Friday, February 28, 2020


Lisamarie Lamb is my Woman In Horror today! Just take a peek at all the great books she has written as a stand alone author or as an author within anthologies at her Amazon Author Page.

Boggles the mind, and yet there are more great books on the way. Wow!

I was debating whether to put up a different picture of Lisamarie than the one on her Amazon page because that one doesn't show her face like the ones on her blog and Facebook pages do. But you can see her face in those other places. I think her Amazon photo shows her as a writer, doing her mastery on the keyboards. Good choice, Lisamarie!

I first got to know Lisamarie when Angelic Knight Press was doing our Satan's Toybox series. She is one of only a few authors who has stories in all three of the anthologies. That is quite an accomplishment considering the fine authors with tales in those tomes.

You will notice that Lisamarie is published with many different publishers. This says a lot for her skills at the craft. Having read many of her stories, I know why. She writes so well! It's that simple. She combines her horror with a reflective posturing, allowing the reader to be drawn in subtly, and then wham! The trap has been set and the reader cannot escape the majesty of her words. And I love her English styling and charm.

I firmly believe that good authors can write in any genre. Lisamarie takes this a step further and has a special placing for freelance writing where she has set rates and advertises she will write anything. That takes in a lot of territory. I am really impressed. If you go to the website, you will notice she has a 100% satisfaction rating.

Amazon bio:
"I'm a writer... At least, I write...
I was five when I wrote my first short story - it involved a car going over a cliff, Jessica Fletcher and the Phantom Raspberry Blower. It didn't have much of a plot (he did it, she solved it) but it did have rather colourful (crayon) illustrations and it did make me realise that writing was for me.

At 12 I wrote my first novel during the school summer holidays. Loosely based on the Famous Five, with a bit of James Bond thrown in, it was an adventure story and my teacher made me read some of it out in class. And that's when I realised that I wanted people to hear my stories and read my work.
Over the intervening years, I have written various short stories, plays, poems and novels in different genres, including romance and children's books."

One of my favorite books of Lisamarie's is this collection of short stories:

Book description:

Over the Bridge is a chilling collection of sixteen short tales exploring the darker side of human nature. Through employment of supernatural elements, folklore, and allusions to predestination, Lamb has crafted a provocative and refreshing collection of the macabre.

About the Author:
Lisamarie Lamb has been writing since her late teens and has produced short stories, plays, poems, and novels in different genres including romance and children's books. She lives on the Isle of Sheppey with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

Read the free samples on Amazon for any and all of Lisamarie's great books and find a new favorite author.

Lisamarie Lamb is indeed a Woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob

Thursday, February 27, 2020


Quinn Cullen is my Woman In Horror today! Quinn blends genres, combining horror, poetry, erotica, and paranormal romance.

Quinn is not only an author. She also edits and formats. And, all this is done in addition to a busy day job and working on a number of projects around the house.

I'm hoping that this is the year Quinn gets her novel published, as well as a novella she has been perfecting for a while now.

Quinn loves to spread the word about other authors. You can see that in the picture of her I have here where she is holding Heath Stallcup's book up.

 Quinn's Amazon Page bio:

"Quinn Cullen, Director of Romance at Visionary Press is a multi genre author. Her writing includes paranormal romance, erotica, horror and poetry. A long time New England resident, Quinn feels fortunate to be living in an area that affords her the privilege of all four seasons, enjoying the fringe benefits of the different climates that each one has to offer. In awe of its overwhelming brute force and mystique, Quinn's favorite place on this wonderful earth is by the ocean."

One of Quinn's super books:

Carnal Justice is a different kind of story about cannibalism. It adds erotica and justice to the mix. The tale goes along lines I never expected it to, which for me is always a grand thing. This is a super story at a wonderful price.

Book description:

No one helped Kate when she was young and vulnerable. Not one person was brought to justice for the crimes committed against her.

Molested and forced into cannibalism, years later, Kate, along with a few trusted friends, lend a new meaning to the word ‘justice.’ Thanks to Kate, pedophiles and rapists are tried, convicted, and executed, never escaping her ‘Carnal Justice.’

Quinn is an author to watch. With her skills at writing multiple genres, she is sure to capture many readers' attention. Keep your eyes peeled for more fantastic books from her!

Quinn Cullen is a Woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob

Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Blazing Owl Short Horror: Silver Lake Bloodfest is this week's stand alone short horror tale. It's perfect for a short read in your busy day's schedule. I suggest this one to read with your morning's coffee. It will jumpstart your day.

Night fishing, anyone? Keep an eye on the phase of the moon.

Blaze McRob

From Terri DelCampo

BLAZING OWL SHORT HORROR BY BLAZE MCROB offers lots of chills packed in a few pages that will sweep you into his bizarre and macabre world whenever you have a few minutes to read. Blaze is working on stories that will be released about once a week for months to come. Be on the lookout for them!


Susanne Leist is my woman In Horror today! I run into Susanne and her marvelous books in many places. She is a tireless worker and a wonderful supporter of other authors.

Susanne has a different approach to writing Vampire tales. I will present some highlights to that in the posts about her books below.

About Susanne Leist
"I have always loved to read. Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean, Robert Ludlum, and many other authors filled my young imagination with intrigue and mystery. When I wasn't reading late into the night, the TV shows--Murder She Wrote and Columbo--entertained me with tales of murder and suspense.

Over the years, my taste in TV expanded to include such shows as Supernatural and The Originals. I searched for paranormal, murder mysteries but found few at the library or bookstore. So, I wrote one.
The Dead Game, Book One of The Dead Game series, brings fantasy and the surreal to the classic murder mystery with dead bodies, suspects, and clues. It offers vampires, vampire derivatives, and a touch of romance to spice the motley mix.

The story continues in Book Two, Prey for The Dead, as The Dead vampires use an exclusive club in Disney World to infiltrate the rich and famous. As The Dead grow in power, not even the bright sunshine of Florida can weaken them. Linda, my main character, and her friends join forces with human vampires--known as hybrids--to defeat the evil threatening to control Oasis. A masquerade ball and a romp through the tunnels beneath the town lead to a showdown in the swamps of southern Florida.

A career in writing has been a big leap for me. Accustomed to the number-crunching field of budgeting and the hectic commodity markets, I left my first career and M.B.A. in Finance behind to pursue my dream. I do not regret my foray into literature for one moment. Fellow authors helped me make my way through the competitive field. I write every day and even tried my hand at poetry. If someone tells you it's too late in life to try something different, they are wrong. It is never too late to follow your heart."

Susanne's fantastic novels.

Linda Bennett moves from New York to Florida to live a quieter life. Life is peaceful until the dead body washes up onshore. Linda learns that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are typical for the coastal town.

Linda and her friends receive an invitation to a party at End House, a deserted house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The group arrives, but no one is there to greet them. The house has a sinister life of its own where horror follows their every step. Traps, illusions, and revolving rooms add to their growing fear. Wild animals escape their cages in the basement, a bloody skeleton sleeps in an upstairs' bedroom, and body parts fall from the chimney into the living room's fireplace. The young residents flee for their lives.

They embark on a difficult journey, not knowing whom to trust, to uncover the one controlling the evil game.

 Who are The Dead?

Are they humans or vampires?

Will Linda lose her heart to Todd, who knows more than he admits?
Will her best friend, Shana, fall in love with Sheriff Sam?

The Dead Game has begun.

Follow the adventure in Book Two, Prey for The Dead. Now Available.

Editorial Reviews

Do not turn off the lights.
Ted Top 1000 Reviewer
The author has crafted herself a town that is bipolar in its nature. By day it pretends to be a bright seaside destination where youth collects to begin their adult lives; make friends, start businesses and parties. By night, the town closes ranks to all newbies and becomes a creepy destination for elites to ply their generational customs that include preying on the innocent. Linda and her friends will experience horror, shock, and disbelief as they attempt to get to the bottom of the macabre events in one of the historical mansions. The mansion was my favorite part as all senses of reality disappeared upon entering.
The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is a mysterious supernatural thriller with plenty of twists and turns that is well-written and keeps you turning the page. From the first page you start a wild ride and just when you think all is well, she throws in another twist. 
Rhonda Cratty, Parenting & Education Examiner

I was absolutely surprised by this book! I knew it had some enigmatic mystery and some dark action, but the author set up the story so well I was happily amazed. It starts with a very engaging character, a young woman who is very well portrayed in a community, Oasis, Florida. The town's mysteries are maze-like and become deeper and more sinister as the book progresses. This is a very original approach to the concept of vampires and their existence.
Ray Miller "Relevant Reviewer"

The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is a top-notch haunted house horror thriller. The author excels at spooky descriptions, terrifying scenarios like opening a door and stepping into a black abyss or forever trapped in a dark maze with endless rooms stretching into infinity. Her characters are perfect and the reader can easily connect with them.
Simon Okill, Simon's Phantom Blog

A beachfront town, a haunted mansion, people disappearing or turning up dead--these are the elements of gothic horror, but this unique novel has a more than a few twists. The writing is first-rate, and the pace is fast. The characters are well-defined, and the plot is imaginative and unpredictable...
Howard Lipman, pen name PanOrpheus, author

Susanne's take on vampires is fresh and new but you'll have to read to know. She takes the age-old vampire legend and turns it into something I've never read before...
Elle Klass, Author of As Snow Falls

From the Author
Nothing can be as fine
as the dear book of mine.
It might not be sold in a big bookstore,
but you will not find one to offer more.
It was created with much love and hope,
even though it wasn't blessed by a Pope.
It has my blood, sweat, and tears.
Might raise many of your fears.
It has action, murder, and romance.
It can even do a little dance.
Please try it, and you'll see
it has the best of me.

Linda Bennett's dreams of happiness have always eluded her. Five years ago, she moved to Florida from New York to escape heartache. The Dead, an evil group of vampires, had ruined any hope of peace for her and her friends. Surrounded by vampires and human vampires, Linda finds solace in her bookstore, learning to live among vamps and hybrids. Then one morning, Oasis goes dark, and an explosion rocks her shop and any future dreams for a happy ending.

Linda and her friends race to where lightning converges on a sinkhole in an isolated spot behind the town. As vampires and hybrids try to save the vampire hunter and vamp trapped beneath Oasis, a witch's spell throws the residents back in time. 

When evidence emerges of The Dead's return to Oasis, Linda and her best friend, Shana, join vamps and hybrids on their search for The Dead. At an exclusive club in Disney World, they pose as the trophy wives of the hybrids, Todd and Sheriff Sam. Death and mayhem follow their every step. A romp through the tunnels beneath Oasis leads to a showdown in the swamps of Florida.
Can Oasis survive the battle between good and evil?

Will Linda find her happy ending?

Editorial Reviews
"Set five years after the events in Leist's (The Dead Game, 2013) previous novel, this sequel aims to expand on the threat of Wolf and explore romance among the vamps. Readers will also enjoy a touch of mystery when they discover that Wolf's spirit has migrated into a new body... The Florida coast is beautifully evoked by water that "shimmered in alternating shades of azure and cerulean blue" and "the scent of zinnias and lavender" that "permeated the gentle wind." Most of the violence isn't the traditional vampire neck biting but more in tune with battlefield carnage ("A body hung from the chandelier--a headless form--still wearing his shirt and pants, now saturated with blood")." -- Kirkus Reviews

About the Author
I have always loved to read. Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean, Robert Ludlum, and many other authors filled my young imagination with intrigue and mystery. When I wasn't reading late into the night, the TV shows--Murder She Wrote and Columbo--entertained me with tales of murder and suspense.

Over the years, my taste in TV expanded to include such shows as Supernatural and The Originals. I searched for paranormal, murder mysteries but found few at the library or bookstore. So, I wrote one.
The Dead Game, Book One of The Dead Game series, brings fantasy and the surreal to the classic murder mystery with dead bodies, suspects, and clues. It offers vampires, vampire derivatives, and a touch of romance to spice the motley mix.
The story continues in Book Two, Prey for The Dead, as The Dead vampires use an exclusive club in Disney World to infiltrate the rich and famous. As The Dead grow in power, not even the bright sunshine of Florida can weaken them. Linda, my main character, and her friends join forces with human vampires--known as hybrids--to defeat the evil threatening to control Oasis. A masquerade ball and a romp through the tunnels beneath the town lead to a showdown in the swamps of southern Florida.

A career in writing has been a big leap for me. Accustomed to the number-crunching field of budgeting and the hectic commodity markets, I left my first career and M.B.A. in Finance behind to pursue my dream. I do not regret my foray into literature for one moment. Fellow authors helped me make my way through the competitive field. I write every day and even tried my hand at poetry. If someone tells you it's too late in life to try something different, they are wrong. It is never too late to follow your heart.

I'm certain that Susanne has more great tales to come. Susanne Leist is indeed a Woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Rebecca Besser - Woman In Horror

Rebecca Besser is my Woman In Horror today! Not only is she a fantastic author, but she is a great editor as well. I have a lot of links above, and all of them show bits and pieces of the fascinating woman that Rebecca is. I especially like the way her books pop out at you on Very classy. Her Facebook  page is cheery and informative. She has definitely given a lot of thought and work into presenting herself well. That's the sign of a true professional.

 Find a lot of information about her books on her Amazon bio:

About Rebecca Besser
I'm the author of "Undead Drive-Thru, Undead Regeneration, Cursed Bounty, Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death, Hall of Twelve," and "Nurse Blood (Limitless Publishing)." I'm also a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature. My work has appeared in the Coshocton Tribune, Irish Story Playhouse, Spaceports & Spidersilk, joyful!, Soft Whispers, Illuminata, Common Threads, Golden Visions Magazine, Stories That Lift, Super Teacher Worksheets, Living Dead Press Presents Magazine (Iss. 1 & 2), FrightFest eMagazine, An Xmas Charity Ebook, The Stray Branch, and The Undead That Saved Christmas (Vol. 1 & 2) and the Signals From The Void charity anthologies. I have multiple stories in anthologies by Living Dead Press, Wicked East Press, Pill Hill Press, Hidden Thoughts Press, Knight Watch Press, Coscom Entertainment, Crowded Quarantine Publications, and Collaboration of the Dead (projects), and one (each) in an anthology by Post Mortem Press, NorGus Press, Evil Jester Press, Horrified Press, Atria Books (S&S Digital), and Nocturnal Press Publications. I also have a poem in an anthology by Naked Snake Press and a children's poem in Oxford Ink Literature Reader 4 from Oxford University Press (India).

My nonfiction children's article about skydiving, written for my writing course with the Institute of Children's Literature, was published by McGraw Hill for NY Assessments.

I'm also an editor and have edited: Dark Dreams: Tales of Terror, Dead Worlds 7: Undead Stories, and Book of Cannibals 2: The Hunger from Living Dead Press; Earth's End from Wicked East Press; End of Days: An Apocalyptic Anthology (Vol. 4 & 5/co-edited) from Living Dead Press; and I've co-editing Feast or Famine (a zombie anthology).

When I'm not busy writing and/or editing, I'm formatting book covers, building/maintaining websites, and writing book reviews.

For more information, visit my website:

Nurse Blood, by Rebecca Besser, is waiting for you. This is a fantastic mystery, suspense, medical, crime thriller. Ahah! I bet I have your interest now. Rebecca is a great author and comes up with super on the edge of your seat tales. I recommend this novel highly!
Blaze McRob

Book description:

 Sonya Garret roams the bar scene hoping to steal the heart of an unsuspecting victim—literally…

Sonya, better known as Nurse Blood, is part of a team of lethal organ harvesters who seek out the weak to seduce, kill, and part out for profit on the black market. When Sonya meets Daniel McCoy, a young man recovering from a broken engagement, he’s just another kill to line her pockets with quick cash.

Agent David McCoy vows to find out how and why his twin brother Daniel disappeared…
Daniel’s body hasn’t been found, and the leads are slim to none, but it won’t stop David from dedicating his life to solving his brother’s case. When the evidence finally uncovers the shocking truth that Daniel’s disappearance is linked to organ harvesters, David knows his brother is most likely dead. But he’s determined to stop the villains’ killing spree before they strike again.
One last harvest is all Sonya and her team need to put their murderous past behind them…

A family with the rarest blood type in the world is the only thing standing between Sonya and retirement. David McCoy and the FBI are hot on their trail, though, and multiple targets make this the most complicated harvest yet. Will David unravel Sonya’s wicked plans in time to avenge his brother and save an innocent family? Or will Sonya cash in her final kill and escape for good?
Murder for profit stops for no man when you’re Nurse Blood.

Another great book is Re-Civilize: Chad

Book description:

Chad hates everything about life. He hates his sister for being a brat, his parents for being in denial and pretending life is perfect, and the world he lives in for the adherence to social pressures and norms. He wants it all to go away.

When the zombie apocalypse wipes out the world he’s used to, he’s left alone…and bitten. He’s sure he’ll die and become one of the undead. Instead, he becomes severely sick and recovers…still fully human.

Believing he can’t be the only exception, the only one immune to the zpoc virus, Chad goes out into the world to find others like himself. Once he does, he’s sucked into a plan to re-civilize for the good of all the survivors.

Chad and the other exceptions are expected to protect and provide for the weak and vulnerable survivors. He’s not sure he wants to take on the role expected of him in the new society, but he knows that if he refuses the survivors will die.

The fate of the human race weighs heavily on Chad’s young shoulders and he has to make a decision that he can live with in the new, re-civilized world.

These are only two of the many great books Rebecca has to offer you. Most certainly, Rebecca Besser is a Woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob 

Monday, February 24, 2020


Jo-Anne Russell is my Woman In Horror today! Jo-Anne writes, edits, formats, does art, and publishes horror. She is a busy lady for sure. I had the honor of working with her on the edits for Morbid Metamorphosis, a great horror anthology that was her Press' first published tome when she was at the helm of Lycan Valley Press. It received super reviews. It was a great experience for me. Jo-Anne picked some great authors for this anthology, and I merely made a few suggestions here and there.

At the present time, Jo-Anne is running Dead Light Publishing. I'm expecting some great things there! Check the links above.

Jo-Anne Russell is a dark fiction writer, a member of the Horror Writer's Association, the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Edmonton Arts Counsel. Her work can be found in a multitude of anthologies, and as standalone stories. Her debut novel The Nightmare Project was republished a couple years ago, and Book 2 will follow. She is a wife, mother of eight children, has numerous pets, and is legally blind.

She has a taste for the macabre and bizarre. Jo-Anne says, "My Great Grandmother purchased a casket and kept it in her basement before I was born. I remember playing around it and asking her questions about it and death in general from the time I was very young. She was blatantly honest in her answers. I have always been very curious."

Her Amazon bio:

About Jo-Anne Russell

Jo-Anne Russell is a horror writer, and publisher, living in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Her stories have appeared in anthologies by Brazen Snake Books, Static Movement, Wicked East Press, and Hidden Thoughts Press, just to name a few.
Her taste for the macabre has provided her imagination with a feast that fuels her writing and creativity. If you like horror, the bizarre, or you just don't like to sleep at night, give her books and short stories a try.
Her debut novel The Nightmare Project is the first in the shocking trilogy called Dangerous Minds, and is now available.
One of Jo-Anne's fantastic books:

Jo-Anne's great novel!

Book description:

Julia Montgomery, a mother of two finds herself in a tug of war between the living and the dead when the asylum where she resides places her in an experimental therapy pilot program called The Nightmare Project.

Make sure you check out Jo-Anne's other great books!

As you can see, Jo-Anne Russell is a Woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob

Sunday, February 23, 2020


Mary Ann Peden-Coviello is my Woman In Horror today! Mary Ann is really coming into her own with some great stories. She wished to do an interview with me, poor lass. I made sure to ask her questions that would let the whole world know about the charming lady she is and to get to the heart of why she writes what she does and where readers can find her tales. She did tell me that I asked her some tough questions. Wow! Me? Okay. So I did. Damn me anyway. Read this interview and see what I'm talking about. You will be impressed with Mary Ann. She is a great person as well as a fantastic author and editor.

This interview was done a couple years ago but is still relevant.

Blaze McRob

Mary Ann Peden-Coviello Woman In Horror

It's such a pleasure to have you here, Mary Ann. Before we get started with our interview, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm a wife (one man/nearly 41 years), mother (2 sons, one almost-son, one amazing daughter-in-law), pet-Mama (adorable pit bull-mix) and pet-Gramma (one dog, two cats). I hate housework, like to cook, can lose myself in a book or a film till I forget who and where I am, and love grammar and playing with sentence structure more than might be healthy.

Thank you. Now it's time for some Q&A fun!

Q. Humor is a big part of who you are, I believe. Do you have any tricks in staying in this fun zone?

A. I wish I could tell you. Humour (yeah, I use too many British spellings for an American broad) has always been my fallback, my default setting. I once cracked up an entire operating room when I was about to go under anesthesia in a life-threatening situation. Later, the surgeon told me he'd never had a patient crack wise under those conditions. It's just something I do. One of my sons told me he'd know I'd died when I stopped being a wiseass.

Q. In addition to humor, you also manage to blend horror, the paranormal, and thrillers into your tales. Quite an accomplishment. This must certainly take some work.

A. I don't so much blend them as write all those genres. I do blend paranormal and thriller genres because they seem to go together nicely. I suppose you could say I write thrillers that involve not-so-human characters. And horror and humour go together well, I think. First you crank up the emotions and the fear. Then you throw in a little wordplay or a funny moment and you pop the tension – only to ramp it back up again.

Q. You have a great little tale in Write Her Story, the brainchild of Nina D'Arcangela. Could you tell us about the story you wrote?

A. Thanks. I like that little story. It's a succubus tale, told from her point-of-view. I did a little misdirection there, too, leading the reader to think it was going to be a vampire story and then switching to the lesser-known succubus. In this story, "How Do I Love Thee," the succubus is watching her victim sleep just before she takes his soul. She doesn't really want to, but she must because it's what she is. Even so, she can't bring herself to look at her handiwork. So you can have some pity for her, even as you shudder at what she's done.

Q. You share a lot about other authors. You haven't missed a beat this Women In Horror Month. My congratulations to you for being such a supportive soul.

A. Thanks. I like to support other writers. We're in this together. I don't understand the idea some seem to have that attention is finite, that if I share another writer's book, I'll lose a customer for my own. I see a reluctance, sometimes, to share or promote other writers' work. I'm not sure people are even aware of it. I just see who shares and who doesn't. That said, sometimes we think our work isn't shared because we look only on one platform (say, Facebook), and then we miss the shares on another (say, Twitter).

Q. Sirens Call Publications has your story Daddy's Little Girl in the special Women In Horror issue. This is another feather in your cap. Could you tell the folks where you got the idea for this great tale?

A. I love "Daddy's Little Girl." I really do. Usually, I'm using horror to talk about something else. For example, my story in Fright Mare – Women Write Horror, "One Hour Before the Dawn," is about the love of a mother for her children, even in unimaginably horrible circumstances. "Daddy's Little Girl" is just straight "Can I creep you out?" It was inspired by a commercial for a home security system. You might have seen it. A little girl goes to her daddy, scared. He shows her their security, and then he says, "Not on my watch." The story, with all its monster-under-the-bed twists, sprang into my head the first time I saw that commercial. There's a new version of this commercial on the air now, I think, but my inspiration was a commercial from a couple of years ago.

Q. I ran across an article of yours about writing in 1st person. I love 1st person tale-telling. You made some excellent points. This POV style is not for everyone.

A. I love writing in 1st person. I love the challenge. No, it's not for everyone, mainly because it's so difficult to keep in mind that the 1st person narrator cannot know – and tell the reader – things he/she cannot see, hear, or infer. It's a limiting style, but it's fun because you can surprise the reader in ways you might not be able to do with 3rd person narration – because the narrator him/herself can be surprised in that same way and in that same moment. I've seen comments – and even gotten them from writing teachers – about how "I will never read 1st person. It's lazy." I say if you skip 1st person just because it's 1st person, you're missing a lot of great stories. Done right, it's the last thing from lazy. Done wrong, well, that writer is going to be doing a lot of things wrong, not just the POV. You do have to create a character readers will find interesting enough to want to spend time in his/her head, too, because there's no real break.

Q. You have a story in the anthology Fright Mare, which just so happens to have made the final five for the Stokers. Could you tell us about your tale? Also, are you stoked about the Stokers or do you see awards as a sort of added extra to writing? Yes, that's certainly not the easiest question to answer.

A. I am so totally stoked about the Stokers. And in this case, I can truly say without the tiniest hint of irony, deflection, or dissemblance that it is an honour to be nominated. Billie Sue Mosiman did a splendid job choosing some lovely, dark, and frightening stories for this anthology. You never want to write with an eye toward getting an award, I think. But being nominated is brilliant. About my story: Set in my hometown, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, "One Hour Before the Dark" tells of the beginning of a zombie outbreak through the eyes of a young widow who's becoming a zombie. She's desperately, alongside her dog who's also rapidly zombifying, trying to get her unbitten children to a pickup point where they might be taken to safety. She succeeds, just as she and her dog succumb. The story is told in 1st person, but the narrator isn't at all based on me. The dog, however, is based more than a bit on my now-deceased Chow-Akita Moses, who'd have died to save me if he'd been called on.

Q. I love your Author/Editor page on Facebook. You have a lot of great advice there. One saying you have there is Don't overthink it. Just write it. This is certainly great first draft advice, along with Write now. Edit later.

A. I am absolutely talking to myself when I post things like that. I overthink everything and edit and re-edit almost every sentence. It's a curse. I am constantly working to overcome my perfectionist tendencies when working on first drafts.

Q. What is your opinion of self-publishing in general? Compared to Small Press and Big Five Publishers specifically?

A. I am in favour of publishing. Period. I like any and all methods of publishing. I intend to self-publish two collections of short stories soon. I have self-published one short story as part of an anthology. I plan to self-publish a novella soon. I've been published by small presses, with both excellent and awful results. I learned a lot from the awful results about what not to do, by the way. Big Five? For almost all writers, the Big Five are a pipe dream. However, if a writer wants to take a shot at that dream, go for it. I'd say don't go for it exclusively, though. If you want a Big Five career, you probably need some small press credits first. Still, if you have a truly stellar story (think "The Martian" or "Wool"), you can probably skip the small press, start with self-pubbing, and then go straight to New York. Those stories are few and far between. How many of us are really Andy Weir or Hugh Howey?

Q. Do you have any more short stories coming out soon? How about novels? In other words, what's on your platter, young lady?

A. I am working on a novella (and have been for ages), "Zombies Ate My Homework," a victim of my inability to stop editing a first draft, I fear. I have a vampire novel that's on the back burner. I'm working on a rotation of about a dozen short stories. And I have several editing clients, which is always nice.

Q. Who are your favorite authors. Your favorite books?

A. Oh my lord. I have so many favourite authors and books. I'm afraid to start. I know I'll miss some. Off the top of my head, with apologies to anyone I forget, even if they'll not see or ever know I forgot them. Billie Sue Mosiman. Jaime Johnessee. Lori Lopez. Lori Safranek. Jerry McKinney. Allison Dickson. Valerie Douglas. Kai Wilson. Suzi M (Suzanne Madron). Stephen King. Christine Sutton. Paula Ashe. Lisa Lane. Mary Ann Back. Dane Hatchell. Kathy Reichs. P.G. Wodehouse. Jack Douglas. I'm a big fan of Chuck Wendig, both his writing craft and his fiction books. I also read all the James Scott Bell craft books I can find. Alexander McCall Smith.

Now we come to the part where you get to say whatever is on your mind. Anything at all.

This is dangerous territory, Blaze. Okay, let me climb up onto one of my soapboxes. I remember, back in the Dark Ages when I was a mere youngster, not long after we'd invented the printing press, reading cheap paperback novels. Mysteries and horror mostly. Badly printed. Badly edited. Badly written. Lots of spelling and grammatical errors, errors clearly visible even to schoolkids like me. Eventually, the paperback business gained respectability. Right now, the self-publishing industry needs to have a good look at itself. We could step up and become a real force in the publishing world. To do that, we need to get over the idea that self-publishing means doing everything yourself. You cannot edit your own work well. I'm an editor, and I can't edit my own work. There are lots of reasons for this, the largest of which is that you, the writer, know what you meant, so you don't know when you're being unclear. You don't know those rules of grammar that you don't know, so you don't know when you've broken them. Unless you've had training in design, you probably can't design an effective book cover. A skillful formatter can make your book look better than you can. Hire people to do those things. You want your book to look as good as possible. You don't want it to look like something you threw together with ClipArt and the limited editing tools available on Word. We will never be taken seriously or convince people to stop thinking of us as third-rate writers telling third-rate stories as long as we present ourselves that way.

It's been a joy having you here today, Mary Ann Peden-Coviello. Happy writing!

Thanks so much for having me. And thanks even more for all you do for Women in Horror – not only in February but throughout the year. 

As you can see, Mary Ann Peden-Coviello is a Woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob