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!