1. It’s Halloween, pick 3 of your favorite writer buddies to paint the town read with and tell us why you chose them.
Fiona says: I would pick Donna White Glaser, author of Scrying Shame, Jill Nojack, author of The familiar, and you, Meredith Pritchard, author of Let Her Go. Each of you has a very interesting and very different take on a “haunting” story. I bet if we hung out with a blood orange martini or two, we’d be cackling.
Meredith says: OMG! Someone finally picked me! I no longer feel like the last kid standing during dodgeball team pickings. I love martinis!
2. You’re ready to head out with your pillowcase to collect loads of confections on All Hallows’ Eve, what’s your costume and why did you choose it?
Fiona says: I am traditionally a witch all day long. Each year, I change my garb (sometimes my hair color) depending on my mood, but you can usually find me, besom (broom) in hand, turning heads with my floor length cape.
As a matter of fact, my house is something of a holiday attraction. I get hundreds of people ringing my doorbell on Halloween. I am extra horribly mean to them, and they seem to love it. I have adults, whose kids grew up in the neighborhood and are now out of the nest, and now the adults dress up in a costume to come to my house so I will yell at them.
No costume? No candy – also, at my house it’s “you do a trick then you get a treat”. I’ve had kids sing songs, tell jokes, recite poems, and bust-a-move. It’s pretty entertaining. So if you want someone to scream at you (I used to be a professional screamer – but that’s another story for another day), just head on over – but have a class-A trick up your sleeve.
3. Old Mrs. Robinson opens her door and you’re holding open your pillowcase patiently waiting. “Oh deary,” she says in her frail, little old-lady voice. “I forgot it was Halloween. Don’t know why you kids go begging anyways. Let me go find something to give you.” She shuffles off and finally returns three and a half minutes later with 5 pennies, 2 peppermint candies that look like they went through the dryer, and her deceased husband’s dentures. “Take what you like,” she offers, squinting at you.
What do you choose and why.
Fiona says: The deceased husband’s dentures. It’ll make a great story and decoration (bleach first) for later.
3. I really love reading Dean Koontz but some of his stuff scares the bejesus out of me. What’s the spookiest book you’ve ever read?
Fiona says: Holy moly – The Behrg’s HOUSEBROKEN – not spooky as much as oh so creepy, nightmare inducing, that voice, argh!
4. You’re a writer by day and supernatural creature by night. (Shed that human skin you sack of bones) What are you and why?
Fiona says: An owl – amazing speed, stealth capabilities, nocturnal eyesight and hunting abilities, incredibly strong clawed feet, muscular wings. The owl is a formidable night creature. I’d like to feel that kind of power.
Meredith says: I love owls!
6. Every author has a bookshelf filled with his or her favorite reads. Run on over to yours and tell us the scariest book you have.
Fiona says: True Ghost Stories of Ireland – I bought it when I was visiting Limerick with my grandmother and have never been able to finish it for fear that the ghosts came home with the book and by reading it, I would release them.
7. We don’t all write horror but there comes a time when you’ve got to surprise your readers and make sure their hearts are still beating. How do you prepare yourself to get in the spooky writing mood?
Fiona says: I have a few of them in my books, I wasn’t prepared for them; they came out of nowhere. I thought the scene would go in one direction, and as the words formed on the screen, they went in a very different direction, taking me by surprise.
8. Stephen King’s front porch light is on but there are no Halloween decorations.
a) trick-or-treat and cross your fingers that he’s handing out the good stuff
b) run screaming
c) call your mom to bring your favorite King paperback and beg for an autograph
Fiona says: A. I’m not a big Stephen King fan. I am a fan of chocolate; I’d take my chances.
9. Congratulations, you just won the literary lottery and sold a million books at full price! The royalty check clears on October 28th. What are you buying for the neighborhood kids?
a) an assortment of mini candybars
b) an assortment of cheap, hard candies
c) full size Hershey bars
Fiona says: A million books full price? Okay, I’d splurge for the full sized chocolate bars, but I’m not kidding about the number of people we have come by the house. One year we counted almost 500. We did a lot more decorating back when that happened (I had teens to help out) but still, there will be hundreds… a million books you say? If you cast your magic wand about and bring that to fruition, I’ll spring for Godiva.
10. Your writer friend calls you with some frightening news. They’re giving up on writing, can’t take the pressure any longer. What do you tell them?
Fiona says: “That’ll last about an hour. Writers have to write like they have to breathe. They have to write like they need water to survive. So, have a glass of wine. Eat some really good chocolate. Turn on a good sappy movie so you can have a good cry. And tomorrow morning put your butt in front of your screen and start hammering out those words.”
Connect with Fiona!
Canadian born, Fiona Quinn is now rooted in the Old Dominion outside of D.C. with her husband and four children. There, she homeschools, pops chocolates, devours books, and taps continuously on her laptop.