Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Gal's 62 Days of Horror Day 8: AMONG THE STACKS: Amber Fallon


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hey, Amber.  Welcome to The Gal.  Thanks for joining us here on the EIGHTH day of The Gal's 62 Days of Horror.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Amber Fallon:
I love to cook (and eat!) and I write horror.  I also love dogs, glittery nail polish, sharpies and colored pencils, ball bearings, action figures, sushi, cheese, and bats.  Oh, and I collect medieval weaponry, with a fondness for maces.

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

Amber Fallon:
I'm a cancer survivor (2x!).  I was born on the day Edgar Allan Poe died.  I'm a second generation American.  I'm a proud gun owner.  I hate bananas.

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

Amber Fallon:
Inherit the Stars by James P. Hogan.

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

Amber Fallon:
The Terrible Thing That Happens by Carlton Mellick III.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn't expect you to have liked?

Amber Fallon:
Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson.

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

Amber Fallon:
As a kid, the thing I was most afraid of was the concept of infinity (parallel dimensions in particular). Writing was a way for me to tack down a piece of that infinity and claim it for my own.  I wrote my first horror story at age 9.  It was called "Kids in a Candy Shop" and it won an award at the local literary fair.

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

Amber Fallon:
Anywhere and everywhere, although I prefer to be snuggled up on the couch with my dog and a blanket, typing away on my laptop with a glass of bourbon.

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

Amber Fallon:
Not really?  I just do it.  Paper and pens/pencils/crayons (although my handwriting is atrocious so typing is preferred) or even on my phone if nothing else is handy.

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

Amber Fallon:
Linear progression can be tough for me.  I like to write all of the action sequences first and then kind of chain them all together later.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the most satisfying thing you've written so far?

Amber Fallon:
My debut novella, The Terminal.

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

Amber Fallon:
The Clickers series.  Guy N. Smith.  The Borderlands series.  Thomas F. Monteleone inspired me, but not exactly my style.  Brian Keene.  J.F. Gonzalez.  David Robbins.  Michael Slade.  Piers Anthony.


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

Amber Fallon:
Something relatable.  Even in a story about aliens or mutant lobsters or spiders from outer space, there has to be SOMETHING readers can relate to.

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?

Amber Fallon:
I love characters that are either reflections of myself or images of something I'd like to be.  I try to make at least some of my characters out of that mold, have them carry a bit of who I am in their pockets, along with a whiff of who I'd like to be someday.

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

Amber Fallon:
While there's a lot of me in Dirk Bradley, the protagonist from The Terminal, there's even more of me in a character from a book that hasn't been finished yet.  Hopefully you'll meet her at some point.

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?

Amber Fallon:
That depends on your definition of 'bad.'  Unskilled?  Poorly executed?  Badly designed, cluttered, or overly complicated?  Absolutely.  A design or artwork I don't particularly like?  Maybe.

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

Amber Fallon:
That patience is everything, and dedication is twice that.

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

Amber Fallon:
Oh, no!  How to answer this without spoilers?  Killing a particular character was brutally hard for me, even though it wasn't a main character.  It took a lot for me to do that.  I lost sleep over it and eventually started a sequel because I felt so guilty.  Seriously.

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

Amber Fallon:
I like to hope that I put my own unique spin on things, my own twists on action, gore, pulp, blood and guts, and bizarro... so I'd say it's my voice that makes my work stand out.  At least I hope it does.

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)?

Amber Fallon:
Titles ARE important, very much so.  Honestly, the title is almost always my starting point.  Titles come to me and the story follows.

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

Amber Fallon:
Writing a novel makes me feel more fulfilled simply beaus it takes a lot more effort for me.  Writing a short story is like watching an episode of a TV show, whereas a novel is more like a full length movie, if that makes sense.

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.

Amber Fallon:
I write what I like to read, which is (for the most part) cheesy, pulpy, monster-filled action/adventure stories.  Anyone who enjoys that sort of thing is my target audience.  I learned long ago that you can't assume who reads something conforms to any kind of stereotype.  I'd like readers to enjoy themselves, get away from their day-to-day lives for a bit and lose themselves in a story.

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

Amber Fallon:
I try to trim what's necessary to cut, usually that's stuff that doesn't really add to the story.  I tend to cut dialogue that doesn't do much for the progression of the action, meaningless violence (some of it, anyway...) and anything that takes away from what I'm trying to convey.

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?)

Amber Fallon:
There's a novel I've been working on longer than anything else in my trunk.  It's mostly just outline at this point, but that's only because it's waiting... waiting for my skills to be at the right level to do it justice, waiting for the time to be right...

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

Amber Fallon:
More gore!  More pulp!  More action!  And maybe something completely strange...

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

Amber Fallon:
My website is the best place.  You can also find me on Twitter or on Instagram.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks for stopping by, Amber.  I'm going to have to get my hands on that novella.  It sounds great.
            One last thing: 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?

Amber Fallon:
Nope!  I think you did a great job with your questions!  This was a super fun and super interesting experience!


About the author:
Amber Fallon, formerly known as Alyn Day, lives in a small town outside Boston, Massachusetts that she shares with her husband and their two dogs.  A techie by day and a horror writer by night, Mrs. Fallon has also spent time as a bank manager, motivational speaker, produce wrangler, and apprentice butcher.  Her obsessions with sushi, glittery nail polish, and sharp objects have made her a recognized figure around the community.
            Amber's publications include The Terminal, So Long and Thanks for All the Brains, Daily Frights 2012, Women of the Living Dead, Zombie Tales, Here Be Clowns, Horror on the Installment Plan, Zombies for a Cure, Quick Bites of Flesh, Daily Frights 2013, Mirror Mirror, Operation Ice BatPainted Mayhem, and Return to Deathlehem.
            For more information, please tweet or visit her blog and listen to her podcast, It Cooks, on Project iRadio!

About the book:
Air travel during the holiday season.  Yuck.  Stupid people, flight delays, and long lines at security are pretty much the worst things ever - or so Dirk Bradley thought until a horde of bloodthirsty psychopaths from beyond the stars invaded the airport, cutting a swath of death and destruction through everything he knew and loved.  Can he survive the attack and live to tell the tale?  What hope does an average Joe have against a race of brutal killers bent on world domination?
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