AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Andrew Robertson

For those of y’all who don’t know Andrew Robertson, you are sorely missing out. He is one of my most favorite people of all time. He’s super talented in everything he does – writes, musician, lots of other things – and passionate about life and his role in it. I highly suggest you take a look at his short stories.

Meghan: Hey, Andrew! Welcome back. And good luck with the anthology release today (UnBreakable Ink). Hamburger Lady is definitely a story I NEED to be reading. I know you’re busy today, so let’s get started. What is your favorite part of Halloween?

Andrew: I’ve always loved the fall months and the moodier days that come with them. I also think that cooler weather means a better wardrobe!

I was born in October near the spookiest day of the year, and I’m sure that contributes to how I’ve always been drawn to darkness and the most wonderful time of the year. As a kid, I would get spooky craft books from the Scholastic Book club and make paper spiders and masks and ask for Frankenstein and Dracula glow-in-the-dark models for my birthday.

When my family went to the Maritimes on a road trip, I asked them to stop at every roadside attraction once I realized they all had a wax museum with a House of Horrors.

I would say that most queer people also love Hallowe’en because dressing up gives you an opportunity to express yourself in ways you can’t any other day of the year. When you grow up queer with a bit of self-awareness, especially in the 80s, you realize the world is against you. Gay meant AIDS, and that only belonged to the queers then. You realize you’re a target almost every single day that you choose to shine, so you start to look for ways to express your true self in a subversive way.

So many movies in the 80s threw the word ‘faggot’ around without any concern for where it landed, or the violence it engendered, or the queer kids it affected. I took Hallowe’en as a chance to wear a ‘mask’, even metaphorically, and finally fit in. It was one of the few days I could be celebrated for my ‘creativity’ and not beat up for what I was wearing.

And in queer culture, Hallowe’en allows us to explore our identities. Lots of drag queens have tested their high heels for the first time on October 31st, and the whole art of creating a costume and exploring darker, deeper, or more revealing identities is very attractive to me as a queer person.

In my community, Hallowe’en is referred to as gay Christmas. The fact that I wasn’t born wearing black eyeliner is some kind of oversight. Essentially, everyday SHOULD be Hallowe’en.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween tradition?

Andrew: Scaring youngsters looking for candy.

It sounds mean, but hear me out – I don’t think that we need to sanitize Hallowe’en. It’s a pagan holiday that grew out of some really dark practices, and we don’t need to ignore that entirely. A little bit of fear is healthy. When I would go out as a kid, I’d be so disappointed when a house had all its lights on like a dentist’s office. I mean, that’s scary too, but it isn’t cool scary. Unless it’s Little Shop of Horrors, and then we can sing along to the pain!

For me, the night is not about the candy collection as much as the atmosphere and parading around in the dark as a little Dracula, a voodoo doll, or wee Witch. Even as a kid, I longed for the days when I would be old enough to spend Hallowe’en smoking darts, drinking rum, and looking tough in a graveyard by the full moon. I will tell you that the first time I did that, my friend Jessica and I almost ended up in an open grave running away from two giant poodles! Looking tough.

But Hallowe’en should be creepy and make you think about the necessary darker sides of existence. If you think your kid needs to be carried around on a pink cloud, take them for a happy meal. I’ll gladly take my kids to a haunted house or a corn maze one day.

When I was younger, my favourite part used to be dressing up and going to whatever haunted house was on the go. I love being scared and I love creating oogie boogie characters out of the make-up drawer and costume boxes Dinis and I have at home, but after we bought a house, my favourite part became giving out tons of candy and seeing what kids are dressing up as when they come to the door. Kids have this amazing ability to take an odd, creepy idea and translate it into a fun look. Halloween gives kids a reason to show their creativity instead of hiding it out of embarrassment or fear.

Dins and I also love decorating the porch with severed limbs, animated projections, dry ice and scary music, then watching some people avoid us on their candy crawl. That’s the best compliment a Hallowe’en House can get!

Meghan: If Halloween is your favorite holiday (or even second favorite holiday), why?

Andrew: Hallowe’en is the best day of the year for so many reasons. In the month of October, there are suddenly horror movie marathons on every channel, ghost stories become the norm, you get to decorate with skulls and ghosts, eat small versions of candy and pretend 10 isn’t too many ‘cause they are so tiny, and I love to be scared. All these haunted attractions open up…it’s heaven.

I just wish people would stop trying to make it all cutesy and spoopy or whatever that ridiculous term is. I know I’ll get some hate for saying it but, when someone says something is spoopy I assume they mean a diaper. Don’t @ me!

Meghan: What are you superstitious about?

Andrew: I really believe in karma. I think every shit thing you do to someone else will come back to you, and even if it doesn’t, you know what you did and that makes it so much worse. Each nasty thing you do, every time you leave a friend hanging, that’s your own picture of Dorian Gray.

One of my favourite films of all time is A Christmas Carol. The Alastair Sim version. Back in Dickens time and long before it, ghost stories were a Christmas Eve tradition, something that is slowly making its way back into popular culture, and I’m glad for it. That story is the perfect example of what was and continues to be everything that is wrong with the world, and even though we have all seen the story in some form, we continue to reproduce the very conditions that the story condemns. We really are an awful species, with no regard for our own future or sustainability or each other, even though we can’t do it all on our own. Weird, right?

I try and be genuine with people, follow through on what I say I will do, and apologize for what I can’t. It’s the best way to not haunt yourself.

Meghan: What/who is your favorite horror monster or villain?

Andrew: My absolute favourite is Pinhead, a.k.a the Hell Priest from Hellraiser. I remember the very first time I saw Doug Bradley as Pinhead. I was at the Eaton Centre in Toronto going to see some awful comedy as a tween, and there was a standup of Pinhead holding the Lament Configuration and I was just in love. The nails, the sneer, the outfit…I was a future goth at that exact moment, and I’ve worn a few cassocks since, but nothing like that. There is something about the character that Doug Bradley created and the way he voices the lines that is just perfectly evil.

I had the absolute fanboy pleasure of meeting him a few years back at Frightmare in the Falls at Niagara Falls, which is an incredible horror convention, and we took a pic, then I got his book signed. He was so awesome!

Meghan: Which horror novel unsettled you the most?

Andrew: This is a tie between ‘Salem’s Lot and The Haunting of Hill House.

I never understood what it meant to be really, really unsettled until I read the Shirley Jackson classic. Her writing just prints itself right into your brain with heated keys. Everything I have read by her has the same effect. It’s like the characters are right there, whispering the story behind you, warm breath on your neck as you turn the pages, and you just have to believe every word they tell you.

Stephen King has the same gift. Something about expertly creating the slow build and getting into the readers mind, that’s a gift. Then the author can use the simplest thing, the sound of walls settling, for example, to make you certain there’s a horrific vampire scratching away behind your favourite poster of Siouxsie and the Banshees. ‘Salem’s Lot was the first book I read that had me up all night waiting for someone to be floating outside my window.

Meghan: Which horror movie scarred you for life?

Andrew: Hostel.

I had no idea what I was in for with that one, but it is absolutely relentless. I don’t want to say all that much because of spoilers but at one point my ankles turned to water, at another point, I wanted armour for my eyes. I haven’t ever done a rewatch. I felt polluted.

That movie hits on so many vicious things, but somewhere in there, I believe it’s a comment on capitalism, race, and our disregard for anyone else, much like The Purge. That’s the real horror in the world. I also want to point out that The Purge made the issue of race and systemic racism in politics, government and policing very clear, and it was a very important statement even if you don’t agree with the medium.

There’s very little empathy left in the world at this point, and to me both Hostel and The Purge are the platinum standard of what happens when people only want laws when the laws agree with their desires, and serve their gods, in place of what’s just and equitable, and we’ve seen a lot of that during COVID-19.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween costume?

Andrew: So, this is as far from scary as it can get, but I want to tell you about my GAYEST costume ever. When the musical Cats closed in Toronto, they auctioned of all the costumes and props to benefit Casey House, which at the time was an AIDS hospice in Toronto (and continues to be Canada’s first and only hospital for people living with HIV/AIDS).

I bought Demeter’s outfit, a spandex one piece that was painted in various stripes and had crunchy bits of ‘fur’ on the shoulders. It was $20 so a twelve-year old could afford it.

I tried to recreate the look from the musical then wore it to school. I guess I could have said I was a werewolf, but I didn’t. It still remains one of the most unapologetically queer things I have ever done, but I didn’t look at it that way back then. I just really loved that show as a tween, and figured every else would think it was cool too. #mixedreaction

Since then, I’ve lent the costume to a few people for a variety of functions, and as is often the case, the last one I lent it to never gave it back, so now it’s just a memory, all alone in the moonlight. I can dream of the old days, life was beautiful then.

But I shouldn’t dwell on that right meow.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween-themed song?

Andrew: I regularly listen to Elvira’s theme song, especially when I’m walking at night. I also love the Lydia Lunch version of Spooky. Her album Queen of Siam has a carnivalesque darkness to it, and I think her version of Spooky is the cutest love song ever for the maladjusted (by now the people who hated the spoopy comment are really vexed. I’m not sporry about it).

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween candy or treat? What is your most disappointing?

Andrew: A lot of people don’t like them, but I love the molasses kiss. It is a classic, and it’s comes back from the dead each year without fail. This is the candy in white, orange and black wrapper, printed with witches and owls and scary moons. They are my number one must have Halloween candy.

The most disappointing treats would be the ones with razors in them.

Andrew Robertson is an award-winning queer horror writer and future spaceman. In December 2021, his short story Sick is the New Black will appear in the gay-themed, multi-genre anthology Pink Triangle Rhapsody: Volume 1 from Lycan Valley Press. He is currently working on a novelization of the same story, exploring themes of queerness, addiction, fame, anti-vaxxers and the toxic nature of post-pandemic life in a culture locked in the thrall of social media. Feel free to be his agent.

He recently launched his first monstrous children’s book and sticker set, And Then The Fart Happened, on the Great Lakes Horror Company Kids imprint with illustrations by LiZzDom, and colour and layout by his partner Dinis Freitas, the Most Handsome Man in All of Puppetland®. People seem to love putting the Fart sticker on their butts, which checks out.

He is also headed to the Moon, or at least his writing is! In 2022, his short story Sundowning from Klarissa Dreams Redux will be headed to Lacus Mortis with the Peregrine Collection as a part of the ULA/Astrobotic Peregrine launch. In 2023, Hamburger Lady from UnBreakable Ink will be headed to the Lunar South Pole with the Polaris Collection as a part of the SpaceX/NASA-VIPER/Astrobotic Griffin launch. These stories will be part of the largest single collection of contemporary artwork ever put on the Moon, and will fly there on the first commercial lunar flights in history.

Back here on Earth, Andrew’s fiction has appeared in literary magazines and quarterlies such as Stitched Smile Publications Magazine, Deadman’s Tome, Undertow, and katalogue. His work has also appeared in anthologies including Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland, A Tribute Anthology to Deadworld, and the Group Hex series.

UnBreakable Ink
Travel to the furthest reaches of space, traverse time, delve into the darkest parts of the mind and beyond in this collection of speculative fiction shorts.

Curated by Shebat Legion and presented by Indomitable Ink, Unbreakable Ink boasts twenty-nine stories and is the first installment in a series of anthologies designed to provoke the unbreakable imaginations in us all.

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Andrew Robertson

Meghan: Welcome back, Andrew! It’s been awhile since we sat down together. What’s been going on since we last spoke?

Andrew Robertson: First, it’s great to be back, especially on your fresh, new, updated blog!

Since the last time we spoke, the anthology I edited, Dark Rainbow: Queer Erotic Horror was released by Riverdale Avenue Books and landed a #1 spot on a few of Amazon’s LGBTQ+ charts which was great to see. I also published a short story titled Her Royal Counsel in Colleen Anderson’s Alice Unbound anthology from Exile Editions and placed my story Sick is the New Black in the Pink Triangle Rhapsody anthology from Lycan Valley Press. That one launches Winter 2019 and contains horror, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, and pulp mystery stories written exclusively by gay men. I fell in love with the characters in Sick is the New Black and have started a book-length version to further explore the dark and fashionable social media cult that their lives revolve around.

Also, with the holidays right around the corner, readers can pick up O Unholy Night in Deathlehem: An Anthology of Holiday Horrors for Charity from Grinning Skull Press that was published earlier this year. I have a creepy little tale in there called Jason’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, and all proceeds from the book go to benefit The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Meghan: Who are you outside of writing?

Andrew Robertson: That’s hard to answer. I feel like I’ve changed a lot in the past three years, but it’s been more about returning to someone I used to be before I started looking for what was already there. Sometimes we think we need to ‘grow up’ and develop a mature, adult identity by burying parts of ourselves that made us who we were in high school or university, but I’ve realized that those pieces weren’t temporary. So I put on some black nail polish, sat down to write horror stories without caring what anyone else thought, and got tattoos of Siouxsie Sioux and Lydia Lunch. It all felt right.

I guess I’m a bit introspective – I like exploring ideas and art and love new (and scary) experiences most of all. It always surprises people how easily scared I get but I like it a lot. My partner Dinis refuses to go to haunted houses with me because I push him in first. But I don’t even need the haunted house. I can even scare myself just by thinking. I was in a canoe on Lower Buckhorn Lake in Ontario and I envisioned a cold pale arm reaching out of the underwater reeds and that was it. I paddled for shore like an outboard motor.

Meghan: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Andrew Robertson: I think that one is tricky for anyone that doesn’t write cozy thrillers. My very first piece of writing published in an anthology was called Not Just a Fuck, a hell of a title. Of course, I was really excited about it, especially because Margaret Atwood was in the same book, so I wanted to show my parents but my content was a bit… personal as you can imagine. I bit the bullet and showed them all the same. I figured they might as well get used to it because I have never been one to self-edit!

The other concern for many writers is your family or friends ‘seeing’ themselves in the characters or situations you write about. Sometimes I’ll use friend’s names in stories just to mess with them. That way, when they ask why ‘their’ character was killed off, you know that they actually read your work.

Meghan: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Andrew Robertson: I think being able to tell a story is a gift, and if it means something to a reader, that is a perfect gift. The curse is writing the story.

Meghan: What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Andrew Robertson: I’ve researched Sokushinbutsu, or the self-mummifying practice of certain Buddhist monks, for Miira in Group Hex Vol 1. They enter mummification while they are still alive which was so horrifying to me that I had to write about it. That was when I learned about Portuguese sailors selling Egyptian mummies to the Japanese to turn into a powder that was believed to have curative powers.

I’m also currently researching a lot of diseases that have obvious and visible symptoms for a WIP. That makes me feel pretty itchy.

Meghan: Are you an avid reader?

Andrew Robertson: I have a giant stack of books to get through, and I usually have a few on the go at the same time. Sometimes it’s to try and grow or learn as a writer. For example, I will read a thriller to see how the author sets the pace. I really enjoy Shari Lapena’s work in that way. There are so many twists and turns that she stitches together, and we live in the same city so maybe one day I can tell her how much I enjoy her work in person!

I’ve just read Bedfellow by Jeremy C. Shipp and it was fantastic. The way he writes is so surreal you feel like you are losing your mind along with the family at the core of the tale, and the progression of the plot reveals a nefarious otherworldly gaslighting at its finest.

I’ve also recently finished Danger Slater’s I Will Rot Without You and the level of horrific imagination he displays while telling what is at its most basic level a love story with a total disregard for whether something needs to make sense is inspiring. I think it’s important for a writer to stop asking if something could happen and just make it happen.

Meghan: Have you ever killed a main character?

Andrew Robertson: Maybe. That’s all I’ll say.

Meghan: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Andrew Robertson: As a huge fan of the Hellraiser films, my formative years were spent watching characters suffer. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Andrew Robertson: I’m on Facebook and twitter for all your stalking needs.

Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview or the last?

Andrew Robertson: I just want to thank you for your passion in keeping this blog going, for supporting indie authors, and for helping spread the word about genre books. A few years ago I never would have thought that I would have work out by publishers I admire, alongside other writers I read and love, or that anyone would want to interview me never mind twice, so thanks for being a part of this crazy ride Meghan!

Meghan: Aww shucks! Thanks for all that! And you are truly welcome. It’s been wonderful meeting you and every other cool author I’ve met along the way. It more than makes up for the handful who have been… dramatic (and not in a good way) haha.

Andrew Robertson is an award-winning queer writer and journalist. He has published articles in Xtra!, fab magazine, ICON, Gasoline, Samaritan Magazine, neksis, and Shameless. His fiction has appeared in literary magazines and quarterlies such as Stitched Smile Publications Magazine Vol 1, Deadman’s Tome, Undertow, and katalogue and in anthologies including Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland, A Tribute Anthology to Deadworld, Group Hex Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and Pink Triangle Rhapsody from Lycan Valley Press. He is also the editor of Dark Rainbow: Queer Erotic Horror, a bestselling anthology from Riverdale Avenue Books. A lifelong fan of horror, he is the founder and co-host of The Great Lakes Horror Company Podcast, official podcast to Library of the Damned, and a member of the Horror Writer’s Association.

Pink Triangle Rhapsody – Coming Winter 2019

Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland

Lewis Carroll explored childlike wonder and the bewildering realm of adult rules and status, which clashed in bizarre ways. And although it seems we all know something about Alice and Wonderland, we—like Alice herself upon her first reading of Jabberwocky—find “It fills my head with ideas, but I don’t know what they are.” So as each new generation falls under Carroll’s word spells, each in turn must attempt to understand what Alice and Wonderland might mean in the context of their world and in their time.

This collection of twenty-first century speculative fiction stories is inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Hunting of the Snark, and to some degree, aspects of the life of the author, Charles Dodgson, and the real-life Alice (Liddell).

Enjoy our wild ride down into and back up out of the rabbit hole!

Preface by David Day

Authors: Patrick Bollivar, Mark Charke, Christine Daigle, Robert Dawson, Linda DeMeulemeester, Pat Flewwelling, Geoff Gander and Fiona Plunkett, Cait Gordon, Costi Gurgu, Kate Heartfield, Elizabeth Hosang, Nicole Iversen, J.Y.T. Kennedy, Danica Lorer, Catherine MacLeod, Bruce Meyer, Dominik Parisien, Alexandra Renwick, Andrew Robertson, Lisa Smedman, Sara C. Walker, James Wood

Dark Rainbow: Queer Erotic Horror

There has always been a special relationship between queer culture and horror. Horror is a genre about the ‘other’ and being a part of queer culture often comes with feelings of ‘otherness’ or being an outsider based on your desires…maybe you see a freak onscreen during a midnight madness screening and you think to yourself, Well, I feel like a freak too. Maybe the monster is just misunderstood…we all hunger for something, right?Dark Rainbow: Queer Erotic Horror is the first volume of a short fiction anthology series edited by award-wining queer writer and editor Andrew Robertson. Published under Riverdale Avenue Books’ Afraid imprint, it features many members of the Horror Writers Association along with writers from all over the world. Dark Rainbow contains 15 tales of dark appetites, hidden fantasies, sex and slashers including new work from Angel Leigh McCoy, Jeff C. Stevenson, Sèphera Girón, Julianne Snow, Derek Clendening, Spinster Eskie, Lindsay King-Miller and many more.

O Unholy Night in Deathlehem

Said the little child to his mother dear, 
do you hear what I hear 
Shrieking through the night, father dear, 
And do you see what I see 
A cry, a scream, blood coloring the snow 
And a laugh as evil as sin 
And a laugh as evil as sin 

Well, folks, looks like we’re back in Deathlehem, where…
Santa’s gift turns a mindless horde of bargain-hungry shoppers into…well… a horde of hungry shoppers… 
defective toys aren’t just dangerous; they’re deadly… 
holiday ornaments prove to be absolutely captivating—permanently… 
those ugly Christmas sweaters are to die for… 

Twenty-five more tales of holiday horror to benefit The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Christine Morgan

I’ve known Christine for quite some time and absolutely love having her here on my blog. It’s interesting: every time we try to do this whole interview thing, something happens, and we fail to communicate. I think I’ve given her the same interview questions every time haha. Let’s hope THIS time we get it right.

Meghan: Hi, Christine. Welcome to the new blog. It’s been awhile since we sat down together. What’s been going on since we last spoke?

Christine Morgan: Overall, things have been going fairly well. Medical-wise, I’ve continued having my facial reconstruction after surgeries, and while the results are (and always will be) weird-looking, so far everything’s holding together. Seeing a new doc for more followups on other stuff, but still cancer free! Writing-wise, it’s been great; Lakehouse Infernal came out in May from Deadite Press and has been getting rave reviews (and Ed Lee’s not averse to me possibly doing a sequel), and my collection Dawn of the Living-Impaired and Other Messed Up Zombie Stories just debuted this month from Death’s Head Press.

Meghan: Who are you outside of writing?

Christine Morgan: After appearing on an episode of the Bizzong podcast, I was dubbed “the Martha Stewart of extreme horror” for my baking and crafts hobbies, so, I’m going to roll with that gladly and continue those pursuits. I also work the overnight shift in a residential psychiatric facility. The rest of my time is mostly spent sleeping and being bossed around by my cats.

Meghan: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Christine Morgan: The awkwardness continues; my sister recently let my nephew take Lakehouse Infernal with him on a visit to his dad’s, and his stepmom remarked how nice it was to see a teenager reading for a change, while I’m sitting over here the crazy auntie asking if he’s gotten to the character made entirely of boobs. So, y’know, I’m THAT relative, but it’s fun.

Meghan: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Christine Morgan: This is where we need that gif meme thing with the little girl saying “why not both?” I do think it’s both. A gift, because it is so much fun, being able to create characters and settings, experience adventures (or horrors) in a safe but still thrilling way. A curse, too, because for one thing we can never stop thinking about it, we’re always on the job. For another, when we see it done badly, it’s all the more maddening. But even as a curse, it’s one I wouldn’t trade.

Meghan: How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

Christine Morgan: I grew up the oldest of three siblings, the oldest of nine cousins, and one of the older kids in the neighborhood, so it often fell to me to come up with ideas for playtime. Even on my own, I was making up complicated storylines for my dolls and toy animals. Not sure where it came from. Just developed naturally, and then as a teenager I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons (by my mom and her friends, no less). I tend to write about relationships a lot, not because of any big family drama but because I find them fascinating. Probably also part of why I ended up majoring in psychology.

Meghan: What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Christine Morgan: Last time I stopped by here, I mentioned working on my deep-sea chompy chompy and the bizarre stuff I’d been learning about life in the ocean … well, that manuscript’s done now, and let me tell you, nature is freaky and horrible. The sex lives of giant squids, for instance. How much is down there we still don’t know about. Never mind alien planets; just look to the depths!

Meghan: Which do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Christine Morgan: Endings. Always. I have a hard time with endings. My favorite writing projects are the ones where I’m having fun, and when I’m having fun, it’s hard to see that come to an end. I also still have a holdover from my gaming days where story hooks and continuation ideas automatically get built in – the campaign must go on! – which is why my project list includes several sequels.

Meghan: Do you outline? Do you start with characters or plot? Do you just sit down and start writing? What works best for you?

Christine Morgan: I only very rarely outline, and when I have to (for big complicated projects, or ones where plot details or timing is crucial), I whine and complain about it the whole time. I much prefer starting with a general idea, a situation or setting or character, and seeing where it takes me from there. Again, this even ties back to my gaming … more often than not, the sessions would take off in random directions on player whim, and end up being more fun than whatever I might have had planned. I’m a run with it, roll with it, see what happens kind of writer.

Meghan: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline/plan?

Christine Morgan: See above … usually run with it, roll with it, see what happens. I like to give my characters a lot of free rein. I love it when they surprise me. I love going into it not knowing who’ll make it, who’ll turn out to be a good guy or not, etc. That’s how I went at Lakehouse Infernal, and again with the deep-sea one. I had this whole list of characters, some of whom I had a feeling would survive, some of whom I couldn’t wait to gruesomely kill … and, several times, they surprised me.

Meghan: What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?

Christine Morgan: I have something of a routine or schedule … I do most of my writing at work, so, it often depends on how calm the night is. If the whole house is up and I actually need to do my real work, I may not get any words in. Even when I’m not actively writing, though, I’ve always got editing to do, or reviewing, or reading for reviewing. I keep a loose to-do list going, mostly stuff like anthology calls with deadlines, and fit them in around or on breaks during the bigger projects.

Meghan: Are you an avid reader?

Christine Morgan: For as long as I can remember. And even before that, if the snapshots from the family photo album of me sitting on a potty chair with Dr. Seuss are to be believed (don’t print that; ah no go ahead). I also read obnoxiously fast. Becoming a reviewer has been its own kind of god-send because suddenly people are bombarding me with free books! At any given time, I have two or three reads in progress – a print book, an ebook, and something via pdf.

Meghan: What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?

Christine Morgan: I have my favorite genres, such as extreme horror, but what I absolutely love is a book – of ANY kind – in which it’s clear that the author was having fun. I’ll forgive a lot of literary or grammatical sins if there’s just sheer joy and play and enthusiasm on the page. By the same token, I could read something technically flawless, but if it doesn’t have that sense of fun and enjoyment, I’m likely to find it a great big yawn. This is why Edward Lee is one of my idols, why I gravitate toward the extremes and the bizarros … whatever these folks are doing, you just know they’re having a blast, and that kind of energy really resonates with me.

Meghan: How do you feel about movies based on books?

Christine Morgan: Oh, there’s good ones and bad ones. I’m as guilty as anybody of being that person who sits there snarking about how such-and-such “wasn’t like that in the book,” (I do the same with history or mythology; one glimpse of a Viking with a horned helmet and it’s buckle your seatbelts time, I’m flooring it). I do think, sometimes, we’re better off with the cinemas inside our heads; sometimes even the biggest big screen and most lavish effects can’t do a book justice or cheapens it trying.

Meghan: Have you ever killed a main character?

Christine Morgan: Oh, yes. Sometimes even on purpose, but more often, it’ll be another of those surprises. I’ve had moments where I end up sitting staring at the screen, thinking, “well, (bleep), didn’t see that coming, now what?” More often than not, though, it’s what was right for the story all along. I think my muse knows a lot more of what’s going on than she tells me, the sneaky thing. But she’s good and she’s clever, so I’m glad to have her on the job.

Meghan: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Christine Morgan: Isn’t that the whole point? Back to the gaming again, my motto always was “it’s easy to kill characters; making them WISH they were dead, now, that’s art!” And same holds true for writing. Especially in horror, where there are so many fates worse than death. Dying might be getting off easy by comparison. More, though, I think I enjoy taking the readers along with them in that suffering, making an empathic journey of it. I’m very into immersion, description, sensory experiences. Good or bad, I like to elicit that response in the reader.

Meghan: What’s the weirdest character concept that you’ve ever come up with?

Christine Morgan: I write a lot of demonic, inhuman, and Lovecraftian stuff, so, things get pretty weird. I get a kick out of those sorts of challenges, writing a relatable, believable character who’s so far from human. Many of the chapters in the deep-sea book are from the points of view of aquatic creatures, and how they interpret and react to the presence of man-made machines in their environment.

Meghan: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever received? What’s the worst?

Christine Morgan: If we’re sharing adages, truisms, or what have you … a friend of mine always liked to say “don’t worry about getting it RIGHT, get it WRITTEN” … the worst finished manuscript is better than the best that never makes it onto the page. On the other end, I hate “write what you know” when it’s taken to mean only writing about external real-world things you are personally familiar with or skilled at; where’s the fun in that? When it’s “write what you know” about feeling and emotion and inner stuff, okay.

Meghan: What do your fans mean to you?

Christine Morgan: I’m still (and always will be) startled and shocked to HAVE fans. Even going back to the days when I was writing fanfic and had a reputation and following, I was just me, didn’t see why all the fuss. The idea that anybody reads something I wrote who didn’t have to for one reason or another (some poor slushpile editor for instance, or guilt-tripped friend) always amazes me. And humbles me. And makes me simultaneously giddy with gratitude and wonder what the heck’s wrong with them 🙂

Meghan: If you could steal one character from another author and make them yours, who would it be and why?

Christine Morgan: Pff, I’ve written tons of fanfic, already been there done that! And I’m arrogant enough to think that I did a better sixth Harry Potter than was canon, not to mention a better Gargoyles third season. I also do pastiches and mash-ups and wacky crossovers. So, really, no one is safe once the idea pops into my muse’s head.

Meghan: If you could write the next book in a series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?

Christine Morgan: More Infernal books as part of Edward Lee’s Mephistopolis series!

Meghan: If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?

Christine Morgan: Edward Lee, Edward Lee, Edward Lee! Another Mephistopolis book! I want to play with some of the other-pantheon suburbs of his more classic biblical Hell, I want to do Niflheim and Tartarus and Xibalba in that universe!

Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?

Christine Morgan: Dreadful Fancies, a steampunkish/gilded age/dark fantasy collection, should be out soon from Lycan Valley Press. I’ve got some short story commitments and other projects to catch up on, and then will be starting officially on Murder Girls 2: Eight Little Words.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Christine Morgan: I’m almost always either asleep or online. Asleep, you’d have to get past three cats. Online, though: WordPress ** Facebook ** Email ** Amazon

Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview or the last?

Christine Morgan: Did I say (bleep) cancer last time? If not, (BLEEP) CANCER. If so, (bleep) cancer anyway, because it sucks.

Christine Morgan grew up in the high desert and moved to a cool rainy coast as soon as she could. Though anything but the outdoorsy type, she loves trees and water … preferably viewed through a cozy window or from the deck of a cruise ship. Alaska, Norway, Scotland, and Germany/Austria are her vacation destinations of choice. Seeing the Northern Lights in person is on her bucket list. She’s currently three cats toward her eventual fate as a crazy cat lady; yes, she does talk to them, but don’t worry, she draws the line at knitting them little sweaters (because she can’t knit).

White Death

January 12, 1888 

When a day dawns warm and mild in the middle of a long cold winter, it’s greeted as a blessing, a reprieve. A chance for those who’ve been cooped up indoors to get out, do chores, run errands, send the children to school … little knowing that they’re only seeing the calm before the storm. 

The blizzard hits out of nowhere, screaming across the Great Plains like a runaway train. It brings slicing winds, blinding snow, plummeting temperatures. Livestock will be found frozen in the fields, their heads encased in blocks of ice formed from their own steaming breath. Frostbite and hypothermia wait for anyone caught without shelter. 

For the hardy settlers of Far Enough, in the Montana Territory, it’s about to get worse. Something else has arrived with the blizzard. Something sleek and savage and hungry. Wild animal or vengeful spirit from native legend, it blends into the snow and bites with sharper teeth than the wind. 

Spermjackers from Hell

Let’s summon a succubus, they said. It’ll be fun, they said… 

I have some friends and we had a crazy idea: let’s summon a demon. Not just any demon but a sexy devil chick that will do anything we want—even butt stuff. It’ll be easy. It’s not like it’s going to work. Monsters aren’t real. 

We were wrong. Really fucking wrong. 

The demon is not what we thought and it’s making horrible things happen. People are cutting into each other’s junk, some guy is fucking his dog, and sex slugs from Hell are raping us and stealing our semen in order to build a goddamn hive! 

We didn’t mean for any of this. But we’re gonna fix it… Just after a few more beers and bong hits. 

From Christine Morgan, author of Mythic Lust: the Minotaur, and The Raven’s Table: Viking Stories, comes a sleazy and deviant satire about sex, occultism, and nerd culture.

Lakehouse Infernal

Lake Misquamicus was an unremarkable lake in Florida, unremarkable that is until suddenly it was filled with six billion gallons of blood, bile, pus, piss, shit and …things… directly from the pits of Hell. First the public was in shock, then the government built a wall, and as time passed it became another urban legend. But for some, it has become a travel destination. Spring-breakers, drug-runners, and religious nuts. But a weekend getaway on the shores of Hell, may not be the safest idea… 

With an introduction by and officially endorsed by splatterpunk legend Edward Lee, LAKEHOUSE INFERNAL is an official entree in Lee’s infamous INFERNAL series. Christine Morgan expands on this universe with her own twist of hardcore horror tourism. 

The Raven’s Table: Viking Stories


The furious clangor of battle. The harrowing singing of steel. The desperate cries of wounded animals. The gasps of bleeding, dying men. The slow, deep breathing of terrible things–trolls, giants, draugr–waiting in the darkness. The wolf’s wind howling, stalking like death itself. The carrion-crows, avaricious and impatient, circling the battle-ground, the Raven’s Table.


The skald’s voice, low, canting, weaving tales of fate and heroism, battle and revelry. Of gods and monsters, and of the women and men that stand against them. Of stormy Scandinavian skies and settlements upon strange continents. Of mead-hall victories, funeral pyres, dragon-prowed ships, and gold-laden tombs. Of Ragnarok. Of Valhalla.

For a decade, author Christine Morgan’s Viking stories have delighted readers and critics alike, standing apart from the anthologies they appeared in. Now, Word Horde brings you The Raven’s Table, the first-ever collection of Christine Morgan’s Vikings, from “The Barrow-Maid” to “Aerkheim’s Horror” and beyond. These tales of adventure, fantasy, and horror will rouse your inner Viking.