Are you ready for Halloween? After reading Buried Desires you will be, I can guarantee that. Today Amy Spector and Ofelia Gränd release their new book with not one, but two horror stories. And creepy they are. To promote the new book, they did a joint interview! Of course, the lovely ladies also included a giveaway! Get ready for Buried Desires.
– Ofelia, Amy, you each wrote a story for Buried Desires. Can you tell us how Buried Desires came about?
Ofelia: Ask Amy, it was her idea, I just tagged along for the ride. LOL
Amy: At the end of July, I started playing with an idea for a horror story and thought it would be fun to put together more of a group thing.
So, I was talking to the lovely and talented Al Stewart about my idea. I was throwing out author names, possible people I could approach for the project when he told me that I needed to ask Ofelia Gränd.
I didn’t know Ofelia, not really, but had seen her around online and had read a shifter story she contributed to the Goodreads’ Love is an Open Road event that I had thought was amazing. When Al sent me a link to a horror flash fiction that Ofelia had written, I was blown away. She was just the right kind of crazy for a project like this.
I asked and she, to my absolute delight, agreed.
After that, I approached the writer/editor Debbie McGowan with Beaten Track Publishing with the idea. Both Ofelia and I had worked with her in the past, and she is a wonderful editor with a great deal of respect for the writers’ vision. She instantly agreed.
– Tell us, where did the inspiration for your stories came about?
Amy: I am a huge fan of horror movies. Growing up my parents fed me a steady diet of classic horror films. Not the modern ‘chop you up stuff’ all my friends were watching but old school 40’s and 50’s monster movies, with their Gothic castles and atmosphere. I discovered the 60’s and 70’s horror, the sometimes more racy stuff, as a teenager on my own.
I didn’t actually see Halloween until almost ten years ago. I didn’t see the first Friday the 13th until a couple of days ago. LOL
For me, the story was inspired by my love of all those horror films that first had me falling in love with the genre.
Ofelia: Unlike Amy I’m a total scardy cat. I don’t watch horror movies, and I hardly ever read any horror book either. I like the books far more than the movies, though. That being said, I really enjoy writing about disturbing stuff. I like to creep myself out, so that’s what I did writing this story, and I must say I haven’t had this much fun writing in ages.
– Buried Desires is just in time for Halloween. What are your plans for Halloween? Do you do anything special?
Amy: It is my favourite holiday. It takes over my house for the entire month of October. If I had my way, it would take over somewhere around the end of July. My husband tries his best to keep me in check.
It is a little different now that I have children. Still, I decorate inside and out, and on a good year manage to watch a horror film every night. I will certainly be dragging my children out to trick-or-treat until they are begging to go home.
I have a friend whose father does horror special effects for movies. On a really good year, we make it to his family’s yearly Halloween party.
Ofelia: See this is where I envy Amy. In Sweden we don’t celebrate Halloween, there’s no trick-or-treat, no decorations to speak of, and no tradition what so ever. The old folks are horrified by “the Americanisation” that sweeps over the country when the kids are arranging Halloween parties. The extent of my plans consist of my son going to a Halloween party with his classmates (it’s his first year in school, and his first Halloween party, so he’s really excited.)
We celebrate All Saints’ Day here, or celebrate would be to take it a bit too far, old people (and my mother) light candles on the graveyards on All Saint’s Day—that’s about it. Sorry, for being so boring.
– So Ofelia, David – your main character – has an obsession with sugar. He meets Jett, a pastry chef. It sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale. What makes your story so scary?
Yes! A match made in heaven, is it not? The scary for me isn’t that David’s obsession with sugar is…shall we say somewhat unhealthy, or that Jett seems a bit unpredictable in his wants, it is that what I’ve written could happen in real life. Maybe not exactly the way it does in my story, but do you ever really know a person? Do you know what they keep in their root cellars or their locked rooms? Do you know your neighbour? The friendly guy you wave at in the morning? The happy-looking woman across the street? Normal-looking people can hide the worst secrets and you may never suspect a thing.
– Amy, a question for you. Vic is an, let’s say, unusual character. Especially what he keeps in the basement. Can you share with us how his character came about? Without giving too much away from the story, of course!
Vic existed from the very first. The mysterious love interest. He was not exactly the man we have today, though. The story was different (very), and Vic was in that state of evolution characters sometimes are in the very beginning.
I think this Vic was born a few days into writing when I realized the reason our narrator Christopher had been hospitalized. It was like a lightning bolt, and I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t realized it all long.
– For each of you, what is the scariest story you ever read?
Ofelia: I don’t know…as I said above scary for me is when normal people do stuff you never thought them capable of. I don’t remember how old I was the first time I read Lord of the Flies by William Golding, but that book scared me. I remember thinking “would I act that way in that situation” certain I would not, but you never really know, do you?
But to mention some Swedish horror I loved John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In which is about vampires in Stockholm. It’s dark and gritty—no sparkly vamps here!
Amy: Scariest? I’m not sure I have an answer for that. I don’t normally find things scary. I may have built up a tolerance.
I do agree with Ofelia, though. It is the stuff that can happen; that does happen, that I find myself thinking about days later.
I will say that I think Shirley Jackson is amazing. Fifty-five years since it was published and I think her Haunting of Hill House is still the perfect paranormal tale. The creepy atmosphere and build up to terror is just amazing.
– So did you do a lot of research for your stories? If so, what was the weirdest thing you found?
Amy: I did a bit of research, yes. I now know more about decomposition than any sane person should.
I think the weirdest thing I found was that necrophilia is legal in the state of Louisiana. Or, at least, was still legal last year.
Still, really? Do you need a law against that sort of thing? Isn’t that just something we would naturally shy away from? LOL
Ofelia: I would’ve loved to see the look on your face when you read that! LOL
I didn’t do a lot of research for this story, a little on starvation, but I didn’t really come across anything weird. When someone mention research I always think “I don’t do that,” but that’s not entirely true. I’m googling as I write, but I don’t sit down before hand to do research. That’s probably why I’ve never written a historical story—imagine the research I would have to do.
– Buried Desires includes a special treat. The book comes with links to a hidden chapter. Tell us a bit about that
Amy: I am a huge fan of writing supporting characters. I think you learn a good deal about the main characters through their relationships and interaction with other people.
One of the nice things about being the author is that I already know the back story of everyone on the page. Sometimes I even know their future.
There was enough curiosity about one of the third tier characters from each of my beta readers that, when Ofelia mentioned linking to a “Hidden Chapter” short story, I was on board with the idea. I knew instantly that the story needed to be about this throwaway character.
Ofelia: I got the first draft for Deadly Sugar down in just a few days. I’m the queen of crappy first drafts, my struggle comes when it’s time to do the real work and clean up what I’ve written. But as I typed The End I felt that it wasn’t the end, not really. So even before I talked to Amy about doing a “Hidden Chapter” I knew what I wanted to continue the story. Funny thing is that as I typed The End on the Deadly Secrets – A Hidden Chapter I had the same feeling.
Amy: See, this is where Ofelia is wrong. We would sometimes share little excerpts as we went. This is the first draft stuff we’re talking about. Her writing is brilliant right from the start.
– Ofelia, Jett might be a pastry chef, but what makes him the perfect character for a horror story?
Is he the perfect character? I think what made me write Jett is that he could be anybody, not that there are that many pastry chefs walking around, but we’ve all had our hearts broken and we’ve all had to make hard decisions. Jett leaves his partner, even though he loves him, because their relationship isn’t going anywhere. Jett wants a house and a family, but somewhere in his attempts to make a better life for himself he ends up in a situation far worse than he could imagine. But Jett is also the perfect example of how people aren’t always what they first seem to be.
– Amy, your story is every bit as creepy as Ofelia’s, but do you say Cold Fingers has a happy ending?
Really? I thought Ofelia’s world’s creepier than my own! I still desperately want to fly to Sweden and weigh her entire family. LOL
To answer your question, I’d say yes! I think Cold Fingers has a lovely HEA myself.
– Again a question for each of you. Did you find it hard to write a horror story?
Ofelia: I don’t know if hard is the word I’d use. For me there was quite a lot of uncertainty about what horror really is. As I said, I’m not a great horror fan, and even though I’ve read a few horror novels, seen the occasional horror movie, and went to few lectures about the horror genre when I was studying at the university I still felt unsure of what elements “should” be included in a horror story. In the end I just wrote. I loved writing it, but the best thing has been logging in to Goodreads every day and see what Amy and our fan boy (LOL) Al Stewart have been up to.
Amy: For me it was a bit of a dream come true. In a way, it came more easily than anything else I have written.
Like Ofelia, there was the questioning of whether I was taking the right path. Going in, going for Gothic horror over a more modern style of horror, I knew it wouldn’t be as “scary” as Ofelia was bound to make hers. I even flirted with the idea of going a little more brutal but chose to stay true to my vision.
I think in the end we both decided to stay true to ourselves, and I think Buried Desires is stronger for it.
Thank you for doing an interview about your upcoming release! Your story will be released on October 10 / is released today and available from:
About the authors
Gay fiction – sometimes with a sprinkle of romance, sometimes with a dash of horror, sometimes with a pinch of paranormal, and sometimes a mix of it all.
Ofelia Gränd is Swedish which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes contemporary and paranormal, and dreams about one day writing a post-apocalyptic story–if that ever happens we’ll see.
Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.
When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from husband and children she likes to take walks along the coastline and watch the sea. She’s recently discovered the miracle of podcasts and spends her strolls listen to wise people talk.
Amy Spector is new to writing and even newer to writing romance. She likes her stories to feature people who deserve a happy ending, and she tries her best to give them one. Admittedly, she likes to make them a little miserable first.
She lives in the Midwest United States with her husband, several rather noisy children and a dog named after her favorite horror movie actor of all time.