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An Interview with Annie Zamparelli, author of Three Deadly Shorts & A Poem

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A.H. Zamparelli lives in New Jersey, U.S., with her husband Rick, and enjoys writing, and reading mystery novels and historical biographies. In addition, Annie enjoys sketching now and then, having provided the artwork for a children’s story as gifts for her niece’s and nephew’s babies.

Two magazines accepted Annie’s work over the last three years, including The Thieving Magpie and Sirens Call Publications, and she has published two books of short stories in 2023 – Three Deadly Shorts & a Poem and The Darkness Within.

Annie is currently working on several WIPs, including a novella mystery with a supernatural twist, and a science fiction novel.

Her gruesome tale called The Garden will soon appear in the Spring 2024 issue of Sirens Call Publications.

“We share our souls with the world through our creativity and writing craft.”

– A.H. Zamparelli

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

Growing up, my mom encouraged her children to write by opening a story with just a paragraph, then passing it along to each of us to build upon the story until it became a writhing, bizarre tale that never seemed to end.

My sister and I continued to love writing throughout our adulthood as our mother’s inspiration and support linger within us, forever encouraging, and always present in our hearts.

I would encourage all parents to perform writing exercises with their children. Not only does it build language skills, but developing a creative environment of any kind also creates a deeper bond between parent and child that remains throughout a lifetime.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

Most of my career was spent in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. I’d worn many hats over that time and found each one of them a rewarding opportunity to contribute to the health and well-being of the patients who received our products.

For five years, I supported several school districts in my area as a substitute teacher, a rewarding endeavor as teachers and students need our support in any way possible.

What many don’t know is that I was a ballroom dancer in the late 1980s into the 1990s. That’s also how I met my husband, who is delightfully horrified by my tales of the strange and disturbing.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

Once I had determined which pieces to include in my first book, the title easily materialized for me, especially as the ending in each piece doesn’t end well for at least one character.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I initially designed the cover of my first book, sending sketches to the artist who then brought my idea to life. Seeing that cover for the first time was a thrill, like peering over the edge at the top of the Empire State Building!

Once Three Deadly Shorts & a Poem was in my hands, I felt like I had made it! I was a real author, regardless of if anyone purchased the book. But yes, I’d ask everyone to please buy my books!

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

Any dark and foreboding instrumental music.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

Like many authors of mystery and horror, I see my perfect reader as one who appreciates the tingling, taunting, heart-thumping angst of my characters. If you gasp at the unexpected and find yourself reaching for the light switch in a darkened room while reading my work, then I have accomplished my task.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Before publishing my first book, I had written several short stories and poems in hopes of submitting them to various publications available on the Poet’s & Writer’s website. After attending an Amazon self-publishing course, I decided to take that route, choosing three of my favorite stories and one poem.

Initially, self-publishing was an experiment. However, once my book was out there for all to see, I found the process a rewarding endeavor to share my work with others who could appreciate the sinister tales that were a joy to write.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I am currently writing two books. My science fiction novel set in the year 2174 has been in the works for the last three years. I hope to complete the first draft by the end of summer 2024.

My second book, The Darkness Within, published in October 2023, features the character Detective George MacCrey in the short story “Confined.” He will be returning in a new book this year—most likely promoted to Federal Agent—to solve the mystery of young women buried alive! With a supernatural twist, I hope to enthrall readers with a disturbing tale of the deranged and perverse.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.