Tell us a bit about “But Only Because I Love You.” How did you come to write it?
A few years ago, this one editor mused aloud as to whether Lovecraftiana was a guy thing—otherwise, why did so few women write Mythos fiction? This question, and a lot of the equally boneheaded responses—including one genius who decided that since women have the power of creating life, we must not be able to embrace the appropriate amount of nihilism necessary for Lovecraftian fiction—left a lot of lady authors rolling our eyes as we scratched our heads. No mean feat! It was especially offensive because of course then as now there are a large number of women writing and publishing original, intelligent, and subversive Mythos fiction. Open any quality anthology and you’ll see ’em. So, as a show of solidarity, and in order to promote the (apparently) invisible women writing Lovecraftian fiction, several woman-only Mythos anthologies were proposed and then published. Dreams from the Witch House, where “But Only Because I Love You” appears, was one of them; another, She Walks In Shadows, won a World Fantasy Award. I was honored to be asked to contribute something to both of them!
What are you working on these days? Any exciting projects or upcoming publications you’d like readers to know about?
Yes! I have a new novel out this year—Creatures of Will and Temper, out through John Joseph Adams Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt this November. It’s a feminist retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray, with fencing and demons. I’d say more, but that really sums it up pretty much entirely. I’m working on the sequel now!
I particularly noticed that you have an anthology of fiction and cocktail recipes coming out later this year. Since I’m always on the lookout for a tasty beverage (and to keep it topical), is there a cocktail you’d recommend for sipping while reading a horror novel?
Yes, I also have an editing project out this fall, Mixed Up. Part cocktail recipe book, part anthology featuring flash fiction from some of the hottest voices writing today in just about every genre, it’ll be on the shelf in time for Christmas gift-giving. I handled the cocktail recipe part, and my co-editor Nick Mamatas acquired the fiction. Thanks to his efforts we have stories by Jeff VanderMeer, Elizabeth Hand, Carmen Machado, Maurice Broaddus, and so many other great writers.
I suppose I might recommend people try a Corpse Reviver #2 with a horror novel. It’s pretty thematic, and the Corpse Reviver is actually my favorite cocktail, not just because of the name. It’s gin-based, and it’s is lemony, sweet, and refreshing. Here’s my recipe:
1 1/2 oz London Dry Gin
1 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz Cointreau
1 tsp real absinthe
Shake everything in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Serve in a cocktail glass with a brandied cherry at the bottom. I like to put a bit of the syrup over the cherry and then gently pour in the cocktail so you get a nicely layered effect. Drink quickly; it’s best when very cold!
What fearsome curse would you like your tomb to bear to discourage grave robbers?
Man, if only I knew the right answer to this, I’d use it to cut down on the piracy of my eBooks starting today!
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