Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sorts of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today, I’m chatting to the horror writer, Yolanda Sfetsos. Yolanda, like myself is one of the writers featured in Women of Horror Anthology, Vol 3 The One that Got Away published by Kandisha Press
Welcome to the tearoom. Yolanda. My first question to my guests is what would you like to drink?
Thanks so much for sending me an invite, Paula. It’s great to be here. My fave beverage is a nice cup of black tea with just the right amount of milk.
Now we have our refreshment let’s start by asking you when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
My writing journey began in my early teens and my chosen genre was always going to be horror. It was very easy to slip into these macabre tales because I’ve always been drawn to the darker side of storytelling.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
My latest project is a dark novelette with a touch of demonic possession. It’s an idea I’ve had for a while but it was missing something and had been sitting in my files for a while. Now that I’ve found the missing piece, I’m looking forward to getting started…
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
OMG. I actually have a bunch of novel first drafts on my hard drive that are begging to be revised and finalised. One of my 2021 goals is to actually start revising them.
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter? If you only write short stories, do you plan your story or let the characters lead you?
No synopsis for me. It always begins with an idea. Sometimes sparked by an artwork, other times by a song or a random thought. Then I start taking a lot of notes and before I realise it, I find myself writing the first chapter.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
I don’t go out of my way to base any of my characters on real people, but I think there are qualities and traits from people I’ve known that might wind up becoming part of my characters. Without even realising it, of course.
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
Even though we live in the suburbs, it’s been over five years since I’ve driven a car. Actually, we sold our car about the same time and haven’t had one since.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
When I’m writing, my work schedule is hectic because I throw myself into the story completely. Once an idea grabs me and becomes more, I fall right into the process and get so consumed all I can think about is the story.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
When I’m working on a first draft, I usually set the daily word count goal of 2-3k. When I’m working on revision, I give myself the goal of 20-30 pages per day.
How do you select the names of your characters? Do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
Sometimes the names of the characters come out of nowhere, but most of the time I look them up online to find names with appropriate meanings. As far as knowing everything about the character, I usually know a lot but always discover more while writing.
How long on average does it take you to write a book or story?
It all depends on how long the story is, but once I get started, I get lost in a frenzy of words. I can write a short story in one sitting or two, and have it completely revised and done in a week or two. Novellas and novels can take anywhere between two to four weeks to write, not including the revision.
I also like to take a bit of time between projects so that’s why completing the project takes me a while.
Thank you for joining me in the tearoom, Yolanda. If you would like to find out more about Yolanda’s work, please click on the link below:
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops, too.