Michelle Scalise is a wonderful writer of horror and dark fiction. I just finished reading her collection of short stories called Collective Suicide
and was amazed. Her storytelling power is heartfelt and wrenching, her characters tragically sympathetic. Her use of language is wonderfully poetic, so it's no surprise she also just had a new collection of poetry come out from Eldritch Press, The Manufacturer of Sorrow. I had the great fortune to read this collection, too, and am very impressed. Both her books are available as ebooks. The Manufacturer of Sorrow is also available in paperback form.
Here is my mini-interview with her.
What are you currently working on? I just finished my poetry collection MANUFACTURER OF SORROW for Eldritch Press. I am now working on new poetry and reading some nonfiction books on WWI possibly for research purposes. I have written one story about that war and I may do another.
How does your work differ from other writers in the genre(s)? When it comes to my short stories I would say my voice. I write fiction as a poet. I love the sound of words and the emotions they can create. I work on the rhythm of a sentence as if it were a poem while trying to tell an interesting story. My poems more than my fiction are based in my reality. I use horror images to cover up the truth in both but I feel more comfortable looking back at my past in poems.
Why do you write what you write? I started writing poetry when I was 14. I didn't choose to write in a certain genre. I just write and it comes out very dark. My poetry becomes horror because I go back to unhappy moments in my life. My fiction is quite often ghost stories because that is what I love to read. Ghost are interesting vehicles to use because they may not represent actual spirits of the dead. Sometimes they are moments of regret from our past. Many of my stories can be read either way. As far as my poetry, I don't mind what images the reader takes away from them. I think that is what I love about reading poems. I may write about something in my childhood that no one besides a couple of people in my life would understand but if someone reads it and it holds meaning for them or touches them in any way, I have done my job.
How does your writing process work? I am an irresponsible poet and writer. I know this because my husband writes every day. I have to be moved by something. It can be a word I read or heard in a song for poems. When that happens I have to write the word or sentence down quickly. I have had a line of poetry come to me in the car while I'm alone driving quite often. I have to pull over and copy down the words because I go into a panic and fear I will forget them. As far as fiction, I am inspired by nonfiction books, biographies, documentaries. I wrote a WWI story while watching a documentary about it (something I would normally never be interested in is war). I saw how excited all these British boys were as they went off to war and the reality of what they encountered was so disturbing (I know this happens in all wars). I began to think about artists and how much more sensitive they are. Then I wondered what would happen to a poet if he went off to war. From there I discovered the poetry of Wilfred Owen. All of that combined to influence me.
I have to have complete silence when I write and I am more inspired in the fall and winter than in the summer. If there are any changes in my life I can't write. If I buy a new desk, I won't be able to write for weeks. I know that probably sounds nuts but there you go.
|Author Michelle Scalise with her husband Tom Piccirilli|
Bio: Since 1994 Michelle Scalise's work has appeared in such anthologies as UNSPEAKABLE HORROR, DARKER SIDE, MORTIS OPERENDI, DARK ARTS, THE BIG BOOK OF EROTIC GHOST STORIES and such magazines as Cemetery Dance, Crimewave and Dark Discoveries. She was nominated for the 2010 Spectrum Award which honors outstanding works of fantasy and horror that include positive gay characters and the 2000 Rhysling Award for poetry. Her fiction has received honorable mention in YEARS BEST FANTASY AND HORROR. Her latest poetry has been chosen by the Horror Writers Association for their anthology HORROR POETRY SHOWCASE:VOLUME I. She has fiction and poetry appearing soon in the best of Dark Discoveries anthology DISCOVERIES: BEST OF HORROR AND DARK FANTASY and the anthology OUR WORLD OF HORROR. Contributing Editor and Senior Reviewer for SFSite chose her first collection, INTERVALS OF HORRIBLE SANITY, as one of the top ten books of 2003. Her fiction collection , COLLECTIVE SUICIDE, was published by Crossroad Press in 2012. Eldritch Press just published a collection of her poetry, THE MANUFACTURER OF SORROW in paperback and ebook in early September 2014. Michelle is married to bestselling author Tom Piccirilli. Visit her online at www.MichelleScalise.com
Thank you for reading all about Michelle and her work! Next up is a mini-interview with bestselling horror and crime novelist, and poet Tom Piccirilli.
author of "Letters to an Android" and more.
author of "Letters to an Android" and more.