Interview with Sarah Lotz!

This Wednesday will see the launch of the MAGIC anthology. In our excitement we have interviewed a few of the contributors regarding their influences, inspirations and what they would do if they could cast one spell...
Here we interview Sarah Lotz, writer of the story IF I DIE, KILL MY CAT, in the MAGIC anthology:

1] What was the idea that inspired you to write this story?
It’s a mash-up of several ideas. After reading Blood Sisters, a non-fiction book about a couple of South African crime scene cleaners (in this country their job is more Silence of the Lambs than Sunshine Cleaning), I wanted to write a story from the perspective of a woman who does this harrowing work. It also stemmed from a bizarre article I read a while ago about druids who were contracted by the Austrian government to dispel bad energy from notorious motorway black spots (I hope it’s true, it’s awesome).

2] What do you think about the short story form in general?
I love short stories, but I find them a challenge to write as I’m word-greedy and find it hard to condense my ideas down to less than 5000 words. My ambition is to one day write a story that’s half as good as those penned by South Africa’s masters of the craft – Henrietta Rose-Innes, Liesl Jobson, Diane Awerbuck and Siphiwo Mahala.

3] What does your writing process involve?
Lots of coffee, several games of Spider Solitaire and then arse on seat. Fortunately I’m usually up against a tough deadline so procrastination is generally kept to a minimum.

4] When it comes to writing, who are your biggest literary influences?
I've been reading Stephen King since I was nine, so his mantra ‘story is everything’ has influenced me greatly. But I can’t help but be influenced by everything I read in some form or another.

5] Are you reading anything at the moment and if so, what?
I’m re-reading The Hellfire Club by Peter Straub. It’s superbly constructed, features one of the most brilliantly evil and believable protagonists ever written and is laced with a deathly dark wit.

6] Why were you attracted to contributing to the ‘Magic’ anthology?
Predominantly because I wanted to work with Jonathan Oliver. I’m a massive fan of his writing and loved the last anthology he edited, House of Fear (Adam Nevill’s story, Florrie, still creeps me out when I think about it). I was gobsmacked and beyond delighted when I received the invitation to submit a story to one of Jon’s anthologies. The TOC is mind-blowing (and not a little intimidating).

7] What are your upcoming projects after ‘Magic?’
I’m currently working on a supernatural thriller, The Three, which will be published by Hodder in the UK and Reagan Arthur in the US in 2014. I also write urban horror novels under the pseudonym S.L. Grey with ace SA author Louis Greenberg, so we’ll be starting our fourth novel next year. We’re also currently developing a StoryNexus game based on our books called the Downside, with the excellent folk from Failbetter games.

8] If you had the ability to cast one spell, what spell would it be?
I’d like the world’s fuckwits to instantly disappear, Rapture-style. These would include anti-gay fundamentalists, corrupt politicians, corporate tossers and bad drivers. It’s not very practical; there might not be very many people left in the end.

Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and novelist. She writes urban horror novels under the name SL Grey with co-author Louis Greenberg. She also writes a young adult zombie series with her daughter, Savannah, under the name Lily Herne. She lives in Cape Town with her family.
Keep up with Sarah Lotz on her website!

No comments: