• Gaby Triana

Author Interview - M.L. BULLOCK

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

Today on the blog, I'm happy and honored to interview a favorite of mine, best-selling author of paranormal and ghost novels, such as the Seven Sisters and Gulf Coast Paranormal series and more. Welcome, M.L. BULLOCK!

WH: So great to have you on the blog, Monica. Won’t you please give us a brief introduction of your fabulous self?

Monica Leigh: I’m an amateur archaeologist, a ghost story lover and I’ve got a huge crush on a guy who wears Hawaiian shirts (I know, I can’t understand it either). I adore hanging out by the fire pit, swimming in the ocean and investigating nooks and crannies.

WH: Don’t you just love the fire pit on a cool night with great friends and a nice drink in your hands? What other career would you have if not writing/publishing?

Monica Leigh: Once upon a time, but for real, I was a burlesque dancer for a decade and loved every minute of it. It was a kind of storytelling. I had fabulous wardrobes with velvet gowns, fans and beaded undergarments. So much fun. But you can’t be twenty forever. I think if I had to do it all over again (I’m fifty now) I’d finish my archaeology degree and disappear into the sands of Egypt.

WH: I love discovering the former careers of other people. Just shows us how we can live multiple lives in one. Books about hauntings are my personal favorite genre, because I’m terrified of ghosts in real life. What’s the creepiest real-life ghostly experience you’ve ever had?

Monica Leigh: Gosh. Just one? Real life experiences are terrifying. Waking up with a dark figure pressing down on you was horrible but the scariest was being a kid and hearing footsteps walking up the stairs but there would never be anyone there. We loved in a two hundred year old house.

WH: That seems to be a common experience among people who live in old houses, the pressing down on the bed. I would scream my head off. Your Gulf Coast Paranormal books are their own brand of Southern Gothic. Are your readers mostly from the South or are folks from all over the world drawn to your settings?

Monica Leigh: I get email from people all over the country but I think they have a uniquely southern flavor.

WH: Tell us what your writing process is like.

Monica Leigh: LOL I start with a cover, believe it or not. Then I write the book description. Next I free write for about three chapters before I create the outline. Then I focus on getting those twenty-five minute sprints in. Usually four to six a day.

WH: Love that you start with the cover. It makes perfect sense if you think about it, because it’s the first thing the reader sees. Which of your written works are you most proud of?

I adored SEVEN SISTERS because Calpurnia and Muncie were so real to me. I felt as if I were giving real people a voice. And my second favorite is THE TALE OF NEFRET which isn’t a ghost story at all. It’s about Queen Nefertiti before she became queen.

WH: I loved SEVEN SISTERS but haven’t read Tale of Nefret or the Desert Queen Collection yet, but I hope to get around to it soon. If you could interview any horror/paranormal author, gone or alive, who would it be?

Monica Leigh: Edgar Allan Poe but from across the room. I’m not sure I would turn my back on him.

WH: Ha! That’s true. I would think Edgar Allan Poe would be on any paranormal writer’s list. How have you changed as a person from your early life until now?

Monica Leigh: I know I have changed but I don’t think of life like that. At this point in my life, after the kids have grown and with some of my own success I’m more focused on remembering who Monica Leigh is and what she wants to accomplish before she takes her last look at blue sky. I think I’m more of an optimist.

WH: That’s a beautiful way of looking at it. So, because I love coffee and dessert, I have to ask…how do you like your coffee? What’s your favorite dessert? :)

Monica Leigh: My husband brings me black coffee every morning straight from the French press. For dessert, cake. Any cake with icing.

WH: Cake! I made wedding cakes for so long, I feel like I out-caked myself. I generally stay away from it these days but still have a place for it in my heart. What’s your favorite Halloween tradition?

Monica Leigh: I love decorating for Halloween. I’m a huge fan of the whimsical Halloween decorations and I love a good surprise. Boo!

WH: What is the witchiest thing about you (we’re all a little witchy)? :)

Monica Leigh: My ability to roll my eyes and avoid answering questions. Just because you ask me one doesn’t mean I have to answer it. I’ve been told that’s a witchy attitude to have. ;)

WH: For some reason, I can picture this in my head. :) Who would be your favorite Addams Family character?

Monica Leigh: Morticia. She’s always so unshakable and I loved her hair.

WH: Do you consider yourself a horror author, paranormal, cozy mystery, or multi-genre author?

Monica Leigh: If I had to be pigeon-holed I’d say I write supernatural suspense but I love so many subjects. Have you read my Guinevere Forever books? Arthurian legend meets vampire meets supernatural suspense. I’m an enigma. (Long live the Undead Queen!)

WH: I follow a similar path, since I write YA romantic comedy, paranormal, but I also love horror and identify as a horror author. What makes a scary ghost story?

Monica Leigh: The risk the character/reader faces. We writers must remember that the reader is the main character. We do that by introducing readers to relatable characters. Scary ghost stories must also have that curiosity element. You know it’s a bad idea to open the door but the curiosity must be bigger than the fear. At least for a little while.

WH: That’s an interesting way of putting it—the reader being the character. Do you have any marketing advice for indie authors new to the horror/paranormal genre?

Monica Leigh: I started small with marketing. I had a spreadsheet of free promo sites I used every month or two to advertise my first in series permafree book. That helped. Somehow or another, I managed to get a BookBub pretty quickly so that helped too. Just be consistent. Get over your fear of marketing. Having said that, don’t promo yourself in Facebook groups for authors. That’s just bad form. Find your readers and share, share, share.

WH: Interesting that you promo but not in FB groups for authors. I suppose it’s not targeting the right group, which are readers. What’s next for you? We can’t wait to see what you have coming up!

Monica Leigh: I’ve never written under a pen name before but that’s what I’m working on, on top of my other stuff. This is a horror pen name and I’m in love with this idea. I wish I could share more but I think I better wait. I’m also planning a screenplay for this one.

How mysterious and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Thank you so much for being here, Monica. To check out ML Bullock’s extensive collection of books, visit the links below:

* Website: http://www.mlbullock.com/

* Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/M.L.-Bullock/e/B00PRI6F2W

* Latest release: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D44SYPB

* Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMLBullock

* Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AuthorMLBullock

Author of the best-selling Seven Sisters series, M.L. Bullock has been storytelling since she was a child. In fact, she was a quite an excellent liar and decided early on that she’d rather live in her own head than the real world. Born in Antigua, British West Indies, she has had a lifelong love affair with haunted houses, lonesome beaches and forgotten places. She currently lives on the Gulf Coast and regularly haunts her favorite hangout, Dauphin Island. A visit to Historic Oakleigh House in Mobile, Alabama inspired her successful supernatural suspense Seven Sisters series. 

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