TIH 548: Gemma Amor on Neurodiversity, The Power of Words, and Writing Challenges

TIH 548 Gemma Amor on Neurodiversity, The Power of Words, and Writing Challenges

In this podcast, Gemma Amor speaks about neurodiversity, the power of words, writing challenges, and much more.

About Gemma Amor

Gemma Amor is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of The Folly, Dear Laura, Full Immersion, White Pines, and many other books.

She is also a podcaster, illustrator, and voice actor, and is based in Bristol, in the U.K.

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House of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson

From the author of The Girl in the Video comes a darkly comic thriller with an edge-of-your-seat climax.

Denny just wants to be the world’s best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather, Frank. Then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie half-sister who demands he uncovers the cause of her father’s death.

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[00:00:29] Michael David Wilson: Welcome to This Is Horror, A podcast for readers, writers, and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson, and every episode alongside my co-host, Bob Pastorella, we chat with the world's best writers about writing life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now, before we get into today's conversation, let us have a quick advert break,

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[00:02:22] Michael David Wilson: audio. Today we are talking to the Bram Stoker award nominated author Gemma Amor, and she has written books such as the Once Yellow House for Immersion White Pines.

[00:02:42] Dear Laura and her latest, release The Folly. Now this is a two part conversation. We do of course talk quite a bit about the folly, but we also dive deep into a number of personal areas for Gemma as we look back on the past year. So with that said, here it is. It's part one with Gemma. A more on this is horror.

[00:03:16] Gemma, welcome back to, this is Horror.

[00:03:19] Gemma Amor: Hi. It's weird doing this face-to-face. Last, last couple of times I've been on the show. It's been, uh, anonymous as it were. So now everyone can see that it's actually

[00:03:28] Michael David Wilson: me. Yeah, well we thought we would, you know, get with the Times as video seems to be the dominant form of media these days, even with social media.

[00:03:40] I would say so. For better or for worse, it is video. I. Here we are. And in fact, despite the fact that we have chatted numerous times, both on and off air, this is the first time that we're getting visual confirmation that we do exist. We're not, I know,

[00:03:56] Gemma Amor: I think that's why I'm, I'm having a bit of a like, oh, hi Mike.

[00:04:00] This is the first face-to-face conversation we've ever had. Yeah.

[00:04:05] Michael David Wilson: But the last time does not make it awkward. Okay. Okay. Because it, it's never awkward if somebody says, don't make it awkward. That is a very

[00:04:15] Gemma Amor: not awkward thing. I'm very good at this. Can you tell socially I'm extremely adept?

[00:04:21] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, most of us write us are, it's kind of what we're renowned for, you know, that social competence.

[00:04:29] Yeah. Anyway, the last time that we spoke, it was in September, 2022 for full immersion. So I wanna know what have been the biggest changes since then, both personally and professionally?

[00:04:47] Gemma Amor: Oh my goodness me, um, it's definitely been a year. I know, I know people sort of throw that around comedically as a term.

[00:04:58] It's been a year, but it's definitely been a year. Um, it's been a tremendously exciting year this year actually in, in, in the kind of everything that's happened after full immersion, which was my, I guess, traditionally published debut. So I treated it very much like a debut. Um, and that was a bit of a rollercoaster ride and I think.

[00:05:20] The thing that I learned very quickly about traditional publishing is that it's very, very different to working with indie presses and, and putting something out yourself in that once a book is out in the world, that's pretty much it. Everything is now out of your hands or in theory, it's out of your hands.

[00:05:37] Um, I've still been doing a lot of work kind of promoting and pushing the book, um, and it, it went on to be nominated for, uh, the August Darli Award by the British Fantasy, um, uh, society, the British Fantasy Award nominated book, which was really nice because that sort of snuck in right towards the end of the awards award season.

[00:05:58] And I, I had sort of thought that perhaps it might not gather any awards recognition, and it was okay with that. Awards aren't everything, but it was a really nice affirmation to have that nomination. Um, but yeah, in, in, in the period after full immersion, I've really just been here, there and everywhere.

[00:06:16] I've been over to the States multiple times for different conventions. I went to, uh, Kymera, which was up in Edinburgh. I went to British Fantasy Con. Um, i, four cons in a year, I can confirm is too much. Like I love everybody, but I need everybody to now fuck off, just leave me alone for like a good month.

[00:06:37] Um, I'm thoroughly peopled out, but in a lovely way, in a very kind of inspiring and restorative way. Um, and since the book came out in September, I've uh, since signed a couple of book deals and done some things and finished some things, and it's all been such a whirlwind. Um, although I should caveat that it was kind of like that before, it wasn't.

[00:07:04] To do with the success perhaps of that book. But, um, it, it, it has been, it has continued to be very busy and very rewarding and very fulfilling and perhaps a little bit too busy sometimes. Um, I do juggle and spin quite a lot of plates and drop quite a few. Uh, but yeah, I'm feeling, I'm sort of getting towards the end of the year.

[00:07:28] It's December, it's mid-December. I'm starting to look back on the year that's kind of happened and I'm feeling very, very fortunate, basically. Um, personally, uh, the main focus for me has been, um, uh, my son who has turned, uh, he turned 10 this year. He is 10 and a half now, and kind of helping him with his now confirmed, uh, A DHD and dyslexia diagnoses, which I.

[00:07:58] We're making our lives collectively. And his in particular very, very difficult A couple of years ago, it's taken me two years of advocacy and pushing and research and, um, learning. Um, but we finally got the bits of paper that we needed. Um, for, for anyone not in the uk. If you have a child with anything like a DHD or dyslexia, the, um, the school system over here won't recognize it unless it's sort of diagnosis through our medical society.

[00:08:30] The NHS, you can't really go private with children. And um, so that's why it has taken such a long time to get him an official diagnosis. And I feel like I've been a kind of campaigner really for his rights. Um. A number of years, but his school have been fantastic and I've also learned an awful lot about neurodiversity and come to the staggering realization that will surprise nobody else whatsoever that I most likely also have and had had for a very long time.

[00:08:58] A DHD myself, which, um, has been quite revelatory in terms of it explains a lot of the issues I had as a child at school, explains a lot of my regulatory issues over the years. It explains a lot of my kind of addictive behaviors and a lot of the things that fed into full immersion actually as well. The likelihood of me developing postnatal depression, all sorts of things.

[00:09:22] Um, I've been on a very big journey in terms of understanding neurodiversity and. And it, and accepting it and accommodating those needs, those extra needs for myself and my son has not only brought us closer together, but has just made our lives infinitely better. So that's been, I would say, the biggest thing that's happened to me this year.

[00:09:46] And it feels like a bit of a, almost a natural progression on from full immersion in that sense that that was all about my struggles postnatally and the kind of the dealing with the trauma of that in the moment and trying to recover. Now we are moving on to the next bit, which is that, well, perhaps there's an extra factor here as to why you were struggling and why your relationship with your child was really fraught in the early days.

[00:10:11] And it just, all the pieces are starting to slot together. Um, so I suppose next year I will probably, maybe, possibly pursue a diagnosis for myself, although I don't really know how useful that will be given that I'm essentially behaving as if I've got it anyway, and it's making my life fastly. Better. So,

[00:10:30] Michael David Wilson: yeah.

[00:10:31] Yeah. And so I wonder what are the things that you have put in place both for you and for your son?

[00:10:39] Gemma Amor: Hmm. Well, actually, interestingly, A DHD shows up in a number of different ways for women often than it does for boys. Um, for girls, um, for boys, sorry, or for men. Uh, it's, but there are a lot of commonalities that we share.

[00:10:54] So we both despise and crave routine. Um, routine is very, very important for Neurodiverse kids. Um, my son really, really needs routine, but it's also very restrictive. And the very nature of A DHD is that you get extremely bored of repetition and the same thing happening over and over again, and your brain seeks and craves dopamine and variety and change, even though change is also very challenging to you.

[00:11:24] So, um. We have learned how to establish a routine that's healthy for, for both of us, but has room for flexibility for change. Um, we've made a lot of sensory accommodations, so both of us are very sensitive to light, to sound, to uh, sort of texture and um, uh, touch and things like that. So I, whereas before I may have, if we had an argument about my son putting his socks on, uh, 'cause feet and shoes and socks are a really big thing.

[00:11:59] Um, before I may have like stuck to my guns and gotten very sort of upset with him and put your, you know, we would've had a battle. Now if it's particularly bad near a diverse day, I will just let it go. It's very much a case of learning to pick your battles, um, which is the same with kids anyway. But I think in particular with my son, he, he struggles with regulations so he can blow up like a volcano at the drop of a hat.

[00:12:26] Um, and it's about a lot of the work that we do is about making sure he feels safe and very, feels comfortable and he feels protected so he isn't as dysregulated. Um, that also seems to work for me, um, quite. I have realized, and it is the same with him, that I need an awful lot of what I call brain recalibration time.

[00:12:49] So if I've done anything particularly energetic or very people heavy or uh, a big achievement or anything very emotional, I will need to set aside and reserve a good chunk of time afterwards to kind of re acclimatize to the normal, um, recharge my batteries. Um, just lots and lots of different daily things that we're learning.

[00:13:13] My son needs to eat probably every two hours. He is very skinny and very sort of, um, lean because his metabolism is extremely high. He burns things off so fast and he needs to eat high protein foods, uh, kind of every two or three hours like he grazes throughout the day. So I have to make sure he's fed more than perhaps, um, some of, uh.

[00:13:38] My nieces and nephews, uh, there's, there's lots and lots of things that we need to, that we have introduced that have just made everything so much better. But I think in general it's about. It's the piece about accommodation, it's the piece about understanding that with children in particular, there's no such thing as naughty.

[00:14:00] There's no such thing as an inherently bad child or badly behaved child. There's normally a child who is struggling to either communicate or regulate or figure out how they feel about stuff, or as a child just going through the very natural process of pushing boundaries or testing you. And so when you reframe every action that you think is, um, naughty or did before in the context of, is my son overstimulated?

[00:14:27] Is my son underfed? Is my son struggling to communicate? Is my son sad, but can't figure out that he's sad? And so it's coming out as anger. Once you learn to approach everything with the perspective of why is this happening? Which I've had to do, and it's not the easiest thing in the world to do when you're a parent and everything's kind of going to shit around you.

[00:14:49] It, it has just made communication so much better in our house and, and I think it's really helped me. I sometimes struggle with personal and interpersonal relationships because I can be very reactive and very A DHD about certain things and I'm quite an intense person and, um, socially quite gregarious, but also not very good at things like small talk.

[00:15:14] So I think I can be a little bit intimidating sometimes when you meet me for the first time. And I've learned an awful lot about just how to approach people and how to assume. How to walk through life, not assuming the worst, you know, how to walk through life with a little bit of grace towards everybody else and trying to understand their underlying motivations or actions or feelings or how, you know, why they are being a certain way in order to kind of best respond to that.

[00:15:46] And I think it's just made me much more sensitive and much more attuned to, I guess, other people's needs, but also my own. So yeah, there's, there's so much I could go on about this just for hours and hours and hours because I've just been on such a journey. Um, but what, the thing that I've learned about A DHD and, and what the best description I ever read is that it's people are, people used to think that it was kind of hyperactivity.

[00:16:15] Um, and it's actually. A surplus of focus rather than a focus deficit. So with A DHD, you don't have a lack of focus. You wanna focus on everything that's happening around you all the time, all at once, simultaneously. And the, the best description I heard was that it was like having the engine of a Ferrari in the, in the chassis of like a push bike.

[00:16:38] You know, your brain is willing and your body literally cannot like do what your brain needs you to do and craves that you can do so. And I think when I look at my own, like writing career and I look at like writing a book like this one The Folly, which I wrote in three weeks, you know, I can quite easily do that with the A DHD.

[00:16:57] But then there will be periods of maybe like four or five weeks where I'll just wanna sit and stare at the wall because of the executive dysfunction side of things. So it's very all or nothing. Um, and that's okay. And I think that's the biggest takeaway is that I've learned that all of that is I. Okay.

[00:17:16] And that I'm not actually a garbage human being if I can't do things that other people find. Very simple and straightforward. So do you

[00:17:24] Michael David Wilson: think then that it has enabled you to be more compassionate to

[00:17:28] Gemma Amor: yourself? Yeah, which, which has not been easy for me to do. Um, and, and if I think back to my school career, I was a very average student.

[00:17:38] I underperformed for most of my school career. I was a big daydreamer, which is a classic, A DHD symptom in girls. Um, I did struggle with my focus. I was only really, I only ever really pulled it out the bag at the last minute when there was a deadline or an exam. I was a bit of an underwhelming student and a lot of the criticisms I got from teachers and things back then was, you know, doesn't try hard enough, doesn't care, you know, needs to.

[00:18:05] To contribute more and pull a finger out. And actually, when I look back on that, I think I did care and I did try very hard, but I was struggling with a lot of what we now know are symptoms of, um, A DHD. So I, I think I moved through most of my life until the last couple of years, really just assuming that I was a bit of a disaster piece.

[00:18:29] You know, that, you know, why, why, why can't I leave the house without having to take a photograph of my front door to remind myself of whether or not I've closed the door, even though I checked it 10 times? You know, why can't I do the paperwork that other people find so easy to file and to organize? Why can't I do all these things?

[00:18:47] Why can't I go into a, a crowded room and behave normally? Like it's, I used to beat myself up over all this shit so much. Like, why? Why did I drink so much? Why was I so drawn to this? Why was I so self-destructive in the context of all of that? And, and reading these, these books about A DHD and, and listening to these webinars and seminars and whatever that I found, it's like somebody's describing my life back to me over and over again.

[00:19:17] You know, there's, there's so many instances where I've just had a moment of like, oh shit, that's why I do all this. So yeah, it's allowed me to be so much kinder to myself and to make accommodations for my own behavior, but also it's allowed me to assert boundaries with other people who don't understand the need that I have for those accommodations.

[00:19:37] So if I'm overstimulated, I need to go away and be in a different room with all the doors shut and the curtain's closed, and I need to have my lights on, my color changing lights, and I need to listen to my A SMR and I need to learn to regulate again. And then I'll come back and I'll be with you and I'll be fine.

[00:19:55] But in that time, I need that time in order to sort my brain out. So it's, it's about. It's given me like a suite of tools in order to better human, it's extraordinary. Like I don't want to be all like hippie dippy about this shit, but I feel genuinely more enlightened in the last few years about my own needs and the needs of others and how that kind of interacts than I ever have.

[00:20:27] And, and it, and I also, the thing though that, and I think this is quite common with people in their adult life who get a diagnosis or, or come to the realization that they are, you know, neurodiverse, it makes me feel very sad for the child that I was, um, because it wasn't a thing really when I was a kid.

[00:20:45] And if it was, it was again very focused on boys who fidgeted or acted out or were disruptive. Um, and it was a hyperactivity kind of misconception. And. A lot of women my age were missed on the neurodiversity train and are coming to the realization that I'm coming to now, that actually there was, there was, was a lot more to it than they realized.

[00:21:11] And it makes me very sad for the kid that I was. And it makes me kind of go on to wonder what else I might have achieved in my life had I understood all this a lot earlier on. And I also suspect, had I understood a lot of this earlier on, I wouldn't have had problems with alcohol, I wouldn't have had problems with drugs.

[00:21:26] I wouldn't have perhaps pursued the medication that I did 'cause I would've understood myself a bit better and I would've sought out an alternative kind of source of, you know, help chemically. So there's, there is a sense of sadness, um, and a bit of anger. But also that acceptance piece is bigger. You know, I can't go back in time.

[00:21:51] I don't have a time machine. It's a waste of my energy to like. Sit in sadness for who I was as a kid. And when I look at it now, I am actually doing the job that I love and that I dreamed about when I was a child. I got there in the end. I just, I'd sort of had to overcome a lot of shit first to get here.

[00:22:11] Um, you know, I'm actually extremely fortunate to, to still be alive, let alone sitting here talking to you about books and creativity and, you know, it's just, it's, it's, I feel very fortunate and I'm in a very good place these days. And the understanding of my own neurodiversity has only helped that, you know, so.

[00:22:38] Oh

[00:22:38] Michael David Wilson: yeah. There's a lot of times where I kind of think back on my past and childhood and moments of. Sadness. But, and, and you know, I've been through quite a lot personally recently as well, but I just try to, you know, focus on the present moment and where I am at the moment and, you know, sure it is easier said than done, but I guess we both know that being in that present moment is what is theoretically best.

[00:23:12] Even if there are times when, where you kind of just have to accept that your brain is is not going to be there, it's going to go to the past and. I think, like you said, you know, with your children, you have to choose the battles that you're going to fight. Sometimes you have to choose it with your own brain.

[00:23:33] Gemma Amor: Oh, every day. Every day. Yeah. And that rumination is, is I'm very prone to rumination. I'm very prone to either living in the past and dwelling on it or living in the future. And I'm very poor at accepting what's happening around me in the present and, and enjoying that. And that's a piece that I've had to work very, very hard on, is not catastrophizing and it's not dwelling on, you know, past ills because I don't, I don't think I perhaps had as easy as childhood as I always used to say that I had to people.

[00:24:05] Um, when I look back on a lot of things now and, and reframe them, I probably had not the best childhood, but not the worst, you know? And it would be so easy to like not move forward because of the chains that you drag behind you. But actually I found so much joy in living in that moment and experiencing things as they happen to me and slowing down and learning how to, learning how to enjoy things has been really hard for me.

[00:24:40] And I have a tendency when something good happens to me to immediately self-destruct because I think inherently I don't feel like I deserve it. So the, the, the amount of times that something really nice has happened, and then I've immediately lashed out and tried to fuck it up because I needed to bring myself back down to the, everything is stressful kind of baseline that I've been told to expect ever since my childhood.

[00:25:09] And being kind to myself and learning how to sit back and enjoy the ride has been extraordinarily difficult. More so than it should be. But I am learning to, and, and I think this is why I do, I travel to all these conventions to hang out with all the, the other writer friends and, you know, I'm, I'm trying to just, I'm trying to, to live, I'm trying to phrase this in a way, it's difficult to, to know how to phrase this.

[00:25:40] I hate the word authenticity, but I'm trying very much to live as authentically. For me in, in the, do you know what I'm trying to say? Like,

[00:25:52] Michael David Wilson: yeah, I know what, I know what you're trying to say. And the pendant in me is curious too, as to why you hate the word authenticity. I,

[00:26:04] Gemma Amor: I just think it gets, it gets misused perhaps a lot, um, or used as a bit of a club to beat people around the head with, if you're not authentic or you don't have a authentic voice, or you don't behave authentically, and it's like, I, I suppose everybody, everybody's definition of what the word authentic means, varies.

[00:26:22] Every mileage, varies, but for me it means. You know it, what's interesting is I was on talking scared with Neil a couple of weeks ago and he asked me, uh, the question he'd asked me before with full immersion, which is what scares you at the end of the show. And with full immersion, I was very much focused on the actions of others.

[00:26:41] And when he asked me that question a few weeks ago, I said, one of my biggest fears was that I didn't know myself very well at the moment and that I was having a bit of a, an evolving identity that I didn't fully understand and that it scared me a bit that I didn't understand myself as well as I would like.

[00:26:58] And that is very true, and I think because I've been through all these changes and because I've been learning so much about myself over the last kind of couple of years since my son started on his journey. Now I'm having to reframe everything like I've said, and it's been overwhelmingly positive and nothing but positive.

[00:27:14] But it's also really scary 'cause it's also really scary to figure out that you don't know as much about yourself as you thought you did. And, and I think, so when I say authenticity, for me it's about, you know, who actually am I in my own head and am I living up to that? And you know, either for better or for worse, and this has all gotten very deep very soon.

[00:27:38] I'm so sorry.

[00:27:41] Michael David Wilson: It's No, no, not at all. And I mean, this is often par for the cause with this is horror I think. Yeah, we got pretty deep early doors last time as well, so that, yeah, it is just an inevitability, but. Yeah. I'm really thinking through ev everything you're saying on authenticity, trying to process my thoughts in real time as we're doing this because, I mean, I do talk a lot about being authentic and you know, what does that mean?

[00:28:18] Gemma Amor: You know, what does that mean to

[00:28:20] Michael David Wilson: you? This is where we are going. And so I, the, the way that I would define it is being true to yourself, but then you opened, you know, the, the can of proverbial worms well. Who, who, who am I? Who, who are you? What if I don't know? Yeah. You know who I am. So then, you know, this has all been happening in the last few minutes in my mind.

[00:28:46] I'm just trying to articulate it now. So then if it is, if you can't fully be true to yourself because you don't 100% know who you are, then I suppose in being authentic, you're being true to the moment or to your feelings in that moment. Mm-Hmm. And I, I, I think may, maybe that is why authentic is a word that you're not so comfortable with, because.

[00:29:13] Who we authentically are Mm. Can change not just on a day-to-day basis, but on a moment to moment basis. Mm.

[00:29:23] Gemma Amor: So we just, it's adaptability. Yeah. Yeah. One of the things I would say though, and that's something that both my son and I have both struggled with over the years, is I don't always know how I'm feeling about anything in the, the moment that I am experiencing it.

[00:29:37] So it's kind of hard to embrace it if you don't know what it is. Um, and I've been doing, again, a lot of work with him on identifying what feelings and emotions are and in order to kind of help process them a little bit better. And again, something that I think I mentioned with Neil, um, on Talking Scared is that book writing for me is pretty much book writing and I guess conversations with Friends is the only way and really that I ever figure out how I feel about something.

[00:30:10] It's when I. Catch myself writing a sentence and read it back and go, oh shit, that's okay. That's obviously how I feel about this. Or when I catch myself mid-conversation, or I listen back to these podcast interviews and realize what I said and how I said it, I, I have very little idea about how I feel about something often for a very, very long time after it's happened, or I've experienced it or I've felt it.

[00:30:34] And that can be very odd not really understanding the, the sensations and the feelings that are kind of flooding around your brain. And it can be very odd to not have any grasp of that until a considerable time afterwards. But I think this is why I'm so drawn to, to what I do and to the novels because, like I said, it again, it's a bit, it's enlightenment.

[00:30:58] For me, it's, it, it, you know, I wrote for immersion and. Since that book's been out and I've talked about it so much, and I did the interviews and I narrated the audio book, and I edited multiple versions of that novel over and over again. I haven't felt a huge amount of need to revisit that period of my life, and I think that's probably because I have finally in the act of doing all of that, even though it was very cathartic, but also extremely painful and difficult to kind of revisit your own trauma over and over.

[00:31:28] It was quite effective in helping me come to terms with it. So now I think a lot of the books that I write are now dealing with all the other shit that I haven't figured out, um, the, the plethora of issues. Um, but we'll get there. By the time I'm like 95, I should be like a fairly well grounded human being.

[00:31:50] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. I can't wait to see what we're discussing when you're 95. 'cause I'm up to my stick enough that we're both gonna be around Oh, fuck around for

[00:31:59] Gemma Amor: that. Absolutely. But can you imagine how interactive podcasting will be by the year 20? Whatever. It'll be like, it'll be literally like there'll be a meeting room inside each other's heads that we can virtually walk into.

[00:32:13] Like,

[00:32:14] Michael David Wilson: I mean, we, we've taken a step from audio to video. I don't know. Even if the technology is available that we, we really need to go any further. I think, you know, well, who knows? We've got the video o obviously, you know, we, we can do it in person in, in a studio, that's fine, but Hmm. You know, who knows, we don't need holograms or anything.

[00:32:40] That's,

[00:32:41] Gemma Amor: I think that would be quite cool actually. I, I, I'd be down for exploring that.

[00:32:47] Michael David Wilson: Okay. So I'll make a note. Gemma is down for exploring holograms if Yeah. Technologically we can do that one. Sure. But yeah, on, on, on the matter of authenticity and we, we will probably move past it in a little bit, but as, as we've established, then we can't say that that's necessarily being honest to yourself and your feelings because we might not truly know.

[00:33:17] I. What they are. So then I feel that we, we only really can define it in terms of what, what it, what you shouldn't do. And that is, you shouldn't be intentionally dishonest because I think we know sometimes what we absolutely don't feel. But you might counter that point too,

[00:33:41] Gemma Amor: but it's, I would say that it's very difficult to be honest, if you, again, don't understand the parameters of that.

[00:33:47] Like if you, some people lie not to deceive, but to protect themselves. You know that classic, are you okay? Yeah, I'm fine. It's a lie. We all know it's a lie. You are being intentionally deceitful, but it's to protect yourself because you don't wanna open up to the person who's questioning you or you don't wanna revisit whatever thing is making you feel not okay.

[00:34:07] So lying is a really interesting one for me because it's, i, I, again, there's a certain amount of grace that I kind of come to, to situations with now, but when somebody lies. I know there's a reason, you know, people lie for all sorts of reasons, and some of them are motivated in from a bad place. And, and, and often, you know, people, I think people are better than we give them credit for, is what I would say.

[00:34:35] Like, it's very easy to be very black and white about things, but human nature is extremely nuanced and I don't know whether you can define authenticity as, as behaving in a proper manner or a socially acceptable manner. Or, or do you know what I mean? Like, I think, I think the word authentic is such an interesting one, and I think that's why I'm really leery of kind of trying to pin down those definitions.

[00:35:06] 'cause I still don't fully really know what I mean when I say it. And I don't think, I mean, let's not lie or osculate or cheat or swindle or any of those negative, sort of negative human traits. Again, somebody may be cheating for a very human reason. Somebody may be swindling because they're motivated by feeding their child.

[00:35:27] Or do, you know, there's so many different facets to like human nature that I think categories in general. I'm, I really don't like, I often when you write a book, um, and you sort of, what I've learned about the traditional processes, when you pitch that book to sales team, um, in a publishing house, you, you have to categorize the life out of it.

[00:35:51] It's this, it's that when you write a comp, you say it's, you know, like for the folly, it was the lighthouse meets Stephanie de Moer. And it's like everything has to have a label and a category and a thing and a box to tick in order for you to define it. Right? And, but humans are, I think, are sort of by nature indefinable in a way because we're this, we're just so varied and colorful and different and, and I just, yeah, I don't really know what I'm trying to say.

[00:36:22] I just think I, maybe that's okay. Maybe. I dunno what I'm trying to say and that's what I'm trying to say.

[00:36:30] Michael David Wilson: So. Well it's going to be interesting for me to see what happens the next time that I am tempted to use the word authentic because I think we've completely now shifted. Perhaps forever, how that will now be in

[00:36:48] Gemma Amor: my mind, maybe.

[00:36:48] Well, words are tricky. Words are tricky, and I, that's what I love about 'em. When you're a wordsmith and you put 'em all together in a book, mm, you know, words are very, very personal and they can mean one thing to you and, and one thing to somebody else. And that's why when you are editing a novel, um, sometimes you'll get an edit note back and, and the editor will have taken perhaps the literal meaning of the word.

[00:37:09] Uh, and that may or may not be correct, but I will very much write from an emotional place where I'll go, well, this felt right to me at the time, and actually what I meant was this. And so words are very personal and I think that's why I love working with them so much. Descriptions and meanings and, and many, many words in the English language and in other languages have.

[00:37:29] 5, 6, 7 meanings per word. Mm-Hmm. I think it's, I think in with Japanese there are multiple definitions for a single word, aren't there? Mm-Hmm. Yes. Yes. Um, and, and I love that. I think that's, I think that's glorious actually. I think that the possibilities you have to describe your life and what's going on around you and people and characters and fantasy worlds and dreams and hopes and all this stuff.

[00:37:51] We have these powerful, magical words at our disposal that are kind of malleable. Mm-Hmm. Um, and I love that. I think that's very, that's very cool to me. It's very exciting to me.

[00:38:00] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, one thing you said before was so the folly, you wrote that in three weeks then. Mm-Hmm,

[00:38:10] Gemma Amor: roughly. Yeah.

[00:38:11] Michael David Wilson: Yeah, yeah.

[00:38:13] But then sometimes you will have periods where there could be weeks where you know, it is not happening. You're not going to be creating or you're not going to be writing. So I want to know particularly. Given that you've now identified where this is coming from Mm-Hmm. I mean, what, what do you do in those moments?

[00:38:37] And I imagine that the answer may differ depending upon whether you have a deadline.

[00:38:46] Gemma Amor: Yes. Um, so executive dysfunction is probably the worst part of, of A DHD for me. And that is literally the days where getting out of bed is an impossible task. Showering seems like herculean effort, feeding yourself, nourishing yourself, moving around doing anything other than scrolling on your phone.

[00:39:11] And it's like you're sort of locked in a prison. Um, but the prison's your own body and it's, it's vile. And I have, I have those days. They frustrate the fuck out of me because I have so much to do. I have deadlines. I, and I don't want to feel like a slug. You know, I want to create and I want to make things, but what I've learned is that the only way through those periods is to kind of, kind of go with it a little bit.

[00:39:41] Um, so luckily I'm self-employed and I work from home, so I don't have to kind of battle with office politics or going in. And when I, when I, when I have a particularly bad day, um, I try and do things that I know I can do. So I, I paint. Book covers for indie authors. And one of the nice things about that is that I can do that on executive dysfunction days because that normally involves me sitting in front of the TV and painting.

[00:40:11] And that's actually kind of like a hobby as well. Um, so that makes me feel like I'm at least doing something even when I'm doing nothing. Um, but sometimes on, there are days where that's too difficult as well. So I, I just try and take those days, hour by hour, I set myself very small, little achievement goals, like, get up, make a cup of coffee, feed yourself something vaguely nutritious.

[00:40:37] Um, and if not, just feed yourself. Move around, you know, you don't have to walk, run a marathon. Even if you just walk around the house. That's a start. And then if you feel good, maybe go outside, you know, and try and walk a little bit further depending on, I. How good you are in your state of mind at the time.

[00:40:57] So it's executive dysfunction days are all about like, what is achievable and not beating yourself up over anything you can't achieve. And to an outsider, you might look like a very lazy person. I know I'm not lazy. Like I put out 11 books in five years and I've got like five more that people don't know about yet.

[00:41:21] I know I'm not lazy. I'm, I'm a mom. I, I don't have the luxury of being lazy when you have a child. I just, I have to keep the household running and, and the chores and the laundry and the cooking and the cleaning, the mum stuff, the school run and hold down a job and do the marketing and the pr and do all the other things that you do.

[00:41:39] As an author, I'm not lazy, but there are days where I just cannot. And so I. That's how I approach it. Like, this is happening. I can't do anything about it. This is literally my brain chemistry. Also with women, I think there are a lot more emerging studies about the effects of A DHD, um, and your hormones.

[00:42:00] So if you have periods, um, the, the two things don't mix very well at all. So, you know, I'm, I'm lucky if I have like two good, two good weeks every month. Uh, and then there are two weeks that are pretty much a bit of a write off for me. And so it's, but it's, that's how it is. And so you have to like, work with what you can and work with what you've given and try and be kind and extend that grace to yourself as much as humanly possible.

[00:42:29] And I've found that doing so has made it more achievable. And, and I'm, I'm not shy to go back to somebody if I'm kind of coming up on a deadline and I know I need a bit more time. I'm not shy to ask. Um. I try not to leverage my neurodiversity as an excuse, but I am also very cognizant that you need to advocate for yourself wherever possible.

[00:42:53] So, you know, my, my job is like any other workplace. Sometimes I need to accommodate and that's how it is. So yeah, executive dysfunction days fucking suck. 'cause like I said, they feel like you are trapped in a prison, but they don't last forever. And then, then one day you'll wake up, you'll be like, I'm gonna write a book today.

[00:43:18] Let's go. And then off you go again. So it's, it's the roller coaster disease that I, you have to just ride it. Yeah.

[00:43:25] Michael David Wilson: And I mean, in terms of your writing, I think a lot of people would say that it is fairly prolific in terms of the output and you know, you said before writing the folly so quickly. Is that just because when you are feeling it, you know, you want to keep feeling it, you don't want to stop?

[00:43:47] Or is part of it also because you know that there will invariably be these periods where you can't write, so you almost want to write more so you've got something you know, should, should you need to, yeah. Produce a story or submit a story or, or what have you.

[00:44:08] Gemma Amor: I mean, I've got, I, I've got upwards of like 40 short stories in development that I can always go to if I need one.

[00:44:15] So that's not so much an issue for me. Like I've got plenty of work, like 10 half written novel. I've got plenty of work. I don't, I don't ever kind of. Power through a novel because I feel like if I don't, then there won't be enough material for me to submit when I need to. There is a certain like, okay, I wanna ride this wave.

[00:44:33] The hyperfocus wave hyperfocus is a real thing for a DHD people and to the point where you, you can focus on a special interest project to the exclusion of all elses. With my son, it, it's, uh, Minecraft or Roblox or War Hammer, um, and world building is a really big thing for him and he will engage in it to the exclusion of all else for hours and hours and hours.

[00:44:56] Whereas for me, it's when a story works and makes sense and clicks and wants to come out. I don't really have a choice. It's not really a conscious, well, let's do this now because we don't know when this will come back. It's a visceral. Needs to just live in that world to the exclusion of all else, which isn't ideal for my family sometimes, um, particularly with novel writing, you, when you get really into a novel and it's, let's say it's 90,000 words and it takes six months to write, you don't maintain that focus for those whole six months.

[00:45:33] But you will have periods of like sometimes weeks where nothing else really exists. And then so dragging yourself out of it to interact with your family or to do the mundane chores that you need to or to socialize or any of that can be a real challenge for me. Um, what I've learned is I don't really get any control over a book when it comes out of me and how it comes out of me.

[00:45:57] I have very little control. It is what it is. The story is what it decides it wants to be. The characters do whatever the fuck they like. I know that sounds cliche, but they kind of do. Um, I will make certain conscious choices. Several edits in, but to begin with the raw putty of a novel, I, I've said this before, it either kind of explodes out of me, like verbose, kind of lava or, um, it's a series of like images or sounds or conversations that just kind of come into fruition in my head and then I'm gone and that's it.

[00:46:33] And nothing else exists. So I would like perhaps to, to maybe have a little bit more control over that process. I think it can be quite chaotic. Um, but then also I, I don't think it's done me any harm so far. People seem to like my books and respond well to them, so maybe I, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

[00:46:54] I don't know.

[00:46:56] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. And I'm just wondering, I mean, when you are in on mode and you are deep in a novel, you're just go, go, go. If you have a, a mundane task that you have to do or if doesn't get done, something doesn't get done. Okay. So then the second one, if a, if a semi-emergency happens, I mean, do you have, I don't know, where, anything in place so that you can deal with that in the way that you have to, but also not completely lose track of the momentum with the novel.

[00:47:33] I'm just wondering how you navigate this.

[00:47:37] Gemma Amor: I find interruptions intensely frustrating and, and anger inducing. Um, a very good example of that was, was kind of being on book deadline and my ceiling collapsed in my hallway. And the, the sheer levels of resentment I faced trying to find a plaster and find a plumber to fix the leak that made the hole.

[00:47:57] Thing collapse. And, and the, the dripping noise of the water leaking through the ceiling and the, the inconvenience and the time away from what I really wanted to do was rage inducing for me. So no, I don't really have many very good coping mechanisms in place for, for unexpected changes or interruptions.

[00:48:18] Um, again, anybody who's got a kid knows that you can't really make any plans ever to do anything in your life until they've moved out. And probably not even then because something will happen and you are, you are needed and you, you, you know, you, you prioritize your child first 'cause that's what being a parent is.

[00:48:34] But I do sometimes really struggle with resentment about being pulled away from whatever world that I'm sunk firmly into. And, and I spend a lot of time fantasizing about moving to cabins in the woods or caves up mountains away from everybody else so that there are no interruptions and. I'm not sure how healthy that is.

[00:48:57] Um, I, I wish I-A-D-H-D can make you extremely adaptable. On the one hand, it makes you very good in a crisis. So you, you are quick to respond. You can think fast, you can think on your feet, you know, um, but. The other part of it is that when you are firmly in hyper fixation mode, like I said, nothing else really exists for you.

[00:49:22] So when you're forced to come out of that before you're ready, it can be very painful. Uh, it can be sort of like ripping a bandaid off too fast, you know, that sort of sensation of tearing away from something. Um, I've never really enjoyed that. So again, I think it's about managing my schedule at home to make it as clear as possible to accommodate when I need to write a book.

[00:49:44] Um, the Folly was very easy for me to immerse myself into because I was in Colorado, I was in an Airbnb, you know, my child was a few thousand miles away. Um, and I love him dearly, but I get a lot, I got a lot more done. Um, and you know, it was 4:00 AM local times and nobody else was up. There were no other demands on my attention, and it was actually perfect ideal, a DHD writer kind of settings for me because I could focus and I could, and then that meant that.

[00:50:15] When I naturally started to run out of steam, like I have maybe like a four or five hour window where I can write continuously and then I run out of steam and, and that's a good day and I can run, probably get a couple of thousand words done, or, you know, maybe sometimes only a few hundred. But the point is, is that I've done that chunk of time that I found it a lot easier to come out of myself in that setting because I'd been allowed to work through it.

[00:50:39] So, yeah.

[00:50:42] Michael David Wilson: So did you rent the Airbnb purposefully to write the folly or was this just the situation that

[00:50:50] arose?

[00:50:51] Gemma Amor: No. Goodness, no. Um, I was there for Stoke acon, which was in Denver that year. Um, but I was in Esther's Park because I helped to organize, uh, with a few other writers, Laurel Hightower, James Sabata, um, Don Gilroy.

[00:51:06] Um, we helped to organize the Presto Con Party, which was called Spirited Giving, and it was held at the Stanley Hotel, which is quite an iconic sort of haunted hotel. And, um, you know, we had authors like Stephen Graham Jones, Gabino Igl doing live readings. Um, and then we had the No Sleep Podcast came along and did a live show, um, which was fantastic.

[00:51:29] So because I'm good friends with no sleep, um. And I was going all that way anyway. And I wanted to explore Colorado and the Rockies a little bit more. We just got an Airbnb and hung out for a week and sort of had a bit of a mini holiday first before the show, so that was fantastic.

[00:51:45] Michael David Wilson: So were you managing to write four to five hours each day in spite of also hanging out with friends and, you know Mm-Hmm.

[00:51:54] Just organizing a convention essentially, or part of a

[00:51:58] Gemma Amor: convention. I was, I was up from like 4:00 AM writing and then people would wake up at like nine, or, you know, emerge at like nine or 10:00 AM So yeah, it was a good appreciable chunk of time every morning before everybody, um, emerged and. I was horribly jetlagged though.

[00:52:18] I think there was like an eight hour time difference. So I think at one point we were sitting around outside a, a sandwich shop having sandwiches and I think I fell asleep. Mid conversation with David Cummings. I just, my eyes just shut and I was just, I think he's got a picture of me somewhere, uh, fast asleep at this picnic table.

[00:52:35] But, um, yeah, it was exhausting, but I thrive on that kind of stuff. Um, but then when I got home, like I very much didn't wanna engage with anyone for weeks on end afterwards, while I recharged my

[00:52:46] Michael David Wilson: batteries. So, yeah. And so you had one week. In Colorado writing the book then would, would the other two weeks when you were back home or would a

[00:52:58] Gemma Amor: two Yeah, yeah, yeah, because I had the, I had a big chunk of the narrative in place and it, it was gathering momentum.

[00:53:06] I had two long, very, very long plane journeys. Um, you know, eight hours uninterrupted, basically both ways. In fact, slightly longer I think. And, um, and I was jet lagged the other way when I got back as well. So my sleep pattern was all disrupted. And, um, I just, it takes me a little bit to like, when you're, when I write a book, there's like an initial flurry of, fuck, here's a new book, and then like 10,000 words will come and then I'll sort of start to slow a bit and think, you know, and then it will be like, okay, where's this going?

[00:53:41] Then I'll, the bit, I'll get the bit into my teeth just before the kind of stodgy middle, which is always the problem zone for me. That's about 40,000 word mark where I'm like, okay, now I know where this is going, but ugh, I've actually gotta make it happen. I don't like that bit 'cause I find that quite boring.

[00:53:56] Um, but then the ending, I normally have an ending in mind at the beginning as well, so I'm sort of working towards something. So once I've got certain list of things in place, like it, it's a done deal for me. The book has to do what it has to do. And I've just, I've just finished one that I've just sent to my agent, um, which is sort of a more true crime based novel.

[00:54:18] Um, it's, it's coming in at about 94,000 words, so it's a big one. And I was astonished at how, how much that story wanted to be told. It wasn't necessarily a book that I thought I'd ever see myself writing. And it just, it didn't really give me much choice. I. Um, so you go where a muse takes you, and I guess that's where the concept of a muse comes from.

[00:54:42] Um, it's like a, an external force really that kind of pushes you forward and drives you through, through creativity. And I've learned to listen and pay attention and do as I'm told.

[00:54:56] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. And it, it seems like from what you've just said and from previous conversations, that you normally have a premise or you have an idea, but you don't have a plan as such.

[00:55:09] You, you know, as you said, you write where the muse takes you. So I'm wondering how many drafts you roughly have and then what each draft looks like. Because I mean, the first draft, you are telling the story, but then how much of that initial draft then goes into what we are seeing as the published book?

[00:55:34] Gemma Amor: I, people are probably gonna hate this response, but I've gotten a lot better at this gig Recently, the Folly was the first draft and my agent made a few comments and we tweaked it and it was subbed and accepted. Um, and then there were editorial after that, obviously, but, um, not, not vastly different. Um, but then it's quite a short book, first dates.

[00:56:01] Uh, I, I, I hate saying this 'cause it sounds unprofessional, but I was, it was the first draft that I've sent to my agent 'cause I was confident enough that it did the job on the first draft. Um, and he's come back with comments and things and again, no doubt the proof will be in the pudding with that one.

[00:56:21] We'll see where that lands. Um, but. I'm much better at this now. Like, so if I go back to White Pines, the novel White Pines, which was my first kind of big novel that I'd written that was, that was like pulling teeth. 'cause I had all these wonderful ideas and images and things I wanted to say and stories I wanted to tell.

[00:56:43] I was very happy with the final product eventually. But getting, getting to that point, I sort of, I started the novel. I had to ditch the first 10,000 words and start again because it wasn't working for me. Then I tried planning it and then I threw the plan out after another 20,000 words and went back to my intuitive style of writing.

[00:57:02] Um, and then I got stuck for ages and I got myself out of it by traveling to the location where the book was set in Scotland, which I, I appreciate, was a massive privilege and not everybody can do. Um, my husband was very kind and I. Booked me a trip up there as this kind of anniversary surprise. So I was, that really helped get me through that slump.

[00:57:23] Um, but that book went through so many different painful iterations and drafts. I think that was like a, an eight draft book. Um, and I was happy with the end result, but it wasn't a flowing process for me. It was very, it was like kind of climbing up a mountain and then falling down and then climbing back up a bit further and then falling back down.

[00:57:45] Fun Immersion was very choppy and changey. It started as one book and then became two that I then put together, and then I started to intertwine those elements more, um, thoughtfully. And the edit process with Angry Robot was very detailed and very good. And there were lots of, uh. Good comments. And then I think I've spoken about this before.

[00:58:06] I, the book was Beta Red at sort of the halfway mark by, uh, Glen Mazarra, who came back with some incredible insights, which meant I changed whole characters and characters, genders and their motivations and everything. So that went through a number of different drafts. But the stories that have come out of me just lately have been first draft books, which I, I'm, I know, will make me sound like a right wanker.

[00:58:34] And I don't mean to, I don't, I don't mean to diminish the writing process at all. It's just I got lucky with those. Um, but again, we shall see the one that I've just handed to my agent, maybe that it isn't up to scratch and maybe it isn't. We'll see, we'll see. I haven't been through his edit, uh, comments yet, but I don't think there's anything substantive that needs changing at this point.

[00:58:54] Um, I suspect if it ever gets sold or accepted, then it will go through. You know, the various different rounds of edits and, and it will, it'll continue to change. But

[00:59:04] Michael David Wilson: yeah, I feel that it must be quite liberating to submit first drafts. And I mean, I, I have a process that tends to mean that everything goes through three different drafts.

[00:59:19] The, the first initial, then the second has more substantial changes. And the third is me being very meticulous and pedantic. But particularly with that third polish, as it were, I can't help but feel it's not very efficient. Mm. You know, probably the difference between the second and the third draft, I mean, the, the, the second is at least 95% identical, if not even more so.

[00:59:52] Mm-Hmm. I might have to take inspiration from you and just be like, you know what, send it out at the second, because it's almost a third anyway.

[01:00:03] Gemma Amor: Well, I mean, I, one thing I will say is that with traditional, the book that gets accepted is never the book that gets published. It will go through multiple passes up until that point, um, of hitting a shelf.

[01:00:15] So, you know, there's the, the line edit phase, there's a developmental edit phase, there's the final pass to check for any inconsistent it goes through you, you, you read that fucking book so many times by the end, um, that those drafts do happen. Um, but I think there's a lot to be said for the intuitive version of the book that you first put out.

[01:00:39] 'cause I can sort of, I used to write myself into knots and edit and self-edit and, and actually make the book worse. And, and I, but I, I wish I could say that I. I had the patience to be more dedicated with my drafts. The, the simple fact of it is, is that once a book is down on paper, I'm kind of done with it for a bit.

[01:01:02] And because my boredom threshold is so disgustingly low, I'm like, right, what's next? Gimme something new, gimme something exciting. Let's chase that dopamine somewhere else. Now. And again, I'm very aware that that's the A DHD, um, and that's one of the downsides to it, is that perhaps it doesn't make me as meticulous as I would like, which is why it's sometimes nice to then hand it to a professional editorial team who can tease the best out of the book.

[01:01:27] Um, and they understand what you're trying to achieve. They can read between the lines. They can make genuinely helpful and good suggestions. And I think for me, one of the main benefits of traditional publishing is the strength of the editorial teams that I'm, I've worked with, um, and just how much of a better writer they've made me post event, if that makes sense.

[01:01:49] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah, it does. Do you ever worry about returning drafts, kind of, and returning edits too quickly? 'cause the, the other day, in fact, I got quite a lot of really helpful notes on a film script that I've written from my manager, Ryan Lewis, who I think you are familiar with. Yeah. And I, I just thought, right, well actioning all of these changes, this is what I'm focused on.

[01:02:19] And I basically rewrote the entire thing in less than a week. Oh yeah. But then I took, I took a few days to send it back to him because I don't, sure, this just looks almost too keen. Or like, how did you, how did you do it so quickly? But it,

[01:02:35] Gemma Amor: I don't, I don't tend to. I, I, I think you can, you can waste a lot of your life worrying about how you're perceived or how other people think.

[01:02:42] Yeah, the proof is in the pudding. You know, who cares if you get that edit back in like a day? If they read it and go, this is shit hot, then who caress? Do you know what I mean? Like, life is too short to worry about what other people think generally. I genuinely believe that. Um, what I would say though is sometimes, particularly with screenplay, so I've just finished.

[01:03:01] My first kind of feature length screenplay, which is an adaptation of Diora and who knows if that'll ever see the light of day. But it was a wonderful process, learning how to write a feature film, and it went through eight different iterations, which I found very challenging, but I had two extremely patient people working with me on it.

[01:03:18] And what would happen is we'd have these collaborative Zoom calls and we would talk about facets of the screenplay that needed work or character motivations or elements that were missing or beats that were missing. And then I would say to them, I need to just go away and think about this for a week before I write it up.

[01:03:33] And for some reason I don't tend to do that so much with books, but with the screenplay sitting on that feedback really helped. And I think perhaps because subconsciously I was thinking about it and how it could work in the back of my mind while I was going about my business doing other things, you know, whether I was having a shower or going for a walk or whatever.

[01:03:53] And so I think that was one case where sitting on something did really help because. I needed to work through it cinematically in my head, but I don't tend to worry about like, and I, and I think if you asked anybody in publishing, I, I think we all know how slow publishing is, so I don't think anybody's gonna be criticized for, for doing what they needed to do to, to get done quickly.

[01:04:18] You know, that's probably a bonus in this gig. So, yeah. Yeah.

[01:04:28] Michael David Wilson: Thank you so much for listening to this, this horror podcast. If you want to get each and every episode ahead of the crowd and support the podcast, please head over to www.patreon.com/this is Horror and consider becoming our Patreon. Not only do you get early bird access to each and every episode, but you get to submit questions to the world's best writers.

[01:04:59] You can also listen to exclusive Patreon only podcasts, including Story Unboxed, a horror podcast on a crafter writing in which we unbox and dissect short stories and movies. The patrons only q and a sessions with myself and Bob Castella, where we answer all of your questions, writing related and otherwise.

[01:05:23] And a video cast on camera, off record. And if that is not enough, you can also become a member of the Writer's Forum over on Discord. So head over to patreon.com/this is horror. Have a little look at what it is that we offer. Listen to the testimonials from others who are patrons, and if it looks like a good fit for you, then I'd love to see you there.

[01:05:54] Now, another way that you can support the podcast, absolutely free of charge is to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts to rate us on Spotify or to follow us on social media. We are this as horror on X, formerly known as Twitter, and we are this as horror podcast on TikTok for video clips and little bites of motivational goodness and a splash of humor.

[01:06:24] You can also sign up for our newsletter@thisishorror.co uk. If you would like to read my fiction, you can check out books, including the Girl in the Video and House of Bad Memories. And if you want to read Bob Pastor Re's Fiction, do consider picking up a copy of Mojo Rising. You can also check out a collaborative novel they're watching Well.

[01:06:52] Okay, with that said, it is now time for a quick advert break. It was as if the

[01:06:59] Gemma Amor: video had unzipped my skin, slunk inside my tapered flesh, and become one

[01:07:05] Bob Pastorella: with me. From the creator of this horror comes a new nightmare for the Digital Age. The Girl in the video by Michael David Wilson. After a teacher receives a weirdly arousing video, his life descends and a paranoia and obsession, more videos follow each containing information no stranger could possibly know, but who's sending them and what do they want?

[01:07:25] The answers may destroy everything and everyone he loves the girl. In the video is The Ring Meets Fatal Attraction from iPhone generation. Available now in paperback ebook and Audio House of Bad Memories. The debut novel from Michael David Wilson comes out on Friday the 13th this October via cemetery Gates Media.

[01:07:45] Denny just wants to be the world's best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather, Frank. Then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie half sister, who demands he uncovers the cause of her father's death. Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions?

[01:08:05] Clay McLeod Chapman says, house of bad memories hit so hard. You'll spit teeth out once you're done reading it. Pre-Order, house of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson and paperback at cemeterygatesmedia.com or an ebook via

[01:08:19] Michael David Wilson: Amazon. And in the next episode of this is Horror. I will be reconvening with Gemma for part two of this conversation.

[01:08:28] But until then, take care of yourselves, be good to one another, read horror, keep on writing, and have a great, great day.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/tih-548-gemma-amor-on-neurodiversity-the-power-of-words-and-writing-challenges/

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