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Blogger Interview: Leanne Willingham of Literary Excursion’s Horror October!

By Appraisingpages @appraisjngpages

Boy oh boy are we excited for what we have up today.  A very good blogger friend of ours, Kelley at Another Novel Read, set us up with her friend (and now OUR friend) Leanne Willingham of Literary Excursion.  Fate would have it that she’s hosting her own celebration of Halloween, Horror October!  We tweeted, emailed, and basically became BFF’s and decide to each host an interview that let’s us showcase all of our most very favorite things about Halloween.  We made sure to include these features early in the month so that our readers can stop by her blog to see what she’s up to and vice versa :)

Also, did we mention that she has the best job?  She’s a freaking pastry chef.  I guarantee you she gets invited to every holiday party

;)

Without any further ado, here is the beautiful Leanne Willingham!

1.)  Favorite Halloween traditions from growing up. My Halloween traditions probably fall into the category of pretty normal. When I was little, my mom would make my costume and she and my dad would take me to meet up with my cousins and go trick-or-treating. Once I got into my adult years, I would still dress up with a group of my close friends, and we would plan excitedly beforehand what we would all dress up as that year. I would drive to the next state over to visit with them for the night and we’d have a pretty laid back party, after they’d taken their own kids out trick-or-treating. And of course since I’m a pastry chef now, part of my tradition is making goodies to put into treat boxes for them when I’m able to see them.
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2.)  First book that you think of when you think of horror or Halloween. I suppose my go-to first choice book for Halloween would be Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling. Sounds kinda weird, right? But I totally have justification here! Every year I make candies to go into treat packages, even if it’s just to take to work, and I make it a point to try something new each time. This book is like a fancy candy-making bible and it’s served me well for several years. So whenever Halloween time rolls around I start brainstorming candy ideas, and go right to that book for inspiration.
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3.)  Book and/or move that scared you the most. This is probably going to tickle you, but I was so scared of Gremlins when I was little! I wouldn’t watch it again after the first time for *years* so I lived in this weird sort of terror that cute little furry things would eat my face off in my sleep. I finally watched it again a few years back and couldn’t believe how silly I’d been all this time! ^_^ 4.)  Favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever worn. I’m gonna have to go with the zombie chef costume from a couple Halloweens ago! It wasn’t particularly the best zombie makeup job I’ve pulled off, but I got to wear a sick chef-knife-in-brain hat to work all day AND got to hand out candy and fruit to a bunch of super cute costumed preschoolers. Living either out in the country or in apartment complexes my whole life, I’ve never gotten to deal with trick-or-treaters, so that year was a special treat for me!
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5.)  Favorite Halloween decoration I always love putting up the multicolored orange/purple/green string lights, cobwebs, and bloody splotch stick-ons around the house! One year I made an evil alchemy lab, complete with a skull I glittered all by myself with this pretty (but putrid) green glitter. Just call me Martha Stewart.
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  6.)  Favorite Halloween treats I may be in the minority but I’ve always loved candy corn! I can hardly find others who feel the same about it as I do, but that’s more for me, right? And really, pumpkin anything (especially with extra salt). I love that creamy orange blend of spices and it seems to go well with so many things. 7.)  Quick: Cider or Pumpkin Spice Latte? Argh this is a hard one… but… pumpkin spice latte! 8.)  Quick: Zombies or Vampires? Zombies! I’m kind of over both of them, but at least no one’s made zombies all glittery yet… that I know of. 9.)  How long have you been a fan of horror and the macabre? Since before I can even remember! I used to stay up watching horror films and shows with my dad when I was 1 or 2 years old, and started reading all the MG/YA horror books not long after. It’s a passion that’s stayed with me my whole life, and I look to horror to entertain me year-round.
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10.)  What three books would you recommend for someone not into horror, to help get them into the genre? The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Her writing is superb and while there is an element of terror and menace throughout the book, the story isn’t focused on that. It’s a nice ease into the genre. The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker. He’s been one of my favorite masters of horror for the majority of my life, and his imagination for the dark and disturbing is truly delightful. The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. Yes I know, technically it’s more than one book. It’s not straight-up horror either! The books are urban fantasy and paranormal (witchery/demons/etc) but still fall under the horror umbrella. The MC is kick-butt, the characters are fantastic, the world is believable, and the magic is enticing! 11.)  Quick: Candy corn or candy apples? Candy corn! Candy apples kind of weird me out with the specific texture combo, and that candy is so hard on the teeth! (Do I sound like an old lady yet?)

Thank you so much Leanne.  We’ve already added those books to our to-read lists on Goodreads!  And isn’t that the best part of book blogs: sharing the books we love!  Make sure you check back to her blog all month for more horror celebrations.

Want to know what we’d say to these questions?  You’ll see our answers to these same questions over at her blog so check it out!

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