Welcome, minions. This month’s special guest is the lovely K.Z. Morano, of 100 Nightmares fame. No doubt you’ve heard of her. If you haven’t you must be living under a rock, or you are a rock. Why didn’t you tell me you were a golem? That’s pretty awesome. But this isn’t about you, now is it? This is about K.Z.
Question One: Would you like to tell my lovely minions a bit about yourself?
I’m an eclectic eccentric… a beach bum, a shopaholic, a chocoholic and an insomniac. I adore weirdness. I’m a girly girl… which is probably why people are often shocked by the content of my published works. I read and write anything from romance and erotica to horror and SF, F and WTF.
I’m going to be honest here. I have no idea what the hell you just said. You lost me at the first word. Too big of a word for me. I’m kidding of course. Where you really lost me was a few words later… electric, was it? Anyway…
Question Two. What can we expect next from you?
I used to post an erotic fantasy series on my blog… Romance, dragons, swords, sorcery, seething battles and lots of steamy sex… But it was only for a few a weeks. I soon realized that my writing wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. I didn’t want to be unfair to the readers and to myself, so I stopped posting the series.
However, my writing style has evolved over the past few months. The story attracted quite an audience before and I think that it’s worth revisiting. Meanwhile, I have several stories in various upcoming horror and non-horror anthologies.
Ok, now that I’ve had a good cry, let’s get into some more horrible questions. Er, horrorful. Is that a word? My spell check is telling me it’s not. If it’s not I’m coining it and claiming it as my own.
Horrorful Question Three: Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen one? Would you like to?
No, I’ve never seen one before.
But can I tell you a secret? I smell dead people.
I’m not even kidding. I wish I were but I’m not. You see, sometimes, dawn-ish, I smell stuff. Not the stench of decay or anything—thank god—but fragrances. Yeah, I smell fragrances… the smell of unfamiliar perfume wafting in the air. Don’t know where it comes from, it’s certainly not mine. A friend told me that perhaps it’s just evening flowers. Yeah right. It would’ve been a legit explanation if my bedroom is actually near a garden. ><
Anyway, it doesn’t really sound so bad… until you realize that where I live, it’s an old custom to spray perfume on the dead. (So their loved ones will know when the ghosts are visiting them)
And as for your second question… Oh hell no! If a ghost suddenly reveals itself to me, then that probably means that it needs my help. And I’m afraid that I won’t be up to the task. I’m a very busy girl. I have a lot going on right now… things to do, places to see. I have a demanding grandmother who takes up a huge chunk of my time. I’m at that certain point in my life where I have to make a living while figuring out how to live. I’m just, you know, not ready to enter in a commitment with a needy, clingy specter. Besides, you know how these ghosts can be when you fail at helping them…
Also, I can certainly see your dilemma. Who would want a needy, clingy specter demanding attention? Get a life, ghost. Wait. That’s probably a poor choice of words.
Horrorful Question Four: You have a bunch of stories about bizarre creatures born from myth in 100 NIGHTMARES. (Great book by the way, minions. Go buy it immediately if you don’t yet own a copy!) What is the creepiest myth you’ve ever come across? I’m not talking the standard, boring everyday myth. I’m talking something that burrowed into your skull and set up a hobo camp at the base of your brain and whispers to you to avoid dark corners and makes you throw cautious glances over your shoulder when you’re alone.
Being a Catholic school girl, I’ve encountered plenty of crazy stuff—from haunted toilets to possessions of attention-seeking teenagers by attention-seeking demons. I’ve always thought they were full of crap.
There are plenty of scary Philippine mythological monsters but I think the creepiest creature ever is the Dwende (elves) No, they aren’t tall, fair-haired hotties like Legolas in LOTR. They’re not even remotely attractive. These little “old men of the anthill” dwell underneath the earth and do all sorts of evil stuff from causing unexplainable illnesses to raping and impregnating women. It’s the whole raping and impregnating part that really scares the shit out of me.
Horrorful Question Five: Let’s pretend you woke up in the middle of the night and there was a young girl you didn’t know sitting at the foot of your bed with her back to you, rocking back and forth, and mumbling words you couldn’t understand. What would you do?
It seems highly odd that you’d take the time to photograph it and then run. I’m not calling you a liar, but you’re a liar. You’d run without a photograph, or you’d take the time for a photograph and end up a vengeful spirit’s bitch because you couldn’t help her.
Horrorful Question Six: What does horror mean to you in six words or less?
Milder than real life? I beg to differ. I’ve always seen it the other way around. Horror seems more like an amped up version of reality to me. Somewhere the horrible attrocities of the world can be so over the top that the sting of the real world horrors isn’t so disheartening. But we all know I’m full of crap, so you’re probably right.
Horrorful Question Seven: What would be your weapon of choice for disposing of pesky zombies? Why?
Horrorful Question Eight: What would you say is the scariest place on the planet? Why? What would it take to get you to spend a night alone there?
Or just hospitals.
I used to do volunteer work in an indigent hospital. A lot of kids died there, often during the night shift… sometimes during my shift. Even when you know it’s inevitable– because there are those who can no longer be helped– it doesn’t change the fact that it’s heartbreaking and horrifying.
In the hospital, you witness everything… It can be beautiful. It can be terrifying. I mean, where else can you see life begin… and end. There, you observe people’s capacity for love and hope… and evil.
I tell you, there is nothing that scares me more than the horrors of real life. In my brief years of existence I’ve seen a lot… I’m not afraid of corpses—I’ve seen and touched several of them. Blood, intestines, that’s nothing… It’s the general aura of the hospital that I can’t take. The sickness and the suffering… and people’s responses to those things. (especially when coupled with poverty/ignorance). Once, I gave a baby a name and baptized her myself just before she died. She was malformed and the family just left her there.
What would it take to get me to spend a night alone there? Nothing. I’ve turned my back on years of education and training so I won’t ever have to spend the night in what, for me, is the unhappiest and therefore the scariest place that I’ve come to know. Some may see it as a place of healing and hope. They may be right. It’s just not the place for me… it has never been…
Yuck. I hate hospitals. Only good thing that ever happened in a hospital was the birth of my daughter. Otherwise I try to avoid those places. I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re the scariest places on the planet, but your reasoning is certainly sound.
Horrorful Question Nine: Tell me about the most horrifying thing you’ve ever read and/or watched. What was your reaction to it?
The Blair Witch Project ruined my life. I was a kid vacationing in my uncle’s home in San Francisco and my older cousins made me watch the damned film with them. They were into horror; I wasn’t. Then I started sleeping with the lights on. lol
Interesting. Do you still sleep with the lights on or did that bizarre reaction eventually fade into obscurity, much like the actors in that crapfest of a movie? Sorry. I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t find it even a tad scary. Weird maybe, but not scary.
Horrorful Question Ten: How would you dispose of a body if you “accidentally” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) killed someone?
I would feed the corpse to the pigs. I’m not trying to be gruesome, just sensible. By the time people notice the disappearance, the body has turned into digested matter. It’ll be the perfect crime!… err accident. 😉
Sadly, that’s all the time we have today, minions.
A big thanks for the time, K.Z. You’ve been a good sport about me making jokes at your expense, so I’m going to plug your awesome book for you. It’s the least I can do.
100 Nightmares by K.Z. Morano is a collection of 100 horror stories, each written in exactly 100 words, and accompanied by over 50 illustrations. Inside, you’ll find monsters—both imagined and real. There are vengeful specters, characters with impaired psyches, dark fairy tales and stories and illustrations inspired by bizarre creatures of Japanese folklore.
Praise for 100 Nightmares:
“This book is filled with some of the creepiest and horrifying illustrations and flash fiction I’ve ever come across. Keep an eye out for this writer, my friends, she’s going to be delivering horror the way it’s meant to be.”
-Charles Day, Bram Stoker Award®-nominated Author
“She reaches into the depths of the disturbed, deranged and disgusting, and sews a quilt of horror that will wrap you up and not let go.”
“What makes this collection of horror stories particularly disturbing is the way the author weaves the familiar with the seemingly unthinkable. Parents, children, twins in utero, she turns them all into believable, shudder invoking beasts.”
“A word of caution – don’t read this over dinner (unless you want to lose it), or while on public transport – your facial expressions might worry your fellow travellers!”