Author of the Month (March 2021) – Jessica Stevens

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    Q1. Jessica, it’s wonderful to have you with us for this Q&A. Please tell us about your humble beginnings as an author.

    I’m still in my humble beginnings as a writer. Last year I had my first short story, The Discontinued, published in Phantasmagoria Magazine Issue 16 (Edited by Trevor Kennedy), and then a poem titled Are Monsters Born This Way in the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase VII (Edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich). This meant everything to me. I have been writing all my life, but submitting pieces was a new world to me. These wonderful people gave me the confidence to move past my anxieties and put my work out there. I’m very thankful for each and every one of them.  

    Q2. When we first got acquainted on Facebook you mentioned that you are a mother of two and are almost done with your Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Human Development. How challenging has it been to maintain a work-life balance?

    Life is always going to be challenging. Having a good support system is important. The best way for me to approach a task is to remind myself that my worth does not depend on checking off everything on a To Do list. It is okay to set aside time for myself.

    Q3. Which writers have influenced your storytelling the most?

    There are so many writers I look up to. I believe all these have been influential in some form with my own work. Thomas Hardy, Shirley Jackson, Cormac McCarthy, Richard Matheson, H.G. Wells, Daphne du Maurier, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, and Jack Ketchum.

    Q4. Any advice for aspiring authors?

    Take your time, follow your instincts. Know that you are not alone, even when it feels like you are. Rejection is a learning process, and each one brings you closer to discovering where you belong. It is important to make time to read and write. You can do this; it just takes patience.

    Q5. What are your hobbies besides reading and writing?

    I love watching horror movies and cross-stitching. There is just something relaxing about combining the two. I also like to play video games, mostly single player and horror-themed ones like Little Nightmares, and Five Nights at Freddy’s.  

    Q6. Tell us about your upcoming projects.

    I have several projects I’m working on at the moment. My focus is directed toward two novellas and a short story collection. These will all be within the horror genre, because that is truly my passion.  

    Jessica Stevens:

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    Buy Phantasmagoria Magazine Issue 6 from Amazon by clicking this link.

    Purchase HWA Poetry Showcase VII by visiting this Amazon page.

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