Inside the Mind of Isadora


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An Interview with The Eclectic Eccentric

copy-of-100-nightmares-ebook-cover[1]

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.

2014©Isadora

Her horror story collection, “100 Nightmares” is available at Amazon.com, Lulu.com, and Smashwords
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22007959-100-nightmares
Visit her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/100Nightmares


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Suburban Home Invasion

Headliners

***** In the newspaper this morning, there was a story reported about an elderly man who was struck by 3 youths when he answered his doorbell. Passed out on the floor, they ram shacked his home searching for everything they could steal from him then drove off with it in his car. It brought back an unfortunate memory about our home invasion I’ve written about here.

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It was a small little ad posted in the newspapers Police Blotter.
It read:

Suburban Home Invasion

In the quiet suburban community of Long Islands,
North Babylon, burglars invaded a home on New York
Avenue on October 28th. Police are looking for the suspects. Anyone with information, please contact: Officer Smith (212) 000 – 0000

My home invasion was in the newspaper. Thoughts of the night before rushed into my mind as I read the report. A violation of my family’s security was diminished to a small blurb in a newspaper police blotter.

I could hardly believe my eyes when we drove up our driveway and saw the house lit up. It looked like a Christmas tree dazzling bright. The house looked like a party going on inside. We had left our security lights on and connected to our very reliable timer. It was set to turn them on and turning off. We assumed the timer had broken leaving the light on constantly.

We had left for the weekend to attend a family wedding. It was a two hour drive there and back. We decided to stay with family. My three children would attend the pre – wedding events. A neighbors’ daughter would babysit at my in-laws for the wedding ceremony. My husband and I were excited to have a little weekend get-a-way. It was a rare treat for us.

They must have been watching the house. They had to have known about our being away. They had a good time at our expense. They had a destructive vengeance towards our way of life.

Did you find pleasure in smashing those pumpkins my kids had decorated for Halloween?

Were the shampoo bottles you punctured and carefully placed among clothes, allowing them to ooze out, a source of great elation?
Was the beer you splattered all over the walls, creating a sap of sugary syrup everywhere, a joyful contest amongst all of you?

How about those newspapers you rolled into wads and placed very carefully in the oven for a fire to begin give you a blissful feeling?

And those dark blue police uniforms you decided to cut-up, pour oil and crack eggs all over a sign of your indifference and defiance of authority?

It breaks my heart when I remember the look on my children’s faces. They were so overcome. The thought that someone could be that destructive in their home was incomprehensible to them.

We all cried.

Our house could have been burned down to the ground.

I guess you had never cooked anything in your life. The oven hadn’t been turned on; at all. It was the timer you set. I am so glad you hadn’t gone back to check. I am so glad you didn’t burn our home.

Did you enjoy yourselves?

The police said it was several of you. There was too much destruction and damage for just one scoundrel. You have chosen your life of crime but it will catch up to you.

Maybe, you like scaring people.

Maybe, you wanted to buy drugs with what you stole from us.

You may have gotten away with damaging and stealing from our home but you will be caught. Criminals always are. They never think that they will be outsmarted.

But, eventually, they are.

copyright2014©written by Isadora

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***** This incident occurred in 1973. It’s something that lingers despite the years that have passed.


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Father’s Day Musing


Father’s Day Musing

It’s Father’s Day. Today, we get to “Thank Dad’s” for all the things they do.

The truth is that my father was a harsh, brutal, cold disciplinarian. He ran his household with a military reign. He was in the army at age 16. He must have been a good soldier because his children learnt to be good ones, too. Intense physical discipline wasn’t out of the question. It could get quite bad. But, today is a day to remember Father’s in a good way. Here’s a memory that has some happy moments.

We went to the beach twice a month from May to August until I was seven years old; then, it stopped. He’d get all the food ready the night before: fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon and cool-aid. We were in charge of getting the blankets and towels.

At 5:00 a.m. we were up. Within an hour, we were scurrying to get out the door. We went to a beach on Staten Island, New York. He took the ferry over. When we’d get to the pier, I was always fearful that our car wouldn’t cross onto the ferry and we’d be floating in the water.

On the deck, we’d watch the ferry speed through the water and pass other ferries on their way back to pick up more cars waiting at the pier. The wind would blow through your hair with that early morning crisp wet mist from the splashing waves. My hair was a ball of fluff by the time we’d get there.

The beach was always deserted when we arrived.

Who gets to a beach at 7:00 a.m.?

It was clothes off and in you go. Anyone,usually me, who was afraid to go in the water was tossed in. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t swim.

“It’s time to learn”, he’d say.

Food always tasted better with sand and salt from your wet lips in every bite. Barely 11:00 a.m. we were fed and dry. Now, it was time to head home.

He seemed to enjoy those beach days. It could have been a memory from his service days. He never went to the beach as a child. He grew up on a farm. He farmed all day. He left at 15 and joined the service to get away from his new 22 year old mother. His Mother had passed away when he was 14 leaving 8 siblings for him and another brother to care for. His life wasn’t easy. He showed the anger, suffering and pain on his face all the time. After he passed away, it took years for me to understand that. I wish I had better memories. Unfortunately, I do remember the summer I spent kneeling on bathroom tile for 3 hours every day as penance for bad behavior. I haven’t gone to that emotional place yet.

Strangely, I don’t resent him. I do love him in a distant kind of way. I feel that many of the things he taught me have been positives in my life. I maintain a very clean household. I can cook masterfully. I enjoy the arts, reading, culture and religion because he expected us to know all of them. I’ve been a disciplined hard worker all of my life both as a mother and as a business woman. He did the best he could with the skills he had.

I thank and bless him for the life he gave me. I hope that he is happy with his Mother in heaven.

Happy Father’s Day Dad …!!!

What is the Best Time you ever had With Your Dad?