|Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications|
Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Jill Hand who explores the fear of yoga in her short story "Too Hot in Boilertown" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.
LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader? Who is your favorite horror creator? Who are your inspirations or influences?
JILL HAND: Horror grips readers like no other genre. Get a group of people sitting around a campfire telling stories and chances are the stories will be scary. That’s because, deep down, we love being scared. Even people who say they won’t watch horror movies watch a TV news report about women being burned alive in cages because they refuse to have sex with ISIS fighters. We slow down and look when there’s a bad accident being cleaned up on the highway. Writing horror involves being aware there’s a lot of darkness involved in being alive and showing people that darkness.
As for my favorite horror creator I’d say it’s Michael McDowell. His short story, “Miss Mack,” is guaranteed to give you nightmares.
LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child? Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?
HAND: As a child I was mostly afraid of my parents dying, which they eventually did. I have one phobia now: trypophobia, which is fear of clusters of small holes. Don’t laugh. It’s bad.
LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk. Which sub-genres have you written in? What's your favorite flavor of horror?
HAND: I like to mix humor with horror. Is there a name for that? Funny horror?
LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?
HAND: I’m not a fan of any horror that involves rape.
LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?
I wrote a story about a woman whose house ate her.
LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.
HAND: No. I wish I did.
LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life? Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?
HAND: No, I do my best to feign normality. People expect horror writers to drive a hearse and sleep in a coffin. I drive a vintage Mercedes and sleep in a bed. I do, however, have a room in my basement that’s filled with enormous crickets, like really unusually large crickets, but I don’t throw parties down there.
LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?
HAND: Don’t imitate other writers. Find your own voice.
LVP: What would you like your legacy to be? Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?
HAND: My legacy will be lots of short stories in lots of anthologies. I’m cool with that.
LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?
HAND: Read my work. Leave reviews. Writers need reviews the way vampires need fresh blood. Oh, and I have a Southern Gothic thriller coming out on May 30, 2019 from Black Rose Writing. It’s called White Oaks and it’s funny and weird. You should read it.
~ Jill Hand is an award-winning fantasy author and a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. Her Southern Gothic thriller, White Oaks, is available for preorder now from Black Rose Writing, and on Amazon after its release date of May 30, 2019.
Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!