K.Z. Morano is a writer, a beach bum, and a chocolate addict. She writes anything from romance and erotica to horror and SF, F, and WTF. Her stories have appeared in various magazines, anthologies and online venues. 100 Nightmares is her first story collection.
She blogs at http://theeclecticeccentricshopaholic.wordpress.com/
Title: 100 Nightmares
Author: K.Z. Morano
ISBN: 9781312127791 (Lulu.com)
ASIN: B00JVRJNG0 (Amazon.com)
Page count: 171 pages
Tell us about your book:
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. 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.
How long did it take to write the book?
I took me about two to three months to write the one hundred stories and compile all fifty illustrations. Some do not realize that writing micro-fiction is a lot more difficult than it seems. With 100-word stories, you have to make every word count. There must be a beginning, a middle and an end to each tale. It’s not poetry... though my writing had been described by many as poetic prose. Micro-fiction is most certainly not a bunch of senseless pretty or horrifying words strung together. To write micro-fiction means to present a scenario, create a character and build a world while injecting imagery and packing a punch in a limited amount of words. It requires a certain formula.
While it’s true that I could’ve written several drabbles in one afternoon, I preferred to take extra care while writing each story. I wanted each piece to be unique—with no two stories alike. In order to do that, I had to limit myself to one-two stories daily while continuously seeking inspiration and searching for fresh concepts each day.
It was actually the illustrations that demanded a great deal of my time. I worked with four different artists for this project. During the process, I’ve eliminated a lot of illustrations… I’ve discarded plenty of stories as well. Those that were good but weren’t good enough were immediately sent to the recycle bin. No regrets. 100 Nightmares is my first baby, after all.
What inspired you to write the book?
My stories have been published in various publications but I wanted a solo project… something that would represent me as a writer.
I’ve always been passionate about micro-fiction and I believed that there’s no better way to showcase my concise writing style than to make an entire collection. I figured with 100 stories and 100 distinctive concepts each reader is bound to meet his/her worst nightmare somewhere within the pages. Though the stories can stand alone, I decided to pack 50 illustrations in the book because I wanted my first book to be extra special.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
Like many writers, I struggle for balance between writing and real life. While there are many stories in my head that are just dying to be told, I have other responsibilities that take up a huge chunk of my time. What I do is that I write when I can… and only when I feel like it. I’ve never really been good with schedules. Every time I find random bursts of inspiration and I happen to be free, I grab on to my muse and go straight to the computer.
I think it’s important for writers to write about what they know. I also believe that it’s important for them to push the boundaries and step out of their comfort zones. While most of my stories require sheer imagination, I conduct research every now and then especially when I decide to explore new territories. Our readers spend hard-earned money to purchase our books; they spend time reading our works. We owe it to them to expend time and effort in doing research.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
100 Nightmares is for the lovers of the horror genre. This book is also for the fans of micro-fiction. But this is also for readers who are looking for something different. I post fiction on my blog and I’ve had a lot of readers come up to me and say that while they don’t usually like horror, they enjoy my writing.
It may be a little too ambitious but I hope that in my own way, I would be able to gather more fans of the horror genre. I hope that through my written works, readers will come to appreciate the exquisiteness in horror. I want my readers to finish my book with a sense of satisfaction from having invested in a well-written, carefully put-together collection. I want them to feel that reading my book had been worth their while. Ultimately, I simply wish for my readers to enjoy the book.
Excerpt from book:
It takes a brief encounter with death to cause enduring nightmares.
A single well-placed blow could maim you for life…
One well-placed word could haunt you forever.
Micro-fiction is a blade—sharp, swift…
Sometimes it goes for the jugular, killing you in seconds.
Its silver tongue touches your throat and warm blood hisses before you can scream.
Sometimes, the knife makes micro-cuts in the sensitive sheath of your sanity, creating wounds that will fester throughout eternity.
Take my 100 words daily like a slow-acting poison or read them all and die of overdose.
It’s your suicide after all.
I've always admired grandma's needlework skills, so evident in her quilt.
The fluffy filler of flesh... the precise pleats of skin origami from carefully cut squares of grandpa's body.
Lazy daisies grew on his garden bed of meat.
Rainbow thread sprouted from his pores as the needle burrows then resurfaces like silver worm.
She died peacefully beneath the warmth of that quilt.
I slipped in beside her, sharing grandpa's embrace, wishing for a love like theirs.
Suddenly, I understood the profound inward emptiness that grandma must have felt and realized that I needed to make a quilt of my own.
Where can we go to buy your book?
100 Nightmares is available at Amazon.com, Lulu.com and Smashwords.
Any other links or info you'd like to share?
100 Nightmares Goodreads page:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22007959-100-nightmares
100 Nightmares Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/100Nightmares
K.Z. Morano’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kzmorano