Looking for a fresh face in horror? Please welcome Mona Kabbani to the scene!
Nikki Noir: Tell us a bit about Morality in Horror.
Mona Kabbani: Morality in Horror is my own personal brand of horror. Not that horror with a moral compass hasn't been done before, but it's a theme I like to stick to. I gave it an all encompassing name to be immediately recognizable to anyone who follows and reads my work. I like the idea of creating a brand where all of my stories and content fit comfortably in this little home of horror. It feels more complete and whole this way!
Noir: I read in the introduction of your book that you suffer from Sleep Terrors. Not Paralysis. You discuss the difference between them in depth, but I’m curious if you’ve had this condition since childhood or if it’s a newer development in life.
Kabanni: I've had them since I was a child. I actually used to be terrified of everything and anything - paralyzingly so. My parents would have to deal with me sleeping in between them in bed almost every night because the slightest things would scare me and haunt me in my sleep. As I got older, I grew less afraid but the terrors remained.
Noir: Follow-Up, are you sensitive to the condition in literature and films, due to it being a real-life issue for you? Anything you can share on how Sleep Terrors impacted your introduction to the world of horror fiction and/or how you interact with the genre?
Kabbani: So, like I said in the previous question, when I was a kid these movies and stories would cause me absolute terror. I'm not sensitive now but of course back then, I was to an extreme degree. It was quite bad to be honest. I wound up adoring horror because it was something I no longer wanted to be afraid of so I practiced extinguishing these fears until one day I woke up and I wasn't afraid anymore although the terrors remain. Now my love of horror veers on obsession. It's something I used to never be able to consume without crying myself to sleep yet now, it's my favorite thing to watch. I conquered that fear and it feels good.
Noir: Of all the characters you’ve written, who’s your favorite and why?
Kabbani: Oh, gosh. That's like asking to pick a favorite child as cliche as that sounds. (I know every author would have the same exact response, haha.) I actually have a set of characters in the novel I'm currently working on to be released soon that I'm in love with. But I can't choose because they're all so vastly different and flawed and I love them each differently. What I will tell you is that my favorite characters are the ones riddled with flaws such as human nature dictates. Noir: What real-world situation terrifies you the most?
Kabbani: I'm terrified of losing my mind. It's my greatest fear, losing cognizance. The ability to think and hold thought and memory. That terrifies me beyond anything else. Noir: If there’s one thing you want readers to know about you or the mission of your work, what would it be?
Kabbani: It would be that I want you to enjoy my work in whatever capacity you see fit however, when you're finished, take a moment to reflect on the moral of the story and how it relates to your life. I love the gorific details I include for the visual fun of the novel but I want the terror to last past the pages and for the reader to become introspective no matter how terrifying it might be. I'm a firm believer that if we better understand ourselves and our faults, we can find better peace.
Noir: What’s the premise of your debut novella The Bell Chime?
Kabbani: A girl suffering from paralyzing night terrors finds a missing poster hanging from the door of her apartment building. On that poster is a photograph of a frighteningly familiar face. It’s her. Over a series of strange events to follow, she must discover what is real and what is the nightmare
Noir: What’s your next project and where can we stalk you?
Kabbani: I'm currently putting finishing edits on a novel titled Vanilla that I am hoping to have released Valentine's Day! I'm VERY excited for it.
I mainly exist on Instagram @moralityinhorror and on Twitter @moralitynhorror . I also have a website www.moralityinhorror.com where you can find links to my work and sign up for my newsletter (I don't typically send newsletters out - it's more so so I can keep all of my spooky goons in one place!).