21 Sep 2013

A special interview with Poppet

Now, if you've never heard of Poppet, then you're seriously missing out. This is one author to watch. But beware when you open any one of her books... because you're in for a real fright...

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published? How many books have you written?
That's three questions (lol). When did I first start writing: This is a very literal question because to answer it honestly I would have to tell you how old I was when I learned to write. The answer is 4 years old. I started writing when I was 4 (pmsl). When was I first published: Again this isn't specified as to 'what' was published. For my writing I was first published nationally in 2006, internationally in 2008. As an author of fiction novels: 2010. How many books have I written: Somewhere around 48/49 (and that is published novels, not the endless collection of files I have on my computer).

Your books tend to be very dark. Why is that?
My books are dark, I have to agree. Why? Because my life has been dark.

What is it about the horror and paranormal that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres? If so, which?
I read every genre. As a reader I tend to favour non-fiction (fiction has the ability to disappoint. Non-fiction doesn't.) As a child I needed to cling to horror novels and movies to escape my life. I needed to read about someone having it worse than me. It fostered a love of the horror genre very young (as young as 8). One thing about old horrors is they have an elegant romanticism to them. This is a trait that modern movies have lost, and I think that is why I like to write romance-horror. It pays homage to a bygone era when even the villains were dashing, cunning, and deceptively manipulative. As for paranormal, what I like about it is it doesn't box the imagination. Inside that genre your imagination can conjure any ability, any trait, any feature, and in this genre the scope of the imagination not only flies, but it shows our potential if we allow ourselves to create 'anything' (anything at all).

What's the title of your latest book? Can you tell us about it?
My latest novel is Over Exposure. It follows the story which began in my psychological horror Darkroom. In Darkroom a man who believes he is the angel of vengeance kidnaps and stalks Shauna, subjecting her to horrific mental and physical abuse. He infiltrates every aspect of her life, what she doesn't know is the man she loves and ends up living with is the very same monster who destroyed her life.
This series points out the psychosis of the extremely devout, the madness and cruelty embodied by bible bashers who think because they can quote scripture they are saints, flawless, living extensions of God's divine will.
History and mankind has shown how corrupt this kind of power can be, and just what kind of lengths a madman will go to in order to 'deliver you from evil'. The problem with evil is the definition is 'subjective' to the person holding the bible. It's flawed, it's hypocritical, and it's downright dangerous. What if you met the god of the old testament today? Do you know him? Do you even like him? He sent plagues, fire, poisonous snakes, and hardship, down on his followers. He made Ezekiel eat bread baked on excrement. He threatened to cut open pregnant women (because he was angry), he sanctioned cannibalism (most people don't know that), and he took the firstborn child of every one of his people. To get your own baby back you had to buy it back after one month. (Can you imagine taking a new-born baby away from its mother for the first month of life? What cruelty!) - these scriptures are quoted in the novel.
You see the original horror story is the Bible. If you read it all it's enough to stress you out and give you night sweats. To me it is in no way blasphemous to use the bible as a very literal inspiration to write horror.
In Over Exposure, Shauna is abducted from a hospital ward by her brother-in-law. Her husband Victor is assumed dead, and the bible (in Deuteronomy) states that it is her brother-in-law's duty to take her as his wife. Shauna wakes up in a compound in Utah, stuck in 'storage', in the dark, and is forced into a position of humbleness and subjugation by 'god'.
Victor's father has such a god-complex that he truly believes he is God. As such her body is not her own, it belongs to God. The blood covenant is theirs. Her body, her life, her babies, all belong to God now. When she goes against his laws, finding the entire situation repugnant, she is given old testament discipline, but God refuses to give her reprieve as he has an axe to grind against all women. Eve and Lilith being the first two, and now it's Shauna's turn.
Throughout the novel scripture is quoted (and cited), showing just how this evil empire is founded in scripture. It is a diabolical situation, one where you are rooting for Shauna to escape, to get away from her captors, and one that will make you pray you never ever meet this 'god'.

What inspired you to write it? 
I apologise now, but I'm giving you the long answer.
What inspired me to write it: My own trauma at the hands of crazy bible bashers.
It started young, which is why I know God has no mercy for the innocent or for children. God doesn't answer prayers, and after spending half my life doing research on the scriptures used to destroy my childhood, it was indeed a wonderful day when I read Acts and Amos (one is new testament and one is old): Both passages (quoted in Over Exposure) explain that the god of the Old Testament wasn't a good guy, he's a false god, an angel, who is also called Moloch (the god of fire and sacrifice).
If you took off the rose tinted glasses and just read the bible as if it is a history book, what you read is a very different story to the one you're 'sold' by the salesman who goes door to door trying to save your soul. If we read it not as a religious tome, but rather an educational one, the book you will read will be the most entertaining collection of madness ever compiled as one anthology. I love to quote anomalies from it in the Darkroom Saga series. In Over Exposure you will discover the passages referencing vampires and zombies, helicopters and necromancy. In the previous novel to Over Exposure (titled Satanarium), you will read about biblical sanctioned abortion, cannibalism, organised and sanctioned rape, human trafficking, and how wearing your hair long (as a man) is a sign of dedication to God. (Satanariium is a sanitarium where you are freed of your satans by Preacher John.)
The reason why I needed to write this series is to call out the hypocrisy. This is not a loving and kind 'religion'. Jesus was named Immanuel by his mother. He was prophesied as such in Isaiah. So his name is not Jesus, nor is it Christ. It's these anomalies that irk me endlessly. Saying jesus christ is not blasphemy because neither of these were his names (and I use both in my novels as it's not using anyone's name in vain). This is a theme I visit again and again in my books.
Theology is very close to my heart and I have spent most of my life researching this subject. But how wonderful it is to write fiction for people just like me. People who've had their childhoods robbed from them, their innocence shattered, because of a book. Who know what it means to live 'in fear of God' because his devils run rampant inside the walls of your own home. They look human, but their bloodlust and lack of mercy hammers home that 'Jesus loves you' with lots and lots of pain. Since starting this series and then writing the Gods and Thurs series, the sheer amount of readers who have contacted me, asking for my research, needing to get their hands on more information, wanting to be free from this religious tyranny, people who have been hurt just like me, it's the greatest reward for me as an author. By writing religious horror fiction (and paranormal-religious romance) I have touched hearts, I'm reaching the hurt people, and I'm helping them heal. Someone else recognises their anguish, their torment, someone else knows that the little black book is a handbook of horrors piled upon horrors. There is nothing more terrifying than a god who thinks your life is expendable for his ego.
The next novels in the series are also based on real life inspiration. Wrapture is an erotic-horror, taking the bible into the bedroom and showing the new trend in religious fetish. But I'm betting after reading the next novel a lot more women will be willing to go to church (lol).

Is it part of a series?
Yes. Sorry I rambled on in the last question and answered this one there. The series is The Darkroom Saga. The novels in this series are #1 Darkroom (currently free on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble), #2 Satanarium #3 Over Exposure #4 Wrapture, #5 SinnerGog. Book 4 is due out end of autumn and book 5 is due out in April 2014. They are all published by my darling and courageous publisher: Wild Wolf Publishing.

Two of my favourite books of yours are in the YA genre. Do you have any plans to write more?
Yes, I do have plans. I'm writing one on the quiet at the moment, and I have another one due out in 2014.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
No, never. I get told about it though ;)

Who designs your covers?

I do. I love to create covers, that is my zen time.

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Gosh, I have no clue. I'm not up to date on the A-list and am not a follower of celebs.

What's your favourite book that made it to the big screen?
Bridget Jones' Diary.

What were the last two books you read?
Tigress, by J.E. Taylor and: Temptation by Troy Lambert

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
I can name a few. Nya Rawlins (for her paranormal novels), Elaina Davidson (for her fantasy novels – the Lore of Arcana series is epic and brilliant); J.E.Taylor for her crime novels, Jessica Degarmo (for her romance novels), Lindy Dale (she writes the funniest / happiest romances), and my fave YA author is you, especially the Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw.
Aww thanks Poppet :D

Where do you write?
At my desk in the corner of the gym.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
That is a very good question and one I can't answer as I have no clue.

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy?
Shopaholic or shopadon't? Shopadon't
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? Always wear shoes you can run in and fight in
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? No thanks (lol)
Cry baby or tough cookie? Both. I'm very confrontational so I have tough cookie default settings, but when I'm REALLY angry I just cry.

Poppet writes horror and edgy paranormal romance, and is currently published with Wild Wolf Publishing, Vamptasy Publishing, Eibonvale Press.

Over Exposure on Amazon US
Over Exposure on Amazon UK

Ditching the wheels ten metres from the access tunnel to the ossuary, I take the route I know, the path of least resistance.
Running low, keeping to the darkest puddles of shadow, I bolt into the tunnel, activating night vision as I speed deeper into the mountain.
“What's happening?” whispers in my ear.
“Penetration successful. Moving west. So far so good,” I mumble, needing my focus to remain uninterrupted.
Entering the huge cave lined from floor to ceiling with skeletal bones, the stark layout chills my new conscience. What kind of 'church' reveres the bones of the dead? How can this practice be accepted around the world without them seeing it for what it is. This is the way evil worship, their god is not the god of the living, but the overlord of the underworld.
Slinking silently between the altar and the revered symbol of death, the crucifix, I edge to the interior channel that will take me into the heart of this hellhole.
Aiming my rifle, it's all clear as I sweep left and right.
I have no time for reflection, heading straight for the power grid. Reaching the boards I flip switches, unclipping the blowtorch from my belt, igniting it with a swift click from the Zippo, melting the switches into the off position, looking away because its blinding with night vision activated.
The heat could start a fire, but I don't rightly give a shit.
I have three mace cans filled with liquid nitrogen to spray into the faces of anyone who gets close enough to intercept me.
With the compound plunged into silence and darkness I head for the emergency stairwell, running stealthily up flight after flight, grateful for my endurance training.
Nothing moves, no one investigates, and I find this development at odds with everything I know of my father and his paranoia. I should have a team of rage swarming all over my ass right now, instead the place is eerily vacant.
Edging the door to level four open I swoop into the passage, crouching low, hinging left and right aiming, ready to fire. There is no movement.
I have exactly two minutes before the back-up generators kick in. I have to get her out before then. It's paramount.
Checking with Jude, I hiss under my breath, “Enemy movement?”
“Nothing,” returns immediately.
The tension in my shoulders vices with a wave of cold apprehension. This feels like a set-up. I feel like I'm walking into a trap.
Bulleting down the corridor I unpocket a grenade, ready to blow me and everyone in here into a crimson cloud of vapour if anyone is waiting in ambush.
Counting the doors, I do one more sweep, a frantic sense of urgency gripping me at the lack of retaliation. Edging slowly, using my shoulder, I have the clip in my mouth, ready to pull if anything untoward is awaiting my approach.
Looking up, checking the hairline crack around the door for triggers, there doesn't seem to be one in place. Opening it a smidgen, I check the edge around the door again. It's clear.
Shoving the door wide I drop to the floor, rolling, using the detector for trip wires, infrared beams, anything that could be waiting to initiate death.
Amazed by the sheer lack of protection around his prime asset, I leopard crawl to the far side of the room, scooting against the wall and looking under the tables, doing a full three-sixty around the brainwashing cell.
She's alone.
My heart is ramming up against my ribcage, making me pant as alarm surges cortisol through my system. Rushing, I unbelt my babe by loosening buckles, horrified that she doesn't react in any way.
It's now or never.
Speaking into my com's, I whisper, “Target acquired. Initiate phase two in eighty seconds. If I don't make it out inside the window, blow us all to kingdom come.”
I have sixty seconds to get her to the underground tunnel.
Carrying her in my arms as I can't fireman lift her because of the pregnancy, I burst back into the corridor, vulnerable now that I have the victim to hinder me. Checking left and right, up and down, no enemy fire is forthcoming. I reholster my firearm, shrugging to readjust the rifle slung over my shoulder, and burn calories with my desperate charge back to the stairwell. Sprinting, I shove my shoulder into the stairwell door, pausing long enough to do a perimeter sweep up, and then down.
Still no movement.
What the hell is going on?
I don't have time, hopping onto the bannister I slide us down floor after floor, my bunched muscles beginning to throb with tension.
Hitting the subterranean access point I rest her on the floor, holding the grenade again as I pry the door open, expecting a bullet in the face.
Fuck, need to get out now! We're out of time.
Hefting her back in my arms, I run like Satan's about to butt-fuck me, sprinting flat-out into the deathly still night.


  1. This is awesome, thank you Suzy ♥

  2. A fantastic interview with one of my favorite writers. Poppet always makes me think . . . with the part of my brain not gibbering in terror!

  3. You're totally welcome, Poppet! You can come over any time you like :D xx

    Sessha... I'm totally with you on this one! :D x


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