Becca at ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’ hosts Nurturing Thursday to join in click here
Today, I’m visiting with KZ Morano from the blog The Eclectic Eccentric.
We’re sitting on cushy chairs enjoying some hot tea while discussing her latest book ‘100 Nightmares’ which has been getting rave reviews. With Halloween only days away, it may be just the book you’re looking for.
Isadora: How is your cup of chamomile tea, KZ?
KZ: First of all, thank you so much for having me here. The tea is perfect. Thank you. I love chamomile tea. It helps me sleep at night. :)
Isadora: Let me begin by saying the following question is in no way demeaning to KZ’s writing. She is a phenomenal writer. However, let’s get the obvious out of the way. You are a beautiful woman. Have you ever modeled? Your gravatar image is stunning.
KZ: Thank you. *blushes* But no, I’m afraid that apart from the occasional vanity photos, I’m far too timid for any kind of modeling. When I was a little girl, my mother used to push me into entering all sorts of pageants but even as a child, I was very shy. Perhaps that is why I went after more academic pursuits. I love fashion. I love dressing up. I love watching fashion shows. But right now, I’m quite content with modeling in front of the mirror. haha I’m very pleased, though, that you like my writing. :)
Isadora: I’d like you to tell my readers a little about yourself, KZ?
KZ: I’m an eclectic eccentric… a writer, a shopaholic, a beach bum, and a chocolate addict. I’m a certified bibliophile. I love food and cooking. In fact, I spend most of my time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals from scratch. I spend a lot of time with my grandma, baking cakes or getting our nails done. I adore weirdness. I’m attracted to things that are dark and bizarre. I’m also an incurable romantic. I’m a fan of true love that spans centuries, worlds, and souls.
Isadora: Your are a very complex woman with a great many interests. Have you always been interested in writing or did writing come looking for you?
KZ: I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. As a child, I used to hang out in my mother’s library, climbing the shelves and reading her books (mostly romance novels). I’ve always known that I was going to be a writer though I really had no idea where to start. I used to write melancholic poetry when I was a teenager but it wasn’t until I started my blog that I began writing fiction. Exactly one year ago, I had my first horror story published. I think writing had been there all along, patiently waiting for me to gather my guts.
Isadora: I can picture you climbing those shelves and sitting like a little cherub. I noticed on your blog another horror book you’ve written, Bones III. What is your genre?
KZ: Bones III is a horror anthology edited by James Ward Kirk, featuring the works of several talented authors and poets such as Dona Fox, Essel Pratt, Magenta Nero, Alex S. Johnson, Mary Genevieve Fortier, and many more. The collection consists of poems, flash fiction, and short stories including my offering, “Hitchhiker”. I’m very proud to be a part of this project.
I write anything from romance and erotica to horror and dark fantasy. As a writer and as a reader, I try not to limit myself to just one genre. In fact, you’ll notice in my writing that I enjoy combining two or more genres. I like the horror genre because it’s very flexible. Fantasy horror, sci-fi horror, YA, bizarro, noir horror, dystopian, and all the lovely creepy-crawly things in between… there is simply no limit to the horror genre.
Isadora: I agree with you. Limiting ourselves to one genre can be restricting. Are there any horror authors, such as Stephen King, who’ve influenced your inclination to write horror stories?
KZ: Stephen King is a brilliant master storyteller. My favorites also include H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Neil Gaiman, and Clive Barker. I always say that these writers showed me the beauty in horror, and they did. Clive Barker’s works revealed to me how sensual horror can be and reading H.P Lovecraft’s creations made me disturbingly aware of our vulnerability.
Isadora: I must say that is quite an impressive list of authors who’ve influenced you. We live in a fast paced world. I noticed the stories in your book 100 Nightmares are 100 stories in 100 words. By the way, quite clever.
Do you prefer writing in a short amount of words because you want to reach the readers who prefer something quick to read?
KZ: The truth is I have the attention span of a butterfly. haha :) This is why I love writing short fiction. I’ve always been very passionate about micro-fiction, seeing it as a form of art. It’s a great challenge to write a full story in exactly 100 words. Every single word matters. Yes, the book is ideal for people who are looking for something quick to read, in between coffee breaks or whenever they need a jolt of horror.
But it’s more than that, really. I found that writing with a limited amount of words forces a writer to give each piece his/her best. I’d like to think that the readers will find that the stories in 100 Nightmares are meticulously crafted tales with a lot of substance. That is why I strongly suggest that instead of reading the stories in one sitting, one should sit back and reflect on each piece… allow the horror to sink in, to linger, and to slowly unravel, because the end is not the end.
Isadora: You’ve given the readers of your new book an incredible way to approach it. Do enjoy being frightened or frightening others or do you feel the horror genre is very popular thereby encouraging your style?
KZ: Believe it or not, I tried running away from horror for as long as I can. But eventually, it found me. The thing about horror is that you cannot deny its existence. It is a part of our lives. So I’ve decided to embrace the inevitable… to confront my fears, to stare at the monster right in the face, and to take control. Horror provided me with an outlet for my imagination. But more than that, it helped me become a better person, one who is no longer shielding her eyes from reality.
Isadora: There are a great many people with aspirations of writing and publishing a book. What would you advise a novice writer?
KZ: Read. The moment I started reading and respecting other writers’ works was the moment that I stopped deluding myself. I used to be arrogant. A real amateur. I used to think that I was an awesome writer just because a couple of people told me so. But listening to other writers’ voices, appreciating their styles, it was very humbling. I believe that I became a better writer because of that… and well, I’m still growing.
As for self-publishing, I would advise novice writers to carefully study its pros and cons. First and foremost, it is important to come up with a good product but remember that the real work begins AFTER you finish your book. If you don’t advertise your work, no one else will. Personally, I’m quite glad that I decided to self-publish 100 Nightmares because that way, I am able to learn a lot of things about publishing and of course, monitor the profits. And of course, the most important advice for any newbie writer is to be original. Find your voice and own it.
Isadora: That’s wonderful advice, KZ. You’ve listed many important steps for the novice that are worth following. What are your future plans in writing or your wish for the future?
KZ: I have many wishes for the future. But right now, I’m focusing on writing short stories. I’ve been invited by editors to join a few anthologies and a couple of publishers have also invited me to send in a novel or a novella. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a novel right now. haha But let’s see what happens. ;)
Isadora: I’m looking forward to reading a novel or novella by you in the future. Thank you for stopping by for a visit today, KZ. and giving me the opportunity to interview you. I wish you much success with your book ‘100 Nightmares’.
KZ: Thank YOU, Isadora, for your time and for this lovely interview! I very much enjoyed our conversation. :)
For those who haven’t been to KZ’s blog ‘The Eclectic Eccentric’ be sure to pop over and view her numerous great stories she’s written. Kz has her books selling at the websites listed below. Why not add a little fright to your upcoming Halloween bash by picking up this scary book at to read in your creepy candle lit room.
Her horror story collection, “100 Nightmares” is available at Amazon.com, Lulu.com, and Smashwords
Visit her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/100Nightmares
Do you think it was my seat in the back of the car?
No, it was not.
My older sister sat in that seat behind my mother. My younger sister sat in the middle. My brother sat on my mothers lap. Yes, you read that right. He was 2 years old then. It was before car seats for children were mandatory. If there had been an accident, he would have been mashed potatoes. The dashboard on the old cars were as hard as a wall.
I was in the back seat but on the other side right behind my father. There wasn’t any air conditioning. The windows were wide and rolled down the minute you got in the car.
For me, it was always ‘The ride from hell’. My fathers was a chain smoker. He smoked the best ones from that era. You know ‘Camels’. The unfiltered cigarette kind. They were very short which meant you had to pop another one in your mouth as soon as the first one was finished. I had the pleasure of inhaling nicotine and carcinogen chemicals on every car ride. As the wind blew into the car, along came the smoke and ashes right at me.
I have. It’s disgusting.
I was always car sick. There were many times he had to stop the car so I could vomit. It wasn’t pretty. Everyone would mock me for my delicate system and the tactics I had of spoiling everyones enjoyment of their Sunday drive.
The seats in the summer were always burning hot. There wasn’t a summer day I didn’t scorch my skinny legs on those seat. Eventually, after a lot of complaining, my mother decided to take a towel and lay it on the seat for us just before we’d leave. But only after spoiled favorite daughter #1 – the oldest – complained.
We’d arrive at our destination – a park, the beach or one of their friends house and I’d have to sit until the dizzy feeling would pass. Seltzer was the beverage I had to drink in order to settle my stomach while the others drank cokes.
I think about the fact that I do have those Sunday drives as a memory.
I just wish they could have been more fun for me.
Take my Hand – Believe in Love
Take my hand
and walk with me
in quiet places;
where butterfly wings
create a melodic song.
Sing and play
in secret meadows;
where grasses sway
with soft summer breezes
from dusk to dawn.
Share with me
a simple life
of placid days
and starry nights;
where we can lie
on yielding grasses
while waiting for
the morning light.
Take my hand
and dance with me,
until stars twinkle
brightly in your eyes.
For simple pleasures
love can hold;
winter’s edge grows bold.
Frequent Contributors to Nurturing Thursday
Burst Inside 2014©art by Isadora
Mix your reality with a bit of fantasy.
Allow your feet to come off the ground for a little while.
Give yourself a rest.
Take some time to meditate and clear your mind of your daily worries.
Calming, relaxing activities are the best way to spend your day.
Spend time taking walks with friends.
Feel free to go deep into conversations regarding outlandish subjects.
Allow yourself to dream.
Life Dance – created by Oneness
The person, who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live. ~Leo F. Buscaglia
Tea and Paper
Tao of Scrumble
Laurie’s Gentle Healing Notes
Crowing Crow Joss
The 3 Tenors O Sole Mia 1994
Luciano Pavarotti – José Carreras – Plácido Domingo
The Three Tenors … three of operas maestros.
Luciano Pavarotti was born on October 12, 1935, on the outskirts of Modena in north-central Italy. The son of an amateur tenor he gave up a career in teaching in the mid-1950s and, after years of study, began his professional singing career in 1961. Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, made his operatic debut at the Teatro Reggio Emilia in 1961, performing as “Rodolfo” in La Boheme. He then made his international debut at the Royal Opera House in London in 1963, and, two years later, made his American debut in the Miami production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Pavarotti went on to become a hugely popular and internationally known opera star, achieving a large following due to his recordings and television appearances, and ultimately helping expand the popularity of opera worldwide. He died in Modena in 2007, at the age of 71. He was the most well-known opera singer of his lifetime.
Josep Maria Carreras i Coll was born in Barcelona, Spain on the 5th of December 1946, He began singing as a child. By the mid-1970s, he was a leading tenor who had performed in operas around the world. Diagnosed with leukemia in 1987, he was successfully treated, and soon created a foundation to fight the disease. He is particularly known for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini. Born in Barcelona, he made his debut on the opera stage at 11 as Trujamán in Manuel de Falla’s El retablo de Maese Pedro and went on to a career that encompassed over 60 roles on the stages of the world’s leading opera houses and in the recording studio.
Jose Plácido Domingo Embil is a Spanish-Mexican born on the 21st of January 1941, popularly known as Plácido Domingo. He is a tenor and conductor best known for his powerful and versatile voice while possessing a ringing and dramatic tone throughout its range. Both of Domingo’s parents were singers in Spain. Domingo began his study of music on the piano but when the power of his voice was revealed he became a singer. He made his debut at the New York City Opera in 1965 and has since won 11 Grammy Awards, performed around the world.
Andrea Bocelli – O Sole Mia
Andrea Angel Bocelli was born on the 22nd of September 1958 in Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy. He is an Italian tenor and singer-songwriter. Visually impaired from birth, Bocelli became blind at the age of 12 following a football (soccer) accident. As a child, he learned to play the piano, flute and saxophone. His 1995 album Bocelli did well in Europe and 1999’s Sogno became an international hit. He remains one of the world’s most popular singers today.
Il Volo – O Solo Mia
IL Volo (English: The Flight) is an Italian operatic pop trio, consisting of singers: tenors Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto, and baritone Gianluca Ginoble.
Youth taking the reins of the maestros.
Don’t let the baby faces throw you off they are wonderful singers.
Each Tuesday, Frizz, is walking us through the alphabet A – Z. This week is the Letter O – to join the challenge click on the image or Letter O
If you missed my previous post on one of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz you can click on Nurturing Yourself – with Impeccable Words and it will take you to it.
The Second Agreement : Don’t take Anything Personally
This agreement concerns itself with the behavior of other people. It opens us up to explore the realization that the way people act towards us isn’t always about the issue that are going on at the time between you and the other person, but more about the way the person is reacting towards you based on his or her own persona. If someone is spoiled, selfish or has feelings of entitlement they will react in a different manner then someone who has a greater attitude of compassion towards others who they interact with.
Many times, it’s difficult to put this agreement into effect. If you’re a sensitive person by nature you believe that everything that’s happening is because the other person doesn’t like you. You begin to feel you’re not good enough or pretty enough or thin enough. You think it must be that my clothes are wrong, my hair isn’t stylish or straight, my skin color is offending. You start to grab all of the negative messages from your minds treasure chest. Before you know it, you crumble before them and give them your power.
All of the things that are going on between you and the other person could have had nothing to do with you. But, it’s much easier for us to think we’ve created this because of all these issues we think we have.
The fact is that everyone has bags full of issues. How we carry our bags determines our self-assurance in ourselves. With greater confidence, we can stand strong in who we are and diminish the power we’re giving to another. Everyone has opinions along with beliefs or biases. Most are based on how they were instilled in us while growing up. As we mature, we begin to see some flaws in what we were taught. Once we begin to see the value in ourselves, the opinions or the comments of others aren’t emotionally painful anymore nor do they mean anything to us any longer.
Because they are entitle to their own thoughts, opinions and beliefs but they’re not entitled to destroy us.
My mantra is : It’s not about me; it’s about them.
Do you have a mantra you tell yourself while in the midst of an argument or negative discourse?
2014©written by Isadora
These are The Four Agreements
The First Agreements is : Be Impeccable with Your Word
The Second Agreement : Don’t take Anything Personally
The Third Agreement : Don’t make Assumptions
The Fourth Agreement : Always Do your Best
Frequent Contributors to Nurturing Thursday
On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea