The second interview for today is with Kaaron Warren. Kaaron Warren is an amazing talented and successful horror author, with over 200 published short stories, and several novels. Her work has featured many times in “Years best” collections, such as those edited by Ellen Datlow and Paula Guran. Many thanks to Kaaron for stopping by blog for a chat.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
KW: I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid, finishing my first novel at 16. I try to fit a life between the lines. I try not to harvest every conversation, every confession for story. Mostly I succeed.
Q. What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where you something mad you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?
KW: I love the honesty of good horror. The acceptance that there is no happy ending beyond momentary illusion.
My first story in print was horror, but I never had to say “Fuck it”, because no one ever told me I shouldn’t or couldn’t, so there was no need for that moment of rebellion.
Q. What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies?
KW: I don’t know what jimmies are or what it means to have them rustled, and there’s no way I can pick one story as a favourite! The stories I’ve loved imprint themselves on me in one way or another. A turn of phrase, an image, a killer ending. And an individual voice is a must. I edited an issue of Midnight Echo and read about 300 stories, I think. The ones I published were those I remembered in the night, and the next day, and the week after.
There were stories from Vincent G McMackin, Evan Purcell, Jarod K Anderson, Mark Farrugia, Marija Elektra Rodriguez, Claire Fitzpatrick and Deborah Sheldon.
Q. What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?
KW: I’ve published three novels from Angry Robot (Slights, Walking the Tree and Mistification).
I’ve published six short story collections:
“The Grinding House”, CSFG Publishing
“The Glass Woman”, Prime Books
“Dead Sea Fruit”, Ticonderoga Publications
“Through Splintered Walls”, Twelfth Planet Press
“The Gate Theory” Cohesion Press
“Cemetery Dance Select: Kaaron Warren” Cemetery Dance Publications
I’ve had about 200 stories in print in many different places, including Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best and Paula Guran’s Year’s Best.
I can’t choose a favourite! And not just because it would be mean to the other stories.
Q. Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling? E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook
KW: I love all story forms. Novels, short stories and novellas, graphic novels, dramas; it’s all good.
Q. What are you working on at the minute? Do you have any news?
KW: I’m working on the novel inspired by researched carried out during my Fellowship at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. Artists, murderers, Prime Ministers, haunted houses and jailbreaks.
I’ve also just signed a contract with ifwgAustralia, for my novel, The Grief Hole.It will be published this year and is the second work in the Dark Phases series.
Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?
KW: Again with the favourites! I can’t. I won’t. So here’s a list of just some:
Lisa Tuttle, Gemma Files, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Elizabeth Hand, Margo Lanagan, Kirstyn McDermott, Deborah Biancotti. Lisa Morton, Livia Llewellyn, Lucy Sussex, S.P. Miskowski, Alison Littlewood, Thana Niveau
Q. Are there any projects involving other women that you’re looking forward to or would like to get on board with?
KW: I love Maura McHugh’s work and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Q. What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?
KW: I’m reading for the Shirley Jackson Awards at the moment so my TBR is massive and can’t be discussed!
I do always have a pile of non-fiction to read, though. These are some of them:
Pleasures of the Italian Table by Burton Anderson
The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti
Catastrophe by David Keys
Q. What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the challenges have you faced that are complicated by your gender?
KW: Hmm, this is a tough one. I have experienced those challenges, not to my knowledge, anyway. I’ve been lucky; others not so.
Q. Why is Women in Horror month important/important to you?
KW: As many have said, I wish we didn’t need it. But it’s great to highlight good writers, and if readers discover new books through it, then it’s a win.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
KW: Be brave. Go to that place you think you shouldn’t go. Don’t hold back.