Saturday, October 17, 2015

THE GAL'S 31 DAYS OF HORROR: AMONG THE STACKS: Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, ladies!!  Welcome to The Gal.  I am honored to have the two of you on today.  I have heard so many good things about y'all and your talents.
            Tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
We are a twin sister writing team from Arizona.  We have been writing since we were little girls.  We write all types of horror from gothic tales to splatter punk.  We also write dark fantasy.  A major accomplishment of ours is being included in Fresh Meat, an anthology of new horror writers by Sinister Grin Press.  Please check it out.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:

I hate bubble gum.

I have a heart shaped birthmark on my arm.

Michelle stole my blood in the womb.

I'm allergic to bees.

We used to trade classes all the time in school and no one knew.

I am terrified of cockroaches.

My favorite colors have always been Black and Blue.

I'm addicted to iced coffee.

I once jumped into broken glass with bare feet thinking I was avoiding a cockroach.

I have two very large tattoos and WILL get more.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
Fresh Meat to check out ht other writers' stories and soon Blood & Rain by Glenn Rolfe.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide that you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
As little girls, we used to love old horror movies and we wanted to make our own.  We loved creating our own worlds, then sharing them with people...mainly our mother.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
Anywhere we can.  Our kids keep us so busy that our offices and writing desks are usually our cars, our mom's couch, the school parking lot, etc.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
We write most of it by hand first in our notebooks, and then, as we type it out, we can add or change anything that isn't up to snuff.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
Trying to remember correct grammar and punctuation.  The story starts flowing and we have to go back to make sure there's no run-on sentences.  We don't stop progress as it's happening, we just have to go back and proofread.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
Ronald Kelly and James Newman are two people we look up to as far as writing and also just being awesome people.  Al Sarrantonio's Moonbane is a book we always like to give a shout out to because the writing and concept blew us away.  We are also dark fantasy fans: Melissa loves R.A. Salvatore and has been following the character Drizzt since she was a teenager.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
Creating characters that seem natural and you care about.  Building worlds that are believable no matter how farfetched.  Those may seem easy, but it's definitely not.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
They have to be believable; everyone is flawed, making a character three dimensional.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
A girl from our short story that's being made into a short film.  She kills pedophiles in werewolf form.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
We haven't really been too involved in the creation of book covers, but have loved every one of them.  The cover is important, yet the blurb is what gets us.  If it's interesting, we will still give it a read, even if the cover is not so awesome.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
It's something you have to never give up on.  This business can be a kick in the teeth, but you have to keep going.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
A scene in a short story where you think someone is going to do something really terrible to a little girl...he gets a big surprise, but the beginning of it makes you feel sick and pissed off.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in the genre?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
We work together, so it's a sharing of two brains, trying to meld them into a cohesive story that will leave you wanting to read more.  We want our stories to be something that stays with you for a while, awakening in you that old school horror loves that we genre fans grew up feeling.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
A lot of times we see a scene in our minds, or something that really grabs us, and that usually becomes the title.  Most of the time a title and/or concept pops into our minds and we build our story around it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
It's a different type of fulfillment.  A novel is long and drawn out - it's such a relief to purge that much from our imaginations.  A short story leaves us exhilarated, a feeling that would be the closest we will ever get to extreme sports, like bass jumping or something, because we are too chicken to do that hahaha.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
We write all levels of horror from quiet gothic tales to straight up splatter punk.  We just want to give people an escape for a while in our fiction, take them on adventures, leave them satisfied with what we offered them...leave them wanting to read more of our stuff hahaha!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
We haven't had anything cut from our work yet, other than bad grammar hahaha, but there are a few stories that will be expanded on and make into longer works.  Specifically our story in Widowmakers, a benefit anthology of dark fiction.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your 'trunk'?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
We have a story about a toddler werewolf and her loving aunt that cares for her by feeding her unsavory people.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from the two of you in the future?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
We will be in a handful of anthologies and at least one novel length venture.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (You know, STaLKeR links.)

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
Our Facebook Author Page, as of right now, is the best place to reach us.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks so much to the two of you for stopping by.  I have Fresh Meat and Widowmakers on my Kindle - I can't wait to read your stories in both.
            One more thing before you go: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason:
Check out our stuff.  We hope you dig it.  Our plan for world domination isn't complete, so join our wolf pack and reap the bloody glory.


About the authors:
Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza have been writing together since they were little girls.  Dubbed The Sisters of Slaughter by the editors of Fireside Press, they are constantly working together on new stories in the horror and dark fantasy genres.  Their work has been included in Wishful Thinking by Fireside Press; Widowmakers, a benefit anthology of dark fiction; and the Poetry Showcase Volume 1 put out by the HWA.  They were very excited to have a story chosen by Sinister Grin Press to be in their anthology called Fresh Meat.

2 comments:

Glenn Rolfe said...

Good stuff, ladies! Loved this interview. I have to find this Werewolf vs the pervert story! And the toddler one sounds great. :)
Thanks for the shout-out.
Aarrroooo!
-Glenn

John Collins said...

Great interview! A toddler werewolf? Why am I not surprised! �� keep up the bloody good work!