Today's interview is with Sara Brooke. Sara is a horror and suspense novelist living in South Florida. A lifelong avid reader of all things scary, Sara's childhood dream was to write horror books that force readers to sleep with their lights on. Sara's influences and favorite authors include Bentley Little, John Saul, William Blackstone, and Joe McKinney.
Her first novel, Still Lake, was released in the Spring of 2012. She is presently working on her third novel.
Michael K. Rose: What role do you believe speculative fiction plays in society?
Sara Brooke: It plays a large role, serving as an escape from non-fiction and to be honest, from the mundane doldrums of life. Speculative fiction gives the reader an opportunity to be immersed in another world. It has always been a respite for me personally, so when I am creating different worlds with different characters, it is a unique pleasure to know that others will soon be entertained. Nothing pleases me more than when readers share their own personal thoughts in reference to one of my novels.
MKR: Why do you write in this genre?
SB: I love horror! It is what interests me. Hence, I write about what I enjoy. That's not to say that I don't enjoy dramas, romance or comedy, but I prefer to read about the horrific. Bentley Little is one of my favorite authors. His tales of terror are fantastical experiences that take the norms and systematically change them to the macabre. Some of my novels emulate that theme. It is quite amazing how quickly "normal" life can shift with just a few tiny changes in the world.
SB: I've always loved a good haunted house story, but the best ones are where the people inside are more horrific than any of the "ghosts in the halls." Being a fan of Gothic suspense, I applied those principles to Kransen House. It really turned out the way I'd hoped despite taking different twists and turns that weren't anticipated when I began writing it. Many readers shared with me that it was a fascinating, horrific journey for them and that they couldn't stop reading until the end, anxious to know how it would all turn out.
MKR: What was your biggest challenge in writing it?
SB: There are scenes in the book that are truly uncomfortable, particularly from a woman's standpoint. Let's just say there are some really bad people in it. But in order to ensure that the story was believable, I had to touch upon topics that are difficult to swallow. Still, that is reality, isn't it? There are people in this world who don't follow the same rules as you or I. And, combining that with a touch of the "haunted" makes the story a tad more delicious.
MKR: What are you working on now?
SB: My third novel. I've posted some teasers about it on http://www.sarabrooke.com/. I'm also part of a new anthology entitled New Flesh, Old Bones, which contains short stories from newer authors like me and other more well-known writers like Joe Lansdale. My short is an interesting creepfest about a Goldfish named "Doug." I hope readers will check it out.