Friday, August 16, 2013

Interview with Nicole DeGennaro

We’re on our second interview with the Scared Spitless authors. Nicole DeGennaro’s story, Home Coming, is a true horror story. A haunted house and frightened children, an unwilling accomplice and true menace abound in this chilling story. We’re sure you’ll be seeing more from Nicole.


1. What inspired your story for the Silly Tree anthology?

I wanted to write a combination ghost and haunted house story, but there was no specific inspiration. As I brainstormed the idea, and wrote and rewrote, it morphed into something far more interesting. 

2. Have you ever hated anything you wrote?

I have a terrible habit of disliking almost everything I write at first. Maybe that’s true for all writers. Once I think I’m finished (either with a first draft or subsequent drafts), I have to let a story sit for a while before I can return to it and be objective. Eventually, and with the great help of my close friends that serve as first readers, I can get some stories to the point that I’m ready to send them out into the world. 

3. How do you stay motivated?

One of my innate skills, unfortunately, is being a great procrastinator. But I know that the ideas I have will never become stories if I don’t write them, and my curiosity for how an idea might develop is usually what draws me back to writing. It’s sheer willpower in my case. However, when I’m feeling particularly unmotivated, I try to fill my free time with activities that have sparked ideas in the past; most often this means reading a book (or two or three), but sometimes it’s even listening to a particular song or album on repeat and letting my mind wander. Doing something that engages my mind or evokes strong emotions will often lead to creative bursts.

4. What is your favorite genre to write? 

I’ll try my hand at anything. However, I do write a great deal of speculative fiction. I like to ask questions about society and culture, and sometimes to explore those ideas I have to create a whole new world, but other times some version of our world will suffice.

5. What is your favorite genre to read?

Speculative fiction, without a doubt. Science fiction and fantasy are my familiar friends. I tend to group some psychological horror into the speculative category as well because those stories often pose terrifying questions. I enjoy the ‘what if’ aspects of the genre, and I like seeing how other writers go about exploring their chosen questions.

6. Do you have advice for other writers?

Don’t let someone else’s negative opinion about your writing discourage you. If you write because you love to write, you’ll always find it rewarding. 

7. What books or authors have most influenced your life?

Ursula K. Le Guin has taught me a great deal about humanity, open mindedness, and everyday courage. Douglas Adams always reminds me to see the humor in the mundane. Neil Gaiman and J.K. Rowling have taught me to appreciate the magic in everything. 

8. Would you like to share a bit about your current work in progress?

I have a number of works in progress; I’m always working on multiple stories at a time. The one that I’m focusing on right now is a fantasy novella inspired by a friend’s painting. The main character saves a man from the Ice Forest, and then she has to deal with the consequences of the rescue. 

9. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

To be honest, I don’t remember it ever being a realization. My mom is constantly pulling out little poems and stories I wrote when I was a child, to embarrass me with in front of friends. I mean, in some of them my spelling is so bad you can barely tell what I was trying to write! We get a good laugh out of it now. I read a lot when I was young, and I still do, so I think for me writing my own stories was just a natural progression. 

10. Where have you been published?
My short story "The Keeper" is going to appear in the Gothic Blue Book III – The Graveyard Edition horror story anthology from Burial Day Books. It should be available sometime in October. I also share writing excerpts on my blog, along with my general thoughts on reading and writing. When other stories of mine get published, I'll announce it on the blog.



  1. Thank you for the excellent introduction and description of my story, Silly Tree!

    And here's the link to my blog, for those interested in learning more about me:

  2. Thank you for submitting your story and for doing the interview.