Given the time of year, Halloween right around the corner, I thought it a good time to introduce everyone to a woman who helps the things in the night go bump.
A fan of the dark, Yolanda lets her imagination run wild with stories of ghosts and demons and a whole host of supernatural characters, tempered with romance and a taste of sadistic cruelty. With a host of novel, anthology, and magazine credits, Yolanda is driven by her muse to churn out a constant stream of great, dark stories.
Given how busy she is, I was fortunate enough to wrangle an interview out of her. I’ll let her tell you a little about herself:
YS: Firstly, I just wanted to thank you for having me here today!
Well, I’m a writer who lives in a suburb of Sydney, Australia with my husband, daughter, and cat. I spend most of my days either writing, revising, editing, or brainstorming new ideas. Of course, there are a lot of other (real life) things I tackle during an average day, but my head’s constantly filled with characters, ideas, and possible plotlines.
When I’m not sitting in front of the computer, I love to read. I’m a huge bibliophile and love collecting books. Looks like I’m starting an eBook collection now, too, because I recently bought a Kindle 3, and I love it! I also love going for walks, yoga, working out, playing Rock Band and MarioKart DS, hanging out with my family, and watching my fave movies and TV shows. There really aren’t enough hours in the day.
1. Of all the genres you could write in, what drew you to write paranormal/horror/dark stories?
YS: Oh, I knew early on that I would write dark tales with otherworldly characters, situations and monsters. I was drawn to horror movies from a very early age, and spent a lot of my teens enjoying the Friday the 13th, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street movies. If it was out on VHS (OMG, does that make me sound old? lol), I borrowed it. But it wasn’t until I watched The Lost Boys and Nightbreed, that I discovered a different path. As soon as I found out Nightbreed was a book, I bought a copy of CABAL and Clive Barker changed my writing path forever.
Besides, I’m totally intrigued by the paranormal and supernatural.
2. What’s one of the most horrific things you’ve done to your characters?
YS: I do horrible things to my characters all the time. I’ve done some pretty awful things to Alyce Kerr, for instance. Having a demon bound to her soul isn’t much fun, and I made trying to get rid of it as hard as I could for her, the poor thing. Although she eventually got her happy-for-now ending, I can’t help but wonder what other tortures I will do to her in the future.
It’s cruel I suppose, but I do enjoy torturing my characters. It’s not always a good thing to be featured in one of my stories.
3. What do you think sets you apart from other paranormal writers out there?
YS: Well, I think I’ve got a way of telling a story that’s all mine. Not just my voice, but the approach, and the fact that I love to explore what hides in the shadows, as well as entangling the characters in almost impossible situations and complicated friendships/relationships.
I’m certainly not the only one who does this, we’ve all got our own writing style, and I enjoy mine.
4. You are incredibly prolific. Do you have any tips on how to manage your writing time, seeing how you juggle regular blogging, reading, reviews, interviews, edits, family life, and writing daily?
YS: Wow, just reading your list made me exhausted, lol. Do I really do all of that every day? Yeah, actually, I do. Well, I think it helps a lot to have a plan. Sometimes, when I’ve just finished a project or the editing of a book, my mind decides to switch onto restless mood, which simply means I seem lost for a few weeks. I think it’s how I mentally recharge my creative batteries. So it’s important to allow yourself a little breather every now and then.
I make sure that I do most of my writing-related stuff during the day—Monday to Friday— while my husband’s at work and my daughter at school. This is when I ‘do’ the bulk of the writing life, although when I’m editing I have to squeeze that in accordingly. I like to take the weekend off from anything too heavy, unless hubby’s working. And I usually try to blog before my daughter wakes up in the morning. Reading, well, I can do that whenever we’re all together, yet relaxing. It’s a matter of balance, I think.
The hours still slip away too fast, though. Wish I could buy some extra time from somewhere.
Oh, and having a to-do lists and a calendar handy definitely helps. I usually like to plan ahead. It helps to keep me focused.
5. Of all the stories you’ve written, which is your favorite, and why?
YS: You know, I don’t think I can answer this one. It’s a hard thing to answer because every story I write has something that made me so compelled to tell it, that I had no other choice but to write it.
But I can tell you that I have an upcoming urban fantasy series from ImaJinn Books that features a character that’s been with me for years. Trina Martin is unlike anyone I’ve ever written about, and I love her world so much that I have about a dozen books planned in it. It’s called The Hidden series.
6. To help facilitate internet stalking, where can readers find out more about you and your books?
YS: LOL, when you put it that way, how can I not share? I try to keep my website: www.yolandasfetsos.com as up-to-date as I can. I also blog every other day here: http://ysfetsos.blogspot.com And I like to hang out at Twitter: http://twitter.com/yolandasfetsos
Thanks so much, Tim! It was a lot of fun to pop into your blog.