How did you learn this dismal trade?
I learned to write by watching my mother pound the pavement as a beat journalist in my younger years. I would often assist by helping with paperwork or typing up stories she’d written on her battered yellow legal pads. When copywriting for the web became a big thing, she transitioned and I came of age, and got my first “job” ghostwriting for her. From there, I struck out on my own and now I’m giving HER leads.
How do you take your coffee?
I take my sugar and cream with just a dash of coffee. Seriously, though, if I could, I’d drink “Deathwish” by Black Blood of the Earth every single day. It’s cold-pressed concentrated coffee. You have to actually water it down or risk death, the name is quite literal.
If you had to pick just one condiment, which would it be and why?
Mayonnaise. Ketchup makes me want to vomit and mustard is not far behind. Mayo is all that’s left and I enjoy it. Hellman’s, specifically. Miracle Whip is not mayo. It’s not anything in my eyes. Miracle Whip is dead to me.
What do you like best about working for Top Shelf?
I love Top Shelf because of the atmosphere. We work together as a tightly knit team that’s more of a family than anything else. We’ve always got each others’ backs and we’re always helping one another. Everyone is jovial and (yeah, snarky, but I enjoy that!) amiable and we all enjoy each others’ company, more or less. It makes going to work more fun to know that my coworkers are generally good people and fun to be around.
What kind of writing do you do outside of Top Shelf?
I write horror novels and novellas and I dabble in other genres as well. There was also that one time I got Internet famous for becoming a meme, so I write about that more often than I’d like.
How do you think your outside writing influences your Top Shelf work?
My outside writing doesn’t influence my Top Shelf work so much as my stress level does. If I’m shaking like a chihuahua over a life crisis, my brain gets addled. Being a full-time work-from-home mom also tends to fry your mental circuitry a bit, so my quality depends greatly on whether or not my child has decided to do something creative but troublesome, like paint a mural on the wall with nail polish she pilfered from the highest shelf of a locked closet.
What’s your project manager like? How about your editor?
My project manager is even-keeled, kind and understanding. I adore and appreciate her. At first, I was scared of my editor, until I got a read on her personality. Now I admire her as the firm but fair, take-no-nonsense badass that she is.
What’s your favorite font?
Rockwell Bold. Garamond is a close second.
What words do you really hate / love?
I love “eccentricity” and “verdigris.” There are also some nautical terms that sound filthy but are fine, and anything that’s easily “punnable” is a favorite in my book. I hate “maintenance” (I can never spell it properly the first time around) and “annunciation.”
Who is your writing hero?
Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. That man can make anything sound lovely.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. Is that cliché? That’s so cliché.
One thing about my writing career/life that people wouldn’t expect is:
My dream is not being a writer. I’m living someone else’s dream and sometimes I feel guilty for that, for taking it for granted that I hold a job that so many people aspire to. I wouldn’t trade it, but it isn’t my dream job.