Title: The Mirrored Staircase
Synopsis: In this sequel to the infamous short story Aunt Mama, the reader is taken along on a journey of lost innocence as a group of college students set out to investigate the viral urban legend of The Mirrored Staircase.
Led by two cousins who couldn’t be further apart on the social spectrum, (Jake, a typical frat boy, and Lucas, viewed by most of society as geekish wallpaper) a Hallows’ Eve that starts off sexy and fun soon becomes a bloodbath, as the two mirrors from long ago are once again brought together, with the realization that the secrets of a past going all the way back to the days of slavery must be released if anyone is to survive the wrath of Aunt Mama, the witch behind The Mirrored Staircase.
CH: Today’s Guest Author is Rico Lamoureux. He’s a life-long lover of story, and has been a storyteller for over thirty years. Welcome to my blog, Rico.
CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?
RL: Like the glass steps of a mirrored staircase, this novella has many layers, each giving opportunity to reflect on its substance.
CH: Why did you decide to write a dramatic horror story?
RL: Some of the greatest stories have been told in the horror genre, with powerful tales at their core, but the genre has gotten a bad rap due to the amount of gory fluff that has been released over the years. So in a way, The Mirrored Staircase is my contribution to the genre. My homage to powerful storytelling that really grabs you by the soul, not because of the bloodfest, but the characters and situation drenched in it. That dramatic substance is what I look for in a good horror story, and what I aim to deliver when writing one.
Also, this particular story has roots that go all the way back to when I was in college. One of my chosen classes was African-American music, which had us examining just that, music created by African-Americans during their history in the U.S. My favorite era, we studied, was during the days of slavery, because the slave chants were so amazing. Our professor had a few recordings that were very old, of actual slave chants. They were so moving, so powerful! It was like you could feel the pain of an entire race mourning what had happened to their people. This has stuck with me ever since, over half my life, since I heard it, and with The Mirrored Staircase, I knew the perfect story idea had finally come to pay my respect to such a powerful past.
CH: This book is a sequel to the short story, Aunt Mama. Does the reader have to read Aunt Mama first?
RL: Not really. The Mirrored Staircase can stand alone on its own, but for readers who want an entire picture, Aunt Mama, which explains the origins of Joseph and Elise, will provide a completion, I’m sure, they’ll really enjoy.
CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your horror writing?
RL: Actually, I’m a multi-genre author. From Elsa’s Gift, which is classified as Women’s Lit, to Riker’s Calling, a Crime Thriller, Bleeding Perseverance, an Erotic Drama, and so on. The one commonality is powerful, dramatic storytelling. I write for readers who enjoy substance over anything else.
CH: Is there a message in your novella that you want the readers to grasp?
RL: I always leave the message of a story up to the reader. My novellas are meant to engage, excite, and enlighten. Different people will take away different things, as art is subjective.
CH: Who are some of your horror writing influences?
RL: Stephen King and Anne Rice.
CH: What is the hardest part of writing for you? (outline, draft, edit, or write)
RL: I suffer from Acute Retinal Necrosis. This condition has left me totally blind in one eye and legally blind in the other. I only get so much time in the day before my remaining sight becomes too strained, so I have to pace myself. This, by far, is the hardest thing for me as an author.
CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?
RL: Again, with the issue of slavery, I connected through the music. As for Joseph’s desire for purity, there’s a bit of me in him, and as for Aunt Mama, you’re gonna have to read to find out. 🙂
CH: Which character was hardest to write?
RL: Minor characters can be a bit tricky, as you don’t want them to detract from the main characters and the story, but at the same time they shouldn’t just be wallpaper. Everyone involved should be contributing in some way to moving the story forward.
CH: What do you think is the universal scare factor?
RL: The universal scare factor is empathy, because when you relate to a character you invest more of yourself into him or her, which makes it that much tougher when they suffer.
CH: Who, in your opinion, is a great horror author and why?
RL: Stephen King was my first literary hero. When I was a teen he taught me, through his work, that horror can have substance. I didn’t know it at the time, but this exposure to great storytelling was very impactful to me later when becoming an author myself.
And then there’s Anne Rice, who can eloquently describe a haunting catacomb down to its aged cracks, her vivid details are like that of the tip of a fine pen etching into your mind grand worlds. I’m a big fan of her Vampire Chronicles.
Each style has its place, and when they’re at their best, it can be awe-inspiring!
CH: What advice would you give to new horror authors?
RL: To any new authors I’d say to first build a strong foundation by reading, a lot! But be wary of which books you actually read. Due to the saturation of online publishing there is an overabundance of crap out there. This is why, personally speaking, I stick to authors whose work I’m familiar with. For the most part, anyway. Occasionally I’ll have the luck of discovering a new talent, and end up making them a part of my treasured library. 🙂
I’d also say that once you find your voice as an author, don’t let anyone discourage you. There are over seven billion people out in the world, which means there are at least a few hundred million perspectives. You can’t please them all. Stay true to yourself. Those who get it, great. Those who don’t, their loss!
CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?
RL: My autobiography will be released soon, and maybe a few more surprises before the year is up. Stay tuned on social media. 🙂
CH: Can you give my audience your website address?
RL: I’d love to pass on a warm invitation to all who are looking for stories of substance to stop on by and visit me at www.dramaticnovellas.com.
CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?
RL: The Mirrored Staircase, Aunt Mama, and most of my other works can be found on Smashwords, which is also where my domain for dramatic novellas is currently pointing to. Although, my crime thriller, Riker’s Calling, and its short story tie-in, The Ghostwriter, can be found on Amazon. Smashwords Link: http://bit.ly/2bkEaoX
CH: Any closing remarks?
RL: Thanks, Cheryl, for the interview. For all who took the time to read this interview to get to know me a little better, I’d like to say thank you. Most attention spans are so short nowadays, but you, Dear Reader, have proven that there’s still room for substance out in the vastness of cyberspace.
And for all who choose to support me by actually purchasing my work, know this: You are indeed a hero to this indie author!
CH: Thank you so much, Rico Lamoureux, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers. It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.
Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Rico Lamoureux.
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