I’m thrilled to begin this month of interviews with some kickass female horror authors in celebration of Women in Horror Month. Today, my first interview is with Kendare Blake, below. Enjoy, and don’t forget to give Kendare some love afterwards!
GGS: Hi Kendare! I’m so excited to host you on my blog today to help me celebrate the sixth annual Women in Horror Month (#WiHM666). Tell us about your “Anna” series of YA horror books, what’s it about?
Kendare: Thanks very much for having me. I love Women in Horror Month. There are so many great females working in horror today. Anyways, about Anna Dressed in Blood and its sequel, Girl of Nightmares: they are ghost-hunting tales about Theseus Cassio Lowood, a 17-year old ghost hunter who kills the murderous dead. Following a tip to Thunder Bay, Ontario, he comes up against a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, supposedly the ghost of a girl who was murdered in 1958, when she was 16. He thinks it’s going to be an easy job, but unfortunately (or, fortunately, depending on how you look at it) Anna proves to be much stronger than Cas anticipated, and he’s got to regroup and come up with a new plan.
GGS: Sounds awesome. I just downloaded an e-copy, as I love a good ghost story!
Next question: Why do you love horror, and when did you first know you were going to become a horror writer?
Kendare: I don’t know why I love horror. And dark things. And twisted things. I had a really nice, well-adjusted upbringing. But the horrifying nasties have always fascinated me, and I do enjoy a good scare. I gravitated toward authors like Stephen King and Anne Rice when I was a kid, and, though I read widely now, I always seem to sneak some horror into the pile.
As for being a horror writer, I always knew I would write a little horror. And everything I touch seems to get infected by the disturbing. There are horrifying moments in everything I write.
GGS: I feel much the same as you—horror seems to creep into whatever I write. Heh.
Ok, next topic: Congrats on getting a short story in Jonathan Maberry’s teen horror anthology SCARY OUT THERE. What’s it like working with Jonathan, and how do you plan to celebrate when it comes out?
Kendare: Thanks! Jonathan is the bee’s knees. We met sort of by accident at the Montgomery County Book Festival, where I was a panelist and he was a keynote speaker. We sat next to each other at dinner at this Irish pub, and got to talking, and he told me he taught Anna Dressed in Blood in one of his fiction classes. Amazing! Since then we’ve run into each other a few more times, and he’s always so cool, and he says important things, and he’s friendly to boot.
I don’t know how I’ll celebrate the anthology. I’ve got stories in three or four cool upcoming anthologies, one in particular you might be interested in: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, which focuses on girl-driven horror. Jonathan’s also a contributor to that one. It comes out on August 18th.
GGS: That all sounds amazing, and thanks for the tip on Slasher Girls and Monster Boys! Let’s talk about writing process: every writer has a unique approach to how they get their work done. Do you have any special writing rituals that get the words flowing? Any fave music? A special place to write?
Kendare: I can rarely write to music. I just jam too much. And I have an office, but I’ve hardly gotten to write in it. Just when it got finished (after we moved house), we got our new puppy son, Obi Dog Kenobi, and he forced me back to writing at the kitchen table, so I can keep an eye on him.
GGS: I’m very much the same when it comes to music. I need relatively calm, jam-free writing time. But congrats on your new puppy-son!
Because it’s Women in Horror Month, I have a special question to ask. Do you feel that being female has given you a unique perspective as a horror writer? If so, can you describe what that perspective is
Kendare: Perhaps as a female I have a different understanding and interpretation of peril? I don’t know. There’s certainly nothing that I’ve noticed consciously, but gender probably informs on many aspects of my work. I am who I am, and I am what I write, and at least a part of me is that inherent femaleness. On the flip side, I wonder if I can write violence with slightly more freedom, because as a female I’m not worried about accusations of glorifying it, or reveling in it? I don’t know. Men, weigh in.
GGS: Which female horror author (living or dead), do you most admire, and why?
Kendare: She’s not a horror writer. She’ll be the first person to tell you that. But there are truly disturbing, and horrifying aspects to her work, so she springs instantly to mind. Caitlin R. Kiernan. She wrote The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl, and many other novels, and her short story collections knock my socks off. A favorite collection of hers is The Ammonite Violin and Others. Lovers of the dark and weird, don’t miss her!
GGS: Kendare, thanks so much for appearing on my blog today. Readers, please connect with Kendare at the following links:
• Website/Blog: kendareblake.com
• Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4086715.Kendare_Blake
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kendare.blake
• Twitter: @KendareBlake