Last week I put a call out asking women writers of horror to touch base with me about a new series I’m adding here on the blog. Very quickly, I received five enthusiastic responses. Amy Lukavics, gotta love her first name, is a huge fan of horror. I love her enthusiasm about our blog and she seems like a gem! Her novel, DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS, is soon to be published with Harlequin Teen. Check it out on Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18748653-daughters-unto-devils
Thanks to Amy for allowing us into her mind and sharing her love of horror with us:) And please, show her some love on social media:
Personal blog: http://moonbeams-and-ink-stains.tumblr.com/
YA Highway: http://www.yahighway.com
Interview with Amy Lukavics
1) What does the word “horror” mean to you?
I think one of the greatest things about horror is that it has different meanings for everybody. To me, the word could mean a few different things—from stories that awaken horrifying realizations in us about humanity and the real world, to the horrified reactions of seeing something sinister and/or not of this world within such a tale. They really go hand-in-hand quite beautifully, and to me, capturing the true essence of horror is all about finding a proper balance between the two.
2.) Why write horror? What draws you to writing in this genre?
I’m not sure what it is about scary stories that totally caught my attention, even as a younger kid. I couldn’t get enough, between the Goosebumps and Fear Street series, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Tales from the Darkside, endless movie marathons, and of course Stephen King.
As simple as it sounds, I strive to write the type of stories that I’d want to read. Anything that explores the cob-webbed corners of the human mind (and the darkness within) is my cup of tea!
3.)What reactions have you received after telling people that you are a writer of horror? Any interesting anecdotes to share?
Just like any other genre, horror isn’t for everybody. Some people would rather read about happier things, or get uncomfortably scared at the creep factor present in certain types of horror (like ghosts or demonic possession,) or are simply squeamish when it comes to blood or any level of violence/terror. I can’t blame them for it; to each their own. The reactions I receive when I tell people I write horror range from awkward head nods to smiles and genuine interest.
The thing I do wish everyone could acknowledge, though, is that while horror stories may not be for everybody, they’re still hugely important/reflective in the same way that other stories are. Too often, dark/disturbing stories are written off as trash or as things that exist purely for empty shock factor, and fans of horror are labeled as ‘sick in the head’ or ‘weird.’
It’s understandable, but only to a point, and after that, it gets old real fast. There are many valuable things that fear can teach us, about each other and about ourselves, and there’s no shame in exploring that.
4.) I always tell the traumatic story of my first viewing of Poltergeist when I was in third grade and how it scarred me for years. Do you have any stories of fears to share? This has been a huge topic on our blog.
Ah, absolutely! There are quite a few horror films that I watched as a (probably too) young child, both alone and with friends. The first time I tried to watch Tremors, I had to turn it off after the part where the woman in the car is pulled beneath the ground because I thought my heart was going to explode from the fear.
Another movie that positively scarred me for life was The Exorcist—I saw it at age six or seven and definitely wasn’t prepared for what was in store. At the time I was attending a Baptist elementary school, so certain elements of it were especially terrifying. I was convinced that seeing the movie/thinking about it had opened the door for the devil to possess me, just like Regan.
5.) What is your favorite horror novel? Horror movie? Why?
Without a doubt, my favorite horror novel is Pet Sematary by Stephen King. I first read it in middle school after seeing the movie, and was even more scared of the book. It was also one of the first adult horror books I’d read all the way through (Carrie was the first,) so I suppose nostalgia plays a bit of a role there.
Choosing a favorite horror movie feels impossible to me, oddly enough. There are many.
6.) Where do you get your inspiration from?
Living life, liking and disliking things, observing and contemplating human behavior. Books, movies, TV shows, video games, music, cooking, crafting, pretty much anything that allows me to relax my mind and while still engaging.
7.) We love music here at The Midnight Society, especially when it helps us to write creepy stories. Any songs or playlists you can share that have inspired your writing?
I am a big fan of soundtracks. If I’m editing, I’ll go with something emotional, like the tracks from The Hours or Pan’s Labyrinth. If I’m drafting a creepy scene or chapter, I’ll try to find albums that indulge that scary atmosphere, so the soundtracks for Alien or Sleepy Hollow or Drag Me To Hell are a few examples of what I might reach for.
8.) Any writing tips you can share with us?
Don’t stop, unless it’s not fun, in which case, write something else until it is fun. Do it your way and don’t feel pressured to follow the habits of other writers. What works for some might not work for all.
9.) Add anything else you feel is important to your writing, reading, and other experiences:)
Honestly, I can’t think of anything specific right now—this was such a great interview! Thank you so much to The Midnight Society for having me.