Interview with Jennifer Caress!
By: The Myth Master

All right, gang, it's the Myth Master, back at you again with yet another interview, and this time we sit down with Jennifer Caress, author of the short novel, "Perverted Realities." Jennifer also contributed a poem to this issue of "The World of Myth." Hang onto your seats for this one, everyone, as Ms. Caress has some 'curious' and interesting things to share with us. Here we go.

M.M. Jennifer, allow me to welcome you to "The World of Myth" and offer my congratulations on the publication of your book, 'Perverted Realities.' How did that title come about, and how does it relate to the story?

J.C. Thank you for the welcome and for the congratulations! It is an honor for me to be here. The title had been rumbling around in my head for a long time, almost as a theme for my life. The fact of the matter is I am an odd person, but when I was younger I wouldn’t accept that so I tried, to a humiliating degree, to fit in. Then I decided I was normal and it was the rest of the world that was weird. Now that I am a lot older and a little wiser, I think all reality is perverted, not just mine. So for the book, I just wanted to showcase someone else’s oddities while trying to convey that odd is normal and normal is odd. *laughs*

M.M. Right. Well, you have a couple of somewhat 'offbeat' characters in the book. How were you able to come up with such interesting protagonists?

J.C. Urg--I will TRY to keep this short *laughs*. The second and third stories in the book (Madman’s Castle & Somewhere Between Here and There) had been sitting around my hard drive and on scattered notebooks around the house for, and I hesitate to admit this, years. They sat there for so long because I couldn’t make them work regardless of how hard I tried. I couldn’t get the stories to move and I couldn’t bring the characters to life. Very frustrating. But at the same time I knew I was on to something with those story lines so I refused to let them go. Then one day I decided I was just going to write a story and FINISH IT, damn it, and it didn’t matter if it made sense or if it was stupid… nothing mattered except getting the beginning, middle, and end out of me and onto paper. So I wrote freely, which was liberating and beautiful. In writing that story I half met and half created Sammy and Frankie. The more I got to know them, the deeper our bond became.

I should interrupt myself here and mention that I am not a “logical explanation” type of woman. I am a “paranormal explanation” type of woman. If the house creaks, I blame a ghost who tripped on the mess. If there is a light in the sky, I figure it is a space ship who’s captain forgot to set the cloaking device. So when I create characters, I am creating reality as I see it. Anyway, I met Sammy and Frankie while writing Tonight’s Sammy, the first story in the book. I fell in love right away and decided to inject them into the two stagnant stories and BAM! It all came together thanks to them.

Sammy and Frankie each have a favorite song or band, which I learned very quickly during the first story, so whenever I get stuck in a spot, I play that person’s favorite music and I am reminded of their characters and, thus, their decisions.

Because I know you are dying to know--Frankie’s song is “Dancing in the Ruins,” by Blue Oyster Cult, and Sammy loves the band The Mourning Glory. Any song by them will do, as far as he is concerned.

M.M. So, who is your favorite character in the book?

J.C. This is probably obvious now, but Sammy and Frankie are my absolute favorites. I can’t even describe how much I love them, and I am continually amazed by them as we get to know each other better. Cree is probably my next favorite after that. Certainly, since all characters are birthed by me they all carry a bit of me in them, even though many times it is to a very small degree. Cree is someone I admire. I gave her my passion and determination, but gave her a will and strength that I can only hope to emulate.

M.M. Can you give our readers a short synopsis of your book?

J.C. Sure--Perverted Realities is a horror/fantasy collection of three short stories, all connected by Frankie and Sammy. In Tonight’s Sammy--A True Story, Sammy is an artist who astrally projects himself into the cartoon characters that he draws. One character, however, is already inhabited by someone else, and will resort to violent means to keep Sammy out of the cartoon realm forever.

Madman’s Castle retells the time Frankie and Sammy traveled to an abandoned insane asylum. They bring along a few friends with the goal of capturing ghostly activity on film. Some of the ghostly residents are friendly, some couldn’t care less of the group’s presence, and some are just plain mean. Things get scary when a few of the deceased take matters into their own transparent hands and make their “get out” message abundantly, dangerously, clear.

Frankie and Sammy set out to find Cree, a woman who disappears in the third story, Somewhere Between Here and There. They soon learn why she disappeared and why they must fulfill her mission, before they, too, meet with her fate.

--I guess at some point I need to mention to those who haven’t read the book that Frankie is part human, part dragon. The only visible dragon in him are his dark scales on the lower right side of his face and long dragon pinkies on both hands.

M.M. Okay. Is horror the genre of choice for your stories, and if so, why?

J.C. To tell you the truth, I never really considered what I write to be horror; I always categorized all of it as “paranormal” or maybe “dark fantasy.” But the feedback I am getting from readers seems to be that I do write horror after all. *laughs*

No offense to those who do, but I cannot read romance books. I just can’t get into them so there is no way I would ever be able to write one. I don’t think I know enough about crime or law to be able to write a crime novel--I can barely help myself--so writing a self-help book is straight out… basically, I stick to the old law of writing what I know.

M.M. And what type of stories and authors do you like to read?

J.C. It varies, of course. Anne Rice’s Vampyre Chronicles got me through high school, and I will dabble in a little of Stephen King’s writings from time to time. The Celestial Prophecies really got me. When I read Carl Hiaasen’s work I just turn green with envy--that guy has me laughing out loud. Whitley Strieber’s Communion is a good one.

I am a yard sale reader. If I see it at a yard sale and it looks interesting, I will read it. The bummer is, once I have finished the book I move on to the next and don’t remember too much of the first book. So my apologies to those fantastic stories and writers who have been lost in my mind.

M.M. When did you first discover that writing was what you wanted to do?

J.C. I don’t know…I have always known that writing is something I HAVE to do--there is a habitualness, an obsessiveness to it. There is also the therapeutic aspect of it that has carried me through more times than I care to recant. But there is also the neediness to it--I need feedback, I need an “atta girl!” but will settle for an “I don’t get it.” My favorite feedback, naturally, is, “I get it and I like it.” It is the neediness aspect that drives me to submit what I write.

I just realized I never answered the question *laughs*. I have known that writing professionally is something I have always wanted to do, with brief interludes of wanting to be a film maker, an astronaut, a veterinarian, and a professional cookie taster.

M.M. And, a typical 'stock' question--how do you come up with the ideas for your stories?

J.C. I would love to tell you my ideas came from drugs or alcohol or a bump on the head, but the truth is they come from the sick sober twisted caverns of my mind. *laughs* When I said before that I am a “paranormal explanation” type of woman, this is true. But I have also been a loner all of my life, and from countless numbers of hours spent alone comes a very vivid imagination. Where one person sees a guy standing on the side of the road waiting for a bus, I see an extraterrestrial who came to Earth as a right of passage…who is waiting for a bus.

M.M. I...see. Uh, 'Perverted Realities' ends with a definite opening for a sequel. Will there be a follow up book anytime soon?

J.C. Yes, indeed! I just can’t let Frankie and Sammy go, so we are off on a whole other group of experiences together. Plus, well, I don’t want to give too much away, but Sammy, Frankie, and a surprise guest will avenge Cree and finish what she started. There are also two other books in the works (I have a short attention span) that travel across aliens, murders, ghosts, and astral travelers.

M.M. Where can our readers learn more about your book?

J.C. Very soon there will be a, so please keep looking there. One can also go to Stonegarden ( to learn a little more about me, or to,, and a zillion other on-line bookstores to learn about the book. Of course, you are always encouraged to go to a physical bookstore and order it there!

M.M. How are you managing to cope with your newfound success as a writer?

J.C. If by “success” you mean “shamelessly begging people to read my book,” then I think I am coping rather well. *smiles* In all seriousness, I am happy with the way things are moving forward and I hope it will continue to do so. I have always believed that having a successful book is a lot like winning the lottery--planets and stars have to align just right at just the right moment, and it has to be written in the tablets of fate. But no matter how deep it is written in the tablets I can’t ‘win’ if I don’t take the chance, so I work my butt off on making, and then taking that chance.

I have always known that my writing will never appeal to the larger masses. Frankly, I don’t want it to because I don’t have it in me to write for them. But I do continue to hope that my work reaches those it was intended for: the freaks, the geeks, the tortured souls, the free spirits, and my fellow night-worshipers.

M.M. What do you enjoy doing when not writing?

J.C. I am an Internet junkie--there, I said it. I love, love, love to research, and I will research just about anything so long as the possibility of getting the answers I set out to find exist. So if I hear a phrase or topic in a passing conversation, I race to my computer to find out more or if I hear of a spooky, freaky, potentially unexplainable place, I am off to the Internet to find out more. I am such a dork.


I enjoy meditating, astral traveling (or trying to astral travel), paranormal web sites, I help moderate an abducted- by-aliens chat room, though I myself have never been abducted. When I am not on-line or writing, I like to watch B movies, sci-fi, and horror movies late into the night with my beloved fellow oddball husband. Mystery Science Theater 3000 will always rule in my mind and heart!

M.M. All right, Jennifer, I really want to thank you taking the time to talk to us, today. Is there anything we didn't cover that you would like to share with our readers?

J.C. I want to thank the Myth Master and The World of Myth for this fantastic opportunity! Though, honestly, I don’t see the purpose of tying me to this chair and shinning that 4,000 watt spotlight on me. I would have answered your questions freely.

M.M. Yes, well, the light was just an after thought. The tying you to the chair part...that was just for fun--it gets kind of boring around here, sometimes, you know? Um, so, anything else you want to say, Jennifer?

J.C. I want to thank you, the reader, for reading this interview!

Please do check out "Perverted Realities," if only to figure out what the hell I was talking about in this interview.

M.M. Okay. Well, thank you, again, Jennifer. I hope to see more of your work, soon, both here at "The World of Myth," as well as in our local bookstores, and continued success with your writing.

Okay, gang, that's it from the Myth Master. I'll 'see' ya next time. (Uh, should we untie her, now?)

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