work: Horror

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

The Eyes Of Mary Beth McCreary ( 2021 ) This is my first published work and it will be also appearing in Books Of Horror, Volume 3 Book 1 that was just released on October 27th 2021.

Bio:

 I am a card-carrying member of Gen X.  The entirety of my teenage years was in the decade of the 80s. I was a part of the rise of heavy metal, witness to the resurgence of the horror genre in the film industry and discovered a horror legend as he rose to a pinnacle of his writing career. All of this was part and parcel to forming my love for the genre. The imagery and lyrical content employed by the heavy metal artists lent itself perfectly to the horror film industry. The horror film industry in turn found a well of material in the Stephen King catalog. It was a three-pronged attack. It worked and I was all in. I spent the decade immersing myself in the world of horror fiction through music, movies and books.

In my twenties I was one of the founding members of a hard rock / heavy metal band called Ballbreaker. We were part AC/DC tribute band and part an original hard rock band. Over our twenty plus years we appeared on a number of various artist collections as well as three of our own all-original cd’s. Our original music is where I got to display my love for the genre by crafting lyrics to our songs about freaks and apocalyptic visions all with a tongue in cheek fun. Writing the lyrics and melodies to our compositions was one of my favorite parts of crafting a song.

Once the band dissolved, I found that I again needed to find a creative outlet. Having always enjoyed the lyric writing aspect while working in the band, I thought that I would really like to try my hand at creating my first horror story. I began coming up with a nice stock of ideas and starting in on my first attempt. It is still currently sitting on my computer unfinished, tentatively titled “Ruff Draft”. It sits unfinished because another idea had struck me that I was able to run with. The story kept coming to me as I wrote, and the completed work is “The Eyes Of Mary Beth McCreary”. My first story to see the light of day.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I once read an article with Joe Hill in which he talked about how he had spent so much time trying to stay out of his fathers shadow with his own writing. Eventually he realized that he couldn’t. He grew up around the horror genre, it was what he knew. He embraced the legacy of his father and began to write in the style and he is now one of the biggest names in the genre today. He began to write what he knew. I had always felt that way when writing lyrics for the band and is why I am writing in the horror genre. I have always felt that people can see through when a writer or musician is not being themselves. So when I decided to take a stab at writing it was only logical that it was going to be in horror. It was what I grew up watching, listening to, and reading. It is what I knew.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

As I am new to the writing field, it really hasn’t changed my life much …. Yet. But what it has allowed me is a creative outlet. After my band dissolved I was feeling the need to be creative somehow. I had picked up reading again and was reading a lot. I really enjoyed the lyric writing aspect of songwriting and had always written privately. With that being said, I decided to push my writing a little further and actually publish some of my work. I completely enjoyed the process of getting my first story out there and looking forward to getting more of my work out there.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Of course, Stephen King to start with as he was one of my original gateways into the genre. Some of my other go-to authors are Tolkien, Lovecraft and Joe Hill. Most recently I have been enjoying works by Stephen Graham Jones and Nick Cutter.

Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?

I don’t know that audiobooks are the wave of the future, but what I do think they are is another great tool for authors to get their work in front of people. Audiobooks are perfect for when you are driving or just working around the house. It’s an opportunity for someone to pop one on and listen to where it was not an option before. It certainly helps broaden an author’s playing field and opens another door for an author to get their work out there.

 

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I do believe that the big box bookstores have their place. They have been able to diversify what they sell, such as adding coffee shops, toys, stationary and more. They have also been able to put themselves in high profile locations like malls. I would like to think that this all has a positive effect on the industry as a whole in that it keeps bookstores and books in general in the public’s mind. A not so avid book purchaser / reader may be more inclined to enter the store and buy something with these added factors. At the same time some of your greatest treasures are found at an independent store and it is hard to beat their atmosphere. So I can definitely see benefits to both for the book industry.

Where can people find you and your work?

You can find my author page on Facebook as Edward Spock. You can also find me on twitter (@ejspock70), Tiktok ( @ejspock ), and I am currently in the process of having a new website built at edwardspockauthor.com .

You can also find my book “ The Eyes Of Mary Beth McCreary”. on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com as well as good reads. I am steadily working at getting my book added to new outlets and will update everyone through my social media platforms.

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Davia Andrews

Your Name: Davia Andrews

Pseudonym (if you use one): D. A. Andrews

Genre(s) of your work: Poetry

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

To Fight Fire with Sun published December 2020

Bio:

A. Andrews was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. Throughout the years, she has developed wide interests in various aspects of life, such as coffee, weddings, books, and psychology. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus with a BSc. in Marine Biology and Psychology (Honours) and is currently pursuing her MBA. She considers herself a nomad at heart and has changed cities and apartments quite as often as she changes her clothes. She is currently resting her head in Brunswick, Georgia, with her black cat (and familiar), Luna.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I write poetry because it allows me to process life. I have been writing ever since I was in elementary school, but I really started venturing into poetry when I was in high school. My college creative writing professor (renowned Caribbean poet, Tanya Shirley) helped me to hone my craft and fall in love with the art form even more. Poetry allows me to be wholeheartedly myself whilst allowing me the luxury of living a raw and authentic experience. I have processed deep trauma by putting pen to paper and creating poetry.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Literature has always had a special place in my heart. While my siblings were outside playing, I was often inside under the covers devouring a good book. I have somehow collected books over the years as a sort of extension of myself; each time I went through a monumental moment (whether happy or sad), I have added to my collection. Writing has been a major part of my life in that I can use others’ works to feel not so alone, to escape, or to just enjoy life even more. My own writing has changed my life simply because I can process whatever it is that I need to in just five minutes by simply sitting down with pen and paper. The art of writing fiction, poetry, or even just journaling has been my saving grace countless times.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I am a huge fan of Warsan Shire and Pavana Reddy. Their poetry has spoken to me in so many ways and have inspired my own writing. I am also a huge fan of YA Fiction, and my current favorite author is Neal Shusterman. I was in a reading funk for quite some time, and his book “Scythe” quickly drew me in and fixed that. I hope to venture into the YA Fiction world some day and his writing style is impeccable and inspiring.

What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?

I think tiktok is a great marketing tool! I have discovered so many new authors (both traditionally and self-published) through the platform. I am still working on building my audience through it but I feel that it is a great asset to have in your back pocket.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

Writing should not be censored. There are way too many emotions and experiences that need to be in their raw form in order to speak to the hearts of others. The death of my best friend last year and my experience with sexual assault earlier this year birthed some pieces that helped me to process and grieve. I think that censorship of writing takes away from that and it also takes away from other people experiencing the feeling of “wow! I am seen”. Some of the deepest, life-changing pieces I have read have not been censored and I think it should stay that way.

Where can people find you and your work?

People can find me on Instagram, tiktok, and twitter @daandrews_. My Amazon page is https://www.amazon.com/D-A-Andrews/e/B08QVCG7JV/ref=aufs_dp_fta_dsk and my facebook page is D. A. Andrews. Thank you for taking the time to experience my work.

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Felix Blackwell

Your Name: Felix Blackwell

Genre(s) of your work: Horror, thriller, fantasy

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

The Cold People and Other Fairy Tales from Nowhere, 2016

Stolen Tongues, 2017

In the Devil’s Dreams, 2018

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

All fiction genres are actually just subgenres of Fantasy, and all my life, I’ve dreamed of other worlds. As a child, I found joy in serene and scary fantasy worlds alike – in the form of books, movies, and video games. I was especially influenced by films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Lord of the Rings, and by video games like Resident Evil 2 and Silent Hill 2. My favorite books were the Goosebumps series and some of the works of Poe.

I think writing is a form of escapism to me; it allows me to go back to that youthful sense of wonder for things that can never be.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

For me, writing is a lot like playing an instrument. There are feelings we humans can only express artistically, whether through music or poetry or performance. Writing is how I get out the feelings I cannot phrase through other mediums.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I would say that I have favorite works, but not favorite authors. Lovecraft has been the most influential on my vision of horror, and his stories The Temple and Nyarlathotep and The Call of Cthulhu are burned into my mind’s eye forever. The literary weight of Dan Simmons’ writing style is something I aspire to someday, and his novel Summer of Night is an adventure I love going on every decade or so. I would credit Scott E. Sutton’s writing and art in The Family of Ree series as the catalyst for my foray into writing at a young age.

Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?

I think they have their place, and are especially useful to people who are sight-impaired, but I don’t think they’ll eclipse print or ebook formats. I’m glad they exist, because they give readers another means of consuming books, but I personally can’t focus on audiobooks because my mind starts wandering about two minutes in!

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

Bookstore? What’s that?

What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?

Communicating with readers and producing high-quality writing are the only paths up the mountain. Any marketing service you have to pay for is bullshit and won’t work.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

No. But I personally avoid very controversial subjects that are commonly found in the Extreme Horror subgenre. I don’t have the stomach to write them, nor the balls to attach my name to them. What would my mother think?

Where can people find you and your work?

www.felixblackwell.com and www.facebook.com/felixblackwellbooks

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Jack Ketchum

(PINNED – Interviewed in December 2017)

Name: Dallas Mayr

Pseudonym (if you use one): Jack Ketchum

Genre(s) of your work: Horror and Suspense (and the occasional Black Comedy.)

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):  Writing professionally since 1970, first fiction 1976, first novel, OFF SEASON, 1981.

Bio: see my website http://www.jackketchum.net/and add to that, Most Recent Novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF SOULS, written with Lucky McKee and Most Recent Collection, GORILLA IN MY ROOM.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?  

I grew up loving fantasy, and horror is the dark side of fantasy.

How has writing changed/altered your life? The usual perks of self-employment — no punching the time clock, no damn bosses hovering over your desk.  But in addition to that, writing mandates continual periods of self-examination.  You don’t easily get away with lying to yourself on the page.  It requires you to scour your history and your present for your deepest faults and pleasures, to reveal and revel in them, to find the strengths in your life and work from there, reaching outward.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Far too many to list here.  I read all over the place and consequently my favorite writers come from all genres and backgrounds, from Henry Miller to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, from Raymond Chandler, Elmore Leonard and John D. MacDonald to Thomas Hardy, Philip Roth, Michael Chabon, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub and Stephen King.  Why?  Because they’re smart, empathic, courageous.  Because they’re good!

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I wish we had a lot more mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar bookstores.  I seriously miss browsing.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your work?

The need for empathy and tenderness in the world, that the souls of beasts and humans matter.  And a few hours of just plain fun.

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Depends on the piece.  Some, like THE GIRL NEXT DOOR and RED, are highly personal, others…?  I don’t know where the hell they came from!

How do you find the motivation to complete a book/story?  

Finishing a piece is almost always easy.  It’s getting started that’s hard.  Getting all your ducks in a row and then having the balls and suspension of disbelief  to say to yourself, this is really going to work.

What makes you NOT finish reading a book?

I give books a first paragraph test.  If it passes, then a first chapter test.  If it passes that, I’ll almost always finish the book — I can tell from there that I’m going to want to.   If it fails I scuttle it immediately.  Very occasionally, too much repetition will make me dump it.  I don’t want to waste reading-time.  Too much good stuff out there.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

Nothing should ever be censored.  Everything is worth discussing.  How long a discussion is another matter entirely.

Any pet peeves in writing? In reading others’ work?

 Life’s short.  I don’t bother with peeves.  If I’m bored, I just close the book.

Where can people find you and your work?

Website, see above. I have a list of published works there.   Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/jackketchumofficial/ Twitter, https://twitter.com/jackketchum Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ketchum

What can I say?

I am honored to have snagged a bit of Jack Ketchum’s time, for him to share his thoughts and words with me (and my readers), and for his participation in a blog such as this one. Thank you so much – for the interview as well as your writing. It has and continues to be an inspiration.

Readers, I implore you to look into Jack Ketchum’s work, especially if you are a horror/suspense fan. From the mouth of Stephen King – “Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.”

40 comments

    1. Hi Donna;
      My pleasure. As an independent author myself, I know that marketing is key and getting the word out by any means is crucial.
      Thanks!
      Sue

      Like

  1. Hi Sue. Thank you for including me in this roundup of four writers. I read all the interviews with pleasure. The CWA includes so many interesting members. I enjoyed meeting my fellow interviewees via your blog.
    Susan Bass Marcus

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s nice to see Teri here — always good to know a little more about her. I had to laugh about her friends being more careful about what they say. 😀 It’s funny how many people worry they’ll be “in the book” when they learn you write. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely have some new books to order (Zombie turkeys – still chuckling). I just finished my fifth book and I’m taking a year off to just read and read and read. Thanks for the great interviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, LB! That’s the point of the interviews – to give everyone a chance to find out about each other. Thanks for reading and feel free to spread the word! 🙂

      Like

    1. Cool! Thanks so much for doing that! We got both Noodle and Monkey from our local Humane Society when they were about 6 months old. 🙂

      Like

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