Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Seanan McGuire at Jordan Con, here in Atlanta. First off, she’s a very talented author. While she enjoys writing urban fantasy novels, short stories and poems, there is a darker side to this woman’s personality. Yes, she lives and breathes horror.(SWEET!) For those of you not familiar with her New Flesh trilogy, may I suggest you start with Feed. This was my first introduction to her zombie novels, and now I’m hooked. And, I’d also like to note, during the interview she pleasantly “creeped me out” with the way her mind works! Needless to say, I’m looking forward to her next novel Parasite which is due out later this year.
Here’s a link to one of her Bio’s. http://seananmcguire.com/bio.php
DB&B: It’s really nice to meet you Seanan. So, to get things started, let me ask you a question about when you first started to write. How old were you?
SM: I was 5 years old when I learned people were allowed to write books. Before that, I thought the grew on trees or something. Then I learned Ray Bradbury had written the Halloween Tree which I had seen the animated version of. From there, I decided I wanted to write books. My first stories were only 3 or4 pages long, and shortly after that, my parents got me a type writer. Giving a 6 year old a typewriter is like giving a squirrel a machine gun. So my parents started hearing “Bang, bang, bang, bang…ding! All night.
DB&B: What did you like to write about?
SM : Generally my stories revolved around My Little Pony. However my little ponies, did a lot of stuff! In the 1980′s my little Ponies were fu**ing metal! The first thing my ponies did after escaping the castle, was to defeat the DEVIL! While everybody else’s My Little Ponies were fighting for friendship, my little ponies were beating the devil’s ass! Also, I was into alien planets. I also had a lot of candy involved in my stories further proving I was a six year old.
DB&B: Now, previous to this interview you told me your parents supported your writing and they let you watch all sorts of horror TV shows and movies. Was there anything you couldn’t watch?
SM: There wasn’t anything I wasn’t allowed to watch really, but it was what I wasn’t allowed to read. Mom said, no Heinlein because he was too dirty,and you can’t read King, because he’s too scary. The funny thing was that when I was 9, I wrote a fourteen page essay with bibliography and footnotes to my mother on why she had to let me read Stephen King. Then after she saw what I had read, she figured the damage had been done. So the next day, she decided I could read Stephen King.
DB&B: Tell us about the TV shows and horror movies that inspired you.
SM: Dr. Who and He- Man Masters of the Universe are really what taught me to read. Then in the eighties we got a cool horror block of television shows starting with Werewolf, Dracula, then you moved into Frankenstein, Nightmares, Friday The Thirteenth the series, and Tales From The Dark Side. That followed with re-runs of bad horror movies and of course Elvira. She was one of my idols. I just wanted to go to her house and like watch all her episodes. That was awesome!
DB&B: What horror movie did you see when you were young that rattled your cage, so to speak?
SM: The Blob! I actually have a pudding phobia because when I had strep throat at the age of seven, I ate a lot of it and coincidentally, I watched a Blob marathon on Coffee TV 20 when I was sick with strep. That was a bad combination. The Blob movies led up to “The Stuff” and after that at 8 pm, was the 1984 TV remake of the Blob. So eating pudding cups and taking penicillin was pretty much all I was doing. And more and more as I watched the movies, I became convinced that my mom was trying to feed me the blob. Then when I ate enough of it, I’d turn into the blob. To this day, If I put pudding in my mouth, I will throw up. So, No, pudding… bad. (Insert laughter here, between the two of us)
DB&B: Alright, lets step away from that cheery thought, and talk about one of my favorite topics …zombies. You wrote the highly successful New Flesh Trilogy, which started with Feed. What started you down the zombie path?
SM: Again, Dr. Who. From a cinematic perspective, zombies are the cheapest monster. They cost nothing to produce. A little make-up and bam! You’re a zombie. Dr. Who was on a shoe string budget, so zombies were a big thing for them. Then Thriller came out and my uncle let me watch George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead so I could understand them better. Finally when I was about nine, my mom went to a yard sale and brought back a huge box of Warren comics. They did Vampirella, and they were into zombies. [Read more...]