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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Norman Partridge

Can you tell me a little bit about how “10/31: Bloody Mary” came to be? I’ve always loved post-apocalyptic stories, and I had an idea for a world where (basically) the things that go bump in the night crossed over one Halloween and took over. For me the best way to give that premise a […]

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Peter Straub

I had picked up a copy of Joseph Brodsky’s Less Than One: Selected Essays, and was reading his great piece on St. Petersburg, “A Guide to a Renamed City,” and realized with a kind of shock that I could write something similar (but more like a guidebook entry) about the city of my birth and childhood, Milwaukee. My feelings about Milwaukee are mixed and cloudy, and they veer back and forth between hostility and acceptance. I thought I could pack all kinds of feelings about the city into this story if I did not stick to the literal truth, to physical accuracy, but instead permitted myself to exaggerate and invent, and by those means perhaps to express another, deeper kind of truth.

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Author Spotlight: C.S. McMullen

The genesis of “The Nest” came from a brief phase I went through, where I decided that I wanted to create a small ant farm using an old television set. I did months and months of research, and became more than slightly obsessed. But the more research I did, the more I realized that any ant farm I built would be pitifully small, and that the ants would probably die after a few weeks. I didn’t really want to take them from their nice home in the ground, put them into a TV set, and then watch them slowly die. As fun as that whole process sounded, it’s not really my idea of a good time.

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Author Spotlight: Linda Nagata

I get on planes all the time, quite calmly, but the morbid thoughts are there. This is ironic, because my dad was a pilot, and as a teen I flew with him up and down the island chain in little two and four-seater prop planes. That never bothered me. I guess I trusted my dad. The problem with being on a passenger jet is that there is literally nothing you can do except hold on if something goes wrong. Of course it’s really not a good idea to think too much about this when you’re 30,000-feet up over the biggest ocean in the world, and hours away from any landmass.

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Author Spotlight: Clive Barker

Considering the opening salvo that is The Books of Blood (1984-1985), it’s easy to see why one could easily assume that Clive Barker was here to redefine horror fiction.

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Author Spotlight: Jennifer Giesbrecht

I got caught in a Wikipedia spiral one night that began at “sixteenth-century Spanish Royalty” and ended at “Tzitzimitl.” Tzitzimitl are female Gods from Aztec mythology who are associated with change, said to eat the sun, and attack human beings during the eclipse. Despite their frightening qualities, however, Tzitzimitl are only considered demonic in postcolonial western interpretations.

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Author Spotlight: Robert McCammon

I wanted to do something that I thought was very Twilight Zone-ish, which would bring a number of people together in a confined space, facing a danger from outside. Then I think the idea of the veteran who was afraid to sleep and who knew his dreams would come to life just “happened.” You know, I always say writing is kind of a mystic experience because sometimes you don’t know where you’re going when you start out, but the story always leads you somewhere.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Matthew Cheney

Age is certainly something that produces fear and disgust. It’s fear of mortality, but perhaps even more than that a fear of breaking down. I have a lot of friends who are considerably older than me, and I see it in them and even in myself—our bodies betray us, no matter how well we treat them. Our lives become something other than what we planned, for better or worse. We disappoint ourselves and others.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Ramsey Campbell

Hints and suggestions—I always found those a powerful way of conveying horror, especially once I encountered the tales of M. R. James in quantity—Machen and Lovecraft too. I think Stone is reliable enough, except perhaps in not understanding what’s happening to him, but few of us might in those circumstances.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Anaea Lay

This [story] is still my favorite, and is probably going to be hard to displace. It does everything I really want my fiction to do—the prose is pretty, the characters are unquestionably “bad guys,” and I get away with presenting something brutal and depressing as if it’s a happy ending. I hope that in the future when they’re writing papers about obscure 21st century spec fic writers, this is the kind of story I’m known for.