Sidney, a single mother with a menial day job, has big dreams of becoming a full-time horror reviewer and risqué gore model. She’s determined to make her website a success, and if her growing pool of online followers is any indication, things are looking good for her Elvira-esque aspirations. In fact, Sidney has so many followers that chatting with them is getting to be a job in itself. More than a job, it might be getting a risky….
When Sidney is attacked on a dark trail late one night, it becomes clear that the horror she loves is bleeding into her real life. She learns that real-life horror is not a game, and being stalked isn’t flattering—it’s terrifying, and it could get her killed.
Sidney—and her loved ones—are now in serious danger. This follower isn’t just another online fan: he knows her movements, and he knows her routine. In fact, he’s right behind her… and when he gets close enough, he won’t take no for an answer.
Meghan: Hey, Sidney. Thanks for agreeing to sit down and talk with me today. What is one word you would use to define yourself?
Sidney: I think maybe “damaged”. Since my divorce, I’ve been sort of lost. The divorce was my fault, and ex hates me. Maybe he should. I try to be a good mother, but I don’t think I’m doing good enough for my son. The only place I seem to any good or I like myself is online. I can find people who make me feel good online.
Meghan: Do you see yourself as the “good guy” or the “bad guy”?
Sidney: I try to be a good guy. I never asked for what happened to me, but maybe it is my fault. Maybe I did this to myself. And to them.
Meghan: What does the plot require you to be? How does this requirement limit you?
Sidney: I have to be naïve, maybe a bit self-deluded. This causes a lot of mistakes and bad decisions.
Meghan: What is your quest?
Sidney: My quest starts as trying to find a new and better life. I want to go from a wounded divorcee working a terrible job to someone better. I want to find a career I love, creating horror content, and I want to find someone(s) who will make me feel better about myself.
Meghan: What do you hope to accomplish, find, or become during the course of your book/series?
Sidney: I want to be that better person with that better life. And I want to be safe, from all the mistakes I’ve made.
Meghan: What do you like about the other main characters? What do you least like about the other main characters?
Sidney: I have the best friends. Kendra is my best friend and is always there for me. We live together and have a Divorced Wives Club for drinking wine and commiserating. Then Brady is my partner in horror art. He takes bloody pictures of me that we use for promotion online. Plus, he and his husband are always there for me. Not to mention all the people I’ve connected to online.
Meghan: When was the last time you lied What made you do it?
Sidney: I lie a lot. Big lies and little lies. My big lie was when I cheated on my ex. However, now my lies are more omissions because I don’t want everyone to see who I am or how much I’m struggling.
Meghan: Who have you betrayed lately? What happened?
Sidney: I betrayed my ex when I cheated on him. I am still paying for that. Since then, I have tried hard not to betray anyone else, even though I hide myself sometimes.
Meghan: Would you say that you are an optimist or a pessimist?
Sidney: I’m somewhere in the middle. Sometimes, I should be more optimistic. Other times, I need to be more pessimistic and realistic.
Meghan: What is your superpower?
Sidney: I love horror. I create content and maintain a blog and website to share that love of horror.
Meghan: What is your biggest secret?
Sidney: My biggest secret is how guilty and how bad I feel about myself. I don’t want to admit everything I’m doing on the internet to make me feel better.
Meghan: Do you live in the right world? (I mean, are you at home in your setting?) How necessary are you to your world?
Sidney: I have two worlds. The real, 3D world and the online one. I think I have a foot equally in each.
Meghan: What is your role in this setting? Are you okay with this role or would you like it to change?
Sidney: In the real world, I am a mom, an ex-wife, a friend, a manager at a cell phone store. I don’t think I’m doing any of these that well. Online, I am horror lover and a social butterfly. I feel like I can hide from my real life online. I like myself better on the internet.
Meghan: Did you turn out the way you expected?
Sidney: Neither my life nor myself turned out how I expected. I thought I would be with my husband still, but I messed that all up.
Meghan: What, if anything, would you change about your life?
Sidney: I would change a lot of my decisions. Clearly, I should not have stayed with my husband, but I wish I had ended things differently. Without the cheating. I also wish I had made different decisions online, specifically who I connected with and what I told them. I did not realize how dangerous it was out there.
Meghan: How do you feel about your author?
Sidney: She’s kind of mean. She makes me pretty unsympathetic and unlikeable person by putting all my flaws and bad decisions on display. I wish she didn’t tell everyone everything about me.
Meghan: If the two of you got together for coffee, what would you want to say to them?
Sidney: I would ask her if writing books is a better career than hosting horror blogs and websites.
Boo-graphy: Christina Bergling has been writing since childhood. She has written a variety of styles. A blog from Iraq, software user guides, articles for a numismatist magazine. More than anything, she is a horror author.
Crystal Lake released her latest novel, Followers. Limitless Publishing published her novel The Rest Will Come. HellBound Books published her two novellas, Savages and The Waning. She co-wrote Screechers with Kevin J. Kennedy. She is also featured in numerous anthologies, including Collected Christmas Horror Shorts
(1 and 2), Demonic Wildlife, Colorado’s Emerging Authors, and Graveyard Girls.
Bergling lives with her family in Colorado and spends her non-writing time working in IT, hiking mountains, dancing, and sucking all the marrow out of life.