Author interviews are one of my favorite things to read, and I hope you feel the same, especially with this week of Burnt Fur, the latest anthology from Blood Bound Books, authors. Today we have Sarah Hans.
Meghan: Hi, Sarah! Welcome. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sarah Hans: In my day job I’m a teacher (middle school, special education English). I write mostly horror. I have a novella and a short story collection out from Dragon’s Roost Press and in the Fall my first novel will be published by Omnium Gatherum. In my spare time I do a lot of crocheting, gardening, and playing horror video games.
Meghan: What are four things most people don’t know about you?
Sarah Hans: I got my septum pierced in Ireland while I was studying abroad (yes, it hurt). I love tattoos but don’t have any. I collect dolls with big heads and color-change eyes called Blythe dolls. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 34 years old!
Meghan: What is the first book you remember reading?
Sarah Hans: Maybe The Secret Garden? I have a soft spot in my heart for that book.
Meghan: What are you reading now?
Sarah Hans: A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs is on my bedside table, I’m listening to The Institute by Stephen King with my partner, and my solo audiobook is A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel.
Meghan: What’s a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn’t expect you to have liked?
Sarah Hans: The DaVinci Code. It’s got problems, but the writing is like a master course in maintaining tension.
Meghan: What made you decide you want to write? When did you begin writing?
Sarah Hans: I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was a kid, before I could write proficiently, I would line up my stuffed animals and tell them stories. I filled notebooks with handwritten stories as soon as I knew my letters, but I didn’t really take off until I got my own personal computer for college. Finally, my writing speed could almost keep up with the speed of my thoughts!
Meghan: Do you have a special place you like to write?
Sarah Hans: My favorite spot is on my patio, but most of the time I’m in my recliner or on my sofa.
Meghan: Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?
Sarah Hans: My routine is to have no routine! I don’t want to be limited in where/when/how I write. My only consistent quirk is probably listening to middle eastern music while I write. It’s beautiful and energetic and since I can’t understand the words, it doesn’t distract me from my writing.
Meghan: Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
Sarah Hans: Having the time/energy is pretty tough during the school year. Teaching is exhausting and it’s very hard to turn off “teacher brain” and turn on “writer brain.” Writing is very satisfying for me, but often it’s hard to start because I have an anxiety disorder, and it’s even harder to submit the finished piece!
Meghan: What’s the most satisfying thing you’ve written so far?
Sarah Hans: The stories that are based on my personal fears, traumas, and hopes are probably the most satisfying. I call that writing therapy.
Meghan: What books have most inspired you? Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?
Sarah Hans: I grew up loving L.M. Montgomery, Anne McCaffrey, and Tanith Lee. Now, I really admire the writing of Seanan McGuire, Sabaa Tahir, and Victor LaValle, among others. I love Jacqueline Carey’s baroque writing style. My favorite short story writer at the moment is Brian Hodge.
Meghan: What do you think makes a good story?
Sarah Hans: Three-dimensional characters in a unique and fascinating setting. A story that unfolds like a mystery, without telling me everything up front, so I have to figure it out as I read. I love cosmic horror, so any story with people finding themselves completely out of their depth is really satisfying for me.
Meghan: What does it take for you to love a character? How do you utilize that when creating your characters?
Sarah Hans: I like characters that have strengths and weaknesses. Your protagonist can’t be flawless. I like to root for an underdog.
Meghan: Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
Sarah Hans: There’s a piece of me in every character I write! In “The Moon in Her Eyes,” the teenage girl in the story is probably based on my young self. The werewolf is based on my old, blind dog who passed away several years ago. This story was a therapy story I wrote to work through her death. I never expected to sell it anywhere! So this anthology has been a nice surprise.
Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?
Sarah Hans: I’m always putting out new short stories and the occasional poem on my Patreon, and I’m currently working on another novella about an evil knitting circle (they’re not really evil, just misunderstood!) and my first novel, Entomophobia, will be published in Fall 2020. The novel is about a woman going through a divorce who is terrified of bugs. She shoplifts from the wrong store and is cursed to turn into the thing she fears the most! (Don’t shoplift, kids!)
Meghan: Where can we find you?
About the Book:
Sit. Roll over. Who’s a Good Boy?
There are no good boys in in this anthology, only twisted, deviant, and burnt encounters with pets, people in costume, animals who behave like humans, and creatures who blur the line between the three. Violent pigs, killer ducks, horny bees, a naughty rabbit, and many more fill these pages with tale after tail of hair-raising horror.
Don your Fursuit, slip into your Fursona, and ride the dark wave of horror that is Burnt Fur. You may never go back to wearing your normal skin again.
The Moon in Her Eyes by Sarah Hans
Mallard’s Maze by Joseph Sale
Salivation by Theodore Deadrat
The Hamford Pigs by N. Rose
The Willingness of Prey by Paul Allih
6 Dicks by Rachel Lee Weist
The Others by C.M. Saunders
Randall Rabbit by Elliot Arthur Cross
A Concubine for the Hive by Rue K. Poe
Five Nights with Teddy by Thurston Howl
Oh Piggy, My Piggy by Matt Scott
Ware the Deep by Stephanie Park
The Molt of a Diminishing Light by Michelle F. Goddard
The Victims by James L. Steele
About the Author: Sarah Hans is an award-winning writer, editor, and teacher whose stories have appeared in more than 30 publications, including The Arcanist and Pseudopod. You can read more of Sarah’s short stories in the collection Dead Girls Don’t Love, published by Dragon’s Roost Press, or on her Patreon. You can also find her on Twitter.