The Sassy Writer is a powerful platform for writers of all genres, and we have had the privilege to connect with many writers. However, today, we will be sitting down with our first writer in the horror genre, Bebita Ndongo, and we have one very pressing question that has to be on everyone's mind.
Do Horror Writers Scare themselves while writing?
TSW: First things first, thank you so much, Bebita, for taking out a second to chat with me! I have been looking forward to this moment for quite some time, so please pardon me if I get overly excited. I will try to hit all my pressing questions, but because I have so many, just know that I am already making plans for our future chat, haha!
BN: Hello, Noyek! I'm happy to be interviewed by you! This is so exciting!
TSW: Pleasures all mine. We are going to go ahead and jump into this thing. The one question that has been on my mind. I understand that you are not only an author but also an actor, and your arts are under your stage name, which is strong and beautiful. I'm sure you have heard the expression, "There is so much in a name," saying several times. Right? Tell me more about the meaning it's rooted in. Is there any significance to the meaning of your stage name? How did you choose it?
BN: My stage name has an interesting background. I got my start in entertainment as a member of the family band, HISPAFRIC (pronounced Hispa-Afric), and I was introduced to the world with my nickname 'Bebita,' which my mother gave me at birth that I grew to prefer over my birth name. My surnames' Ndongo-Macias' is a combination of my parents and grandparents. It stands as a symbol of all the great things they have passed on to me, and because of their teachings, I'm able to do what I do today. It's my way of carrying them around with me in everything that I do.
TSW: Yesssss! Give me light and life, 'a symbol of all the great things they have passed on to me, and because of their teachings, I'm able to do what I do today.' I love this, and how amazing is it to carry such a torch. As a part of the band and an actor, your creative career started on the stage. Tell me about your acting career. Where can we see you in action?
BN: I'm still making my mark in this industry, and it's a lot of twists and turns that you don't consider when you're starting. But despite all the surprises, I can say that I've been in many types of commercials, web series, and films—some of which can be found on platforms like YouTube. These days, most of the productions I have lined up have been pushed back by due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but I'm lined up for bigger projects that will soon reach the big screens. Stay tuned!
TSW: We are staying tuned for sure! Aside from acting, what other creative areas of the entertainment industry are you apart of?
BN: I do a variety of things: modeling, singing, dancing, producing, and screenwriting. I'm very diverse and versatile in terms of my talents, and I tend to dabble a bit in many things to expand and learn more. I'm an artistic person by nature.
TSW: Wow! Your gifts and creativity were preordained; that's evident, but in terms of your writing, did you realize that novel writing was among your gifts?
BN: Around seven or eight years old when I wrote my first short story as a literary assignment in a language I didn't fully understand at the time in class and received lots of praise and acknowledgment from staff and other parents. I knew from then that I loved sharing my stories with others, and I liked the freedom of expression it gave me. Over time I moved from poems to short stories and eventually branched out into full-length novels when I grew confident enough in my abilities. That experience was an eye-opener.
TSW: Yes! Not to mention that at such a young age, you found and nurtured your confidence in your writing skills. Not only is it impressive, but it also shows that when the youth shows creative interest, how far they can go when it is nurtured. How old were you when your short stories developed into a full novel?
BN: I was twelve years old when I finished my first book. I was going for a different genre than the norm for me, and I called it Blank Wreck Academy. The POV would switch off from the teacher's perspective with a troubling past trying to connect with his students, and the views of misfit misunderstood students slowly caring for their teacher as time goes on. It was short, only 118 pages because I ran out of space in my notebook, but I remember feeling so happy and accomplished that I managed to finish it. Nowadays, it's tucked away in the basement with my junior high memories with the cover torn off and dusty pages. [laughs]
TSW: What?! We the people demand you search this book out, we want to read it right now! Haha, no but seriously, we will not be upset if you do. In fact, I'm not sure if you are familiar with Jk Rowling's recent online release, The Ickabog, but the birth of the story was similar. With that being said, digging it up and releasing it is actually not too bad an idea. Just think about it from time to time. Bebita, fast forward to today, you write horror, and I have one question for you at any point in your writing, did you frighten yourself?
BN: Yes! I remember writing the draft for 'The Murder House' (one of the stories in Lights Out) and shivered a bit on how dark and gory the details are! It made me think that maybe I have serial killer genes and don't know it! [laughs]. But I feel like part of the writing process for horror books is tapping into the darkest parts of your mind and soul and creating content that will leave your readers on the edge of their seats, biting away at their nails and suddenly feeling paranoid that there may be an intruder in their home. I believe that you have to freak yourself out a bit to successfully scare your audience.
TSW: So, you know how I was saying that I was already planning our next conversation? Yep, I am not kidding. We need to talk a little more about this. Because I just - I...just… Listen! I am scared of the name of the story, "The Murder House" and I've only gotten as far as the title! Haha! If you are reading this, The Sassy Writer is doing a special horror edition, and we are officially requesting Bebita's presence because we have questions! Switching gears a bit, I understand in addition to your many talents, you have other interests, cosplay is one of them. How would you describe yourself as a cosplayer?
BN: I would say that I'm a very detailed cosplayer. My aim in cosplaying is to bring the fictional character into reality as if it stepped out of their universe and into ours. I take a lot of time to prep for my cosplays (working out, buying the materials beforehand, and trying my best to include as many details as possible). It's a lot of time, effort, and precision, but I enjoy dressing up and showing off my interpretation of the characters I've loved.
TSW: Hmmm, ok, picture this 2020 Comic-Con, combining one love with another, How would you portray your character, Cassidy Hannaford from Lights Out?
BN: What a strange question! [laughs] I've never thought of cosplaying my own character!
TSW: Hey, your fantasy world, your way! Not to mention, we are all here for an original comic con character!
BN: she's tall, blonde, blue-eyed, fit, and always stylish. The best way I can describe her is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She's such an icon.
TSW: Indeed, she is! Chatting has been tons of fun, and I could probably occupy more of your time, but we will wrap it up for now. However, before you head out, a quickfire round, shall we?
TSW: Favorite superhero?
BN: Wonder Woman and Batman (DC Universe). Rogue and Gambit (Marvel). I have trouble picking one favorite in everything. [laughs]
TSW: Favorite music to listen to?
BN: a bit of everything, but my favorite genres are rock, opera, and classical music. Favorite Singers include Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Ashlee Simpson, Avril Lavigne, Rihanna, Jenyer (Jeon Ji-Yoon, Luciano Pavarotti, Cassadee Pope, Utada Hikaru, Origa, Hyolyn (Sistar), Kylee Saunders, Pink, and Gotch (Masafumi Gotoh). Favorite bands include Asian Kung Fu Generation, N. Flying, SHINee, Oceans of Slumber, Wicked Wisdom, Cryoshell, Evanescence, We Are The Emergency, We Are The Fallen, Hey Monday, Maybe Next Midnight, Perfume, and Tonight Alive.
TSW: You know music, and I love it! How can the people connect?
BN: I'm on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. I also have a website and will be opening a twitter account soon for those that would like to read my crazy thoughts of the day. You can find me online under my stage name Bebita Ndongo or my pen name I.W.Fredd. Can't wait to see you all there!