What's your favorite thing about writing, what is your most challenging?
Creating SOMETHING from NOTHING is an exhilarating feeling. Those that have spewed imps from their tenderloins will understand. And because I feel like being graphic, let me explain… If a writer gets “lucky” he/she is impregnated with an idea. (Just go with it dudes. Pretend you’re some alien with a womb and a weenie.) Sometime that idea takes, and other times…well have fun trying again. But when it does latch on, like an adorable little parasite, it gestates and grows inside the writer. And eventually, after days, weeks, months or years (Damn elephant babies), our water breaks and we poop ourselves a little but our beautiful story baby is finally born. And afterwards... we eat the placenta- which tastes nothing like chicken.
My most challenging thing about writing. That’s easy. Writing. My story pregnancies are pretty damn rough. Don’t even get me started with the strange cravings and hemorrhoids.
Why do you think readers enjoy reading Horror or the darker side of fiction?
We all have dark thoughts. Weird, awful, bloody thoughts. Reading horror gives us permission to explore our darker side without the criminal aftermath; washing arterial spray and bits of squishy flesh out of our hair and underwear gets a little tedious.
Dark humor plays a role in some of your stories, why is that is?
I don’t take things as seriously as I should and that includes horror. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism. I’m kind of an ass. But in a good way. Many of my characters have adopted my shi**y attitude. And because of that, many of my characters have met nasty fates. And honestly, we can all find something funny in the horrific. We feel bad about it but we laugh so we cry or run screaming. For example, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse from my fourth story in Arithmophobia are terrifying dudes! They want to murder the world and bathe in a sea of our blood. I think they’re into the trendy Elizabeth of Bathory Spa treatment. I hate to tell them it’s too expensive and it doesn’t work. But the modern world doesn’t respect the End Of Days and Hell and hilarity ensues! Does that answer the question or did I just dance naked around it?
Many writers say they have something that inspires them. What inspires you?
I wish I were one of those writers. Inspiration doesn’t always come easy for me. I wish it did. I’m quite envious of those lucky bastards who have a live-in Muse whispering sweet somethings in their ears. I hear a few also do their laundry! DAMMIT!!! My muse is in rehab. REHAB! I do hear from her but the bitch just wants money for smokes.
At the beginning of each story in Arithmophobia, you give a little blurb, almost a pre-cursor to what is to come; the feel of it is almost like a Twilight Zone episode, was that your intention?
The Twilight Zone definitely was an inspiration for Arithmophobia. As a little girl, I grew up watching reruns of the Twilight Zone, along with many other strange and creepy television programs; Tales From the Crypt, Night Gallery, The Outer Limits, Tales From the Darkside etc. To this day I’m a sucker for a twist ending. However, to answer your question, the beginning was definitely an homage to the original smoking man himself, Mr. Rod Serling.
In many of your stories in Arithmophobia, the characters' interactions are what drive the stories. How important was it for you to get the dialogue between the characters just right?
I love writing dialog. When I craft conversations they need to be natural and organic to be believable. I often simply listen to the way people speak. Their words aren’t stilted. There’s a flow to it. Take a fifteen year old’s conversation with their friend; they’re not going to say, “Hello Carl. Where were you today? We missed you in Home Room. The teacher was looking for you.” That’s not real. If you go out and listen to some of todays youths, they’re going to say something along the lines of, “Yo, Carl where the f*ck you been? Mrs. Big Tits in home room was looking for you. When she finds you, she’s gonna smother you with those big ass titties of hers.” Yeah, this is over simplified and it doesn’t represent all teenagers. But when writing dialog, if you want the reader to believe the character (and apparently, this one has a saucy mouth) they have to feel and read real.
What is the one thing you would like readers to get out of reading Arithmophobia?
Be wary of plastic surgery. Peeps will understand when they read the book.
And they will agree.
Can you tell our readers what you are currently working on?
I am finishing up a novella. It’s a story of a family living on a cursed plot of land battling an ancient evil. There’s a few twists ala my Twilight Zone inspiration. So hopefully, I’ll have it ready early this coming year.
I have been in interview mode with a few brave men and women gifted with psychic abilities so their unique and often misunderstood stories can be heard. So my next book will be a collection of real-life events that have shaped the lives of those with abilities. I’m looking forward to telling their amazing stories.
Let’s see…oh, I’m preparing child and adult workshops this winter on the art of crafting flash fiction as well as a six-week course for adults interested in writing short stories. But as I stated earlier, I think my muse went out on a bender and may be in rehab so I’m waiting for her to dry out and get her ass back to doing what she’s supposed to do and find me a good anthology or three to tear into.
I do entertain on the Face Book. Okay, I attempt to entertain. Some people actually dig me. And not just my mom!
Where can readers follow or find out more about you?
They can stalk me on my blog www.ruschelledillon.net
Follow her on Twitter @RuschelleDillon