I recently had the great privilege of reading a review copy of Angela Slatter and Lisa L. Hannett's exciting new short story collection 'Midnight & Moonshine', which retells old Norse myths in utterly new and surprising ways. I told them it felt like "fireworks on the horizon", it was so original and sizzling-bright.
I interviewed both Angela and Lisa for the latest issue of Aurealis Magazine and I hope you read my long interview there.
This following interview with Angela Slatter is simply a taster, to celebrate the upcoming SPECULATIVE FICTION FESTIVAL at the NSW Writers Centre in Rozelle, Sydney.
Here are Angela's answers to my questions:
What is your latest book about?
Well, the one I'm working on now is called Hallowmass and it's the first part of an urban fantasy trilogy set in Brisbane. It sprang from my short story "Brisneyland by Night", which appeared in Twelfth Planet Press's Sprawl anthology a few years back. It's about a female PI who's trying to solve the interlinked mysteries of who is stealing children to make wine from their tears, why a golem made of garbage is attacking members of Brisbane's Weyrd community, and who is killing sirens of the Brisbane nest.
How did you get the first idea for it?
It was a mix of the old Hansel and Gretel fairy tale mixed with The Pied Piper ... and then all mushed together with a lot of Brisbane locations. I had ideas for other stories with these characters and quite a few people said they wanted to read a full-length work ... so, I'm three-quarters of the way through writing the first one and I've got the sequels, Vigil and Corpselight, all planned out.
What do you love most about writing speculative fiction?
Oh, the challenge of inventing worlds and making them work. And creating characters that readers want to follow down the rabbit hole ... even if they don't necessarily like the character very much, but just can't bear not to know what they're doing!
What lies ahead of you in the next year?
Finishing Hallowmass and trying to sell it. Finishing a new collection called The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, which is a sequel to Sourdough and Other Stories. Starting work on Vigil. Travelling to the UK for World Fantasy Con in Oct. Teaching for the Queensland Writers Centre and doing some festival appearances (NSW Writers Centre Spec Fic Festival; Conflux; Gold Coast Literature Festival; GenreCon).
What are the best 5 books you've read in the past year?
Ooooh, only five. Off the top of my head: Karen Joy Fowler's Things I Didn't See; Megan Abbot's Queenpin; Curious Warning: The Collected Works of MR James (Stephen Jones ed); Sarah Pinborough's The Chosen Seed; Barbara Hambly's Magistrates of Hell.
I haven't read any of those! Oh goody, some books to add to my must-read pile!
I'll be interviewing other guests of the Speculative Fiction Festival this week in the lead-up to the big day. I hope you'll stick around .... we have some surprises in store!