AudraKate Gonzalez: Author Interview

AudraKate Gonzalez, the author of This is Noir book series, is a horror writer. Her books, including Tomato Juice which was featured in last week’s blog post, are recommended for fans of R. L. Stine and Neil Gailman. AudraKate lives in Ohio. In addition to writing edge-of-your-seat stories, she is both a dental assistant and a graduate student working on her MFA. She also interns at Twenty Hills Publishing, and she is helping start a new ebook distribution platform for independent authors and publishers called Nerdy Reads. 

In her spare time, AudraKate loves serving as a worship leader at her church. She also likes watching horror movies and playing video games. An interesting fact about AudraKate is that she used to do musical theater where she was in shows including Godspell, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, and Into the Woods. Let’s welcome AudraKate Gonzalez now!

Black and white image of author AudraKate Gonzlaez with a hat pulled in front of her eyes.

Author AudraKate Gonzalez’s Writing

Q) Good morning AudraKate. Thank you so much for being here! To start, please describe yourself in 3 words.

A) Quirky, outgoing, busy.

Q) Describe your writing in 5 words.

A) Goosebumps but with more horror. 

Q) Can you tell us about your works currently available to readers?

Book cover for Tomato Juice by AudraKate Gonzalez.

A) My first book, Tomato Juice, in my YA Horror series, This Is Noir, is available online wherever you buy your books. It’s about a boy named Dean, and his demon possessed grandma. In the story, Dean has to overcome many obstacles to save his grandma from the demon inside her.

I also have a short story, “Imagination,” published with Aphotic Realm in their Tales From the Realm anthology. I’m also published in Wither and Bloom which is a love anthology published by Twenty Hills.

White text over a photo of tall grass. The text is a quote from AudraKate Gonzalez's novel Tomato Juice.

Q) What was the inspiration behind your debut novel Tomato Juice?

A) When my grandma passed away in 2020, I noticed my family was having a very difficult time being able to move past her death. It felt like we were all dwelling on it, and it made me wonder what we would do if we could just have her back. That’s when the idea for Tomato Juice was born. I kind of wrote it for my grandpa, to show him my grandma wouldn’t want us to dwell on her death, but dwell on all the amazing memories we have and focus on the loved ones that are still in our lives. 

Horror and Christianity

Q) How does your faith impact your writing?

A) As a Christian and a lover of all things horror, I’ve always struggled with people in the church that think of horror as something completely taboo. Horror doesn’t have to be taboo. In fact, the Bible has some pretty big horror elements within it. I use my faith to create horror stories that show the light within the darkness. I want to write horror stories for the kids and teens that were just like me, kids that love to get scared, but aren’t allowed to read things like Stephen King. 

Q) Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

A) I actually used my favorite Bible verse at the beginning of Tomato Juice; Ephesians 6:12 – “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Q) Who will enjoy your writing?

A) Adults, teens, and kids who love books like Goosebumps, Fear Street, and Point Horror. 

More About AudraKate Gonzalez

Q) If you had a theme song for your life, what would it be and why?

My Soul Sings by Maverick City. This would be my theme song because God has been so good to me throughout the years and I wouldn’t be anywhere without Him and what He’s done for me. 

Q) What was your most recent 5-star read and why?

A) I think my most recent 5-star read was Benny Rose, the Cannibal King by Hailey Piper. This book had 80s horror movie vibes. It was fun, and gory with spooky weaved throughout.

Q) Do you incorporate similar themes or favorite tropes across your writing? 

A) I love the coming of age trope because I think it allows for amazing arcs and growth for young characters. I also like how the coming of age trope can become an inspiration for young readers, so I use it frequently in my writing. 

Q) Speaking of tropes, what is your favorite bookish trope? What about least favorite?

A) My personal favorite book trope is enemies to lovers. My least favorite is miscommunication. 

Q) If you could invite 3 authors, living or not, to a dinner party, who would they be and why?

A) R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, and Richelle Mead because I wouldn’t have gotten into writing books if it weren’t for them.

Future Projects & AudraKate’s Advice for Other Authors

Q) Can you tell us about your current writing projects? 

A) I’m currently working on the finishing touches of Alligator Skin (the second book in the This Is Noir series). Alligator Skin releases June 8, 2023. It takes place in Louisiana in the 80s where kids are going missing, and something evil is lurking in the bayou. 

Pre-order graphic for AudraKate's new book, Alligator Skin.

Q) What advice do you have for other authors?

A) Read. Read in your genre, outside of your genre, nonfiction, fiction, read it all. Oh, and join a writing group or two. 

Connect with AudraKate Gonzalez

Find AudraKate Gonzalez on Instagram and TikTok (@lets.get.lit.erature), on Twitter (@AudrakateG), and be sure to check-out her website.

And, after you read Tomato Juice, you can pre-order Alligator Skin here!

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Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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