On the 31st March we welcome Reyna Young to DEMAIN with her horror novella, Welcome Home Natalie (cover by Adrian Baldwin; available now for pre-sales). As the lockdowns both sides of the Atlantic were in full swing, Dean and Reyna found time to chat…
DEMAIN PUBLISHING: Welcome, welcome Reyna! Hope you’re well and safe. We will talk more specifically about Welcome Home Natalie in a short while but for those that don’t know you can you tell us a little about yourself…
REYNA YOUNG: Hello, I’m happy to be here of course and okay, sure. I was born and raised in San Francisco; I run Last Doorway Productions, an indie film company. I’m also late night Horror Host ‘Miss Misery’ of the popular syndicated show Movie Massacre. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. I was obsessed with Goosebumps, Edgar Allan Poe, Scary stories to tell in the dark, and whatever horror books I could get my hands on. I started writing my own short horror stories at a young age and as I grew and read more I knew it was what I wanted to do. I love to tell stories.
DP: That’s brilliant, so many strings to your bow. Well done. So, Welcome Home Natalie…
RY: The story is set in a small town where a girl who ran away from home, comes back to deal with her mother’s death. Haunted by her past she faces what she left behind and the ugly truth of why her father left her so long ago.
DP: Powerful stuff. In writing the novella did you have to do much research?
RY: I found myself re-reading my favourite ghost stories before writing mine, I find reading others works inspires me.
DP: Me too – I have a couple of novels lying around which I go to if I’m not finding my own words flowing and a few paras in I find I’ve switched off from my own writing enough to find the inspiration needed to go back to it later and hopefully continue – that’s the theory anyway ha ha. Did you find Welcome Home Natalie difficult to write at all?
RY: Since this particular story began as a dream I had, I found myself kind of floating through it, I wrote it down after having it sit in my mind for a few weeks. I wrote down pieces of the story from my dream, did some reading and then finally sat down to write it out. I find everything I do to be a challenge, I do my best not to feel or think something is difficult in fear I’ll never get it done.
DP: Yes, the problem with ‘over-thinking’ hey…affects us all from time to time. Creatively then what is your biggest success.
RY: It’s hard to say, I have had so many creative successes it’s hard to choose. I have a successful syndicated television show; I have four films in worldwide distribution. I’m also a published author; I find everything I do to be a big success. Not to sound conceited; I’m proud of everything I‘ve done as anyone should.
DP: Exactly and why not…you touched before on your influences…
RY: I still read Goosebumps; I love R L Stine books. Stephen King, Caroline Kepnes, Joe Hill, Fred Wiehe. Everything I read influences me. I can read Shirley Jackson over and over again and never get tired of her.
DP: Some great names there…a very broad church of horror writers actually…what does ‘horror’ mean to you?
RY: It’s the thrill of being scared and loving every second of it. That spine tingling sensation that draws up your back scaring and exciting you all at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with jumping from a scare in a film or reading it in a book that puts a smile on your face after.
DP: Nice! Is there a horror book or film coming up (and appreciate that due to the current pandemic everything’s a bit up in the air on that front) that you’re particularly looking forward to?
RY: I was looking forward to the next Ghostbusters film or Halloween but that is now on hold due to the pandemic as you say so I’ll just have to wait a little longer. I have not bought Stephen King’s new If It Bleeds book yet, I’m looking forward to reading that.
DP: Cool, cool. So, is there anything Reyna Young is frightened of?
RY: Honestly; Home invasion films scare me, I have not written anything like that yet, I’m sure I will down the road but for now I haven’t thought about writing one. They scare the crap out of me because it’s something I’ve feared since I was little, to have your home that you feel so comfortable in to be invaded, especially now that I have a child. Having an intruder or intruders take over your happy home scares me.
DP: I know where you’re coming from on that score…creatively you’ve achieved a lot (again, well done) but is there anything you’re yet to do which you really want…
RY: Ah, good question. Good question. To be honest, I would like to publish a romance novel. Don’t laugh.
DP: I wouldn’t dare…and why not a romance novel, I’d read it. So these lockdowns, what’s your routine been like?
RY: Honestly; just less going out. I work from home and take care of our little one and work on running the film company and working on my projects. Kind of nothing new to me; I think the one thing I freaked out the most about was not having the option of going out which is weird. I feel bad I can’t take my son out to the park, things like that but luckily we have a back yard and I ordered him a slide and some yard toys for him to play with.
DP: Brilliant and finally Reyna, what is something your readers might be surprised to find out about you?
RY: After I finish writing a short story of novel I like to drink a tall glass of Ovaltine to reward myself. Hahaha.
LOVE IT! Thank you so much for your time Reyna, stay well and safe. The best of luck with Welcome Home Natalie which will be out as an ebook from March 31st.
If you’d like to connect with Reyna direct:
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Dean M. Drinkel