Shorehouse Books newest release is Stories We Tell by S.A.Mills. S.A. Mills is one of HO’s own writers. Can you guess who he/she is? Either way, clues to this talented writer are below. We are sworn to secrecy, but if you guess correctly, we might let you know. The book is scary and blew us away!
Tell us a little about S.A. Mills?
I am a Single mom, a grandmom and an aunt. I am at a place in my life where I enjoy my life most days. I would characterize myself as progressive, open minded. When I am not spending time with my family, or my cats and my dog or when I am not writing, I am reading. I think that more than anything, I love to learn. I read everything from text books to biographies to crime fiction. If it is on the printed page, I will read it. My grandfather used to say that we are only as smart as the books we read.
Is this book all fiction or folklore or is it a family story too?
Stories We Tell is all of the above. It is definitely fiction; yet, it is based on the stories I heard growing up. I always heard about family members I had never met possession special talents and abilities, some elements of this book were also told by non-family members, and some elements are pulled from what so many would call “a most unfortunate history in the communities that encompass my youth”. In my opinion, Stories We Tell is also a commentary on the Southern ways of isolated places and a forgotten time lived by a forgotten people.
Did your spiritual beliefs help shape this story? If so How?
My spiritual beliefs did play a part in this book. They do leave me open minded to all the mysteries of the universe. However, I am not grounded by tradition or the conditions handed down that focus on the age old struggle between good and evil.
How do you think your upbringing in the rural South helped with this story?
It’s complicated. My upbringing was from another time. We don’t raise children now the way I was raised anymore, and that raising created an observer—me. I would call myself an observer. I am aware and respectful of the beliefs that govern the actions of the people around me, and I always have been. I have always observed, retained and marveled at people, their actions, the stories, the voices and their accents.
Have you always written horror/occult/paranormal or have you experimented with other genres as well?
No, I wrote my first story when I was 5 and it was some little piece about a cow that tried to jump over the moon and failed, but landed on the moon, and he didn’t realize that the landing itself was a success story. I used to love Aesop’s fables so the moral of a story was important to me always! As a professional writer, I wrote social/political commentaries for a now defunct local newspaper. I have written stacks of poetry, and short stories that range from horror to love and romance to crime. I have written a yet-to-be published spiritual empowerment and psychic development work. It’s all about what makes me grow as a person. And so I write about what I think will allow me to grow.