- Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome N.M. Scuri. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve always loved books and stories. I grew up on Hammer films, Dark Shadows, and Stephen King. Everything pretty much came from that.
- Who are your favorite authors?
In addition to Mr. King, I tend to run the gamut. Right now, I’m reading the Brontë sisters. I wrote my dissertation on Oscar Wilde and James Joyce.
- Tell us a bit about your story, It’s All Good News?
I was inspired by the story of Preston Castle. It’s also known as the Preston School of Industry and is located in California. It was a reform school that is alleged to be haunted due to the violence that occurred there over the years. I set my story during the Great Depression. It was a dark time in America, and I could see people clutching for hope in pretty much any form. I see Dr. Weatherbee as a man with a vision for the future, but no humanity.
- If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?
An interesting question! It’s easy to romanticize things. We’ve struggled in one way or another throughout history, so wanting to go back to the days of chivalry, or whatever, would probably be disappointing to some. So, what experience would I want? Would I go back and watch Shakespeare act in one of his plays at the Globe? Would I wander through da Vinci’s work room? Maybe watch my grandparents make their way to America, or tell my younger self that I shouldn’t let negativity get to me, and let my light shine? To (finally) answer your question: I honestly don’t know.
- What attracts you to writing horror?
It’s just how my mind works, to be honest. We could all be sitting on the beach, watching the sun rise, and I’d be imagining sea monsters coming up for a snack. I’ve learned to embrace it.
- What are you currently reading?
I’m editing a lot these days. Right now I’m reading a collection of short fiction from Crystal Lake Publishing. I’m also going back and forth between Trigger Warning, by Neil Gaiman; Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, and World War Z by Max Brooks. Thank the heavens for e-readers.
- Are you planning to write a story for Sins of the Future? Any hints about your story?
I wrote some short fiction for a collection with illustrator Byron Rempel called Thirteen Stories and Paintings. In it, you’ll find a story called “Debbie Does the Apocalypse.” I’ve been playing around in that universe for a while. It’s fun seeing where all this goes.
- What do you like to do to relax?
As the spring is slowly breaking winter’s death grip on the North-Eastern US, I’m trying to get outside with my dog. I like seeing the world shake off the ice and snow.
- What are you currently working on?
I have an ongoing Two Sentence Horrors project with Byron. We produce two illustrated stories per week. He’s amazing. Please check out his work.
- How can readers connect with you?
I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. You can find the links, as well as Two Sentence Horrors, on my website: www.nmscuri.com
Read a snippet from It’s All Good News:
He wanted us to put him to work. I’d been here a week, sent away for breaking windows, when we were brought into the courtyard to hear the doctor. They call it the Gladston School of Industry, but they have walls and guards like any other jail. It was early, before breakfast, but it was going to be as hot as a fire, and dark circles were already set into the warden’s white shirt. Not the doctor, though. He was dressed in his gray suit and hat. His tie was set so nice, and not a lick of sweat was on him. We were all dying out there. It just wasn’t natural. The rumble in the yard got louder the longer we all stood. A few of us had a smoke, and I was missing mine. Rules say no smokes for new boys, so I stood and sweated and waited.
Finally, the warden put his hand up, and everything got real quiet. “Boys, you are all very fortunate. Very fortunate indeed. For the benefit of the new boys, I introduce Doctor Weatherbee. I expect your undivided attention.” A few of us shuffled uneasy in the dust, but the screws saw to it that no one interrupted the doctor. His voice carried like the preachers my mam would take me to see when I wore short britches, not that it did any good, mind.
“What fine young men,” the doctor started. His eyes were closed, and he took a deep breath in, like he meant to suck us all up. “Boys, today is a great day. We live in an age of wonders. There will come a time when we will transport people across this great land of ours in a day! Do not be fooled by appearances or the ignorant mumblings of naysayers. We await our deliverance from the old, my boys. Remember, it is all good news!” I didn’t know about any of this. I wouldn’t turn down good news, though. I remember the look in Mam’s eyes when the big dust came to Kansas. Weren’t no good news then.
Want to read more? Pick up your copy of Sins of the Past today.