The first question I always get asked when people see my name is something along the lines of “What do all those letters stand for?” so: the “M” is for my middle name, Marie, and the others stand for my confirmation names, Philomena Thérèse, after St. Philomena and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Until I earned my Bachelor’s in Literature and my Master’s in English and Creative Writing I was completely homeschooled, so lockers freak me out. My favorite color is pink and a close second is glitter. The more pink and glittery something is, the better. I love dolls and collect them and don’t find them scary, but sloths? Those suckers need death. I’ve been writing since I was young enough to believe that my Narnia/Lord of the Rings ripoffs were original, which is to say a really long time. I still have a soft spot for reading and writing fantasy but I’ve recently added supernatural horror to my list of literary loves, which I guess makes sense as I’ve been fascinated with ghost stories since I was little and became obsessed with studying them when I realized that every culture and every person, no matter how different, has a ghost story. As an active Catholic, I’ve always been told about the spiritual world and have a healthy level of both fascination and respect for it. I’ll take a ghost over a killer in a clown mask any day. That being said, I prefer my spooks on the page; I’ve had a few paranormal encounters and I didn’t like them much at all, thanks.
My writing mantra is that every story can say something that matters in addition to being “entertainment.” We are all humans on the same planet living the same stories, so we should use them to communicate with each other and get through this madness we call life. That’s one of the reasons I love horror so much, because when a character is scared or faced with death, they’ll get to the heart of what matters very quickly.
I’m currently working on a plethora of horror short stories and a supernatural horror novella set in a 1920’s convent, not to mention an outline for a high fantasy novel that has been in my brain since I was 13 (not the same one that I ripped off from Lord of the Rings/Narnia, though my main guy character does have suspiciously Prince Caspian-esque hair). Two collections of my short stories are available on amazon: Think Again: A Captivating Compendium which is a selection of stories designed to make you think twice, and Restless: A Year of Ghost Stories which has twelve short stories themed for each month of the year, so you can have creepiness all year round.
I am most active on my Instagram account, @ReneeMPTKray .
official author photograph (c) 2016 by PNVB Photography