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Entries in DarkFuse (1)

Tuesday
Mar292016

Nerding Out with Kristin Dearborn

It’s been awhile since I checked in on you with a new Nerding Out interview. What I thought to be an absolute impossibility actually happened. I fell out of the habit of daily reading. The horror… There are a number of projects keeping me busy, but that’s no excuse. I was on an average of 80 – 100 books-a -year reading bender. I was on tear for years, blistering through pages and pages of genre fiction like my life depended on it.

I suppose reading “burn-out” was inevitable.

That is why it is exciting to for me to interview an author that I have not had the pleasure of reading yet. New blood to ignite my reading passion.

Kristin Dearborn’s new novella, Woman in White, may just be the remedy for my malady. Plot synopsis follows the interview.

Kristin was a good sport with my nerdy questions and has an incredible sense of humor. She even managed to trigger a slight reverberation of interest for me in Buffy. Sorry… I know! I just never had an opportunity to get into the show. But that may change.

Enjoy our little chat.

Duane: Most life experiences and general themes can be filtered through the lens of a horror novel, short story, etc. The creative versatility that can be utilized within the horror genre is one of its main appeals. Do you have aspirations to dabble into other literary genres?

Kristin: My heart lies with speculative fiction: sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. I don’t see myself delving into any other genres, and whatever I did write would, I’m sure, be firmly entrenched in horror elements. I do enjoy a good mystery that straddles the line between mystery and horror, like Mo Hayder’s Birdman or Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs. I am an unapologetic pants-er, and I think tight plotting is critical for a good mystery, and I don’t think I have the chops for it.

You touch, though, on one of my favorite things about horror: it’s the only genre that’s also an emotion. Horror can be at home anywhere, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, literary fiction…horror has a space in each of the other genres. That fluid pervasiveness is one of my favorite things about the genre.

Duane: You are given the awesome task of programming a weekend of horror double-features at a local theater. Which films do you choose for your double-bills on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night?

Kristin: Great question!

- Alien & The Thing
- Halloween & Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
- Piranha 3-D & Cloverfield

Duane: If you had to be a monster, while still generally adhering to the universally agreed upon mythos of said beast, what type of monster would you be?

Kristin: I’ve always had a soft spot for werewolves. Way better than vampires: no sun allergy, can still enjoy garlic, can check one’s self out in a mirror. You lose the eternal life bit, though, which is a bummer. I feel like werewolves kinda go in two directions. The first is more traditional and probably more realistic (cause, you know, werewolves and realism) which is where the change is triggered by the moon, and you spend the next two nights blindly falling prey to your baser instincts. The second is more romanticized, where you can change whenever you want, and still have some humanity left when you’re the beast. I like the idea of the former better, it’s more monster and more animal. The first few transitions would be rough, but you’d start to get the hang of it, and figure where to position yourself when the moon rises. I’d head way up north in Canada where I could eat elk and moose and fight with grizzly bears. If I were the second, more sentient type of werewolf, I’d become a super hero and fight crime in my near-unstoppable wolf form. Just no silver jewelry, please.

Duane: What is your impression of the horror community as a whole and how has being a part of this community influenced your life?

Kristin: The horror community is, with very few exceptions, fantastic. I’ve tried very hard to make engaging with the community a priority, and annually attend events such as the World Horror Convention, (the now defunct) Anthocon, the Stanley Hotel Writers’ Retreat, and everyone’s favorite, NECON. Arriving at these events is like coming home, showing up to a family reunion where everyone actually likes each other. I’ve found other authors enthusiastically willing to help lift me up, help me network, and share laughs (or gross-outs) over a beer or cocktail. We share blurbs, offer copy edits and beta reads, cross promote one another, and keep each other sane.

Duane: Let’s say you are given the opportunity to play around in someone else’s yard, i.e. write fiction for an already established franchise. Which fictional property would you pick and why?

Kristin: I feel like the Buffy universe has a lot of untapped potential—other slayers in other times, other situations. We know most of them don’t make it to the age of eighteen because of the dangerous lives they live. We also know they can have children (like Principal Wood!). What happens when you mix teen pregnancy and slayers? What does it mean for their babies? Then you have to consider the Watchers and their council. I also wonder about Buffy’s predecessor. About Faith’s early days. Joss Whedon does a fantastic job at establishing a fascinating universe, I’d love to play in the sandbox. I would go for pre-Buffy lore, and avoid the “every girl a slayer” stuff.

Duane: Time-travel. I cannot think of a more fascinating “what if” scenario than time-travel, other than parallel dimensions, that is more creatively ripe for exploration. In this hypothetical, you have time (ha!) to prepare before you leave, including making sure your wardrobe is consistent with the date and place of your time-journey. But you must not disrupt anything, if at all possible. You are to be a passive observer only. If you could go back in time to one specific place and date, where and when do you choose?

Kristin: Okay, so imma going to call shenanigans on your question from the get-go, in that you CAN’T go back to another time without influencing something, e.g., “A Sound of Thunder.” Since this is a stipulation, though, it absolves me from doing something responsible and admirable with this question. I find the Gilded Age fascinating, and have set some (so far unpublished) books there. The Victorian era is drawing to a close, and people are just starting to break out of the tight social constraints of the era, cars have become a thing, electricity is gaining traction, as is indoor plumbing. It’s the eve of WWI, the jazz age, an era with trembling potential. This is a time where the excess are similar to what we have now, and the divisions between the haves and the have nots are staggering. Since I cannot change anything about the time I go back to, instead of assassinating Hitler in the crib or insuring Lee Harvey Oswald’s shot missed, I would go back to Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt’s Great Costume Ball, which happened on March 26, 1883. This was, to the best of my reading, the pinnacle of American excess and ridiculous costume and pageantry. The event kicked off at 11 p.m. and went until almost dawn. I wish I had some deep and political reason for wanting to see this time and place, but really it’s just to be drawn up in the romantic magic of it all.

Duane: Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick?

Kristin: In the spirit of Woman in White, I’m going to pick a team of lovely ladies for this one.

First, the last survivor of the Nostromo, Lt. Ellen Ripley. She went toe to toe with the Xenomorph on the Nostromo, survived Hadley’s Hope, and finally sacrificed herself on Fiorna “Fury” 161 in what she thought would end the alien species. (Spoilers, it didn’t.) But I think after tussling with aliens, a few zombies wouldn’t even have her blink an eye. She didn’t want to let Kane and his face hugger inside the ship, I’m sure she’ll be great at keeping out zombies.

Second, Imperator Furiosa. She’s gonna be the one to drive, she will make sure all the vehicles and mechanicals are running properly, and with the survival skills she has from the Mad Max universe, I don’t think the zombies will be a problem. I’m imagining her missing arm will be an advantage, as it gives her something to defend herself with if she finds herself sans weapon, and if the zombies bite it, she won’t be infected.

The third and final member of my team is The Bride, Beatrix Kiddo, codename Black Mamba. Imagine the scene where she fights the Crazy 88 with her katana. Now imagine a crowd of zombies. The zombies aren’t around for very long after The Bride shows up. A trained assassin, she can keep a cool head, and is definitely skilled in combat. In 2013 a new species of parasitic wasp was named after her, Cystomastacoides kiddo, because she is THAT badass. I toyed with Michonne from The Walking Dead in this role, but that seemed like too easy.

Now I’m totally going to cheat:

Two ladies I wish could be on the team but are too supernatural: Willow Rosenberg and Hermione Granger.

Three other characters I strongly considered, but decided to go girl power instead: Jack Burton: A reasonable guy who’s experienced some unreasonable things; Snake Plissken: who admittedly doesn’t give a shit about the human race; and R.J. MacReady: who knows he’s still human, and knows some of you are still human, too.

These have, without a doubt, been some of the most fun questions I’ve gotten to answer!

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Follow along the publicity tour with these hashtags: #WomaninWhite #DarkFuse #IcyHorror
 
Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn
NOVELLA
Available: Feb 4, 2016
Publisher: DarkFuse
Format: eBook ($2.99)

Synopsis

Rocky Rhodes, Maine.

As a fierce snowstorm descends upon the sleepy little town, a Good Samaritan stops to help a catatonic woman sitting in the middle of the icy road, and is never seen or heard from again. When the police find his car, it is splattered in more blood than the human body can hold.

While the storm rages on, the wave of disappearances continue, the victims sharing only one commonality: they are all male. Now it's up to three young women to figure out who or what is responsible: a forensic chemist, a waitress struggling with an abusive boyfriend, and a gamer coping with the loss of her lover.

Their search will lead them on a journey filled with unspeakable horrors that are all connected to a mysterious Woman in White.

Praise

"Horror born straight from a nor'easter, Dearborn's Woman in White is a great read for a winter night—with a monster I'll never forget." —Christopher Irvin, author of Federales and Burn Cards

"Kristin Dearborn's Woman in White is a rip-roaring monster tale with sharp-eyed characterization and something to say about the power dynamics between men and woman. Thought-provoking and entertaining as hell!" —Tim Waggoner, author of Eat the Night

"Great stuff! Suspenseful, quickly paced, unpredictable and wonderfully evil tale. Kristin Dearborn’s best yet!” —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

Biography

If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. She’s written books such as Sacrifice Island (DarkFuse), Trinity (DarkFuse), and had fiction published in several magazines and anthologies. Stolen Away was recently a limited edition offered from Thunderstorm Books, which sold out. She revels in comments like "But you look so normal...how do you come up with that stuff?" A life-long New Englander, she aspires to the footsteps of the local masters, Messrs. King and Lovecraft. When not writing or rotting her brain with cheesy horror flicks (preferably creature features!), she can be found scaling rock cliffs or zipping around Vermont on a motorcycle, or gallivanting around the globe. Find more on Kristin at http://kristindearborn.com.