Hi! I'm Kerry E.B. Black. I live in an eastern suburb of Pittsburgh, PA with my husband and two of our five children. (The other three have grown and started their marvelous and independent lives.)
Do you have any hobbies?
I have more hobbies than time! Besides reading, writing, and story telling, I enjoy nature, cinema, and theatre. I adore taking tea with friends, singing, and hosting parties. I study history and take classes when I can. A big part of my daily life includes playing with my kids. Their imagination astounds me.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
One day, when I'm old and grey, I hope to take a retirement gig portraying Cinderella's Fairy Godmother at Walt Disney World. However, if (and when) I have discretionary cash, I adore travel.
If you were given a ticket to anywhere and spending money to indulge, where would you go?
I'm a fairly easy-to-please gal. I love exploring this amazing world. I think the next trip I plan for our family will be a jaunt to the Caribbean.
Do you have pets?
Do we have pets, or do the pets have us? More to the point, I'm enslaved by three cats named for great authors (E.A. Poe, E. Hemingway, and P.D. James), and my daughter has an invaluable service dog named Latte.
What is your favorite color and what do you love about it?
I'm a deep color lover, the kind found in Imperial Crowns, Christmas ornaments, and Jack-O-lanterns aglow on Halloween Night. Color is magical, yet I invariably dress in slimming and stylish black.
What was your favorite book as a child?
My Grandma gave me a pop-up Thumbellina that I adored. It might have prodded my natural proclivity toward near bibliomania.
What music genre/singer/band is your go-to for a bad day? For working?
I find something to enjoy in almost every musical genre, but when I'm writing, I tend to tune out my surroundings.
Do you re-read books? If so, is there one in particular?
I do re-read books when I need some nostalgia, to revisit a literary friend, or recall an important story. I've read Harry Potter enough to have passages memorized.
Are you an introvert, extravert, or ambivert?
I'm shy by nature, but I love people.
Does pineapple go on pizza?
I prefer pineapple in Dole Whips, and my favorite pizza is Margherita with fresh basil.
How many places have you lived?
Western PA has always been my home.
What was your first job?
I'm the eldest of four, and as children, we had four younger cousins who came to live with us, so I learned early to work. My brother and I shoveled snow, raked leaves, and did chores for neighbors to earn a little cash. When I was old enough, I babysat for many area families. To earn equestrian lessons, I worked at a local riding stable. I've been paid for acting and entertaining, worked retail, food and customer service, and marketing. However, writing's always been an important part of my life.
What is your favorite down time activity?
How stereotypical am I? My favorite down time activity is curling up with a good book, my family around me.
Are you an outdoor type? Have a green thumb?
Nature rejuvenates the soul, and I love tending our little portion of the earth. Although the back yard has been overtaken with a swamp, flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits grow in our gardens.
If you could live inside a movie, which would you choose and which character would you be?
Since I'm writing this on Ray Harryhausen's birthday, I'll say today I'll be Princess Parisa from "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad." Not only is she plucky, brave, and joyful, she frees a genie and rescues her guy. Plus, she looks fetching in her silks. However, I'd want to fence alongside Sinbad rather than stand back and watch.
Are you the type to take a dare?
Despite my careful nature, I have been known to throw caution to the wind on occasion.
Do you have a favorite motto or quote that applies to your own life?
Carpe diem. Seize the day. We've only so much time on this earth, so it's best to make the most of what we have.
What is one thing you’ve learned through experience that you’d love to pass along to others?
I wouldn't be vain enough to offer such advice.
What books, other than your own, would you highly recommend?
When I'm feeling low, I revisit Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's "Good Omens." It never fails to make me laugh.
On to writing: what inspired you to start creating stories/non-fiction? How long ago?
Writing has always been a big part of my life, though I took a bit of a break while raising the kids. Even then, though I didn't write them down, I told stories to entertain them. And though I still have two at home, I'm able to work around their schedules to write, for which I'm immeasurably grateful. My husband's amazing, too, and encourages me in myriad ways.
How do you choose your settings (fiction) or topics (non-fiction)?
Inspiration is a bit like lightning. It strikes, and I scramble to catch its electricity, or I attract it with the lightning rod of daily word counts.
Can you tell us a bit about your path to publication?
Although I wrote short fiction, I kept it private. I was first paid for non-fiction articles and journalistic pieces. After a challenge by a friend, I joined a writing group at my local library and met some of the best people. (In particular Debra Sanchez and her Nomadic Wordsters.) Because I have a crazy schedule, I was thrilled to find online writing groups, too, where I discovered publishing opportunities, found great advice, and forged some invaluable friendships.
I've been thrilled with the attention Tree Shadow Press pays to my story collections!
Finally, please tell us about your books and add your website so we can find you:
I have three collections of short stories available through the fabulous Tree Shadow Press. They are called "Herd of Nightmares," "Carousel of Nightmares," and "Fairy Herds and Mythscapes."
I also have a young adult novel called "Season of Secrets" which is a paranormal thriller.