Q1. Madison, it’s wonderful to have you with us for this Q&A. Please tell us about your humble beginnings as a visual storyteller.
Thank you for having me. I started making videos to promote a horror writing class I taught last year at The Writing Barn. My videos covered topics such as folk horror, secondary villains, villain decay, and much more. A lot of people enjoyed my content, so I decided to keep making videos. From there, I started doing videos reviewing horror books and shows as a way to promote work from authors I appreciate and to discuss shows I was interested in at the time.
Also, I ended up painting my face blue for one of my videos to match the girl on the cover of a book as part of a dare (long story), so now I sometimes dress up like characters when I give reviews. It was an impulsive decision, and not one that I thought I would repeat, but now dressing up is part of the fun for me and my subscribers.
Q2. Who are your favorite horror authors?
Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Carlton Mellick III are currently my favorite horror authors. I’ve also started getting into Paul Tremblay’s work. I enjoyed his story Cabin at the End of the World, a psychological thriller with hints of cosmic horror. Carlton Mellick III has me hooked on bizarro horror. His novel The Terrible Thing That Happens about a haunted grocery store that sustains what is left of humanity after a global catastrophe is one of the most creative and bleak books I’ve read in years.
Q3. List your 5 most preferred horror films.
That’s hard. I have my comfort horror films that I watched as a kid that I enjoy despite them being a little cheesy at times, such as Ghost Ship, Resident Evil, and Underworld. These films all have strong female leads that I looked up to when I was young. I wouldn’t expect these films to end up on most favorite horror films lists, but they hold a special place in my heart. My top five favorite horror films of all time are probably Saw, Se7en, The Silence of the Lambs, Cube, and Pet Semetary.
As you can tell from my list, I clearly have a thing for gritty, noir horror involving serial killers. I enjoy most Stephen King adaptations, but Pet Semetary is the only one that makes my top five.
Q4. What are your hobbies?
Aside from writing, reading, and creating content for my You Tube channel, I like to draw, sculpt, watch movies, and spend time with my dogs and family.
Q5. Any advice for aspiring YouTubers who are aiming to create a channel based on your niche?
If you don’t have fun with it, you’re going to get burned out quickly. If you want to review books or movies as part of your channel, focus mostly on the ones that you love. Channels that focus on art you hate and criticism tend to create more negativity and often needless drama. Besides, why would you want to give attention to work that you don’t like? It will probably make someone want to check it out just to see if they agree with you, and then you’ve promoted something that you hate instead of giving attention to something that you love.
Join groups relevant to your niche on social media and share your videos. Be open to doing collaborations. Respond to comments people leave on your videos. Watch your old videos to learn what you should do to get better. Don’t be afraid to experiment. I shared my first writing vlog last month. I thought it would bore people because it’s different from my usual content, but I’ve gotten a lot of subscribers and positive feedback from that video, so now I know people will respond to that kind of content if I want to create it again.
Q6. Tell us about your upcoming projects.
I’m editing Texas Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers Vol. 6, which will be coming out this October. I plan on doing a vlog discussing what it’s like being an editor because I think the publishing side is such a mystery to most writers. We submit a story and wait for a rejection or acceptance, but we have no idea what goes on between the time when we submit and when we get a response. I’d like to show the process of being an editor the same way that authortube has revealed the private life of being a writer. (Hint: It involves coffee, notebooks, and the occasional lint-roller for those of us with feline or canine companions).
I have a new story coming out with Scare Street titled, The Scent of Decay about a guy who is haunted by the smell of his ex-girlfriend’s corpse after he kills her. I have a superhero fantasy story that will appear in Unexpected Heroines (Grimbold Books). This December, my mad scientist short story “Revival” is getting a revival in HorrorTube Anthology Volume II.
I’m currently working on a bizarro novella that revolves around a teenage boy who discovers a human embryo inside of his blister. Various political organizations will stop at nothing to prevent him from terminating his unintended pregnancy, even if the swelling blister costs him his life. Next month, I plan on doing a writing vlog as I work on this story, in addition to my regular content which includes writing advice, book reviews, and horror commentary.