Horror & Dark Fantasy

Samhain_30_off_Chilling_Tales

Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight: Livia Llewellyn

would like to destroy this notion that some editors have that there seems to be a lack of women writing horror (not “dark fiction.” I mean horror. Real. Damn. Horror.), or that they’re unable to find new and different women writers to contribute to their various anthologies, which is why they can only invite the same two or three women to contribute to their anthologies…. Well, I guarantee that more than two or three women are writing horror—women all over the world are writing the fuck out of horror and knocking it out of the ballpark.

Author Spotlight: A.R. Morlan

I used mythology in this work as a metaphor for the type of power some people have in regard to their wealth and the attributes of theirs which helped them achieve that degree of wealth and power in the first place. That level of power would, I thought, culminate in a desire to not only control, but totally dominate another living creature . . . and in this situation, I thought the ultimate show of power would be to bring down and thoroughly subdue a being (or beings) more inherently powerful than the man of power.

Author Spotlight: Gemma Files

Mythology is something that’s fascinated me since childhood, especially the ways in which societal power-shifts can cause myths to mutate. The worship of Persephone, for example, was a mystery religion long before Dionysus came on the scene, one reserved specifically for women, and if you trace the Persephonean myth back far enough, you’ll find that she transmutes into a sort of “death queen” goddess who actually pre-dates both her supposed husband, Hades, and the sacrificial son-lover figure of Dionysus or Attis.

Author Spotlight: Lisa Tuttle

The original inspiration was the photograph of one of the “bog bodies”—ancient, mummified corpses found in a Danish peat-bog. I don’t know much about them, although there have been books written about them, but my memory of it is that there were different theories about how they came to be there—some thought they were ritual sacrifices, others that they’d been executed for some crime and then dumped in the bog, where the effect of minerals in the soil kept them in an amazing state of preservation for centuries.

Author Spotlight: Daniel José Older

The origin of the story is the line in the first paragraph—the bit about how high rates of drug abuse are for pet store workers. A friend of mine that worked at a pet store told me about that in high school and it always stayed with me for some reason—the idea of all these cynical, high teenagers taking care of small animals and being friendly to customers, or not, just demanded a story

Author Spotlight: Charles L. Grant

What strikes me in re-reading “Old Friends” for the first time in many years is how perfectly it encapsulates his approach and style. The first story I read of his in that Arbor House collection was the oft-reprinted classic “If Damon Comes,” which has stylistic and thematic elements that are similar to “Old Friends.” I remember pressing it on friends (we’re talking 8th graders here) who just didn’t get it, and couldn’t dial in to the emotional unease and elliptical style of the story.

Author Spotlight: Sunny Moraine

The core of it is a decision I came to around this past New Year’s, which was to finally get brave enough to dig down into the core of what makes me frightened and angry and sad and drag it out and make words out of it. One of my favorite books on writing is Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD, and one of the points she stresses is the importance of doing that, that those painful, shameful things are where a lot of your most honest and powerful work can come from.

Author Spotlight: Simon Strantzas

I often write stories about characters who are ignorant or oblivious to the truths that surround them. The unreliable narrator is a favourite tool of mine and particularly effective in the horror genre for creating a sense of dread and uncertainly about how the narrative will play out. I suspect there are very few of us who, when confronted with the sort of peculiar situations most horror story protagonists find themselves in, would be aware of what’s going on and why.

Author Spotlight: Ben Peek

Traditionally, a sin-eater had two functions. First, he/she existed to free a family of shame, and secondly, he/she existed to ensure that the soul of the recently dead did not wander the world in purgatory, or some such thing. As for modern day desires to wash away the sins of the dead, I suspect it is a complex issue, arising from a mix of the original reasons sin-eaters existed, to politeness, and empowerment, and legacy.

Author Spotlight: Tia V. Travis

But there’s a poetry in music much like the poetry in writing. You can develop an ear for it if you slow down and listen. “The spaces between the notes,” as a band mate of mine used to refer to them, is something I’m much more conscious of now than I used to be. That is, it’s not simply the words themselves that have significance, but the meaning and emotion that lie between those words.