Friday, October 21, 2011

The Interview of Alyn Day

Today on the blog I have a very special treat. I got a phone call from Alyn Day, asked her a bunch of questions, and recorded the entire thing. I wanted to post the audio file, but I don’t know how. So I transcribed it, and what follows is most of that.
We talked about her upcoming works, her life, bacon-brittle, hookers, and trout. She mentioned something about stalking some mid-list horror author, meeting incredible people, and being a twitter whore.
Enjoy it, and get to know her, as she is about to become a very well known horror author.

Who are you? What do you want the world to know about Alyn Day?
I am a 28-year-old horror writer, a techno working, zombie loving, military brat, living outside of Boston Mass. Both my parents were in the air force, and moving around is what gave me the weird shy/social butterfly personality I hope people get to know.
Why do you write?
I started reading at a very young age. One of the firs things I read was Stephen King’s Christine when I was 5 years old. When I was 7 or 8 someone gave me a copy of Borderlands, and that was my first introduction to Poppy Z. Brite. That was the first time I understood that women could be writers.
Also, Thomas Monteleone wrote these incredible introductions to each of the short stories, and those introductions got me interested in being a writer myself.
I got away from it because I didn’t have the time or focus for it through college.
Then I got involved with an ass-hole ex boyfriend, and it wasn’t until I got out of that relationship that I started doing things for me.
Another thing is that both my parents were science officers, so they had the scientific background, and we had a lot of conversations about parallel universes and alternate dimensions and things like that. And when I was really small the idea of infinity scared me. I didn’t like the idea that there was just so much undefined possibility out there. When I explained this to my mother she told me to take a piece of paper and write my name on it. So I did, and she goes OK this is a piece of infinity and it’s all yours, and that moment really resonated with me, and I think the realization that I could create worlds and bring characters to life and create chunks of infinity that belonged to me, and only me, made me a writer.
So there you go.
That’s one of the coolest definitions of why somebody writes that I’ve heard.
I like that, it’s very fucking cool.
Awesome, thank you, thank you.
Outside of  Poppy Z bright and Stephen king and you’re parents, who is your biggest influence?
Brian Keene is a huge influence of me. I need to explain my mooshie infatuation with Keene. I work two jobs, and have very little free times, and when I do it’s usually spent in this little library by my first job. Their horror section is about 2 feet long and consists of dog-eared copies of King books, and HP Lovecraft. One day I come into the library and hit my favorite section and I see something there that I’ve never seen before. There is a new book with a bright shiny knew cover with a new release sticker in the horror section. I thought one of the little old ladies that worked there or one of the little old ladies that hung out there had accidentally returned the book to the wrong spot, because this just didn’t happen. But I checked out the book anyway and lo and behold it’s Brian Keene’s Conqueror Worms. I read the back and I kind of drifted to the children’s sections cause they had the comfy bean bag chairs and I read it cover to cover in one sitting. And that was the first and only time I was ever late to work (laughs)
After that I went home and hopped on Amazon and ordered 4 more Keene books. That was my introduction to modern horror.
I’ve always loved the greats. Robert block and Lovecraft and King and Laymon, but that was my introduction to the modern horror movement.
I hope that kind of answers your questions, I know went on a long rant…
No, it’s perfectly all right. It kind of sets you up as a Brian Keene stalker, but we’ve all gone that route at one time or another. He is a sexy man.
Stalker? Just a little bit, a little bit.  (laughs)

Then we rambled about movies for 15 minutes….
I admit being sexually attracted to Bruce Campbell, and she told me that she made out with him once… or something like that.

And then I continued with real, hard-hitting questions…

If you could do a biography about one living person who would it be?
Stephen King, I would say Brian Keene, but I don’t want to appear too stalkerish. He’s a close second.
Stalk away. You can stalk him all you want, this is my blog, not his. (laughs)
I have to be careful though, he just may read this.
He has been known to pop on here and read things from time to time….
I know! He mentioned it on twitter when you called him old. And he mentioned you on his website!
Yeah, that was pretty cool. I mean really, how cool am I?
See that, you’ve arrived, your somebody now.
Yup. Now all I need is copies of my actual work and people to want them, and then I can die happy.
Well, lets get you a little deeper in before you die happy. Which brings me to my next question, what are your successes up to this point?
Actually meeting Brian Keene was really big for me. And Kelly Owen, Bob Ford, Mary Sangiovani and JF Gonzalez. I met them all on the same day and it was just an overload of awesomeness! I tweeted, because I’m a huge twitter whore as you’re well aware, um.. when I met Brian Keene I had made a comment about a Robert Block quote and Keene looked and me and he goes “that’s Robert Block” and I said yeah, and he asked if I knew that, and I said of course, that’s why I said it, and he goes “You’re awesome..” and I think I was glowing so much people around me needed sunglasses.
Writing is a big thing for me now, actually putting things on paper and doing things with it, being published…I’ve already mailed in my contract so I don’t know if that makes me officially an author yet…but actually having signed my name on it from a publisher is huge. That’s been a dream of mine since I was little.
Um.. and I am proud of myself for dealing with the situation from last year (bad relationship) and moving out here on my own and starting over, I was just really, really proud of myself for being able to handle it.
So if those are your successes what are your failures?
Wow, Um, I’ve been printing out my rejections on regular printer paper and I can completely wallpaper my bedroom with them, every wall from ceiling to floor, so that’s definitely a failure.
I disagree; I think that’s more of a success.
(laughs) well, haha, I lost count somewhere near 112, these a lot of them.
Seriously. There isn’t a writer out there, myself included, who can’t wallpaper their house with rejections, and there is a direct correlation between the people who can receive those rejections and keep writing and the ones destined for success, so you’re on the right path.
I will say the first one I got was brutal. My first attempt was when I was a young teenager, I had actually written a novel, and submitted to a publisher. I got back a form letter and there was a personalized note on the bottom that said completely lack luster and unimaginative. Try again.
And that made me cry.
There is negative in that, but also positive. First off, to get a hand written note from an editor is huge. Second, being that you’re a teenager at the time is a huge accomplishment. The fact that they told you to try again is a positive.
It was several years before I managed to try again, but try again I did, and I do plan on eventually re-writing that novel with my now 28 year old vision. I’m twice the age I was then, so…
That’s good, It’s about not giving up and working through it. I still have some of my rejections hanging in my office, that means something to me. It’s a battle scar; it’s a badge of honor. I do a lot of self-publishing now, but I still submit from time to time with varied success. Every rejection letter is just part of the process.
Yup, and I keep on trying and hoping for more and more success. Once I get more confidence behind me I’ll try again for the novel.
What advice do you have the newbie authors, the people who are just starting out?
Network as much as possible. Try contributing and editing for other people. Read everything and anything you can. Find things that inspire you. Surround yourself with things that will inspire you and make the muse come out!
Good advice.
I try.
So what does the future hold for youI hope more published work, more opportunities to dress as the walking dead, which I really enjoy, and I am really looking forward to my reading at Antho Con and I hope that leads to more readings and more successes. More networking, and I definitely hope things continue to go well with my new boyfriend, because that’s definitely going good so far.
Congrats on all of that. Say one year from, what would you like to see in your life?
More works published, another reading, and my own Amazon author Page.
Cool. What about 5 years.
I would like the novel to be finished, maybe not published but definitely finished. I’d like at least 5 more stories published, and I’d like to have at least one signing.
What about 10
2 novels published, a couple signing and conventions under my belt and I hope to be married.
Awesome. So what is something about you that would shock the readers?
I am a former pageant girl and I auditioned for CSI Miami.
How did the audition go?
I made it to the second round of call backs…so….
That’s pretty cool.

Then we talked about bacon brittle (?) – hookers, and trout.
She promised there would be hotness and bacon brittle at Antho Con, which interested me more than hookers and trout, although the hotness is coming from the very taken Mary Sangiovani, and to truly enjoy said hotness might just get me punched in the face. Thinking I’ll stick with bacon brittle, and perhaps hookers. They only punch you in the face if you pay extra, and I never have the money for that.

How would you like to be remembered, outside of bacon brittle?
For contributing something to the literary world, and I hope to have kids some day and I hope they remember me as an awesome mom.
So what do you want your tombstone to say?
Vini Vidi Verbum…she came she saw she wrote.

So there you go, fan’s of Alyn Day. Now it’s up to you. Write a comment, ask her all the things I didn’t, all the things you want to know but I was afraid to ask.
There is more to this interview, and if I ever get tech savy enough to actually download the audio file I will put up the interview in all its glory. There is over 40 minutes of it, included a lot of our rambling and giggling like little girls.

 Oh, and Alyn wanted you to have the following info:

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