-Why do you read scary things?
I don't actually think I seek out scary things, but I seek out real things and reality can be very scary. I like the way normal people become heroes and villains under duress.
-What flavour of scary do you like reading about-paranormal creatures, serial killers, chill up your spine hauntings, or something different?
I think I like quests for survival (I don't love zombies, but I like the scope of a lot of zombie stories) another good example of the kind of horror I love is Stephen King's It. I like a combination of discovering what is going on and the quest to fight the horror. I really like darkness--dark settings, dark characters, etc.
-Out of everything in the world, what do you find scary?
Snakes, alligators/crocodiles/ serial killers/ being trapped in some way.
-If you could insert yourself into any horror novel, which would it be, who would you be, and why?
I don't think I would want to be in a horror novel? But I guess (if you count it as horror, Frannie from the Stand by Stephen King.
-Classic (pre-1970s) or modern horror-which do you prefer and why?
I think that overall I like more modern horror, because it's what I'm more familiar with. (Anything Poe is obviously an exception).
The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It is just so bleak, and so hopeless, and it shows the darkest depths that people are capable of. Certain scenes still haunt me.
-What books scared you most as a child?
I read The Exorcist in middle school. I don't think I slept for several weeks.
-What do you do to celebrate Halloween?
Well, this year I'm co-hosting a Poe-inspired Masquerade ball with author Kelly Creagh (Nevermore) but usually I take my kids trick or treating and also go to a costume party with some of my best friends. I imagine we'll do the same thing this year.
-Any fun Halloween stories you have to tell us?
Three years ago I cut off all my hair, and dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween. It was a pretty darn good costume, if I do say so myself. I still have the stuffed Hedwig l (for some reason it wouldn't attach to my robes so I had to sort of carry him under my arm, which wasn't very dignified for him). I had a light up wand that my kids promptly "borrowed" and never returned. I attached a picture.
-Why did you choose to write a horror novel?
I think for the same reason that I like horror, I like to explore heroism and the nature of evil. I like to imagine how characters would handle extraordinary (and horrific) circumstances.
-What's the scariest thing you'd write about?
There is a suggestion in Masque that people might have been sacrificed to crocodiles. I remember reading a horrific news story about someone who fed a mother and a child to alligators in Florida. The thought completely horrified me in every way. But it came out in Masque as just a rumour, nothing detailed. I think those are the sorts of human possibilities that haunt me and those things are the scariest things I'd consider writing about.
I think Stephen King shaped certain perceptions about characters for me, and I read his books repeatedly at a fairly impressionable age. Other than that, if you consider Anne Rice horror, I am very inspired by her.
-Why were you attracted to The Masque of the Red Death in particular, as opposed to any of the other Poe stories?
I think because Masque seemed a timely story to retell because of the state of the world, and because the themes seemed fresh, and because I felt it had a lot of possibility since the story had no antagonist, to create my own antagonist in Poe's world.
-Kind of similar to what we had earlier, but if you could put yourself into any of Poe's stories or poems, which would it be and why?
I don't think it's a very good idea to put yourself into ANY of Poe's stories or poems. I wouldn't mind a quick tour of The House of Usher, as long as I didn't get trapped there!
-Any other spooky books you want to share?
My favourite horror book is Shadowland by Peter Straub, Another favourite is It by Stephen King, I recently really enjoyed Ashes by Ilsa Bick, and I really liked the Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy.
Bethany can be found at her website, twitter and facebook. Masque can be found at Amazon and both Masque and Dance are on Goodreads.