October is made for twisted tales, and do we have a collection for you! We’ve talked to six women-identifying authors who excel in the creepy and macabre, the bloody and bone-chilling, to find out what gives them goosebumps. Plus, they’ve each shared a link to their darkest short stories. Here, for your reading pleasure—or paranoia—is part one of “Scary Interviews!” Come back on Halloween (if you dare!) for part two, “Bride of Scary Interviews!”
Laurie Smith, B.Ed., M.A. has taught Creative Writing for Parks and Recreation, University of Windsor Summer Discovery, and in independent workshops. Smith, twice winner of the Mayor’s Award of Excellence in the Arts, was also the first recipient of the Adele Wiseman Poetry Prize. Her proudest moment was perhaps a third-place finish internationally in “The Great Canadian Panty Poem Contest!” Poetry chapbooks and collections include gall/stones (Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Ink, 1995); One Ninth of a Cat’s Life (Cranberry Tree Press, 1999); menagerie (winner of the Literary Arts Windsor poetry chapbook contest, 2004) The Truth About Roller Skating, (CTP, 2011); smack in the middle of spotlit obvious (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2016); Said the Cannibal (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2017). Her next collection—tentatively called Suck & Spit with a theme of poison—will be released in the spring of 2020. Follow Laurie on Facebook and on Twitter @lalasmithll
The scariest book or short story I’ve read: The Handmaid’s Tale.
My favorite horror movie or show: The Pit and the Pendulum with Vincent Price.
My go-to terror trope for sleepless nights: I would never choose to read or watch horror if I can’t sleep. My nightmares are bad enough, usually end of the world or dystopic stuff.
My number one baddie is: The Wicked Witch of the West! Green skin, gnarly fingers, flying monkeys, grabby trees…what’s NOT to strike terror into a 5-year-old?! (And 60+ year-old!) Oh, and her evil dog-knapping twin, Almira Gulch!
Laurie’s Scary Story: Said the Cannibal is perhaps a new genre of literary horror poetry. Published by Urban Farmhouse Press in 2017, this collection examines different aspects of cannibalism, from the slapstick comedy of Gilligan’s Island, to the darkest suite in the book, “Dahmer.” The five identified ’causes’ or types of cannibalism are considered: starvation, religious belief, madness, natural instinct, and war/intimidation of enemies.
Read an excerpt from Said the Cannibal at Laurie’s Facebook page HERE.
I live in a 100-year-old farm house with my husband, two teenagers, four cats, dog, Harry Potter wand collection, and Stephen King books. My mind happily dwells in the shadowy parts of the imagination, and, when I started writing, that is where I found inspiration. I write the weird, fantastical, and dark for YA and MG because kids need creepy too. I blog at The Midnight Society twice a month, where we celebrate all types and forms of horror. And you can find me on my couch reading and watching all the weird I can get my evil-loving eye-balls on. Find me on Facebook, Twitter @KathleenPalm and my blog: Finding Faeries
The scariest book or short story I’ve read: The Shining by Stephen King. Those hedge animals scarred me for life, not to mention the lady in the bathtub. And now I will read it again BECAUSE I LOVE IT.
My favorite horror movie or show: Poltergeist deserves the honor of being my first scary movie and will forever live in my heart as awesome. After seeing it at a drive-in theater, kid-me never looked at dolls or the big tree outside my window without a tiny stab of terror. Since that fateful drive-in night, I have added many weird and creepy films to the list.
My go-to terror trope for sleepless nights: I love ghosts and demons. Give me the things you can’t see, the creepy force lurking in the shadows, the presence waiting to whisper in an unsuspecting ear, and the spirit wanting to steal a soul.
My number one baddie is: Freddy Krueger. He can kill you IN YOUR DREAMS. YOUR DREAMS! *drops mic*
Kathy’s Scary Story: Summer camp can be fun, especially if all your friends are there…even if they’re dead. My horror short, “The Art of Crafting Friends” tells the story of Gen’s first day of camp and the magical terror of arts and crafts. The story appeared in Jolene Haley’s 2017 Summer of Screams showcase. Her #SpookyShowcase this year is urban legends!
You can find “The Art of Crafting Friends” HERE.
Hi! My name is teri.zin. I write Speculative Fiction (mostly horror) under the pen name Zin E. Rocklyn. My publications include Sycorax’s Daughters, Kaiju Rising II: Age of Monsters, and Brigands: A Blackguards Anthology among others. When not scaring myself into nightmares, I am a mental health advocate and part-time bookseller. My personal website, terizin.com, is under construction, so stay tuned for all of my weirdness in HTML form. In the interim, follow me on Twitter @intelligentwat and support my more informal work on Curious Fictions.
The scariest book or short story I’ve ever read: Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud. The atmosphere is incredible, thick, and unrelenting. So many of the images still haunt my dreams!
My favorite horror movie or show: SyFy’s Channel Zero with my favorite season being Dream Door. It’s perfect. A made-up guardian angel from childhood gone wrong.
My go-to terror trope for sleepless nights: Just about anything supernatural, especially haunted houses with multiple backstories. Buildings are alive and they hold secrets within their bones.
My number one baddie is: This is an exceptionally difficult question, lol, but since I have to choose, I’d say Pinhead. The voice, the eloquence, the commanding appearance. He’s everything.
teri.zin’s scary story: “In Full Bloom.” Obsession and devotion take a terrible turn in this flash fiction on a symbiotic relationship.
Read “In Full Bloom” at teri.zin’s Facebook page HERE.