Today, I would like to welcome Rena Mason, an up and coming horror author soon to have her debut novel, The Evolutionist, released through Nightscape Press.
1. Tell me more about how you got started as a writer and who some of your literary inspirations have been?
When I was younger I wrote poetry and kept journals, but it wasn’t until several years ago that I actually got serious about writing stories. My mom had asked me a question about loss, and it really got me thinking. The only way I felt I could answer her question was through a story. As far as literary inspirations I’d have to say Poe, the Bronte sisters, Shirley Jackson, King, and Steinbeck.
2. What do you fear? Tell me about your own phobias.
I’m constantly changing, and so are my fears. I don’t tend to have very many, and moreover, I would call them things I dislike or are annoying rather than actual fears. Whenever I think I’m afraid of something, I expose myself to it in an attempt to overcome it. Like my issue with heights I resolved by bungee jumping out of a hot air balloon. It took a lot of peer pressure, but I finally did it, and learned the trick is not to look down, but straight out.
3. Tell me more about how you came to submit to Horror for Good – I understand that The Eyes Have It is your first published work?
Yes, The Eyes Have It is my first ever published work, and I’ll never get over the excitement of it being in the first volume of Horror for Good, and especially among the other phenomenal authors in the Table of Contents, which is probably why I hadn’t submitted it earlier on—I was intimidated. So, I decided to submit the story elsewhere, but a good friend encouraged me to send it to Horror for Good, and the rest is history. Nothing can describe the elation I felt when the story was accepted, and the nice comments the editors had to say about it.
4. Your story involves shadows that play a role in the proceedings – what is it about the shadow, both symbolic and literal, that makes us fear it?
Shadows are a constant part of our lives, the darker side of us we can visibly see that follows us everywhere, day and night. But what happens when they’re not there? I think that’s the mystique behind shadows. We wonder what dark things they do when they’re not following their objects. The options are endless.
5. Tales of revenge often feature in the horror genre – why do you think that is?
I think all people like to read about/see bad people get their comeuppance. It makes us feel there is some justice in the world.
6. Death, its meaning and what is waiting beyond the veil is also a subject frequently returned to by horror writers – why do you think is and do you have any firm opinions about what is there in the undiscovered country?
People love to wonder about the unknown, and it lends itself to being a wide open topic for interpretation. I have no idea what lies beyond the great expanse, but I honestly hope it involves a whole lot of doing nothing.
7. Your story begins in a corporate office setting – why do you think the sub-genre of corporate horror has become so popular in recent years?
The real scare for many people is being stuck in an office cubicle day in and day out for the rest of their lives. And with the economy the way it is, many people have had to return to this type of workplace which is such a microcosm of diverse employees, almost anything can happen, and usually does.
8. Can you tell me some about your novel, The Evolutionist?
It’s a suburban sci-fi/horror story about a Las Vegas woman plagued by gruesome nightmares she must decipher before they become reality.
It was also recently announced by Nightscape Press that they will be publishing it, and I can’t talk enough about how excited I am that my first novel has been accepted for publication.
9. So what is a typical writing day for Rena Mason?
Some days, I’ll rework three sentences over and over all day. Other times, I’ll knock out a chapter or two, then maybe outline a story that’s been making my brain itch, and set it aside to finish later. There are the rare days I do absolutely no writing, and instead take the time to read over other people’s work, but I’m always constantly thinking of where my latest characters are taking me.
10. So what does 2012 hold for Rena Mason? Any last words?
This year has been one of the greatest years of my life, so if the Mayans were right and our time is up in December, I’m good with it. I’ve been working on my next novel, and a few other short stories. I also plan on attending KillerCon in Las Vegas in September.
New writers shouldn’t be intimidated submitting to markets they think might be out of their league. Like I said before, I learned to keep my head up, and look straight out rather than down. Besides, what’s the worst thing they can say? “No.” And as new writers, we get used to rejection. It’s a part of the nature of the beast that is writing. It’s important to read a lot, write a lot, have your work looked over several times, rework it, and then when you think it’s ready to submit, hire an editor. It made all the difference in my recent success.
Thank you, Rena!
Horror for Good is available from the following links:
If you would like to find out more about Rena Mason, please visit her website here.