Interview: Five Minutes With Debbie Kuhn

Today we have fellow red head Debbie Kuhn.  Debbie Kuhn writes across genres, but admits that horror is her favourite  Her ghostly tales used to give her classmates nightmares back in grade school. To avoid expulsion, she stopped telling the stories out loud and began writing them down in the dead of night.

Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I grew up around a gang of colourful, Appalachian storytellers, and my maternal grandfather was half-Cherokee. It’s their fault I love to tell ghost stories and babble on about weird legends. But it’s my fault I got into freelance (non-fiction) editing. I enjoy both. After extensive travelling and moving around, I’m back in my home state of Kentucky now. Still not using that college degree, but that’s okay.   
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
I think dark fiction better describes what I like to write, and read.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Too many to name them all, but I will say that Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” is the first real horror novel I ever read. In the beginning, for me, it was all about the vampires: Bram Stoker to Anne Rice to Charlaine Harris. These days I also admire Graham Masterton, Simon Clark, Tom Piccirilli, Brian Keene, and Douglas Clegg. I like humour, urban fantasy and mystery novels: Christopher Moore, Janet Evanovich, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews.
What are you reading now?
I just started “Afterlife” by Douglas Clegg.
Which book do you wish you had written?
Are you kidding? I wish I’d written those Harry Potter books. But if you expect a serious answer, I’ll be honest and say that I wish I’d written Tom Piccirilli’s “A Choir of Ill Children.” It’s the most unusual horror novel I’ve ever read. Haunting and lyrical.
How would you describe your writing style?
I’ve been told by more than one editor that I have a clean, direct style. To me, that means I have a simple, straightforward approach to writing – telling a tall tale just like those storytellers I grew up around. I’m not so concerned about whether or not readers can pick up on a theme or recognize a metaphor that may be present in my work (and I don’t consciously try to include those – perhaps I should). I just want people to keep turning the pages because they have to find out what happens next.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
There are no typical days for me. I’m extremely undisciplined. However, I find that my creative juices flow more easily after the sun sets. I’ll never be a morning person.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Way back in 1997, I finished my first novel (around 61,000 words), an old-fashioned supernatural mystery called “Barbara Alice.” I knew better than to submit it anywhere. But everyone who read it seemed to enjoy it, and that made me feel good.  I felt proud that I’d actually finished a book-length manuscript and that people I admired were calling me a “writer.” That novel is now a free read on my personal website: http://www.debbiekuhn.com.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
I’ve just released a collection of ghost stories, written over the last ten years – eight reprints and two newer tales.  The eBook is called “The White Death and Other Ghastly Ghost Stories” and is now available on Amazon and at other online bookstores. I’m currently working on a supernatural mystery called “The Devil’s Whirlpool.” It’s all about murder in a southern town that’s plagued with ghosts, vigilantes, secrets and scandals – just another tall tale, I suppose.
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