Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Nisi Shawl

The entire story, not just the song, is inspired by “Cruel Sister.” There are many, many songs on the same theme, by many different titles. What attracted me was the plain, unalloyed, chilling hatefulness of the crime and the equally chilling retribution—though I carried that part a bit further in my story. The song “Cruel Sister” ends with the ghostly accusation, as does most of its ilk, but I wanted to show the aftereffects of the murderer’s horrific action. The song in “Cruel Sistah,” by the way, is loosely based on W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Valerie Valdes

It felt right to tell a story about a service-industry worker in the second person because such people are frequently ignored or dehumanized in their daily lives. When I worked in a movie theater, customers would walk up to the concession stand and start barking orders at me like I was a kiosk instead of a human being. So I wanted the reader to, as you say, inhabit the character more fully than first or third person would allow. There’s an immediacy and intensity that comes from second person when it’s done well.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight