The excellent author, Latashia Figueroa brings a cool rhythm and style to her horror writing – much like fictional poetry, if you will. So impressed by her intelligence and skill, I had to have her on the show to help promote her amazing work. Unfortunately, technological demons conspired against us. We were haunted by reverberations, echoes, and a bizarre delay in transmission that seemed as if I was contacting her from the Moon. For the first time on THE LAST KNOCK, a recorded show had to be abandoned. Never fear, however, because Latashia was kind enough to answer some questions. Enjoy the responses from this fabulous writer, and do not forget to check out her work. If you’re a reader of quality horror, you will not be disappointed.
Tell us how your love of horror came about:
I was introduced to horror at a very young age. My childhood home was suspected of being haunted. The account of that story, “The Whispers”, is featured in Thomas Amo’s second issue of Nightmare Alley Magazine.
Also, my family was big horror lovers. We watched a lot of horror on television. Night Gallery, Creature Feature, Chiller, Twilight Zone, these shows became like family; showing up every week to scare the hell out of us.
How did Stephen King influence you?
I had to do a book report for my seventh grade English class. We could pick any book or comic we wanted. I went to the bookstore with my mom and stumbled upon Pet Semetary, thinking it was a book for my age group. Obviously, I was so wrong. But I could not put the book down. I aced the report. My mom was so impressed she allowed me to read more books from Stephen King. I devoured them. I read other genres but I could not wait to get back to the scary worlds created by Mr. King.
You told me that few horror films scare you. Why?
Well, like I said, I’ve been watching horror movies since I was a child. As I got older, I began to look for movies that would scare me. It’s kind of like being a thrill seeker, looking for that next fright to get a shock, a rush. Few movies have done that to me, lately. I may have become desensitized. I hope not.
Since most horror movies don’t give you a jolt, is this why you love roller coasters?
Yes, I feel so alive when I’m on rollercoasters. The higher, the faster, the better. Or anything that will push my survival instincts. I recently took my husband and a few friends to Tree Top Adventures. It’s an obstacle course done in the air. At the end of the course, you have to zip line high in the air to a platform. I had a blast. My husband and friends, well, they’re just happy they survived.
Do the stories you write frighten you?
I think what frightens me are the ideas, how easily they come to mind. I told my husband about my latest book, the synopsis, and he just looked at me, eyes wide, and said, “That’s a little disturbing.” And all I could do is smile. Disturbing, in my writing mind, is a good thing.
What kind of edge, if any, do female writers bring to horror that men do not?
I can’t speak for all female horror writers, but for me, I think I bring a little bit of sensitivity. Yes, the antagonists in my stories, sometimes even the protagonists, are horrible, scary people. But I like to bring a touch of sensitivity to their characters. I’m not sure if being a female has anything to do with it. I want the reader to see themselves in these awful, scary, characters and understand them and then become repulsed that they do understand them.
Is there a chance you’ll adapt any of your stories into screenplays?
I think that is a goal, yes. I would love to see my stories on a television or movie screen. That would be awesome.
You have an excellent writing style that has a steady beat like poetry. How did you develop your writing voice?
I re-read my stories countless times, reworking the words until it has a certain rhythm to it; kind of like music. In my mind, the words should flow a certain way. It’s like when you hear a particular piece of music and you’re not sure if you like it but by the end of the first piece, you’re interested and you turn up the volume a little more. I want the words to my stories to have movement so by the end of each chapter the reader wants to turn up the volume more and more.
What horror novels or films would you recommend?
John F.D. Taff is freaking awesome! His latest book, The End in All Beginnings is fabulous. John has redefined horror, in my opinion.
As a fan of the genre, what does Halloween mean to you?
Halloween allows the things that hide in the darkness to become visible. Even if those things are just part of our imagination, they become real for one night.
Can you give us some insight into your upcoming horror novella?
The title is Want and Decay. I’m releasing the book cover and trailer soon. Really can’t give you any more than that.
Where can people find you and your wonderful work?
I’m very active on Twitter, my handle is @latashfigueroa.
My website is latashiafigueroa-author.com.
You can find me on Facebook, facebook.com/LatashiaFigueroa and Google plus.
My book This Way Darkness is available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Barnes and Noble Nook.