|Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications
Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Sèphera Girón who explores the fear of numbers in her short story "Five in the Six" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.
LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader? Who is your favorite horror creator? Who are your inspirations or influences?
SÈPHERA GIRÓN: I came to horror as a reader. I was a teenager when Stephen King burst onto the scene. When I finished reading The Shining by Stephen King, I closed the book and decided I wanted to be a horror writer so that I could scare the crap out of people how King had scared the crap out of me.
LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child? Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?
GIRÓN: Child: cats, bridges, heights, driving a car, birds.
Adult: Birds still unnerve me. If there’s a bird in the room, it comes to me for some reason. It’s quite disconcerting and doesn’t quell my fear. I boiled my fear of them down to the idea that my reptilian brain still thinks they are dinosaurs with those creepy unblinking eyes.
I’ve mommed five cats in my life and loved them all. I got my first (black) cat as a way to face my feline fear when I got my first apartment. It worked!
I still am afraid of heights. I worked at “the world’s highest disco” at the top of the CN Tower when I was in University for a couple of summers to try to get over my fear of heights. Nope. I will never do the Edgewalk. I LOVE LOVE LOVE rollercoasters but hate the first hill so much, but I have to get up that hill in order to do the rest of the coaster. The Yukon Striker has been unveiled for this year at Canada’s Wonderland, the world’s highest, fastest, longest dive coaster. I’ll be riding it, likely by the time you’re reading this, but truly hope I don’t stroke out on that first horrible hill! And no, riding those giant coasters multiple times still doesn’t help me with that initial first hill terror!
I love to drive my car, I can’t believe I was ever terrified of driving, I love driving so much! But I didn’t get my license until I was pregnant with my first son at twenty-five. I can’t imagine life without hopping into my car and driving wherever I want, whether to the store or to a convention two days away!
LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk. Which sub-genres have you written in? What's your favorite flavor of horror?
GIRÓN: Lots. I don’t have a favourite.
LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?
GIRÓN: Nothing off-limits but some of the new-fangled genres I don’t really understand, like Bizarro.
LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?
GIRÓN: I always try to scare myself when I’m writing. So, I guess, all of it?
LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.
GIRÓN: Nope. I write all of them, though I don’t always send them out for professional publishing.
LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life? Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?
GIRÓN: When I’m working at a real-person job, like patient acting at the college, I have to remember that my dark sense of humour doesn’t amuse everyone, some people think I’m creepy! Imagine that!
LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?
GIRÓN: Dive in and write. Write from the heart, and don’t second-guess yourself in a first draft. Just Do It!
LVP: What would you like your legacy to be? Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?
GIRÓN: I hope to leave behind a body of work that people can enjoy for generations.
LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?
GIRÓN: If you want to be a writer, you have to write. If you wait for the “perfect time” it will never come. Scribble your ideas on napkins between baby feedings; it worked for me and JK Rowling. Jot down ideas when you can, or a paragraph; these days we have technology (such as cell phones that will translate voice to text), that makes it super easy, unlike when I was starting out.
One page a day will give a complete first draft of a regular-sized novel in one year! So keep on writing…and READING!
~ Sèphera Girón has written over twenty published novels and numerous short stories. She has published with Leisure Horror, Samhain Horror, Conari, Thunder's Mouth, Macabre, Riverdale Avenue Books, and more. She is the current astrologer for Romance Daily News. Sèphera lives in Toronto where she edits books for other writers and works as a background performer. You can find her at sepheragiron.ca
Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!