For our second Dark Dozen interview, we have author Kate Kingston (DeJonge). Kate brings her
story, WILDFIRE, to the Dark Disasters anthology.
Read on to see what goes on inside Kate's mind as she takes on the Dark Dozen.
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
According to my childhood memory keeper, I was 5 when I first declared I was going to be a writer. I’ve always written, and it’s almost always been scary stuff, even as a child.
If you had three sentences to pitch your work to a new reader, what is your pitch? I write supernatural thrillers that will appeal to fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Kelley Armstrong, and darker stories that explore the crossroads where horror and mental illness connect. Recently, I’ve been writing splatterpunk with a focus on revenge, featuring strong female protagonists who endure the worst but always win in the end. I’m here to help survivors rip their monsters limb from limb and dance in the spoils.
What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?
The people, hands down. I’ve never known a more consistently friendly and supportive community online or in person. Horror people are the best!
What’s the one thing that scares you the most in this world and have you ever written about it?
Losing my children, and no, I have not. I’m superstitious to a point, but I think I’d be sick trying to write about losing them. They are adults, but I feel like I’d die if something happened to one of them.
Tell us about a scene in one of your stories or someone else’s that you would not want to be stuck in, and why? Name the book and author, if not you.
The motel room scene in Woom by Duncan Ralston. Enough said.
Darkest or most disturbing horror movie ever watched:
Incident in Ghost Land (2018) was so brutal that I had to watch it twice in a row to fully understand it. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about two sisters trying to survive a home invasion that turns into a kidnapping. It is thoroughly mind-warping and difficult to watch at times, so I highly recommend it if you like ‘everything is not as it seems’ movies.
Darkest or most disturbing horror novel ever read:
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker. I actually DNF’d this one because I just couldn’t continue to read it. Barker is one of my favourite authors; his writing style can be very evocative. Scarlet Gospels shook me.
Darkest/ Worst Way to Die:
Being set on fire. I swear I was burned at the stake in at least one past life! In a house fire, hopefully I would fall unconscious from the smoke first, but being fully awake and aware, smelling your flesh searing away from your bones… *shudders*
If you had one hour to speak to any living author, who would it be and why?
Oh no, this is too hard! I’ve made so many author friends online that I’d love to meet in person! Can’t we just meet somewhere in the middle and have a party? I’ll bring the wine! Outside of the incredible indie horror authors, I’d love to have a visit with Caitlin Doughty. She is a mortician who is trying to de-capitalize the death industry in North America. Have you ever watched her YouTube videos or read her books? She’s smart, sassy, funny, and would probably be a lot of fun to talk to! Follow her on YT @AskAMortician.
(If I could choose a deceased author, it would be Douglas Adams. That man was hilarious, but he was also a philosopher with some interesting ideas.)
What has been one of the proudest moments of your writing journey?
I cried when I was invited to write for this anthology, actually! I couldn’t believe I would be published with the other people in this collection. I cried again when Drew Stepek reached out to tell me that Soup had won the silver award for Best Novelette 2023 on Godless. Look mom, I’m gonna be famous!!
Who are you outside of being an author? What makes you tick other than the worlds and stories you create?
I am an aging mom and wife who struggles with mental health and invisible illness, a mental health and LGBTQIA+ advocate, a student of all things death related, and a registered Dudeist Priest. (Yes, I can officiate marriages in the States!). I’m an insomniac, I love all animals, and a low-key prepper. My hobbies include doom scrolling, collecting board games and crystals, coming up with bonkers business plans for funsies, and fighting with my demons. What makes me tick? A whole lotta medication and wine.
What is a piece of advice that you WISH someone had given you early in your career?
I’m still early in my career, I hope! I wish, though, that I’d found this piece of advice in the first 2 years of writing full time: you can’t edit an empty document. Most of us live with imposter syndrome and writer’s block, but writing routinely is a matter of training your brain to do it, no matter what. As you can tell from my output, I’m still working on following this advice, myself.
Kate Kingston DeJonge has been writing scary stories since childhood. As the lead psychic investigator for a local ghost tour company from 2000-2010, Kate spent many dark nights in forbidden places that most people are never permitted to see.
She was featured on 6 episodes of Creepy Canada and on many other tv/radio shows where she was asked to sense and communicate with the dead.
While some of her work is a reflection of those experiences, she has more recently focused on splatterpunk and revenge horror, written for fellow survivors of childhood abuse.
Kate also established the Hamilton Book Crawl, a monthly outdoor venue for local authors to sell their books free of cost, and the Greater Hamilton Writers’ Association. She dreams about owning a haunted old bookstore where she can sell indie horror authors’ books and chat with ghosts about the world going to hell in a handbasket.
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