Author Lydia Peever chats to Kendall Reviews.

Lydia Peever is a horror author, designer and journalist from Ontario, Canada. She is a big fan of horror music, books, and film; so anywhere there is blood, you will probably find her lurking somewhere in the corner.

Her short stories have appeared in Postscripts To Darkness, Dark Moon Digest, For When The Veil Drops, Memento Mori, her small collection Pray Lied Eve and it’s sequel Pray Lied Eve 2. The follow up to her first novel Nightface has also been written.

In her spare time, she helps update the new releases section of the Horror Writers Association website, photographs zombie walks, and records a few podcasts like Splatterpictures Dead Air. She also talks about horror books on Youtube at typicalbooks.

Coffee?

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KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

Growing up in small-town countryside Ontario has truly shaped my writing and who I am. The first house I recall turned out to be a murder house, but my formative years were spent in a decidedly haunted farmhouse surrounded by books. Somehow, I get along well in the big city blending my love of horror, writing, photography to smooth the sharp edges of design and technology that make up my career. 

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

Visiting cafes, reading, a little gardening when I can, and cleaning mostly. I also spend several hours a week working on Dead Air podcast with Wes Knipe so that translates into editing and recording audio after watching some fantastic horror films.

https://soundcloud.com/deadairpodcast/dead-air-ep-132-carrie

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

Oh my, there are so many. Likely my grandmothers copy of “The Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe” with illustrations by Edmund Dulac. It has been a constant fixture since I can first remember being read to, and is one of my prized possessions to this day.

KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

For the past few years, my favourite album has been “Evasive” by Neurotech. I typically listen to harder music which Wulf, that musician, has also created, but that album has been a definite fixture. Black Dahlia Murder, Skinny Puppy, Encephalon, Black Claw and Skeletonwitch are huge favourites of mine. Music figured heavily while writing my first novel, and the entirety of the short story “Jack And the Box” was written to the Maniac soundtrack by Rob, so yes music does play a role. Most often, however, I write in silence or with the buzz of a cafe around me.

KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?

Halloween 2” is still my favourite horror film of all time as it pushes all the buttons I like. So hard to pick a favourite director as each has their hits and misses and many new creators pique my interest every year.

KR: What are you reading now?

Right now it is “The Nightmare Room” by Chris Sorensen. Being a blend of small-town haunted farmhouse darkness and the oddity of being a voice actor as the lead role is, it jumped out at me the moment I read the synopsis.

KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

Surely Stephen King. Not only for each work he has given us, but the candid insight on the writer’s life through his non-fiction and interviews. There was a shelf of his books in my grandmother’s house alongside her “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, Shirley Jackson and hardbound classics which all have a tint of darkness to them. Kathe Koja and Otsuichi have been massive influences later, as they both write with such a peculiar style it reminds me not all work has to conform. I read a lot of Clive Barker, Anne Rice, and any mass-market horror I could so it all plays a part for certain.

KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

Both, and a hybrid of plotting where I plan a beginning or end, and fill in the rest as inspired to do so. My first novel took a long time as I wrote it all on whims. I decided to plot the sequel and it is taking me nearly as long so neither method wins. Some short stories are written in a one-day frenzy from start to finish and some chiselled out from notes. I’ve been pressed for time this year so took to writing short outlines to squirrel away so I may become a full-time plotter yet!

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KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Every single day is full of research. Being a genealogy fan and finding myself in the Dewey Decimal System 300 and 800 sections so often as a teen, I don’t think it ever starts or stops. If I need a particular data there can be some items found online but I have been known to get to the library or pick up the phone and cold-call an expert. As a journalist I became comfortable with asking questions so have spoken to medical professionals, charnel house workers, morticians, psychoanalysts and many others when needed although I do often rely heavily on conclusions based on my own experience.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

Since it varies I would have to say my best writing days start early after tidying up and some coffee. I’ll write at the laptop at a desk or table. If I start to get stagnant I’ll bundle myself off to a cafe and write there until it gets noisy or I feel done for the day. If I am writing longhand, it is usually all in a nearby cafe. When I am writing after a workday, it still involves coffee and will be a sprint of an hour or two at home or in a cafe.

KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?

Bad Shepherd” is a darling of mine, and many other people as well! Still my most listened to story on The Wicked Library, and it is the gem of my first collection Pray Lied Eve. Written entirely in pencil in a battered Moleskine during college, even the act of creating that story is precious to me.

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

I do since they are valuable to ensure I make sense and the tone is hitting the right nerves. Figuring out who my audience takes time and will continue to shift so the only barometer I have is reading reviews. Since I don’t get out much or have any other way to hear how my writing is received, reviews serve a larger purpose than driving promotion.

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

Write and submit. Create a cycle of writing and submitting. Beyond the first few submissions which are exciting, don’t get hung up on that lengthy and shadowy process. Accept the submission process can be lengthy and shadowy and keep writing. Even if you choose to never submit a piece, keep writing.

KR: What scares you?

There was an op-ed piece I wrote for the Ottawa Citizen on this very topic. It boils down to that phone call in the wee hours. Ringing when you are groggy and feeling safe. You have no idea what is on the other end, and even if it is a wrong number those moments in between shrill rings the mind races to the absolute worst case scenarios and back again. It’s a terrible feeling punctuated by terrible thoughts so I’d say the possibility of doom being delivered remotely scares me. You can read it here www.nightface.ca/what-scares-me/.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

All three, please. Not being a big collector, I do have a few hardcovers and can see more in my future but prefer paperback since I rotate my shelves often. E-reading is a great preview or way to get books on the go when I didn’t bring something to read, but I don’t prefer one over the others.

KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

Pray Lied Eve”, my short collection, came out on Audible May 21, 2018. Working with talented narrator D. Michael Hope was perfect as the whole process went so smoothly. He really brings a great voice to these three short tales of fear, confusion and hopelessness. We are working on the sequel at the moment, so having the two come out in tandem is perfect for those that want something a little longer.  My most recent print release was a short story, “Model Hearts”, in the anthology Allucinor: Element of Romance from ID Publishing. All the stories in there are romance written by genre writers who had not tackled romance before, so a fascinating and well-wrought experiment in fiction.

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KR: What are you working on now?

After a busy year where I little time to write more than two new pieces, I have a few outlines to work up into shorts, novellas, and a novel I am toying with. Looming over all of that is “Nightface II” which is teetering on the edge of being sent to beta-readers. Right this moment, my narrator D. Michael Hope and I are working on “Pray Lied Eve 2” coming out on audible, and a translator is wrapping up the Japanese version of “Pray Lied Eve” – both projects are wonderfully exciting to me.

KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?

You can choose…

a) One fictional character from your writing.

I’ve never really understood these sort of questions, but years of listening to This Is Horror and hearing them I guess people like them! I’d like to be stranded with Sinthia from Nightface since she is quiet and sleeps in the sand so it would be like I am alone. She is basically a bulletproof zombie creature too, so she could do all the grunt work, easy. 

b) One fictional character from any other book.

Hannibal Lecter so I could have some proper conversation for a while, and would not be there long before he is stranded by himself with a full stomach.

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c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.

That is really tough as I’d really rather not, but if pressed, then Noam Chomsky for the conversation. Surely he appreciates solitude and quiet but would have great insight on our inevitable and quickened demise being stranded.

KR: Thank you very much Lydia.

You can follow Lydia on Twitter @typicallylydia

You can visit Lydia’s official website www.nightface.ca

You can visit Lydia’s author page here

You can visit Lydia’s Youtube channel here

You can visit Splatter Pictures here

Kaia is haunted by fingerprints marring the basement door. No matter how hard she scrubs, they return day after day. The only things in the cellar are old Halloween decorations, and she double checks, everyday.

Connor has sighted the most miraculous and mysterious thing in his life. Either no one else can see them, or no one believes it. Ice balls larger than a fist smash to the ground regularly. When the church bells ring just right, another one falls. 

Laurel knows animals can talk. Sometimes they ask her to do things. One will explain why they have always been drawn to her. By that time, she has grown and so have they; into hideous demons with terrible demands.

You can buy Pray Lied Eve from Amazon US  & Amazon UK

You can buy the Pray Lied Eve from Audible here

Horror, weird tales, quiet stories of the supernatural… call them what you will, these six stories serve as a following to the first three dark offerings of Pray Lied Eve. This second installment is longer and delves more deeply into realms perhaps best left undisturbed. Sadness, thoughts of revenge, scenes of torture; many people find themselves exploring these things alone so Pray Lied Eve will offer to be your guide. Have your mirror image ruined, and all sense of safety in your home with The Ringer. Explore the madness of the carnival after dark with Jack and the Box. Halloween Hopscotch sounds fun, but when everyone knows what you’ve done… or simply ignore the atrocities of the past and visit Midway Park. Witness nightmares come alive during the Widow’s Wake, and then leave it all As Is, Where Is. If you enjoy these tales, please leave a review and suggest Pray Lied Eve at your local library.

You can buy Pray Lied Eve 2 from Amazon US & Amazon UK

Vampire evolution. He could not remember a thing, who he was or where he came from. Flashes come, like distant lightning. A song, an abandoned house of isolated opulence, and visions of the undead… Then he meets a girl—the only person who recognizes him—her body marked with hundreds of scars. Gunnar isn’t sure if the police want him after finding his landlords body but runs anyway. He is led to the old house on Black River Road where memories come clearer and more disturbing. Memories of blood, vampires, and the one who forced this dark world upon him. Worst of all, he remembers how easily he embraced that darkness.

You can buy Nightface from Amazon US & Amazon UK

You can buy Allucinor from Amazon US & Amazon UK

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