Folk Horror Author Interview, Elin Olausson
Hello. Thank you so much for sitting down to chat with us today.
So, tell us a little bit about you. How did you get into writing?
I’ve always been obsessed with stories and started writing/drawing my own very early. Creativity was encouraged both at home and in school. When I was 11 I wrote my first longer story, and after that I’ve been writing regularly.
Without giving away too much detail, tell us a little bit about the story that you have in the Folk Horror anthology, coming out in 2023 with Eerie River? Where did you get the inspiration from?
Woodland is a story about two sisters who are moving to a house in the countryside together with their father, who is on the run. They befriend a local woman against their father’s wishes, and that new friendship changes everything.
I’ve always been fascinated by trees and find them very inspiring, so in a way the woods outside my window put this story in my head. But I also have to mention the beautiful novel Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda, which was definitely a source of inspiration when I wrote Woodland.
What are your favorite genres to read and write?
I love reading epic post-apocalyptic stories, whodunnits, classics, comics, horror and plenty of other things. My favorite genres to write are psychological horror and romance. One thing I really enjoy is writing stories with a vast number of characters and intricate family trees.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’d say I’m a bit of both. I usually start out with a bit of plotting, then I grow bored of that and start writing when I don’t know more than a tiny bit of what’s going to happen. Then, once I’ve written 20% or so, I’ve reached the stage where I start plotting in more detail as I go along.
What is your favourite horror movie?
I’m not generally a fan of horror movies, since most of them are much too scary for me, but I love Black Swan, Repulsion, Get Out, Stoker, The Birds, and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
When did you first realize you loved horror and wanted to write it?
I was 7-8 years old when I started reading my dad’s comic books, especially The Phantom which was hugely popular in Sweden back then. Some of the stories were really scary, and I soon realized those were the best ones, even though I barely dared to read them.
I also loved the children’s TV show Are You Afraid of the Dark?, though it gave me nightmares and I almost always regretted watching it as soon as the episode started.
What is it about Folk Horror specifically that you love?
I’m all for rural settings and I’ve always been interested in folklore and myths and ancient traditions. So folk horror is right up my alley!
It’s almost cliche that authors live on black coffee and hard liquor. What are you drinking right now?
I hate coffee and I hardly ever drink alcohol, so I guess I’m not a typical author then. ;) Instead I drink lots and lots of tea, usually black in the morning and green or herbal later in the day.
Elin Olausson is a fan of the weird and the unsettling. She is the author of the short story collection Growth and has had stories featured in Chiral Mad 5, The Ghastling, Nightscript, and many other publications.
Elin’s rural childhood made her love and fear the woods, and she firmly believes that a cat is your best companion in life. She lives in Sweden.