Author Name: Priscilla Bettis
Books: The Hay Bale (January 2022), Dog Meat (November 2022)
Bio: Priscilla Bettis is an avid horror reader and passionate horror author. She’s also an excellent swimmer, which is good because vampires are terrible swimmers. Priscilla shares a home in the Northern Plains of Texas with her two-legged and four-legged family members.
What got you started as a writer? I read The Exorcist when I was ten (I know, right?!). It lit up my emotions and left a powerful impression. I had no idea until then that books could do that. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a novelist when I grew up.
What is your writing routine? In the summer, I go for a jog at first light before the heat hits (and the heat hits hard in Texas). Then I write. In the winter, I get up at 4:50 in the morning and write in the dark silence, then go for a jog. Exercise is an important part of my writing routine. While I’m exercising, I let my mind wander through “what if” possibilities in my stories.
What route did you take to get your books published? The Hay Bale was self-published. For Dog Meat, I shopped the manuscript around to small-press publishers, and Potter’s Grove Press picked it up.
What things do you do to promote your books? I have a blog and talk about my writing there. I also sent ARC’s of Dog Meat to horror YouTubers I follow. And I Tweet.
What is your favorite genre to read and why? Horror, which makes sense because that’s what I write. But I also enjoy a good mystery, a wee bit of fantasy and science fiction and poetry, and a good nonfiction book on religion, physiology, neurology.
Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? Description for sure. It’s fun to add a poetic turn of phrase to a prose passage, but it’d sound awkward to do that in typical dialogue.
Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? Oh, how I wanted the preacher in The Hay Bale to be a sweet, small-town pastor, but he just refused. It definitely affected the plot!
What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? Getting through the first year of motherhood. Those sleepless nights and the days when baby cried and I didn’t know why nearly made me pull my hair out! Motherhood is not for wimps!
What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? 1) Rob VanSlyke, my childhood swim coach who was the first adult to take me seriously when I said I wanted to be a novelist. 2) Jesus. 3) The hubster who “gets” me.
What would you tell your younger self? You can’t please everyone. Be polite, but be firm, and decline whatever non-you thing they want you to do or be.
Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I have met up with bears. (I grew up in Alaska.) In fact, I have a vampire novelette coming out soon (it’s still very hush-hush) that includes real-life incidents. (Haha, not the vampire part, that isn’t real! But the grizzly bear and hypothermia incidents are.)
You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop-Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Doritos have no chocolate. Fudge Pop-Tarts don’t have enough chocolate to count. That leaves Snickers, and the nuts are a bonus… because nuts-n-chocolate!
What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Twelve wonderful, loving people… it was overwhelming! I really should write a horror story about it.:-)
Closing thoughts: Thanks for this chat, Barbara. I enjoyed it!
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