Welcome to Untamed Publishing's Author Interviews! As a company that caters to the self-published author, we want to highlight and support indie authors. There is a vast array of talent amongst us, and here's the opportunity to connect the readers to their next favorite author!
This October, UP is going RED as we host a special event. Red Ink Publications, the Masterettes of Horror, are hosting their annual October Horror Fest and Untamed Publishing is proud to be a part! This week you will learn more about Red Ink Publications and in the following weeks more about their Sons of Cain series and the Ladies of Horror. This week we feature, Queen of Horror Author Jaqueline Stone. Let's sit back and have a scare-rific good time while we enjoy the writings from the red ink pen!
Hi Jaqueline! Welcome to your first interview with UP for the Red Ink October Horror Fest. We're honored to have you. To begin, tell us a little about yourself.
Well first let me say thank you so much for having me, and I love how Untamed shines light on indie authors. But for those who don’t know my name is Jaqueline Stone, I am a queen of horror with Red Ink Publications. Writing is my passion and I use it to shape my own realities with a lot of twist and turns. I write mostly mythology, occult, and historical fiction with a horror spin.
Why did you make the decision to become a published author?
To be honest, I don’t think I ever made the conscious choice to become a published author. I’ve always been a great at writing, but my journey started when I called Aminah Iman our CEO, in the dead of night with an amazing idea for a novel. She agreed that it was a great idea but insisted that I write it. A year later, my first novel "Fallen" was published. So, in short, you can say the decision to be a published author chose me.
I know we're asking the obvious, but please let the readers know what genres do you write or wish to write?
They don’t call me one of the queens of horror for nothing! And as much I love writing horror, I also enjoy writing mythology, the occult, and historical fiction. I would love to start writing fantasy , but I do tip my hat off to those who can write Sci-Fi, that is a genre I have yet to dabble in.
Now when it comes to writing, are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night owl all the way!!! I think that horror and the night kind of go hand and hand like chocolate hearts and Valentine’s Day or cookies and Christmas!
What was your first introduction to horror literature?
My first introduction to horror would have to be in grade school. I remember going to the library and checking out Scary Stories to tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell. The artwork and illustrations pulled me in immediately and even though the stories and images where somewhat grotesque, and frightening. I felt more intrigued with every page. The fact that it was based on folklore was the icing on the cake. It showed me that behind the fear was a true tale with origins, culture, and inspiration.
Yesss! Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was my favorite horror books growing up! That eases us right into our next question. What is your favorite horror book, aside from your own?
My favorite book hand down is Lilith: My Genesis by Aminah Iman. Not only is it horror, and historical fiction, but it’s also empowering. Where else can you see the first woman ever created being of color, and raising hell knowing what and who she truly is. The research behind it is impeccable and seeing all of the queens of history in a new light only made me want to learn more. It’s my favorite so much so I took the idea for my pen name from one of the main characters.
That is awesome that your pen name came from one of the main characters, which also rolls into our next question. What subject matter do you use to create stories for your horror books?
For me, it seems like the characters are always created before the actual story. From there, I let them speak for themselves, while I simply write out their truth. I have been inspired by certain mythologies, and controversies, all of which are shaped around the character.
Is there anything off limits for you as a horror writer with the gore or subject content?
I would love to say not at all, and that I’m tough as nails, but I would be lying. I cannot bring myself to write about anything horrific happening to child. It’s line I don’t think I’ll ever be able to cross. Adults can get slaughtered and tortured all day every day, because they have an understanding of right and wrong. But children are to pure, gentle, and need the upmost protection. It would hurt my heart to write something like that.
Tell us a unique writing habit that you have.
Where do I begin, well I have to be sitting on the ground or on a level floor (don’t ask me why, I don’t even know). I have to write my chapters out of order. I just have to write them as they come. I’ll often start with the prologue, then jump to chapter 4, finish the ending, and double back. Weird right. It drives our editor crazy, but you can’t hate on the process.
I'm feeling the pains of your editor, but everyone has their mojo, LOL! What makes your writing stand apart from other authors?
I love to give detail, too much sometimes! But I can’t help it, my writing is just descriptions of what I see playing in my head. That being said I want you to see what I see, feel what I feel, and if you cannot grasp that reality, there will always be an underlying of research and evidence that you can look up for yourself. So if you can’t appreciate my writing at least you can respect the truth. In short I tell it like it is!
What are some of your other aspirations for your writing career?
I would love to start writing screenplays. My first rough draft ever, was written as screen play and I never knew. It was my first time trying to write a book and it was just something that came naturally. But as I’ve learned, and grew a more as an author (I’m still learning and growing by the way), I feel like I lost touch with that skill before I could really own it.
Would you like to collaborate with other authors on a book project besides your phenomenal counterparts of Red Ink?
To be honest, not really. Only because I like writing on my own, and the only reason why I can collaborate with the ladies of Red Ink is because we know each other so well. There are no egos and we seem to fall in love with each other’s characters so there’s always room for everyone to be themselves. So in order to collaborate with other authors we would almost need to have the same brain so to speak, which is hard to find, since my mind is always lost.
We'll get to know more about you in a bit, but I want to pause here and discuss your contribution to the Sons of Cain series. Please tell us about your book, The Origins of Cai, Part Two
Well Cai is the second son of Cain from the biblical story of Cain and Able. And my book focuses on his origins as the most savage of all his children even though deep down he just wants to be loved. He has the power over lightning thanks to his Egyptian mother who is actually a witch from the novel, The Unusuals by Omega, while Cain is based of Aminah Iman’s version in The Vamperial series. In short, Cain needs all three of his sons to complete this mission (sorry I can’t reveal any spoilers lol), and The Origins shows the life of Cai before the mission actually takes place. So, you’ll be able to see what it is like being the middle child of an immortal serial killer.
Of the three brothers, Cai appears to be the most lethal of them. Do you feel that he is? If so, why is that?
I feel like Cai is the most honest out of the three which makes him the most lethal. He knows that his father only created him to be a weapon. So he owns every part of that and tries to be the best killer he can be to somehow earn his father’s love or place by his side. For Cai family is everything, and without his brothers he becomes lost, but sadly I think he’s the only one that feels this way.
Though Cai is the most fearless and accepting of who he is, he appears to be rooted in loyalty. Where does his sense of loyalty come from?
It comes from being told from birth who he was and what he was meant to do. There was never a question in identity or purpose which I feel is a normal part of growing as a person. But because he’s father is brutally honest and makes no mistake of giving him love and affection, the only thing left for him to attach to is loyalty and respect. That and you either get in line or be killed by your maker. So I think he chooses to pick the lesser of two evils.
Alright now! Readers make sure you grab The Origin of Cai as we dive into the mysterious lives of the Sons of Cain. Now let's get back to learning more about Jaqueline. Outside of writing, what are your favorite past times?
I joke all the time about how I am an extreme hobbyist. I have my own jewelry line which focuses on easing depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I study herbs and natural medicine, and gardening. I absolutely love to cook and bake. Ask the Ladies of Red Ink because they always keep me in the kitchen. I paint, draw, knit, sew, anything with arts & crafts count me in.
What scares you the most?
Other than being buried alive Kill Bill style, I would have to say disappointing the people that believe in me the most. To me, there is no worse feeling or shame than letting someone down when they have given you nothing but love, kindness, and support.
Agreed! I fear having that "trapped" feeling and I'm scared of heights. The older I get the worse it gets too LOL! Tell us one thing about you that is a little known fact.
I’m pretty much an open book, all you have to do is ask, but I do have over three degrees in business, communication, and liberal arts. I also like to read about architecture and off the grid living. I also love opera and anime. Oops you only said one thing, well I guess I’m also long winded!
Now I want to get your professional opinion on some subjects as we round out our time. What is one myth about being a published author that you learned and would like to share?
One myth that I’ve learned by being a published author is that all you have to do is write a book and that’s all. There is a lot that comes with being a published author especially if you’re independent. The work is not done when you finish the book, it’s actually all year round. You have promotion, book covers, reviews, and much more. I think the best quote I’ve heard that sums this up is, “Being a published writer is like having homework everyday for the rest of your life.” Which is totally true lol.
The perception of horror writers is that they are a little bit weirder than the average writer. Do you find this perception to be true or false? Why?
I find this perception to be entirely true. Because when you write horror, you are sometimes forced to think as the worst part of yourself. There are times where you must think as a serial killer, a kidnapper, a demon, or even reflect on your worse fear. How else will it feel real to the readers? But from that comes reflection and balance.
What stigmas do you believe are attached to women horror writers? How are you breaking those stigmas?
That we either men haters, on our period, or that we must add erotica to our novels in order to retain some essence of our femininity. Me and the other ladies are breaking those stigmas by just being great writers. We give facts, we make you think, and feel emotions you never thought possible just by reading one chapter. We showcase our talents not our assets because we’re still not afraid to be ourselves.
Thank you Jaqueline for interviewing with us. We enjoyed having you in the HOT SEAT with UP as we go RED for the October Horror Fest! Readers be sure to grab her novel, The Origin of Cai. Tune in next week as we bring you Omega, from Red Ink Publications.
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