We are now halfway through my contribution to the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour, and to recap, I have been interviewing other authors from the upcoming Monsters! anthology put out by A Flame in the Dark. The theme for this anthology is the same for my theme here: should Christians write Horror and can they do it without being preachy or predictable (Deus ex machina- Latin term referring to an outside solution or force as a means of resolving a plot.)? Today, I have the honor of presenting a written interview with Pauline Creeden, a Fantasy, Horror and Devotional writer who “breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways.” As a thanks for stopping by to read what Pauline has to say on this subject of Christian Horror, I’m running a giveaway.
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Now, to the interview:
Tim: Tell us a little about your vampire story in the upcoming Monsters!
anthology and what excites you about it.
Pauline: I was at the ChristianWriters.com forum one day and there was an intense argument about whether a vampire story could ever be truly Christian. The story in question was about a Christian who became a vampire. The argument escalated into one about whether or not a Christian can become demon possessed. Although I do not ascribe to either side of the debate, one member had mentioned nonchalantly that it would be cool to read a story about an attack on a Christian where the vampires couldn’t harm them because their blood is already claimed by Christ — resulting in explosive consequences. I asked the forum member (author ML Archer) if she planned on writing the story and if not, if she minded if I did. Thus “Running Late” was born. Both ML Archer and I strive for thrilling fiction with an obvious but unobtrusive Christian twist. She helped me edit the piece and gave me feedback before I submitted to A Flame in the Dark.
Tim: I see you recently released a book, The Clockwork Dragon, which has short stories, one from you, J.L. Mbewe, and from Lynn Donovan. Part of the book’s tagline is: Three authors. One legend. One dragon. A Legion of demons. Who will survive and who will lose their soul?
How did this project work? Did one of you come up with the origin story for this dragon and then decided which parts of the story each would write or was it a premise that you submitted a story for?
Pauline: Clockwork Dragon was the title of an original short story I wrote, the first story in the anthology and has the new title “Here and Now.” I submitted it to my critique group at the Anomaly Sandbox. Some of the members wanted to know backstory. When I suggested some possibilities and offered to allow anyone to write a minimum of two stories toward the anthology, J.L. Mbewe and Lynn Donovan took me up on the offer. The result: nine stories, 2 from me, 2 from JL Mbewe, 3 from Lynn, and one collaboration.
Tim: Oh, cool. I didn’t know there was nine stories. One of your reviews said there was a bit of Horror in it. What do you think about Christians writing Horror and how do you make the combination unique to your style?
Pauline: Funny you should ask, since I blogged on just that subject: http://fatfreefaith.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-is-this-doing-on-christian-website.html — The vampire short in Monsters! is only one of the christian horror short stories I’ve had published this year. My favorites are the zombie short published in Fear & Trembling: http://www.fearandtremblingmag.com/2012/02/sanctuary/ and a Gothic horror Steampunk short published by Obsidian River: http://www.obsidianriver.com/2012/08/10/obsidian-river-issue-number-two-heartless-in-new-orleans/ – I try to clash the familiar with the strange in my horror, making it more personal. A person can live their whole life in a familiar setting and never scratch the surface of the strange underneath. Sometimes that strange unknown is something horrific and sometimes it’s amazing like Jesus.
Thanks for stopping by, Pauline, and to our audience. What do you think about what Pauline has to add to the discussion? If you’ve read any of her stories, what did you think about them?
Coffin Hop Schedule:
I will have 4 podcast interviews at the Holy Worlds Podcast, a couple written ones (Kat Heckenbach, Pauline Creeden, and Dana Bell) here on my website (timothycward.com), and another written one with Greg Mitchell in my Tuesday slot at the New Authors Fellowship.
Here’s the podcast schedule:
Wed. 24th: Teric Darken
Fri. 26: Ellen C. Maze
Mon. 29th: Thomas Smith