K.Z. Morano runs the blog The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic and is the author of the anthology 100 Nightmares; here is a link to her blog:
Q: What motivates you to write?
A: I started writing fiction on my blog about a year ago and received enough love from my blog followers that I decided to keep writing. I write anything from romance and erotica to horror and dark fantasy. After winning in a writing competition a few months ago, I started focusing on the horror genre. My love for writing motivates me to write.
Q: What sort of day job do you have and how does it affect your writing?
A: After graduating and gaining all of my certifications, I worked as a volunteer in a hospital (meaning toiling all day with no pay). Then I decided that the hospital is not the place for me. Against my parents’ and my family’s wishes, I turned my back on years of education and training. I work as an on-call instructor preparing students for their IELTS interview. I also have a clothing business (for local clients only) where I sell my secondhand designer and not-so-designer items for less… much much less. I love my clothes and it makes me happy when others find pleasure in my fashion picks. I’m not selling anything right now though because November last year, a typhoon had struck my country (the Philippines). Instead of selling the latest batch of clothes, I decided to donate them all to the victims of Haiyan (Yolanda). So, I didn’t sell anything… that means no money for shopping sprees. No shopping means it’ll take a long time before I re-open the shop. But I don’t care. It was for a good cause.
Why not get a “real” job? The thing about me is that if you put me in one place for too long, eventually, I feel like I’m being suffocated. And when I feel that way, I walk away.
Another one of my sort-of occupations is that of a ghost. A ghost writer, that is. 🙂 I’ve written numerous articles that you can find online. They’re about fashion, health, beauty, sex and relationships. It feels weird seeing my articles out there with the names of complete strangers attached to them. They get all the credit for it, of course. But I’m just a ghost so I stay in the dark corners…
Having a job like that makes me love my works of fiction even more. For the first time, I’m actually getting credit for all my efforts. I cannot possibly explain how happy it makes me every time someone leaves a positive comment on my stories, every time someone writes a good review of my book, every time someone recognizes me for my work. 🙂
Q: What kind of topics do you like to write about on The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic blog?
A: I write about everything under the sun. I write about everything that pleases me. I write about everything that I am.
My blog started out differently from what it is now. Initially, I wanted it to be a fashion blog. My old blog friends already know this. I wanted to post photos of myself wearing designer clothes. I wanted to feature my latest purchases, review some products, etc.
But when I started writing fiction, I received plenty of encouragement. Now, you’ll find stories there that range from erotica to fantasy to horror.
The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic speaks of my journey as a person without me actually talking about that journey. It’s written and reflected all over my blog. All the readers have to do is to take a look around.
I think my blog attracts different sorts of people… maybe eclectic eccentrics like me. Some ask me when I’m going to start writing haiku again… when? I don’t know. Will I travel more next year? Perhaps.
I’ve published a book and it’s in the horror genre. Did I foresee this? Nope. And I doubt that most of my friends saw it coming either. Since I started writing horror, I am fully aware that I’ve lost a few followers and gained new ones as well. And there are those who were there from the very beginning.
You’ll never know what my blog is going to look like tomorrow and I guess that’s what I love about it. I’m not sure what the future holds but I’ll make sure that my readers—those who decide to stick around and the new ones that I’ll meet—will be a part of it.
Q: What is unique about your horror anthology 100 Nightmares?
A: 100 Nightmares by K.Z. Morano is a collection of 100 horror stories, each written in exactly 100 words, and accompanied by over 50 illustrations.
I am very passionate about micro-fiction. It takes a great deal of effort to create a story in 100 words. Each piece is a complete story—with a beginning, middle and an end—not just a bunch of pretty words strung together. I pay attention to the words as much as I do to the plot. I try to squeeze as much story and detail and imagery as I can in 100 words without making it seem contrived.
Inside, you’ll find monsters—both imagined and real. There are vengeful specters, characters with impaired psyches, dark fairy tales and stories and illustrations inspired by bizarre creatures of Japanese folklore.
My short stories and micro-fiction have been published in various anthologies, magazines and online venues over the past few months but 100 Nightmares is my first solo project. It’s a labor of love.
Q: You say that horror writer Michael Arnzen is an influence on you; what makes you connect with him?
A: It’s the boldness of his writing that I like the most. It’s really unlike any other. Mr. Arnzen’s writing and prompts are weird but fun… sick but brilliant. Some of the stories in my book, 100 Nightmares, have been inspired by the writing prompts from his book, Instigation. Coming up with ideas for one hundred stories to be included in my book was not an easy thing to do. I wanted every story to be unique. Halfway through the process, I started to lose hope thinking I’ll probably end up with just 50 Nightmares or so… On my blog, I created a post about how his book inspired me. Other authors who influence my writing include H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker. They all taught me to see the beauty in the grotesque.
Q: What makes a blog worth reading?
A: There are plenty of blogs out there with exceptional themes and each of these blogs attracts specific readers. It’s very important to blog about what you know.
But ultimately, I think what makes a blog worth reading is its honesty. It’s more than just being unique. The blogger should have a voice that connects with his/her readers… and that takes passion… a willingness to share and bare a part of your soul to the blogosphere. It can be through your photographs, your art, through your writing…
Q: You say you hate jeje monsters, what’s a Jeje monster?
A: Hate is such a strong word. Perhaps I need to revise that. 🙂 But I don’t love them, for sure! Jejemonsters / Jejemon [ˈdʒɛdʒɛmon] are a special breed of hipsters who have managed to contort language to the point of extreme incomprehensibility. It’s a pop culture phenomenon in the Philippines (where I currently live). I LOVE playing with words and creating new ones but when a guy starts saying iMiszqcKyuH instead of “I miss you.” and lAbqCkyOuHh instead of “I love you.”, that’s when you put him in the Friendzone. Heck, I don’t even want to be friends! 🙂
They’re everywhere, really, not just here… They’re spreading like zombies. (except zombies are actually way cooler) So when I start tYpFing LyK diZ, please shoot me in the head. =p
It’s simply not for me… JaJa! Ooops… I mean, Haha! 🙂
Q: Who are some of your favorite designers?
A: I have quite a list! But I’ll mention just a few… I love Betsey Johnson because of her fun, fearless fashion. I like seeing the pretty in the bizarre and that’s why I adore fashion geniuses like Marc Jacobs. I like Miu Miu, Tsumori Chisato, Alice and Olivia. Dior and Chanel are timeless beauties. And I’ve always liked Burberry.
Q: What causes someone to be a shopaholic?
A: I can’t speak for all the other shopaholics out there but for me, it’s the love for fashion, mainly, and a desire to be surrounded by pretty things. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, really. It’s an addiction, after all.
Sure, I’ve always believed that a girl can never have too many clothes. But I’ve gone a step farther. There had been ups and downs. One day I just realized that my bank account is empty, all of my hard-earned money gone…
But I decided to learn from that experience and turn it into something positive. So I started the shop. It was hard to part with my beauties. This may seem ridiculous to you but I cuddled my clothes and almost wept for them.
Then the buyers started pouring in. The ladies trusted my fashion sense and I valued that the most. Those who can’t wear my clothes (because my size is XS-S), asked me if there’s any way that I can shop for them!
So they tell me what they’re looking for and I try to find it for them… online, in thrift stores, etc. It’s fun… makes me feel like a stylist. haha 🙂
Q: What is the most challenging thing you have ever written about?
A: I find it hard to write comedy. I have such a weird and dark sense of humor that I often fear that it might end up making others feel uncomfortable.
Sometimes, I sprinkle my stories with stuff that are funny to me and hope that a few readers (who are probably just as twisted as me) will get it. You’ll definitely find a few of those stories in 100 Nightmares. Humorous or horrifying or both… I’ll leave it for the reader to decide. 🙂
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)