Inspired by pop culture, mythology, history, and magic--as well as a lifelong obsession with vampires--Aspasía is the author of the dark fantasy novel Love Lies Bleeding, and the short story "Blood Magic," set in the same world. She lives in Toronto, Canada, and is currently working on her next novel. She can be contacted via her website: aspasiasbissas.com.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story I ever read but I do remember one that had a lasting impact. I was an early and voracious reader but there weren't many books in our house, so I would end up reading my older sister's novels. My sister isn't a horror fan, so I don't know why she had this book in the first place. I'm not even sure why I decided to read it because the cover alone scared me. The book was Audrey Rose and it was the story of a girl who was the reincarnation of another girl who'd died in a fire, and strange and frightening things were starting to happen to her. It terrified me. I couldn't finish it and I think I even hid it so I wouldn't have to look at the cover. Although I never could bring myself to go back and read the rest of that book, I think the experience made me want to push my boundaries and overcome my fears. I ended up seeking scary stories (Stephen King was my YA lit). My own writing tends to the dark side, as well, and that was never a conscious effort. Even though Audrey Rose may have traumatized me, that trauma ended up resulting in a lifelong fascination.
What do you read for pleasure?
Nearly everything I read is for pleasure (it probably helps that I genuinely love learning). While I'm happy to read most genres, my favourites are literary and fantasy fiction. I also enjoy non-fiction on subjects ranging from mythology and art to food, gardening, nature, history, philosophy, and science, depending on my mood.