Welcome to Horror After Dark, Zane!
ZaneS: Yes, Laurie, I’ve had some real crapola jobs (and some great jobs). One of the worst: Bun Steamer at Burger King. I had to load buns onto the steamer all day. Booooring. The manager freaked out, because I loaded the buns too fast, so we had a bun pile-up.
Even the best job can be torture, if the manager is an _____ (synonym for donkey cavity). Sadly, many corporations are cutting corners these days, so employees are overworked and underpaid. On top of that, the pressure to produce keeps increasing. Essentially, we expect people to operate like robots. For many people the workplace has deteriorated to sweatshop conditions of 1800s. We’re lowering our standards to the Chinese model of business.
HAD: Feel free to share your worst experience(s) and make the rest of us feel better about our miserable lives, if only for a brief moment.
ZaneS: Okay, more bad job situations: when I worked for an airline (not Frontier), the manager told me they want “cookie cutter agents.” I said that would work for me, if I were the prototype.
And, yes, I have worked for a supermarket—a thankless job that’s close to slave labor. Truthfully, some of the conversations in Sadie are identical to conversations I had with a particular manager. He really asked me if I was up to the job of chopping corn all day. Yes I am. I have a Masters Degree in CORN.
HAD: Is writing a book and being inside your own head for long stretches any better a gig than working for asshats?
ZaneS: Absolutely … unless I become an asshat and beat myself up. That can be frustrating. But, really, I loooove writing. I enjoy the process of imagining my way through a story, and I even enjoy rewriting. My dream is to write full time and travel.
HAD: By the way, what does the inside of your head look like?
ZaneS: Hahahahaha … it’s really dark.
HAD: If someone were to break in and steal all of your books which ones would you make you the most stabby to lose?
ZaneS: Hmmmm… I have A LOT of books! The worst would be the books I’ve had since childhood—some were my mother’s. I have a gorgeous book of Fairy Tales with illustrations from the 1920s; losing that book would be the worst! After that, I’d hate to lose my Narnia collection and signed books from amazing writers that I’ve had the privilege of meeting. Most of the other books could be replaced, but some of the books I use for research are rare and expensive. I also pick up books when I travel, and having those stolen might lead me to call on Sadie for backup.
HAD: Sadie the Sadist does some very unsavory things. Did you watch any nasty movies or read true life accounts of serial killers to get you into that head space or did it just come naturally to you?
ZaneS: I have to admit, I’ve always had an interest in crime and serial killers. Also, I studied psychology, and I’m especially fascinated by psychological disorders. I read, listen to podcasts, watch programs like the ones mentioned in the book: Deadly Women, Criminal Minds, Who the Bleep Did I Marry? I love all that stuff.
But, regarding what Sadie does, the violence jumped onto the page, surprising me. The cannibalism was suggested by a dear friend who’s a poet—he says he doesn’t like horror.
HAD: Sadie hates corn but she sure loves meat. Do you think things would’ve gone differently for Sadie had she embraced veganism as a youngster?
ZaneS: Vegans eat corn, don’t they? No, I don’t think a vegan diet would have helped, unless it was strictly organic. It’s the pesticides that screw with Sadie’s neurotransmitters. That and her psycho father. Perhaps, if her mother had served up her father in a stew or as a roast, Sadie would be less screwed up.
HAD: In Sadie’s most expert opinion, what type of bones make the best broth?
ZaneS: Boners, of course. Especially if the guy’s a hunk.
HAD: Sadie has a thing for cute guys with cute butts. What famous fantasy guy would Sadie most like to “have” for dinner?
ZaneS: Sadie really likes Brad Pitt in Troy (Mediterranean food is healthy.)
HAD: What scene was the most fun to write?
ZaneS: OMG, the whole book was fun to write! The violent scenes were really fun, because I let myself go over the top—shocked myself really. It’s difficult to pick a favorite … but I guess it would be the destruction in the Produce Department. Yeah. Writing that was totally cathartic.
HAD: Many, oh-so-many, of the scenes were squirm-worthy. Did you have to back away from the keyboard while writing any of them?
ZaneS: I grossed myself out writing some of the cannibalism. Actually, I eat very little meat. And horror movies scare me. Sadie made me do it!
HAD: If Sadie were ever to show up at my door, do you think she’d prefer tea and crumpets or would she demand something more meaty?
ZaneS: Sadie’s into Paleo. Tea would be all right, but forget the crumpets! And, if she shows up at your door … slam it!
HAD: And I’m dying to know, what’s up next writing-wise? And what/who could possibly top Sadie the Sadist?
ZaneS: I don’t know if I can top Sadie, but I’m working on a psychological suspense novel about one of Sadie’s neighbors. It’s called, Jayne Just Watches. Jayne has Cotard’s syndrome and she believes she’s dead. She sits on her balcony watching people—like that strange girl, Sadie. Jayne’s neighbor, Alex, is blind and suffers from 24/7 syndrome; he has no sense of time, consequently, he’s up at all times of the night playing a huge pipe organ in his sound-proofed apartment. Jayne drills a hole in their shared wall so she can watch Alex and listen to his music. They develop a friendship. Alex wants to touch Jayne so he can “see” her, but Jayne let’s no one touch her—because she’s dead. Until the day Alex’s life is threatened, and to save him, Jayne must overcome her fear of touch.
In July I’ll release Sadie the Sadist on B&N, Smashwords, iTunes, etc. But for now it’s just on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback.
HAD: Thanks so very much for taking the time to visit with Horror After Dark and allowing me to pick your brain, Zane!