Horror & Dark Fantasy

CHOSEN ONES

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Feature Interviews

Nonfiction

Interview: Joe McKinney

It seems slightly unfair (if hardly inaccurate) to label Joe McKinney one of the reigning kings of zombie fiction, because his work has extended beyond the walking dead into ghost stories (his novels Inheritance and Crooked House), virus thrillers (Quarantined), and hardboiled noir (Dodging Bullets). However, McKinney has found the greatest success with his Dead World series, which consists of Dead City (2006), Apocalypse of the Dead (2010), Flesh Eaters (2011), and Mutated (2012), all published by Kensington Books. In addition to being a Bram Stoker Award-winning (for Flesh Eaters) horror writer, McKinney is also a lifelong Texan, a husband and father of two, the holder of a Master’s Degree in English Literature, and a San Antonio police officer who has also worked as a homicide detective and disaster mitigation specialist. McKinney’s next book, The Savage Dead, comes out this month from Kensington.

Nonfiction

Interview: Joe Hill (Part 2)

Joe Hill is the author of the horror novels Heart-Shaped Box and Horns, the short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, and the graphic novel series Locke & Key from IDW. His latest novel NOS4A2 is out now. [Read Part 1!]

Nonfiction

Interview: Joe Hill (Part 1)

Joe Hill is the author of the horror novels Heart-Shaped Box and Horns, the short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, and the graphic novel series Locke & Key from IDW. His latest novel NOS4A2 is out now. [Read Part 2 August 28!]

Nonfiction

Interview: Robert McCammon

My inspirations were books about supposedly true hauntings and the fact that there was a “haunted house” in my neighborhood . . . right next door, as a matter of fact. But I actually was a big fan of science fiction, and I was doing those kind of stories too, as well as “war stories” starring kids in my classes. Those made me fairly popular because everybody either wanted to survive or die as heroes, and I had their fates in my hands.

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Interview: Steve Niles

Q: You once said, “There’s a true innocence about monsters.” Is there something innocent about the monsters (vampires) in 30 Days of Night? A: In a way, I suppose. They are very pure and honorable among their own kind. They have about as much respect for us as we do cows, so killing humans doesn’t make them any less innocent than us for eating cows and chickens. I think animals and children under two years old are the only innocents left in this world. Monsters are often treated like animals, so . . .

Nonfiction

Interview: Sarah Langan

Buildings, and lives, are shaped by their authors. I love the idea of an architect creating a building without Euclidian geometry, where balls always roll into odd places, and floors creak, and when you look at the structure from outside, you have no idea how it stands. A Gaudi without the beauty or respect for nature. For me, that’s a metaphor for a life shaped by uncertainty, like our hero, Audrey Lucas’ life. She’s drawn to The Breviary because it’s familiar. Once inside, she’s shaped by it. Like a plant inside a small, glass cage where light comes from only one direction, she grows crooked.

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Interview: Jonathan Maberry

I read a lot of science, and to me it’s scarier if the horror is backed up by believable science because then it’s part of our world as opposed to something that’s so outré that it’s not a part of our world, it’s not connected to us. It’s not that I don’t like those other kinds of fictions—I read them. But for me as a writer, I want to tell something that would scare me. I’m not scared of supernatural monsters. I am frightened of a bacterial or bio-weapon that is misused, so I write what scares me.

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Interview: Caitlín R. Kiernan

I’m good at this, and I can—just barely—make a living doing this. Now, I try to do it very well, as well as I can do it. There’s no point doing anything unless you bring your best to the effort, and I care very deeply about literature. So, I’m not cranking out crap for a paycheck. I’m bashing my head against a keyboard for a paycheck. I’m scraping out my brain and soul for a paycheck, and I don’t care who finds that analogy overwrought or melodramatic.

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Interview: Ellen Datlow

To me [horror is] the genre of unease. It makes me feel really uneasy and it gives me kind of a creepy feeling. It can border on wanting to look away, it can border on disgust—but that’s a type of horror. Horror can be any genre. There’s science fiction horror, there’s dark fantasy that’s really really dark, there can be mysteries that converge on horror. It depends on how far you want to go down the path of darkness.

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Interview: Mike Mignola

When the first Hellboy series came out, in the same batch of fan mail I got a letter from somebody from the Church of Satan and I got a letter from a minister, and they both liked it. And I thought, “What am I doing that I’m making both these guys happy?”