Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes M. Yardley
I met Mercedes through a mutual friend. We were Facebook friends for a few months before we actually got to meet in person. I'm so glad we met She's awesome and we connected immediately we have so much in common. Mercedes is an amazing female horror writer and her collection of "tragic" short stories called Beautiful Sorrows is out now.
Here is her blog and the purchase link for her book. As well as an awesome interview.
A Broken Laptop
Shock Totem Bookstore
How does a small town girl end up in Vegas?
This small town girl first sampled Seattle, Helsinki, and then ended up in Vegas. My family and I are definitely adventurers. I’m being absolutely honest when I say that there are definitely things that I miss about growing up in Castle Dale. I miss things like talking over the fence with the neighbors and growing up with the same group of kids. My son has been to almost a dozen schools in six years here, and that’s hard for him. There’s no continuity. But I love how many friends pop into Vegas for vacation or for conferences, so I get to see them. And it’s great having a store open in the middle of the night! When I visit home, I get panicked because I forget that everything closes at 9:00 pm. There’s that 8:45 rush to run down there and make sure we’re good for the evening.
Why do you write what you write?
I write what I read. I write what I think about. My mind has a tendency to spiral toward the dark beautiful, and it’s easy to jump in the rabbit hole after it. I also try to exorcise some of my fears and anxieties of the moment. My husband constantly tells me, “Your mind is not your friend,” and he’s absolutely right. I try to put some of this crazy energy to work for me, instead of just against me.
There aren’t a lot of women who write horror, does this make it harder or easier to be noticed?
When I first started writing horror, I felt that being a woman was used against me. I felt like I was being singled out. Now that I’ve settled into my space, I see that wasn’t necessarily the case, but I was projecting my own insecurities onto other people. Being a woman is helpful because it’s a little bit of an anomaly. Being a woman of faith who writes horror, well! That’s even more strange. It’s helpful if you know how to shoulder the attention, and it took me a while to become comfortable with it. But horror writers are the most amazing crew. I was surprised at how wonderful and generous and kind they all are! They put all of their darkness on the page, so they’re basically left as happy, well-balanced beings. There are exceptions, of course, but they seem to be few and far between.
I’ve seen your painted piano, is your writing space as eclectic?
Ha! I love that piano! I named her Sonja, and after I painted her, she became Red Sonja. She’s a happy thing. My writing space is pretty much the whole house, but I do have a desk that’s set up for writing. I have a statue of Romeo and Juliet that I got in Verona when I was a teenager. A Maleficent figurine, a stuffed skeleton that a friend gave me. There’s an original, signed “The Last Unicorn” poster hanging over the desk, and a wonderfully whimsical and sinister painting of Red Riding Hood riding on the wolf’s back. He has a red muzzle. A picture of my writing group, a picture that my daughter drew, and a pair of red rain boots tucked underneath. For, you know, all of the rain in Vegas. I write in them. So, um, yes, I suppose it’s fairly eclectic. Slightly strange, very charming, and quite me.
If you had to evacuate your home what would you take first? (Besides your family members and mementos)
My journals. Too many precious memories to lose. And my laptop. Once a writer, always a writer. Thankfully I have my work backed up in about a zillion places, but I never want to be without a computer.
What is with the high heels?
I have a slight obsession. I’ve always loved shoes, but it’s since I married my super wonderful, super secure husband that I’ve really started collecting the stilettos. I’m taller than him when I wear them. Heck, I’m taller than pretty much everybody when I wear them! In most of my heels, I’m 6’1”. I love that my husband isn’t at all intimidated or insecure about that. They’re pretty, they’re something special that can be incorporated into every day, and I love the sound that they make when they tic-tic-tic on the floor. It’s a very powerful, very feminine sound.
Tell us about your current writing.
Right now I’m reveling in the release of my first story collection titled Beautiful Sorrows. I’m also working on a novel that I’m planning to turn in to my agent this December. Its working title is Stormlight, and it’s a women’s fiction about a girl who returns to her Southern home after years of being away, and her young daughter goes missing. It’s full of delicious small-town paranoia and emotion. I absolutely adore this project.
A piece of advice?
I’d suggest that we all take 30 minutes this evening that we’d usually waste. Time spent watching mindless television, or playing on the Internet, perhaps. Use this mindless time and write with it. I guarantee something magical will happen. Let’s reclaim our lives and creativity, shall we?