Women in Horror Month Special: Interview with Maquel A. Jacob
Originally from Chicago, author Maquel A. Jacob now resides in “green and lush” Portland, Oregon. As a woman with a quest to learn new things, she boasts qualifications in accounting and business administration, digital film and video, as well as having been a licensed nail technician. But now, as a member of the Northwest Independent Writer’s Association, you’re more likely to find her “hunkered over her widescreen laptop like Quasimodo”. That, or buried in the mosh pit at a rock concert.
Author of the ‘Core’ science fiction trilogy, as well as the Welcome Despair collection of short stories, Maquel A. Jacob writes about monsters ranging from aliens to vampires and demons.
How did you first become interested in horror?
Everything imaginable seemed to frighten me but never the less, I loved the feeling of my soul being ejected out of my skin through every pore. Growing up in the 1970’s I was exposed to the rising boom of B movies. Most of it was either Sci-Fi, Horror or just plain disturbing and by the 80’s they were part of the main stream.
When did you start writing?
At the age of 12 I lost consciousness outside my house and was asleep for a very long time. During that time, I dreamt in a three-part plane of existence and when I woke up, wrote it all down. In the mid 80’s I would take my favorite musical groups and incorporate parts of the dream into all kinds of scenarios. They were my plot and character guinea pigs and when they no longer held the same giddy excitement I moved on. From that day on to present I write down my dreams and interpret them into something tangible for a story. Now a good 90% of my stories come from that.
How does your love of horror show in your sci-fi books?
Since I started publishing my works I felt a need to bring my audience in slowly with a few scenes of gore and despair in every book. (Some of my author friends with weak constitutions refer to one of my books as 50 shades of blood but I don’t see that.) I plan to use my collection of shorts as a medium for the stories that go further down the road of horror. My goal of course is to dive into full blown Sci-Fi Horror the likes of Event Horizon.
What sort of books did you grow up on, and which have influenced your own work the most?
After reading The Stand by Stephen King when I was eleven, I got hooked. Last check, I have read well over twenty, maybe thirty, of his books. Then I read Clive Barker’s works which go deep into the realms of human darkness and became even more fascinated with the genre, especially movies. I wanted to have elements of love, lust, despair and gore all rolled into one as they had done.
You’ve written stories about everything from vampires to aliens to demons. What’s your favourite horror monster?
Aliens rule supreme because my imagination can go wild. We as a species have no clue as to what may lurk in our own galaxy, let alone the universe itself. Now, don’t get me wrong, Demons come in second and I feel Vampires are part of that category. Different from aliens, they are casts from humans. Flawed, deviant animals who prey on others. I feel aliens would see our race as insects and their technology would elevate the methods of torment.
Do you think women have a hard time in the horror and sci-fi genres?
Women absolutely have a hard time in both genres because of one simple fact. We are supposed to be nurturing, maternal and the voice of reason. A woman who can dive into the fantastic or the demented is deemed an anomaly of the gender. I have been accused of having bloodlust based on my writing and find it hilarious. This is the reason I use a pen name that is perceived as male but actually isn’t. It shouldn’t be that way in the 21st century but the truth is men still have the upper hand in the industry.
What are you working on now?
Current works in progress are the first three of an eight book series tentatively titled A Curve of/in Humanity. It’s science fiction that I hope poses the question of what defines being human in the aftermath of alien interbreeding. Book one, Origins, should be out by May 2016, book two in August and the third by December. Next on the list is a vampire story focused on the elders fed up and schooling the new generation on what it means to be a vampire. Looking at Summer for that one to be released. And last is another collection with three stories revolving around religious crisis with elements of science fiction. It’s going to be a busy year.
Find out more at www.maquelajacob.com
So, your stomach isn’t strong enough to handle deep horror and gore? Then Welcome Despair is just up your alley. A collection of short stories that takes small steps as you delve into the dark side, dipping your toes into the shallow end of despair.
A young corporate office worker with nothing left to lose finds himself with a group of hunters who don’t discriminate when it comes to prey. Children on a ravaged planet are abducted by the enemy and learn just how strong they can be. A jaded reporter interviews the leader of a prominent neighborhood. One soul is chased into a plane of existence with no signs of escape.
Each story opens a doorway into fear, pain, sorrow and blood. Looking for happy endings? Not here. Come, settle in and Welcome Despair.
Get Welcome Despair at Amazon
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Angeline Trevena is a British author of dystopian urban fantasy and post-apocalyptic fiction. She has an impressive backlist of novels, a series of worldbuilding guides for authors, and short stories appearing in various anthologies and magazines. Despite the brutal and dark nature of her fiction, Angeline is scared of just about everything, and still can’t sleep in a fully dark room. She goes weak at the sight of blood, can’t share a room with a spider, but does have a streak of evil in her somewhere. Find out more at www.angelinetrevena.co.uk