My favorite season of spooky literacy, All Hallow’s Read, approaches. It makes perfect sense to a fan of horror fiction that books and Halloween go together like chocolate and…pretty much everything. Haven’t heard of All Hallow’s Read? The movement to give the gift of a scary book (along with all those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) this tick-or-treating season is championed by mold-breaking author Neil Gaiman. He describes it best…
While we’re all considering which gently-used scary books to exchange this All Hallow’s Read (so many choices!), let’s check in with author and editor Eden Royce about how horror scares, shapes, and inspires.
Hi Eden. Thanks for stopping by. Which horror writer has had the most influence on you? Why?
Daphne du Maurier. She had a command of my favorite type of horror—Gothic—that few have had since. She could take a seemingly ordinary experience and twist it to make it horrifying. I also love that she used the short story form, of which I’m a fan, to great effect. My faves by Daphne du Maurier? “The Birds,” of course, then “The Blue Lenses” and the classic, Rebecca.
How did Daphne du Maurier ‘s craft influence your writing?
Reading du Maurier taught me that horror doesn’t have to be slash and hack or blood and gore to be unsettling. Quiet horror can be just as effective at evoking a sense of terror and fear in the reader. When I write my Southern Gothic horror, I spend time crafting atmosphere and setting, allowing the creepy mood to set a tone of disturbia for the story.
What is the most important element of a well-written horror story?
The characters. You must be able to relate to or care about what happens to at least one of them, even if it’s the villain. The reader must want to stay with the story long enough to find out what happens and how it affects the characters. Sometimes, readers stay just to watch the bad guy (or gal) get what’s deserved.
While reading a spine-tingling tale, you get shot by an unknown, human assailant. Which female detective or hacker would you want on the case: Miss Marple, Cordelia Gray, Kinsey Millhone, Angie Gennaro, Stephanie Plum, or Lisbeth Salander?
Miss Marple because based on her outward appearance, the assailant would underestimate her ability to solve the crime. I have a fondness for characters that are more than they appear to be.
Tell us about your current horror fiction project (cue the lights flickering and the eerie music playing):
My current project is a three-novella series, entitled Containment, a horror-sci-fi story about Feast, a devil-human hybrid in post-apocalyptic Charlotte, North Carolina. He’s grown up with one parent, the human one, and is finding that not knowing about half of his heritage is both a blessing and a curse. I’m from a single parent home and in that way, I’m similar to Feast. Writing this story helped me come to terms with who I am and find the courage to pursue answers about the side of my family I didn’t know.
In Containment, the dead are kept in chambers, their spectral energy used to feed the City’s voracious appetite for fuel now that traditional sources are long gone. When Feast is needed to bring in one of the most dangerous creatures for containment, he is faced with a decision that may make him the next power source.
For the cover, I also worked with a fantastic group of independent artists, Epic Reality Graphics, to bring Feast to life. Containment is available now on Amazon.com, and I am hard at work on part two – Containment: Unleashed. Thanks, Eden. Containment sounds fabulous!
Eden also edited The Grotesquerie, an anthology of twenty-two short horror stories written by women. It is available on Amazon as well. I love a varied collection, and now this one is on my to-read list.
Either of these disquieting books would make a great All Hallows Read gift!
You can learn more about Eden Royce at: