If you read my review yesterday, you’ll know I loved Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales (Bundle Vol 1&2) by Jen Wylie and Sean Hayden. (If you didn’t catch it, just scroll down or click here: Flashy Fiction: Review.) Jen and Sean are here to answer a bunch of my (prying) questions. First, let’s meet the people behind the words:
Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.
Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories.
Connect with Jen in the following places:
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/Jen_Wylie or @jen_wylie
Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Wylie/151266004895266
Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/Jen-Wylie/e/B004HQ9XD8/
Always a fan of the macabre, mythical, and magical, Sean found a love of urban fantasy and horror. After writing several novels in this genre, he found, fell in love with, and immersed himself in steampunk. He has always wanted to rewrite history and steampunk gave him that opportunity.
Sean currently lives in Florida as a fiber-optic engineer as well as an author. He was blessed with the two most amazing children he could ever hope for, has met the absolute love of his life, who coincidentally is his partner in everything. His hobbies include grand designs on world domination as well as a starring role in his own television sitcom.
What inspired the two of you to collaborate on an anthology?
We were drunk. No really, we wanted to write something together, but didn’t have the time to actually write together, so we wrote separate stories and put them together. We’re brilliant like that. Or weird.
Some of your stories are challenges to one another, where you both write a story on a topic one of you chooses. Your different styles really stood out here, and I enjoyed reading how each of you approached the topics. Were you ever surprised by the other’s approach? Was there ever a topic that stumped one of you?
JEN: I was surprised, and rather grossed out by Sean’s take on teddy bears. Jeepers. Sean says I am unsurprising. I wasn’t stumped by the challenges, but then I did pick most of them.
SEAN: I wasn’t stumped because I could write a 5000 word story on the sex life of a ping pong ball if I had to.
Sean, you know I can’t let that pass. I’m now challenging you to write a story on the sex life of a ping pong ball!
Jen, your story Whisperings is one (of many) that stood out for me. It begins… ‘They come in the night. These wild things. Whisperings in my mind.’ Awesome opening! Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration for this story?
First of all, I’m soo thrilled it had an impact. It took the longest for me to write and was my very first psychological horror type story. The beginning actualy came from a nightmare I had for a few days in a row. The story actually scares me, I didn’t enjoy having to read it again during edits and proofs. I’m not a big horror fan though, or maybe because it reminded me subconsciously of that nightmare.
Sean, I’m used to your writing being creepy, weird, and humorous, but not typically what I’d call emotional. In this collection, I saw – and felt – a few stories on a more personal level. Pumpkin Carver is one in particular that struck me as haunting in an emotional way. How difficult was it for you to share a story like this?
I’ll be honest. I’m not a very OUTWARDLY emotional person on a day to day basis. I keep that stuff bottled up inside until it breaks loose. Usually when that happens I either get very huggy or pour it into my writing. I was particularly missing my kids one night and what intended to be something wickedly fun, turned a little morose. But I wouldn’t change one single word of the story…
I’m glad you shared that one in the collection. It’s emotionally haunting.
I’m going to put you both on the spot here. Jen, which of Sean’s stories is your favorite and why? Sean, which of Jen’s stories is your favorite and why?
JEN: This is hard, the Punkin King was so wonderfully emotional, I think my most favorite was Security, it was sweet and emotional and then also gruesome. An interesting mix.
SEAN: Without a doubt it is Shadow of Innocence, her unicorn story. Don’t tell Jen, but I was actually jealous that she wrote it. It was so awesome, epically different, and perfectly written, I wish I had written it.
Describe your writing environment.
JEN: Neat, except for a pile of notes/lists. I must have quiet. Occasionally this requires earplugs.
SEAN: Pure CHAOS. My desk is in my bedroom, which also happens to be the personal playground for my children and the hub of the Hayden household circus.
What scares you the most, and why?
JEN: Other than the traditional “something happening to someone I love” then skunks. I live in the country. They are everywhere. They sneak up on you. I’m terrified of being sprayed. Too many times. I’ve had to deal with the dogs getting it. ~shudder~
SEAN: Clowns, because they are the spawn of Satan and Martha Stewart….Shudder.
Are you a planner or spontaneous?
JEN: Planner. I am the Queen of Lists. I have lists of lists. Occasionally I do have a bout of crazy and do something spontaneous though
SEAN: I can’t even plan on being spontaneous. Planning and I are former mortal enemies in a previous life. If I even make a grocery list, I break out in a rash. Jen is trying several types of therapy to help me overcome my issues.
What is your favorite breakfast food?
SEAN: Pizza. Isn’t everybody’s?
It’s often said that we can tell a lot about a person by the books on their shelves. Tell us the titles of three books on your bookshelf, and what you think it says about you.
Aww! You two make me smile.
Here’s a look at their books on Amazon:
I hope you’ll take the time to connect with these talented authors, and explore their fictional world.
Thanks for reading.
Tags: author interviews, fantasy authors, Fantasy Stories, Flash Fiction, Flashy Fiction, horror authors, Horror Stories, indie authors, Jen Wylie, Punkin King, Sean Hayden, Shadow of Innocence, short stories, Steampunk, Steampunk Authors, Steampunk Fantasy, Steampunk Stories, Teddy Bears, Unicorns, Vampires, Whisperings, Zombies