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Interview with M.A. Beasley

She is a newly published author, with her first horror book available on Amazon. She’s a 39-year-old married Navy Veteran who has two grown kids. She is currently working as a dental assistant in Pearland, TX and has been for 15 years. She loves to read mostly horror and mystery but is open to all literature. She has a new passion for writing and is excited to put more books out there on the market.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
Even though horror and mysteries are my favorite books to read, I get scared very easily. Love to watch horror movies too but if anything ever happened to me in person, I’d freak out. I can’t even tour haunted houses at Halloween.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
I expect my next book to be finished, possibly around the end of July. Of course after the editing process, work on the book cover, and all the other details that go into publishing a book, I’m looking at December or January of 2024. Fingers crossed anyway. 

My next book will also be in the horror genre. It’s about why people get a little creeped out when they notice their feet hanging off the side of the bed in the middle of the night. Why do we feel the need to quickly pull it back under the covers? Is there really such a thing as a monster under your bed? 

Kate’s cousin is found dead in his apartment with no signs of a struggle or break in. Kate is an award winning journalist and is determined to get to the bottom of it. How far will she go to get answers? What will become of her when she does find out the truth?

Q.3 When did you decide to write The Warrior Angel?
I decided to write my first book, The Warrior Angel, about a year ago. My sister Karla actually has two children's books out. I was collaborating with her one day on another project she was working on, and she asked me why I haven’t written a book yet. For as much as I love books, I decided to give it a shot. I started jotting down ideas here and there and before I knew it, I found a new passion.

Q.4 What is the most challenging thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
It’s honestly not too hard for me to write for characters of the opposite sex. When I was in the military, I was one of the only girls in my work center. Around all the trash talk, dirty jokes, just fun humor, I actually fit right in. Even with the girls I work with now, sometimes I think we can be worse Lol! All of the humor between all the characters is actually how we are with each other in real life.

Q.5 How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Well, with only one book out, I have nothing to compare it to. However, after my outline is complete, which it almost is with my next one, once I start typing it’ll take about three to four months to finish. That’s how long my last one took once I started typing.

Q.6 What was your first introduction to horror literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
My first introduction to horror was when I really little and absolutely loved to read the Goosebumps series. From there, I read a lot of other books from R.L.Stine. As I got older, I now read lots of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, Lisa Jackson, Michael Connelly, and so so many others. I’m not picky with who the author is. It’s the blurb that draws me in.

Q.7 What draws people to horror novels? Why do we, as a reader, like to be scared?
I’m not sure why some are drawn to horror. It’s different for everyone I think. Personally, I like the excitement, and the adrenaline rush. For those who like to be scared, it can be a sense of thrill.

Q.8 What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part of the book for me to do was the ending. I kept changing my mind. Even with the slightest change, I had to go back and read to make sure things would still make sense in the rest of the book. The outline can only go so far when my mind keeps having new ideas.

Q.9 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I definitely think it’s vital to target the right readers. I may love horror, but I’m also open to other genres. Some people aren’t and only love what they love and that’s okay. Being my first go round, I’m still figuring out how to get to those people who’d be interested in my book. So far I’ve gotten on different social media sites and reached out to other lovers of horror and even new writers of all kinds.

Q.10 What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
There isn’t really a specific time in my life where I was really scared. It was more of a certain place. My grandmother's old house in Galveston, TX. Every time we visited, I was afraid of her back bedroom. It eventually became my mom’s place and I stayed there with her for a few months while transitioning from out of the military to civilian life. And where did she put me and my kids….in the back bedroom. 

I was fine when I was in there with other people, but not when I was alone. It gave me chills and I always felt like there were eyes on me. Later in life, I did find out from my younger sister that creepy things actually did happen to her in there. One night she even felt like she was held down and couldn’t open her eyes. She felt a presence there too.

Q.11 Do you feel any competitive pressure from horror movies/series? If not, why not?
I don’t have a competitive feeling against horror movies or a series. It’s quite the opposite. When trying to come up with ideas, I think about what would scare me personally. I could watch a horror movie and imagine it was me in there. What would scare me? What could happen differently that would make it scarier?

Q.12 How do you select the name of your characters?
In The Warrior Angel, I used my co-workers' names to inspire my characters' names. I used the first letter in their names to come up with a name for each character. The name Lisa I used was actually the name of the other assistant I work with. She was pretty excited that I used her name.

Q.13 What was the first horror book/story you remember reading?
The first horror book I ever remember reading was Night of the Living Dummy by R.L.Stine. I read the whole series, but that one was the scariest to me to where I still remember it to this day.

Q.14 How do you select the title of your books?
The title for The Warrior Angel ended up being pretty simple to come up with. That was the first title that came to mind. Even when I went back and forth with a few other ideas, that one is the one that still stood out to me. Always go with your gut.

Q.15 How do your family/friends feel about your book or writing in general?
My family and friends have been so beyond incredible during this process. They have shown me 100% support.

Q.16 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good ones and bad ones?
On Amazon, I only have one review so far. It’s a great one and I do hope for many more. If I do receive a bad one, all I can do is learn from it and move on. Not everyone is going to like it and will have different opinions. Not saying the bad ones won’t hurt, but it also gives me insight on things people didn’t like and it’ll help me grow as an author.

Q.17 What's your writing schedule while working?
Since I’m a full time dental assistant, I have to make the best of my free time. We do get three day weekends where I work, so that helps. But I’ve been known to bring my laptop to work and write on my lunch break. I’ve also had many late nights that make me so tired the next day but it’s totally worth it.

Q.18 What three things can a reader expect from your book?
Three things my readers can expect from this book are skin crawling scenes, an unexpected twist, and actually some humor.

Q.19 Who designed your book covers? How do you select him/her?
The art department at my publishing company did my cover. They sent me a few ideas and I picked out what I liked and what I didn’t like. I think they did a great job and loved how they kept me involved with the process. The publishing company I used is called The Quippy Quill.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
This has been quite a learning experience for me. I had no idea how much went into writing a book and getting it out there. But even with all the hard work, late nights, and frustrating times, I most definitely have a passion for writing and plan to continue with hopefully many more books to come.

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