[Interview] Women/Nonbinary Individuals in Horror [LadySpookaria]

We sat down virtually with LadySpookaria, Youtube narrator, storyteller, writer, and streamer. Today, we discuss her work and what she has planned for the future!

MT: We know you frequent Youtube for your live streams and horror story uploads. Was there a reason you chose the platform over others?

LadySpookaria: Youtube was the first platform I thought of at the time. I used to listen to Corpse Husband‘s and Lazy Masquerade‘s narrations of stories so I thought that it was the best one. I have pondered dabbling in it on Twitch but I wanted to develop one platform first. 

MT: My husband and I watch some Youtube Narrations as well. We used to listen to Corpse Husband ’till we found others we liked. Have you found it rewarding or difficult to create Youtube Narrations and Stories on the platform when there’s a large number of creators doing the same?

LS: I’ve found it pretty rewarding to get my stories out there and to receive the feedback I got. It is easy to get into a mindset of feeling like there isn’t an audience for you, and it can give you a negative mindset when it comes to others. It has frustrating moments though. I like listening to new voices and hearing the progress that people make in their careers. It’s fun being able to collab with other creators. If you go into it with a limited mindset and base your worth according to stats, you’re not going to have a fun time. I’ve listened to the same story narrated by different people and they each brought something different to it.

Be open to experimentation and take the time to listen to criticism.

MT: It can def be rewarding getting direct feedback. Do you ever take others’ stories from Reddit or elsewhere like I’ve heard about happening to other creators? And do you ensure you get permission beforehand? I know there’s a proliferation of Youtubers taking people’s stories from message boards without asking. I wonder what your stance on this is?

LS: Ooh! I’m happy you brought this up. Stealing stories unfortunately is a serious issue in the community. There is the Sleepless Watchdogs that help creators deal with content thieves. They also offer help to narrators who have their videos stolen too. If someone would like a story, message the person in question and see if you have permission. Show them a link to your channel and some may or may not ask for financial compensation to have their story used. Either way, be polite about it. The Sleepless Watchdogs also have a Blacklist that lists creators who have used stories without permission, and you can get the listing removed if you follow the proceedings. They also have handy links about copyright and other things. Some youtubers, including myself have subreddits that people are welcome to post their stories on too. I’ve also given permission for two exclusive stories of mine to be used by close friends; Weekly Creeps and Mad Chatter. I guess, make sure you have permission first and respect others.

MT: That sounds like a good system in place to have! Have you watched anything spooky or horror-related lately besides Youtube horror stories? What do you like to watch in your free time? Why those movies/shows?

LS: I like delving into horror movies every now and then. I tend to be more of a fan of historical fiction and medieval fantasy. I have mixed feelings about watching true crime, it is a bit too real for me. For the movies I watch, it tends to be about escapism and being able to be immersed in the world. I have a lot of trouble with my attention span with movies these days because I tend to watch them online. There is too much to do on the computer unfortunately.

MT: I believe it. There’s a lot of good fantasy/historical fiction movies out there to peruse through. Do you have any advice for future Youtubers wanting to dabble in narration on the platform? Or just start their own channel?

LS: Be open to experimentation and take the time to listen to criticism. It is a skill like any other and it takes time to develop. Don’t compare yourself to others too much, and stay focused on yourself and your own progress.

My original series was called Spookaria’s Nightmares and it was both based on nightmares I would have or experiences I would have. It was up to the viewer to determine which was which. Eventually, I reached a point where some of the things were too personal so it became harder to put the story together. I originally planned on keeping my distance from people but since I made friends with people, it made it harder. 

The Harper Codex is based on my character Jacqueline Harper who first encounters an entity and is thrown into the world of the unknown. She then goes around interviewing people who have been impacted by the supernatural or the supernatural beings themselves. It has given me a chance to work with some incredibly talented narrators and writers. It has also branched off an asmr series where the listener can be whoever Jacqueline is interviewing and an upcoming lore series. I absolutely love lore. 

Survival in the Wastes is a project that I’m in the process of bringing back. It was a choose your own adventure where my chat was able to decide the fate of characters and more than once they forced me to come up with things on the spot. It follows the story of Jack and Sarah, both of whom were survivors in a bunker who find their way out into a broken world. It also will be spawning a lore series. 

MT: How did you come up with your stories, the Harper Codex and Survival in the Wastes? Can you walk us through the process?

LS: I’ve got plenty of stand alone videos, and the Halloween grind has hit so I have plenty of short ones on my channel atm. I usually think of a nightmare or something that frightens me and build off from there. I’m blessed to be able to share my creativity in this way. I’ve also recently taken a liking to sci-fi horror too. 

MT: You plan to publish a book soon, is there anything you can share about it with us? Give us a sneak peek?

LS: I am! I’m going to be releasing a book filled with the short stories from my channel and some unreleased stories as of yet. I have some other books I hope to release soon but they’re in the very early stage. I’m also going to be releasing some medieval fantasy stuff too. 

MT: We can’t wat to read it! We look forward to listening to more of your narrations and we hope more horror lovers do as well!

Lady Spookaria is a horror narrator, writer and youtuber who narrates a majority of her own stories. Including the Harper Codex and Survival in the Wastes along with many others. She is going to be publishing her first book next year sometime. 

You can find Lady Spookaria at any of her links below!

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