Feature: Fresh Flesh for the Feast – A Conversation with Miranda Doerfler

I’ve reviewed this author before. If I’m not mistaken, I’ve ranted a raved about her abilities on both Twitter and Facebook, posted about her on Dreadful Tales, made a gigantic street sign that read MIRANDA4EVR!, and tattooed her face on several unwilling subway riders. Regardless of that, I’d just like to point out that I’m not mentioning her here because I have some strange, stalking tendencies. No no. The restraining order has been lifted, and so have my spirits, because now I have an excuse to shout her praises to the world without actually being obliged to speak about her writing.

But I’ll do that anyways.

The who-what-where of my introduction to this young author begins with the question I ask myself time and time again:

Do I really want to read this piece by someone I don’t know? She’s self-published? Okay… I really have to justify this one. Aw hell, I’m in a good mood, and a few other self-pubbed authors really gave me faith in the fact that good fiction lies in waiting over in Kindle-land. I’ll give it a shot.

And yes, I know that’s a shitty place to be when you’re a reviewer, but let’s face it… this genre is rife with garbage sometimes.

After cracking open and devouring Modern-Day Horrors, her second self published collection of short stories, I was completely blown away and in need of more. I quickly gathered her first, Brimstone Nightmares, and soon after queried her third collection, From Blood and Brain, devouring both with reckless abandon. To tell you that I was thoroughly impressed by this author would be a total understatement. She brings flair, style, and charisma to a genre that yearns for new authors like this. Her age is continually betrayed by her weighty, oftentimes sophisticated prose – something you don’t tend to see from upstarts and younger authors. To completely date myself and fall into old man status, she’s one of those youngsters you just know is gonna go somewhere.

I can also tell you that Miranda is the first self published author I ever actually queried for another book or collection.

Now, there are obviously rough spots in her pieces, and her youthful exuberance shines through in a lot of cases, but these are stories that stay deep in your psyche, are fully realized, and would make the switch from page to screen effortlessly. Doerfler’s ability to create dynamic characters at the same time as setting a particularly terrifying setting is the reason I haven’t given up on the indie circuit altogether. She’s a breath of fresh air, and a spurt of good life in what sometimes seems to be a stagnant genre. Her modern terrors bring a different look at the things that go bump in the night, and her borderline genre-crossing leaves more room to work with a career than can be said for most.

This is a woman who knows what she wants, and what she wants is to just tell a good story. And that’s what this giggly young lady does. She spins a damned good yarn.

When you listen to my conversation with Miranda Doerfler, you’ll come across the very reason that I wanted to showcase her here. She’s articulate but bubbly, serious but funny, and wholly dedicated to her craft. But most of all, she doesn’t regard herself as a “Woman in Horror”. She’s a writer. That’s how she identifies herself. As a writer.

That’s the most important part of this genre, this art, to me. It’s not about being a particular gender in a strange landscape… it’s about the stories.

So without further ado, I’d like to present to you my favorite indie female horror author, Miranda Doerfler. You can check her out at her website, and all over the web in other places.

C.

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Feature: Horror Author Sephera Giron Lets the Voices Speak For Themselves

If any of you are on the same page as I am, you’re thinking something like this:

Holy Shit! It’s Valentines Day! Oh man… did I remember to get something for my wife/husband? Did I get anything for the little guys and dolls in my life? Am I teaching my son the art of being suave and charming with the ladies?

Well… that last one is for the guys, really…

Well, for me it’s all checkmark, checkmark, checkmark. Actually… I’m teaching my son to be as charming as any rattled father of three can while also reading terrifying literature, spreading himself thinner than a layer of air, a jittering from the effects of caffeine replacing his blood stream.

And lookie here! It’s Valentines Day and I’m also on tap to talk about one of my favorite ladies to ever hit us over the head with horrific imagery, erotic scenes, and good housekeeping: witch-style.

When I think about the subject of Women in Horror literature, the first person who comes to mind, for me, is the illustrious Sephera Giron. A beautiful example of writer capable of releasing strong prose to her readership, a gorgeous specimen to behold, and an all around wonderful human being – Sephera is one of the ladies in the genre that can easily smash down the walls of the “boy’s club” mentality, and kick it square in the nuts. This is a woman who will just as easily make you tingly with erotic thoughts as she is to make you mad with feverish terror.

From supple women to dismembered bodies, Giron has touched it all and then some. And that, to me, is the mark of a brilliant and worthy artist to follow. Her reach is immense, and her body of work in incredible. She’s truly one of horror’s most cherished gems, in my eyes.

Ask any of the old Leisure authors, or anyone who’s been following the genre for a fair amount of time what they think of Giron’s work. I’m positive they’ll all agree with me when I say that Giron is every part the wolf in sheep’s clothing, a woman who is constantly watching for the opportunity to go straight for the literary jugular. The power in her words is phenomenal, and encompasses the very definition of horror in all of its various and sundry forms.

The first piece I read of this author’s body of work was House of Pain – a book that cause many mixed emotions in me for the fact that it hit really close to home. One of the characters in this story really got under my skin – he seemed too familiar, and it wasn’t until I spoke to Giron a few years later that I found out I was right to feel the way I did. The fact is, she did model this person after the true life monster I had thought about. And that, right there, cemented my appreciation of this author. Right away I found that I could rely on her to bring me to the edge of the uncomfortable realm that encompasses horror and reality, and scare me like not many others could.

Since that first taste of Giron’s wares, I’ve been a huge fan of her work. I own one of the biggest collections of her stories that I know of, and have even purchased several pieces from her personal collection, in passing. This is a woman that I don’t only admire as a horror author, but as a strong willed person, a phenomenally adventurous personality, and a mother who supports her children through every one of their ventures.

When I sat down to interview her, I had a feeling in my stomach that wouldn’t go away. I’m usually pretty nervous to speak to folks like Giron, but this was something else. I was stoked beyond belief. I mean, I’d hung out with her before at a bar, in John Everson’s hotel room along with Gord Rollo and James Roy Daley, at Word on the Street, and at Durham Darklit Fest. So why the hell was I feeling nervous now?

Because this was the first time I got to ask her questions that pointed directly at her and the career that she’d cultivated.

In the following conversation, you’ll hear about everything from Giron’s horror writing career that’s spanned more years than most authors can claim to; her adventures in erotica literature; the many presses she’s written for; her expertise in Tarot reading, Reiki, and Touch for Health; and various other things I didn’t know before now, even though I thought I did.

Feel free to listen to my conversation with Sephera here and marvel at my fanboy nervousness while I speak to one of my favorite authors of all time. As usual, you can also stream the audio with the player below. My apologies in advance for the strange quality of the audio. My Skype recorder hated me that evening.

When you’re done, don’t hesitate to feast your eyes on the videos below. Giron has given us permission to embed a few of these videos for your perusal, and each and every one of these is delectable, terrifying, strange, and utterly enticing. Giron works these stories with the practiced skill of a master actress, making the viewer wonder if she’s really as strange as the characters in her stories. I can assure you, though, that Giron is an entertainer at the peak of her ability, and someone I’m proud to call a friend.

C.

Release by Sephera Giron

Cyber Promethius by Sephera Giron

No One Listens (Part One) by Sephera Giron

No One Listens (Part Two) by Sephera Giron