The One That Got Away

Demi-Louise Blackburn - Ellie Douglas - Faith Pierce

Demi-Louise Blackburn

 

 

 

How long have you been writing?

 

I’ve had a very sporadic track record when it comes to writing, honestly! There was quite a big hiatus for me when I was studying Sociology at University, and then afterwards when I started job hunting. I either didn’t physically have the time to dedicate myself to writing, or I wasn’t in the headspace for it.

 

I’d say I started writing fairly consistently as a hobby when I was around seventeen or eighteen, and I’m twenty-five now. In terms of writing with the aim to get published, that journey only started at the beginning of 2020 for me – so I’m still quite fresh!

 

What have been your experiences in the horror community as a woman?

 

When I first started trying to engage with the horror community and use social media more, I did find it a little hard, if I’m honest, but I think a lot of that was due to preconceived worries of how people may treat me, rather than how people did treat me. It’s sometimes hard not to assume that you’ll be swept under the carpet or feel belittled, especially as a woman working with this type of genre.

 

However, for the most part, the bit of the horror community I’ve been exposed to has been incredibly diverse, welcoming, and non-judgmental. There’s a lot of support available for everyone. Nearly every interaction I’ve had has been a joy and I feel incredibly lucky that my taste in writing has led me to such a helpful community.

 

2020 left everyone feeling pushed to their limit. How are you finding the creative process this year?

 

If anything, I think I value my creative pursuits more than ever after the mess that was 2020. The entire year was anxiety-filled for everyone, and in my own personal life I had a lot going on, as well. Writing, in particular, did what it usually does best for me – it gave me an escape. I think that’s left me feeling a lot more content with my work, but at the same time, more driven.

 

Plus, 2020 was a training-wheels kind of year for me. I wasn’t too savvy in regards to sending my writing out for open calls and trying to find homes for my stories, and there was a lot I needed to work on in terms of my craft, as well. Because of that, I feel like it’s given me a clearer picture of what I need to do to progress - and now I’m enjoying creating things again rather than stressing over them.

 

Though it’s definitely been a difficult time to create, it’s made the process sweeter in a strange way.

 

We truly believe in intention setting. What is your dream for 2021?

 

In all honesty, I kind of just want to do what I’ve done in 2020, but a little better.

 

Plus, I’m not sure if anyone else feels this way, but 2020 felt like a year of reflection, setting plans, and a lot of self-realization. Mulling over exactly who you are, what you want, or what you could do. So, I hope to enter 2021 with a better understanding of myself and my motives, be more focused on my goals, and to appreciate what I have in the moment, rather than worry about what I do not have.

 

2020, for me, was about discovering what steps would lead towards something new or lead towards improving something. In 2021 I hope to take those steps.

 

What do you want to see more of in horror?

 

I mulled over this question for a while, and really the only thing I’d want to see more of is technically a continuation of things that have already been put into motion. More diverse voices. More experimenting. Support of new and upcoming authors to see what gems are hiding out there. More support of non-writing folk that are still an integral part of the horror circle. To keep branching out, crossing more genre-boundaries, seeing what weird and wonderful things we can come up with.

 

Maybe some more deep-sea horror, too. That stuff is my jam lately.

 

What other genres would you like to explore?

 

I’ve been dipping into fantasy a bit more, lately, and I think I might want to explore that avenue further at some point. But many of my projects have been expanding into speculative fiction territory lately, as well, so a lot has been on the table.

 

Truthfully, I’ll have a dabble with any genre if it takes my fancy…so long as I can twist it a little bit. I think it’s a good thing to always leave yourself open and receptive to trying out new genres as and when they take your interest. Even if it doesn’t prove a good fit for you, it’s a good way to stretch your writing muscles.

 

Give a piece of one sentence advice for women wanting to write dark fiction.

 

Don’t downplay yourself.

 

Please provide a short bio. Thanks!

 

Demi-Louise Blackburn is an author from a small town in West Yorkshire, England. She’s found homes for some of her stories with Kandisha Press and All Worlds Wayfarer and continues to chip away at other projects. In her free time, she likes visiting the coast, collecting taxidermy insects, and watching documentaries.

You can find updates from Demi here: https://demi-louise.com/ or find her on social media here: https://linktr.ee/demilouiseblackburn

Ellie Douglas

How long have you been writing?

 

Since 2000

 

What have been your experiences in the horror community as a woman?

 

Judgment, people assume because I’m a woman that I’m not going to be any good at what I do.

 

2020 left everyone feeling pushed to their limit. How are you finding the creative process this year?

I didn’t find writing an issue, but for sales and marketing, that is where it hit the hardest.

 

We truly believe in intention setting. What is your dream for 2021?

 

Not to sound cliché but I would love to see one of my books being turned into a movie, so that would be my dream for this year :)

 

What do you want to see more of in horror?

Scary stuff, there needs to be more of it. There isn’t enough of it.

 

What other genres would you like to explore?

 

Paranormal and psychological.

 

Give a piece of one sentence advice for women wanting to write dark fiction.

 

Figure out who your target audience will be and write for that, it will help you write better :)

 

Please provide a short bio. Thanks!

 

Ellie lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with her husband, and four children. A graduate of Massey, and is a freelance graphic artist. She has spent ten years working with Autistic children, and has done some overseas traveling. She is a member of NZSA and SpecFicNZ.

Before she started writing horror/thrillers, she designed award winning book covers for authors and still does. Her favorite job is the one she’s now doing full time — writing horror/thrillers. 

 

Ellie’s ultimate aim is to give back, paying it forward and to constantly better herself. To give the audience amazing entertaining stories that she herself would read.

She would love to scare you…

Faith Pierce

 

How long have you been writing?

 

Writing has been an interest for me since I was very young, as long as I can remember, but as a teenager my life hit a chaotic phase (/decade) where I didn’t write much at all. I was a single mom going to school and was just in survival mode. After I was finished with college and had a stable job and my son was a bit older, I went back to writing. Very slowly and sporadically at first. That was about five years ago, and I’ve been writing seriously (as in, writing regularly and occasionally finishing things) for a little over two years now.

 

What have been your experiences in the horror community as a woman?

 

So far, great. I'm still new to it, but all the interactions I’ve had with professionals and other writers in the community have been good.

 

2020 left everyone feeling pushed to their limit. How are you finding the creative process this year?

 

It was a bit rough for me creatively. 2020 was my first year being serious about trying to get published, and I started the year off trying to get an agent for my book. That was honestly an exhausting, demoralizing process for me. I think the querying process impacted me creatively as much as 2020 being 2020 did. To cope with the lack of motivation, I focused on short stories instead of forcing myself to work on another big project, and that helped. The first half of 2020 involved 50 agent rejections, while the second half brought my first three short story acceptances and a book contract. So I ended the year feeling very much revitalized and eager to keep the creative juices flowing.

 

We truly believe in intention setting. What is your dream for 2021?

 

I want to write another book! That’s my biggest goal. 2020 was a year for [valid] excuses; in 2021, I want to get back to holding myself accountable. I’d also like to keep working on my short story craft and hopefully publish a few more.

 

What do you want to see more of in horror?

 

Right now I feel like what I want in horror, people are delivering. I haven’t been reading horror as long as most horror writers, so maybe that’s why, but I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I read so many wonderful books this past year. I guess I’m still in the exploration phase with horror, and I’m loving it.

 

What other genres would you like to explore?

 

I see myself bouncing between horror and fantasy a lot, with some sci-fi thrown in too.

 

Give a piece of one sentence advice for women wanting to write dark fiction.

 

Write like no one’s ever going to read it.

 

Please provide a short bio. Thanks!

 

Faith Pierce writes horror, dark fantasy, and other forms of speculative fiction. She's written a handful of short stories that are either out or upcoming with Scare Street, Kandisha Press, and Cemetery Gates. Her first novel will be published with Crystal Lake early 2022. She grew up in a small town in Texas and now lives in Missouri. Find her on Twitter @faithepierce.