For most true horror fans the obsession doesn’t stop with the movies. It influences every part of our lives. Hell, part of my fascination with the culinary arts is a direct result of connecting with Hannibal Lecter on some crazy subliminal level, and while I could probably write an entire post on the intricacies of Coq Au Vin, that’s probably not what you nerdcromancers are really interested in.
Literature is a far more common outlet by which we horror fanatics fly our proverbial freak flags, and few fly it with more class (and sass) than Alisha Sams.
Alisha is the author of Bayou L’Abeille (you can read my review here). I met her last year at Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend she’s been a great personal influence as I’ve tried to get my own writing career off the ground. Last week Silvia cooked up some interesting interview questions for Alisha and she was gracious enough to share her answers with us.
The Horror Nerds: When do you think your passion for writing developed?
Alisha Sams: I’ve been interested in writing since I learned to write. Around the age of 7 or 8 I actually began writing stories. Not coming from an environment where I felt comfortable sharing those stories (even then they were really dark), I’d promptly tear them up and hide them in the garbage can, so there are a few AD Sams originals that have only been read by a plastic bag. Yes, I kick myself now for not saving them.
The Horror Nerds: What works of literature have been most influential in your professional life? What about your personal life?
Alisha Sams: When it comes to writing, professional and personal lines tend to blur for me. (I don’t really consider myself professional.) Roald Dahl’s imagination really shaped my imagination once I was allowed to read more “secular” books. I was raised in a very religious home and the vast majority of my reading was Christian fiction. On that front, Frank E. Peretti’s This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness rocked my entire brain. Great story and concept wrapped in fantastic storytelling. That reminds me, I need to revisit those books soon.
The Horror Nerds: What existing piece of literary work do you wish you could have written and why?
Alisha Sams: How To Survive a Robot Uprising, Duh. But really, I know this sounds trite, but I’d have loved to have written Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom. I really love that series.
The Horror Nerds: Who is your favorite author and why?
Alisha Sams: You know, I get this question often and I’ll say to you what I say to everyone else. I’m a complex girl and there is no possible way to reduce my favorites list down to one. The thing is I like different authors for different reasons. The best I can do is narrowing my choices down to my big three: Neil Gaiman, Alice Hoffman and Roald Dahl. Obviously, I love whimsy, sharp wit and a sense of magic in the mundane.
The Horror Nerds: Tell us what scares you the most.
Alisha Sams: Mediocrity… and nargles.
The Horror Nerds: Any books or short stories you wish had never been made into a movie? Why is that?
Alisha Sams: I’m a big fan of seeing the visualization of a book come to life, be it good or bad. On rare occasion, the movie is better than the book. Rare, I said. Tell the book minions to pipe the hell down. Although, if I have to choose, I’m screaming, “50 Shades,” at the top of my lungs.
The Horror Nerds: Favorite Horror movie.
Alisha Sams: For sentimental reasons that I shall never divulge here, Blood Feast. It’s hilariously terrible and I love every minute of it. It’s followed closely by Two Thousand Maniacs. Also, Twilight. That’s a horror, right?
The Horror Nerds: Bang, Marry or Kill:
- Jason Voorhees – Kill
- Pinhead – Bang
- Candyman – Marry
This exercise reveals WAY too much about me. LOL
The Horror Nerds: Tell us your top 3 favorite foods.
Alisha Sams: Pizza, cherry pie, and tasty, tasty virgins. I kid…maybe.
The Horror Nerds: Who would win in a battle of wits – Frankenstein’s Monster or a Velociraptor? Convince us.
Alisha Sams: You’ve just pitted my two favorite things against each other. Being the BFF of a Velociraptor (don’t hate), I can really only speak for Leslie. I mean, you just can’t go around willy nilly speaking for anyone else’s velociraptor, now can you? Leslie, I fear would start the Raptor Phone Tree and invite all of his clever friends. Those not following dress code would be sent home and if Terrence forgets the mermaid and cucumber sandwiches again, then Leslie will probably have a bitch fit the size of the Chrysler Building. After the first squabble between the two raptors wearing the same outfit is handled (let’s face it, it’s bound to happen when you only wear scarves) then Leslie can do roll call and assign a hall monitor. Raptors are notorious tattle tales, so it’s kind of important to set a hierarchy so there’s someone to tattle to. Wait…what was the question?
The Horror Nerds: Tell us some of your interests other than writing.
Alisha Sams: Outside of writing, I do a lot of photography and design work. I love creating in any medium, really. I also enjoy terrible karaoke and too much wine. Consider me a patron of the arts.
The Horror Nerds: You’re getting banned to a deserted island and you can only bring one thing. What do you bring and why?
Alisha Sams: The Necronomicon. Everything’s zanier with a little madness.
The Horror Nerds: What’s your favorite TV show currently? And of all time?
Alisha Sams: My favorite show currently running is American Horror Story. I love the shifting themes every season and the story telling, while occasionally perforated, is still intriguing and delightfully evil. My favorite show of all time, and I’m hoping I can pick from the HBO lineup, was Carnivàle. I really wish it had been given a chance to flesh itself out a bit more. It seems that happens to a lot of my favorite shows (Pushing Daisies, Firefly, Wonderfalls, etc.)
The Horror Nerds: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Alisha Sams: I’m revoking your “favorite questions” privileges.
The Horror Nerds: If I asked 2 of your closest friends to describe you, what would they say? What if I asked 2 of your “enemies”?
Alisha Sams: My friends are bound by a gag order. Don’t worry. They like that sort of thing. I’ve crushed my enemies, seen them driven before me, and heard the lamentations of their women. It sounded surprisingly like a cross between Nicki Minaj and an angry goose.
The Horror Nerds: Cats or dogs?
Alisha Sams: I have both, love both and am allergic to both. I love my fur kids. That being said, I’m convinced that I was a snarly house cat in a former life, so cats rule and dogs drool.
The Horror Nerds: You’re trapped in your home with a killer. Do you hide, do you run away, or do you fight?
Alisha Sams: Oh gurl, he better know that I’m about kill his ass with murder! I also enjoy a heavy cleaver and a morning star, but I’m sure whatever is available will do nicely.
The Horror Nerds: “I never leave the house without my _______?”
Alisha Sams: My lipstick. And before you go all Judgy McJudgerton, it’s where I keep my superpowers.
The Horror Nerds: What is the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?
Alisha Sams: “Yes, I’d love to proof read your kid’s term paper.”
The Horror Nerds: What has been the harshest thing said about you as a writer or otherwise?
Alisha Sams: “At least you have a day job, right?”
The Horror Nerds: Have you ever been in trouble with the police?
Alisha Sams: Actually, never. Although, I have been in cuffs…wait. What was the question again? This is an obvious problem.
The Horror Nerds: If you were going to commit the perfect murder, how would you go about it?
Alisha Sams: I see what you did there.
The Horror Nerds: Do you ever write naked?
Alisha Sams: I do just about everything naked. I mean, if I’m home, it’s probably naked time. Now that you can’t get that image bleached out of your brain, let’s hope we can move on with dignity.
The Horror Nerds: Who would play you in a film about your life?
Alisha Sams: According to the Zimbio quiz it would be Meryl Streep, but I’d probably say Melissa McCarthy. She’s round and humorous. Love her.
The Horror Nerds: Have you based any of your characters on you, or parts of you? Care to share which characters?
Alisha Sams: There’s really a piece of me in most things that I write. My characters get to act out on the impulses, mistakes, anger, silliness, and fabulousness that I don’t feel like I can attempt in life. If I had to pick a character that’s most like me intentionally, it’s in an unpublished monster hunter I’m writing. She’s snarky and sassy and the badass I wish I could be. Oddly enough, an unintentional likeness occurred in the character Melvin in Bayou. Go figure.
The Horror Nerds: Have you ever been in a physical fight?
Alisha Sams: Once. I’m sure he still has a limp.
Well there you have it folks–a look into the life and times of one of the stewards of the literature side of the horror business. Alisha will be appearing as an author panelist again this year at Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend in Orlando, and she was even kind enough to invite yours truly to sit on a few panels too! If you’re in the Orlando area the last weekend in October stop by the convention. Alisha and I would love to see you.