We here at GLAHW have met so many amazing and talented people out in the big wide world (you know, OFF the internets) and thought it was high time we introduced them to you. Who knows? You may end up discovering a favorite new artist, photographer, writer, or all-around awesome human. This time around, we will be talking to Martha Shaifer Hartel.

GLAHW: How long have you been writing? When did you get started?

Started writing as a kid. Been at it since the early 70’s


GLAHW: Why did you choose the horror genre?

It is very broad genre: it encompasses the creepy, the macabre, the primal fear of ugly surprises. Surprises are what keep life interesting. (also into apocalyptic science fiction and medical mysteries.)


GLAHW: Were you inspired by a person or event to begin your writing career?

Just my own morbid imagination.  Felt I had to record it, for my own sanity. I read a lot as a kid, when I should’ve been out there playing something athletically. Sigh.


GLAHW: Are you a Plotter or Pantser?

Must learn about this…


GLAHW: Have you ever had an encounter with the supernatural?

Yes, ghosts in my closet as a kid, sitting on my dresser. I wasn’t the only witness. Plenty of other stuff through the years. Definitely believe in ghosts and aliens among us.


GLAHW: Are you superstitious? Why or why not?

Definitely! Probably on the OCD spectrum about this…


GLAHW:  What do you do for a living, outside of writing?

Just retired. But have a film/animation bachelor’s degree from Columbia College of Chicago. Worked for a while in the industry, but ended up in a series of crappy jobs, to pay the bills.


GLAHW: Do you keep a journal every day? 

No. I write when inspiration strikes.


GLAHW: What do you prefer to write – short stories, poetry, novels, scripts, etc.?

Short stories and scripts


GLAHW: What truly scares you?

The thought of eternal oblivion. For all of us. Awful knowledge.


GLAHW: What sort of hobbies are you into?

Travel, playing bad guitar and bass (I am truly terrible-why won’t I practice?), lots of writing.


GLAHW: Do you read outside of the horror genre? If so, what else have you read?

Very strongly prefer works with a comedic element.  Mark Twain, JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith, George Orwell (early stuff), Honore Balzac and authors recommended by the New York Times.


GLAHW: What’s your favorite genre to write?

Family comedy action scripts. Got a drawer full.


GLAHW: Do you use a pseudonym?

Gonna start. Martha McComber…but maybe too on the nose??? LOL Still working on it.


GLAHW: What do you think makes a good story?

Something different that catches your attention, reels you in, then hits you with a surprise. Since a lot of us have a short attention span, I feel like I have to be efficient. I try not to write “long.”


GLAHW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?



GLAHW: Are you spiritual?

Nah. Lapsed Lutheran. Can’t see a reason to return at this time.


GLAHW: What are your influences?

I love the surrealists, in all formats. I think of myself as a sponge, if that makes sense. I have my antennae out for a lot of information/ideas. Speaking of…have you ever seen the artwork of Mark Ryden? He encapsulates something I’m trying to get out there except he needs a bit more humor in my humble opinion.


 GLAHW: What are you reading right now?

Short story anthologies of various stripes. The internets (prolly addicted to several sites)


GLAHW: What else do you want your readers to know?

Consider here your likes and dislikes, your interests, your favorite ways to unwind — whatever comes to mind. I just want readers to be entertained, taken away into my world for a little visit.


**Websites / Social Media / Amazon Author page/ etc – Another item on the to-do list.