Today I’m fortunate to present Stephanie Ayers, author of The 13: Tales of Illusory.
Hi Stephanie, thanks for agreeing to this interview!
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
I call the east coast of the United States home. I live in Virginia, closer to Washington, DC, though I crave a home in the mountains.
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
To me, a good story is well-told with vibrant images that play like a movie in my head as I read. To me, it’s when I’m reading and the whole world disappears… that is good story.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
I have been writing as a child. My dream to be famous started with writing, then singing, then acting, then singing, and I have found it most peaceful to write. The inspiration behind my first published book was a publisher’s admission that she loved it after I wrote a blurb to it. It began as a serial on my blog.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Honestly writing takes a back seat right now as we work on building our publishing house up. I’ve been doing a lot of focus with graphics, but writing is still instrumental to all I do. It must be creative, and that is a successful day.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmmm… some would say love stories with a twist, but my writing quirk is probably more along the lines of all the headless or beheaded characters in my stories.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
The 13: Tales of Illusory is a collection of short horror stories.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I’m always surprised by people’s interest. I’m in my own little world, just being me, so when people step up, it’s always the biggest surprise. It’s also a surprise how well received my book cover is.
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
Sure…this is from Wade, Haunted:
The front door of the white house opened with a squeak that made Wade’s heart skip a beat. His eyes closed, and the dusty silence of the long empty house accosted him. Nothing disturbed the air, not even the buzz of appliances. Sensing the vacancy, he opened his eyes. A photo album s
at on the rickety coffee table just beyond the front door. His stomach clenched. Hesitant eyes searched the room as he moved towards the table, noting the crumbling paint on the walls and broken bricks of the fireplace, but he switched direction at the last minute. Despite the dead silence, he needed to know there was no one there. His feet carried him through a small opening and into the kitchen.
Cobwebs crowded dark corners, and a spider web covered the base of the sink. The stale odor of disuse exuded from the refrigerator as he opened it. Nothing there but more cobwebs. He coughed and closed it. A glance out the window showed him a yard filled with unruly weeds and tall, browning grass. He followed a short hall to a closed door. Inside the closet a few musty jackets hung on metal hangers and dust coated the floor.
A short staircase with an ornate brass bannister loomed opposite the closet. He ascended, the ominous creaking and sighing of the steps disturbing the silence. Wade’s heart plunged to his belly. He raced to the top looking over his shoulder every other step. Once he reached the top, an open foyer looked down into the front room. With bated breath he investigated the rooms behind him and found most of them empty. He flipped the light switch in the bathroom out of habit, and a pasty white face stared at him from the mirror. Startled, he jumped and his heart quickened, until he realized it was his reflection.
Wade’s fingers trembled as he turned the knob of the last room, and the door opened without noise. Rose pink covered the walls, and gold-framed landscapes of mountains and sunsets hung on either side of an elaborate oak dresser. A large gold headboard disappeared behind a yellowed rosebud coverlet. A layer of age and abandonment coated everything. He shut the door, a sense of intrusion replacing his dread, and moved to the railing. The album winked up at him from the coffee table, drawing his attention. His curiosity aroused, he worked his way to the front room.
A cloud of dust exhaled from the couch as he sat. His hands quivered as he opened the cover; he took his time pouring over each page. Pictures of a handsome family rose from the pages. A sincere-faced father draped an arm across each son’s shoulders. A beautiful woman stood beside him, cradling an infant in her arms. As their story unfolded, the family appeared less and less, until only pictures of the woman remained. Loneliness seeped from her eyes, and he wondered what had happened to them.
With his eyes in a half-squint, he concentrated on the surrounding room, searching for a clue. A dark stain on the wall near the baseboard caught his attention. Hot breath blew against his neck. He turned and startled. The woman from the pictures sat next to him. Her ruby lips pouted coyly. Her blonde hair twisted seductively down her body, drawing attention to her full breasts. They pressed against her tight top as she leaned forward, teasing Wade with her closeness.
“What brings you here, lover?”
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
I have a holiday children’s story and two fantasies in development, along with another short story collection and a few stories I’d like to flesh out and use in a collaboration with my best friend and writing partner, A.L. Mabry.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Getting copies of my books and smelling that new book smell when I open the box.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
I’m all over social media. The absolute best way is to follow my blog or my author page.
Most of my other haunts are with the handle “theauthorSAM” and I’m on Instagram as my graphic’s page, OWS Creative Studios. You can also contact me through OWS Ink and find out about any new books by subscribing to the newsletter