ALL about Foinah in a tidy wee FAQ

Horror? Really? Where does that come from?


  • Why not? I love scary things...that chill and rush of adrenaline when something goes bump in the night. I could be a bit snarky and blame it on those nuns again, but I'd be lying. Most of my story ideas come from dreams. It's a dark, cobwebby place inside my head at night. I also look around and play the "ooooh..wouldn't it be creepy if ****" game. Sometimes a random phrase will pop into my head and then it sets off a chain reaction that leads to a story or a novel idea. Thankfully I've got four book ideas currently rolling around in my mind at the moment, poking, nudging, urging, whispering that they must be written. I have an entire trunk filled with story ideas and half-finished tales.  And there's a sequel to Mostly Dead Melvin in the works.
  • The horror genre has many levels which is part of what makes it so fun. Good horror is supposed to invoke dread, suspense, goosebumps.  And if that can be done while making you laugh even better. However, I just can't seem to understand the lure of "torture porn". Bleh. Why? Some of my stuff may get a bit meaty, but gore for gore's sake is a bit off sides. But if that's what the public wants...well, they'll find it from somebody else. And not everything I write is horror! I have a wickedly black sense of humour (if I do say so myself), and that creeps into my stuff quite often. I also write science fiction, and my novel Mostly Dead Melvin fits in the Urban Fantasy niche (plus I've been told it's funny as hell). I may have to wiggle Melvin around a bit, but it fits in and plays nicely with other urban fantasies.
  • Being a mom and a writer is amazing. Being a mom and a horror writer is even better. I love the looks on other mothers' faces when I tell them that I am an author. I get that anticipatory thrill right before they ask what kind of stuff I write. I smile serenely and say, "Horror. Supernatural thrillers. Urban fantasy that has gooey stuff in it."  Is it wrong that I enjoy the looks so much? It's good to be a smoking monkey.

What made you start writing?


  • It sounds a bit silly and not intentionally arrogant, but I've always been a writer. It's a compulsion and I'm quite sure there's possibly a support group for it somewhere. Going through an old storage bin in the attic, I came across a story I wrote in grade six called  HELLFIRE. It was a short, two paragraph exploration of the perils of bad things...  (The nuns apparently had a quite an influence on my young mind. Thankfully I recovered.)  I had to giggle that my mum saved that tale.
  • I'm a voracious reader -- sometimes a book a night when the mood strikes, and I love writers who can draw you in to the story so completely that you're lost to the world for a bit.  So that's what I try to do with my own writing. Over the years I've honed my craft, studied, gone to university, and devoured every bit of writing advice handed to me on a plate.


This photo was taken by a visiting author friend (Ariana Burns to be exact) who snapped it while I was sipping my Bailey's and coffee. I think we were going over plot points in a story. It wasn't staged! You can see that I was less-than-impressed with the idea of a photo! The formula can is my ashtray, the booze bottles are always there, and that is a box of chocolate covered donuts off to the side. This is my outdoor office on the back deck, under the awning, where I write come rain or shine.  The life of a writer is glorious, no?


A smoking monkey?

  • Heh. That avatar has been with me a long time, especially used when I was a moderator at (a fantastic place by the way). I think my smoking monkey will look smashing as the bio pic on the back pages of my novels. smirk. There's just something so {{{insert proper adjective here that suits you}}} about the image, the framing, the look on that simian's face. Reminds me of Sara Connor in a way. There's a storm coming....
  • And the smoking monkey fits my personality to a T. Or a tea...on the deck, late at night, smoking. Yes. I sneak aromatic smokes away from the prying eyes of my children. I've embraced that Hunter S. Thompson ideal without the bats or drugs.
  • Perhaps a bit of Jameson's on a particularly cold night. But for all you healthy people out there...I know...smoking is bad. Evil bad. Horribly bad. But I'm good at it. I think my immune system has improved from having to be outside in all manner of weather...

When do you write?

  • Whenever I can! I am blessed with a supportive husband and two Norse Gods disguised as my daughters ( a story for another time and that should have its own web page!).  My day job is mommy, but I do sneak in writing when I can during daylight hours. Mostly my author time is between  5:30 PM and 6:45 PM or 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM -- When I'm under a deadline I get to write as much as I can.  Perhaps google maps has an image of me in my office on the back deck...look for the tattered bistro umbrella and puffs of smoke.

Where did you grow up?

  • Everywhere. I was the product of a Northern Irish mother (a political catholic and devout pagan), and an American father (with a grandmother with roots in Norway). I split my time most years between Ireland and the Southwestern United States.  We lived in the classic hippie compound in New Mexico during the winters of '69-'73,  and all sorts of interesting people would show up -- wacky flower people, scientists, artists, outlaws, writers. It was fun, though. During the summers my parents and extended family all worked for the US Forest Service. I'd spend a few months living in a 12x12 glass box on top of a mountain while my mom worked as a fire lookout. Before she went the artist/beat poet/wilderness worker route, my mother was a cytogeneticist. My father was a jazz drummer who became an artist and a smoke jumper. My step father was a nuclear physicist who became a potter and a line crew chief during fire season.  We adopted a baby girl from Nigeria when I was two, and Sunni and I had a blast growing up together. It was a unique childhood with many, many, many interesting events.   Sometimes I lapse into wacky spelling or a bit of an Irish accent if I'm tired, but overall I've finally embraced living in the States. I've been here quite a while now, but I miss Belfast every day.  Currently I reside in the wonderfully dreary Pacific Northwest.

What projects do you have in the works?

  • I'm working on the sequel to MOSTLY DEAD MELVIN: LATE FOR DEAD DINNER (the title was chosen by my awesome and most excellent eight year old daughter).
    I'm also currently finishing up WILDCAT OF THE HIGH SEAS. It's co-authored with Ariana Burns, an amazing author and playwright of her own. This novel is a fun take on the whole Pyrate adventure theme, with time travel, necromancers, and an old Buick thrown in for good measure.
  • A new novel : THE WITCH CONTINGENCY is on the list.
  • Feel free to email me with questions if I haven't addressed it in this tidy wee FAQ. I may add your suggestions.

Never take yourself too seriously!


Foinah[at] ​replace the [at] with @ and it's like magic!