Maria Alexander writes pretty much every damned thing and gets paid to do it. She’s a produced screenwriter and playwright, published games writer, virtual world designer, award-winning copywriter, interactive theatre designer, prolific fiction writer, snarkiologist and poet. Her stories have appeared in publications such as Chiaroscuro Magazine, Gothic.net and Paradox, as well as in acclaimed anthologies alongside legends such as David Morrell and Heather Graham.
Her second poetry collection – At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned and the Absinthe-Minded – was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award. And she was a winner of the 2004 AOL Time-Warner “Time to Rhyme” poetry contest.
When she’s not wielding a katana at her local shinkendo dojo, she’s being outrageously spooky or writing Doctor Who filk. She lives in Los Angeles with two ungrateful cats, a pervasive sense of doom, and a purse called Trog.
As part of a neat little twist to my Women in Horror Month coverage this year, I’m going to feature fun little interviews with a few women horror writers and I think readers will get a kick out of them.
The next feature is for Maria Alexander, author of Mr. Wicker, released by Raw Dog Screaming Press last year, which was just officially announced as a finalist in the category of Superior Achievement in a First Novel for the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards®! The entire category is stellar, but I’ve got my fingers crossed for Maria to take home the haunted house statuette.
Check out our fun interview below!
1. First scary movie you watched
MA: The Fly. I was three years old.
2. First scary book you read
MA: The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. The old fairy stories were incredibly disturbing to very-young-me.
3. First scary Halloween costume you wore
MA: A boxed, plastic-mask witch costume when I was six years old. My parents had a momentary lapse in their insane rules against celebrating Halloween and other “pagan” holidays. I went full bore in the roleplaying and cackling, scaring my baby sister to tears.
4. First scary thing you wrote
MA: When I was home with chickenpox during third grade, I wrote a story about the son of a pilgrim minister who discovered his girlfriend was a witch one night when he followed her into the woods. He nearly got caught and killed watching her celebrate the Sabbath. I thought the story was so terrible that I tore it up in embarrassment.
5. First scary character you had a crush on
Here’s a description:
Alicia Baum is missing a deadly childhood memory. Located beyond life, The Library of Lost Childhood Memories holds the answer. The Librarian is Mr. Wicker—a seductive yet sinister creature with an unthinkable past and an agenda just as lethal. After committing suicide, Alicia finds herself before the Librarian, who informs her that her lost memory is not only the reason she took her life, but the cause of every bad thing that has happened to her.
Alicia spurns Mr. Wicker and attempts to enter the hereafter without the Book that would make her spirit whole. But instead of the oblivion she craves, she finds herself in a psychiatric hold at Bayford Hospital, where the staff is more pernicious than its patients.
Child psychiatrist Dr. James Farron is researching an unusual phenomenon: traumatized children whisper to a mysterious figure in their sleep. When they awaken, they forget both the traumatic event and the character that kept them company in their dreams—someone they call “Mr. Wicker.”
During an emergency room shift, Dr. Farron hears an unconscious Alicia talking to Mr. Wicker—the first time he’s heard of an adult speaking to the presence. Drawn to the mystery, and then to each other, they team up to find the memory before it annihilates Alicia for good. To do so they must struggle not only against Mr. Wicker’s passions, but also a powerful attraction that threatens to derail her search, ruin Dr. Farron’s career, and inflame the Librarian’s fury.
After all, Mr. Wicker wants Alicia to himself, and will destroy anyone to get what he wants. Even Alicia herself.
Here are a few interviews Maria has done that you can read through:
- Interview in Dirge Magazine
- Interview on the Qwillery
- Brad C. Hodson’s interview for Women in Horror Month (2012)
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this chat with Maria. If you’ve never had occasion to read her work before, I hope you’ll give it a try and if you’ve been a longtime fan, then I hope you enjoyed our little exchange 🙂