Julie Kusma Interview Published on: 28, Aug 2020

How has your environment & upbringing colored your writing?

I moved close to a dozen times before I was 18 and lost my mother at 9. I've experienced a lot of death, so sure those things, those experiences are reflected in my writing.

Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

I do not remember the first book I read, but I do recall a book about a female serial killer I read in high school. I'm not sure how a library approved it.

Why did you choose to write primarily horror, paranormal stories?

Paranormal? I've always searched for answers about life and why we exist, hence my fascination with paranormal, occult, and metaphysics. Horror? I find the horror genre reflects the Jungian shadow, and the events, characters, and motivations portray this. Fascinating.

What do you love the most about writing fiction short stories?

I love writing short stories because the completion of the project is quick. Satisfaction comes much sooner with short work. Plus, short stories are an excellent way to hone one's writing skills. As Ray Bradbury said, "Write a short story every week. It's not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row."

How much do you research while writing a science fiction story?

Quite a bit, actually. I need research for almost every story, but some require more than others. When I write science fiction, and I write soft sci-fi where the technological facts aren't so set in stone as they are in hard sci-fi. Even so, research is necessary. For my current short story, HAINT NOTHIN BUT BLUE, I've read three books on the Gullah Geechee people, root magic, the color haint blue, and the ghost lore associated with this tradition. Part Two will publish September 7, 2020 on Julie-Kusma.com.

What inspired the story of your book, Stuck That Way and Other Quandaries?

STUCK THAT WAY sprung from a conversation I had with a friend. We were discussing chakras, energy, and controlling one's personal vibrational quality. It occurred to me, here on Earth, many make attempts to manage their chi/energy and elevate their frequency. The writer's "what if" blinked on, and I wondered if, on the other side, would energy need slowed to manifest here in a corporeal form? Probably!

What developed your fondness for psychology, philosophy, and theology?

My fondness for psychology, theology, and philosophy come from my search for Truth and meaning for life itself. As a nine-year-old who lost their mother, I wanted to know why. Why do people die? Why do we exist?

Which is your favorite story from the collection of spine-tingling paranormal horror short stories in "Stuck That Way and Other Quandaries"?

My favorite from the collection is STUCK THAT WAY. I love the story's spiritual irony and the play on the age-old saying about making an ugly face, one my mother said to me, be careful, or get stuck that way.

Did you expect SOMETHING LURKING to become the winner of Coffee House Writers "Most Views" for September 2019?

I did not expect SOMETHING LURKING to win Coffee House Writers "Most Views" in September of 2019 because it was my first story with this online publisher. I was amazed. For the record, and because I am proud of this accomplishment, I won "Most Views" every month I wrote for Coffee House:

September 2019 for SOMETHING LURKING with 1,694 views
October 2019 for DEVILISH GAME Part 1 with 3,507 views
November 2019 for DEVILISH GAME Part 2 with 4,531 views
December 2019 for THAT'S CREEPY, SANTA! Part 1 with 6,143 views
January 2020 for WHEN BEES BUZZ with 10,689 views
February 2020 for INSEPARABLE Part One with 11,131 views
March 2020 for MISERY ISLAND with 7,059 views
April 2020 for THE CROOKED CRONE with 16, 543 views
May 2020 for NEW MUMMY with 15, 468 views

*June 2020 unofficially for GOOD DEMON BAD with 10, 830 views* I did not receive the award that month because I left on July 5, 2020 before it was awarded.

Who inspired the character of Emily in "RELEVANT EVIDENCE"?

In my story RELEVANT EVIDENCE, the character wasn't inspired by any person. The story was inspired by writing prompts for a contest. The story needed to include someone who gets lost and cannot find their way back, and also include a sock. This story popped in my head. I didn't make the final round, but I ended up with an interesting story and an unusual POV.

If you were deserted on an island, which three people would you want to have with you?

That's a tough question. I suppose I should answer my husband and two sons, but on a deserted island, that horror story would write itself.

What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself as an author in 10 years?

To continue writing, publishing, recording, and creating. I plan on being a prolific published author, and if a traditional publisher or agent sees my work and wants to sign me up, all the better.

How was your experience of participating in the Cover of the Month contest by AllAuthor?

The AllAuthor's Cover of the Month contest was fun. I gained some followers, sold some books, and thoroughly enjoyed promoting my cover designer Ivano Lago's work.

Can you share with us the best way to reach you and where to learn more about your books?

The best way to reach me is through my website at Julie-Kusma.com Additionally, follow my author Facebook page at https://facebook.com/juliekusma111 or on Twitter @juliekusma and send me a message.

What has your experience with AllAuthor been like?

I believe the service AllAuthor offers is entirely worthwhile. All my communications with AllAuthor have been professional, courteous, and timely. They are a pleasure to work with.

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