The Special Page

On this month's Special Page:

An interview with the best-selling woman in horror, Mylo Carbia


John Kachuba
John Russo
Joe R. Lansdale
Scott Virtes
Andy Weir
Caleb Straus
Elizabeth Massie
Ramsey Campbell

Q. Welcome to The Horror Zine! I understand you got your start with screenwriting. In fact, you began as a playwright at the tender age of 17. Since then, you have written in a variety of film genres. What attracts you now to the horror genre?

A. I feel that Horror is the most impactful literary genre in that it teaches society moral lessons of Good and Evil without the need for organized religion, it helps individuals face and conquer personal fears and phobias, and illustrates to the world possible negative future outcomes if we collectively maintain a dangerous course –– all while providing adrenaline-spiking entertainment that sparks poignant conversation among individuals at home. In other words, a great horror story can completely change the global zeitgeist which is why I now write exclusively in the horror-thriller and science fiction genres.

Q. Under your production company Zohar Films, you received the nickname of being Hollywood’s Number 1 ghostwriter. What is that about?

A. In October 2003, I made the cover of Hollywood Scriptwriter for landing a three-picture production deal without an agent. It was a wonderful experience and instantly put my name on the map. However, what many people do not know is that Hollywood temporarily swallowed me alive because I did not have a manager or agent to protect me,and is the reason why I started out as a ghostwriter.

The production company I signed the three-picture deal with eventually dissolved due to a lawsuit from another film project. Before doing so, they sold one of my adaptations to a director who placed his name on my script instead of mine. I was well-paid for my efforts, but the whole turn of events was soul-crushing. From that point forward, I started receiving multiple requests to ghostwrite for directors, and agreed to do so here and there while optioning my own screenplays. Then, after a decade with no major feature film credits in my name, I decided I would no longer write under anyone else’s brand. The following year I released my first novel,The Raping of Ava DeSantisunder my own name, and it became a #1 bestseller in Horror within two weeks.

Q. How hard was it to switch from screenwriting to horror novel writing?

A. Going from screenwriting to writing novels is easy. Going from writing novels to screenplays is much more difficult. Screenwriting is a specific, technical art. One cannot simply wing it. One has to know all of the screenwriting conventions, such as the difference between OFF SCREEN and OFF CAMERA, how to use only two brads to fasten a script, and how to consistently write only what can be seen (not thought) by the actors. Novel writing is much more flexible and freeing. I can write pages about a character’s feelings, or insert something random about the character’s background –– all things that could never be included in a screenplay.

I actually prefer writing novels. I still love being able to tell the full and complete story through a book, then writing the key visual summary of that same story via a screenplay. However, I am at a point where I would be okay with someone else writing the screenplays to my novels. My life goal is to have a well-made movie based on each of my novels, so to that end, I would let someone take over the screenwriting part if need me.

Q. Your first novel, The Raping of Ava DeSantis, became an immediate best-seller. Because of the subject matter, did you find it an emotional experience to write?

A. When I wrote The Raping of Ava DeSantis, I set out to write the ultimate psychological revenge story––one where the reader would become so emotionally invested in the protagonist that he or she cheered out loud for the killer. I also set out to the tell the story from the perpetrator’s point of view to show what it would feel like to have a buried crime from your youth come back to destroy your family. So, in reality, this was not an emotional writing experience for me as much as it was a power trip. I seriously enjoyed creating a tale where the victim becomes the victor, and given that I wrote this novel three years before the #MeToo Movement and the Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings, I think it would have sold ten times as many copies if it were published for the first time today.

Q. You have recently published a second horror novel titled Violets are Red: A Dark Thriller. Want to tell us about that one?

A. Violets Are Red is about an aging Manhattan housewife who captures her husband’s young mistress and quietly keeps her prisoner in the basement of their Upper East Side townhouse. It’s glamourous, twisted, and has a crazy surprise ending which I absolutely adore. I wanted to create a modern-day fairytale that would do for infidelity what War of the Roses did for divorce.

I was inspired to release this novel after experiencing my own surprise divorce where my ex “allegedly” left me for his much younger, pregnant mistress. I wanted to channel my destructive feelings into a positive story that would be the ultimate cautionary tale for women who destroy themselves fighting over the same man.

Oh, and you know what the best part is? That my new, handsome, war-hero husband gets to enjoy all the profits from a book inspired by his cheating predecessor.

Q. Tell us about your upcoming novel, Z.O.O. I’ve read that it’s your first attempt at horror-syfy. Are you nervous to tackle such difficult subject matter or simply excited about releasing it the Summer of 2019?

A. My next novel, Z.O.O. tells the story of a young woman with albinism who is captured by extra-terrestrials making a zoo exhibit from Earth. The novel then goes much further into another world... Almost a Planet of the Apessort of storyline, but the key reveal is that aliens are factory-farming humans for food. Yes, factory-farming! Yet, that is only one part of the terrifying story that unfolds about our true existence, history and purpose as human beings.It is my most riveting plot yet, and I am not holding back a thing with this novel. Meaning, I am going all the way with the terror and horror scenes. So much so, that Aliens will look like a G-rated movie next to Z.O.O.when it finally hits the big screen.

Naturally, I am both nervous and excited to share the story that just might turn half the world into vegetarians (smiles).

Q. Recently you have made Booklaunch’s “Top Ten Living Horror Writers” along with Stephen King, Peter Straub, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice and others. That’s pretty darn impressive. How did that make you feel?

A. My first reaction was to reach out to Ania Alhborn and celebrate that we finally made it into the boys’ club! No seriously, we were both very shocked and honored. I’m always humbled to show up on a list along with writers who have been doing this much longer than I have. I truly hope to continue writing quality stories worthy of making many more lists in the near future.

Q. Most people know that you are a “sensitive” and grew up in an actual haunted house. We’d like to hear about that. Do you feel this is what compelled you into horror?

A. Yes, I spent the first 13 years of my life living in a severely haunted house in Jackson, New Jersey. It was by far, the most difficult time of my life. I was terrified the majority of my childhood until around the age of eight where I felt comfortable enough to confront the entities and demand they leave me alone. During this time, I experienced both human and non-human spirits including a “tornado demon,” three pilgrim men who read the Bible to me all night long, a negative sphere of light that once entered my chest and almost caused a heart attack, as well as other paranormal phenomena that followed me into my college years. The portal in my house was inadvertently opened by my mother who hosted housewife Ouija Board sessions while the husbands and children were away. It was the early Seventies. She bought the spirit board at Toys-R-Us and had no idea what the ramifications were for playing with it until years later.

Q. As a woman in horror myself, I always welcome the opportunity to talk to other women in horror. Do you find any obstacles being a woman? I have personally experienced people asking me, “What is a sweet face like yours doing writing horror?”

A. I was recently told by a fan that I looked “too sweet” and “too happy” to be The Queen of Horror. I laughed and explained he would be smiling too if he was batshit crazy and got paid for it like I did.

So, to answer your question, although I am both female and Latina, I believe the minute we allow our descriptive labels to walk in the door before we do is the moment we hand over our creative power to another person. In my mind, I am not a female author. I am not a Latina author. I am a horror author. No one thinks of J.K. Rowling or Stephen King in terms of their gender because both are just damn good writers! I think women should convince themselves that the boys club doors are now permanently open, and consciously side-step the very real barriers that once existed and demand their creative work speak for itself.It’s the only way any individual can rise above the noise and be noticed.

Q. Most of my readers are writers themselves. Do you have any tips to offer them about writing, or about getting published?

A. My best advice is to get a day job that does not drain your mind and allows you both the time and mental juice to write often and write well. Also, it is better to release two amazing books (rather than fifty crappy books) over a lifetime, so take your time and do it right. Invest in a great editor before submitting your manuscript to agents and publishers, and spend good money on cover design and interior layout if you self-publish.

A professional writing career can be the most difficult –– or most rewarding –– lifestyle depending upon other factors, so it’s up to you to set up your life so you can thrive as a writer. For example, I purposely live well below my means so I never have the pressure to “hurry up and sell out the next book” to make mortgage payments on a mansion.

You need to take self-inventory. Is your life conducive to a writing career? Questions you need to ask yourself are:Is your current career killing you? Is your spouse supportive? Do your kids nag you daily? Is your schoolwork drowning you? Is your rent paid? Do you need to improve your health? Are you wasting too much time on Social Media? Are you going broke dating?

You get the idea. Once you set up “less life pressure” and more opportunities to write, the better your chances are to make this a permanent, happy career choice.

























About Mylo Carbia

Mylo Carbia

Mylo Carbia is a #1 bestselling novelist and Hollywood screenwriter known for her work in the horror-thriller genre and trademark of surprise twist endings. Ranked 7th in Booklaunch’s "Top 10 Horror Writers Alive Today," and among the "Top 250 Most Influential Authors" by Richtopia.com, she attributes her ability to create true terror from growing up in a haunted house in Jackson, New Jersey.

After years of ghostwriting films in Hollywood, Carbia left ghostwriting to join the publishing world. Her debut novel, THE RAPING OF AVA DESANTIS, hit #1 bestseller in four categories, and won multiple awards including the prestigious 2016 Silver Falchion Award for Outstanding Achievement in Fiction. 

Her psychological thriller, VIOLETS ARE RED, hit #1 New Release on Amazon within hours of going live, and her latest effort, the science-fiction horror novel, Z.O.O.,is targeted for release Summer 2019.

mylo carbia

violets are red