What Scares You, Misty Simon?

I have a stuffed Yeti on my desk who looks at me every day when I sit down to write. His little umbrella has a message on top that says, “You’ve got this.” It’s silly inspiration, but I swear it works every time.

I have Misty Simon to thank for him.

Misty and I don’t know each other well, but I think if we did, we’d get along swimmingly. She’s got an infectious energy that’s addicting to be around. She’s got a FABULOUS wardrobe. And she’s interested in all the best things. (Ghosts? Cemeteries? Classic monsters?)

Her latest book in the Tallie Graver series, Par for the Hearse, is coming soon, and you can check out her web site for news about when it will drop.

In the meantime, enjoy our conversation about nightmares, shadow figures, untreated wood, and other good stuff.

Have you ever had any paranormal experiences or premonitions? How did you deal with it?

Ohhhh… well now. For years we owned a saltbox house built in 1820. We used to have a small black shadow that you would see running across the landing behind you at the top of the stairs when you looked in a mirror at the bottom of the stairs. I very calmly told it that it could stay as long as it hurt no one in our house. Five years later, we renovated and never saw it again. Maybe it didn’t like how the previous owner had part of the floor held up with a half a stop sign and broken paint sticks. Maybe it was protecting us and once we put a real floor down, it felt its job was done. Either way, it never walked across the landing again. I missed that little shadow and said goodbye, just in case, when we sold the house three years ago.

What is your weirdest fear?

Untreated wood. Any wood with no polish or coating that is rough. It’s a texture thing. Actually, it’s more a physical thing than a fear, but I cannot use wooden spoons or even enjoy those dixie cups with the wooden paddle thing included because just the thought makes me gag. Excuse me, I’ll be right back…

What is your favorite urban legend?

I adore anything that has to do with cemeteries, or the very real fact that people used to be buried with a string attached to a bell at the surface of the grave just in case they’d been buried alive.

What was your worst nightmare ever?

Oh man, worst nightmare ever… it was recurring when I was about seven. Every night I would be stuck in a pinball machine and would be chased through the machine by all the classic monsters. Once they caught me, they would hang me from a noose on the flipper and then run off for me to die. But I’d undo the noose, try to escape, and the whole thing would start over again. I never did find out what I’d done to earn that hanging, but I was so happy to stop having the dream about a year later.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever written?

Does an anti-superhero who started out as a bad guy count? Garrett in Wicked Ink had been tattooed by his mom at a young age to bring out his superpowers of drawing in darkness to then make the tattoos form into physical weapons in his hands. But once he escaped and tried to be a good guy, he still wanted to use his weapons for good but had to get rid of the dark energy after, so he found he could electrocute himself to clear himself out. He bought his own electric chair, and I was like ummm, where do I come up with this stuff? 

Which evil, murderous persona most matches your personality and why: slow-walking psychotic serial killer; vampire stalking victims in the wee hours of the night; rich megalomaniac with grand plans to take over the world; centuries-old demon witch looking for revenge; or Hyde-like, fueled with rage and no impulse control?

I am definitely a Morticia Addams, the slow-walking (how does she not fall in that dress?), softly talking (she could be hypnotizing you to death), super nice woman…

Misty Simon (who also writes as Gabby Allan) always wanted to be a storyteller, preferably behind a Muppet. Animal was number one, followed closely by Sherlock Hemlock. Since that dream didn’t come true, she began writing stories to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time, hoping everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at misty@mistysimon.com.