I am so excited to share that Cailin Marceau will be joining our creepy little group of confirmed authors. Caitlin and I met over a Zoom meeting and instantly connected over rude jokes and the love of horror. We are ecstatic and honoured to be able to showcase our talented authors committed to the Kickstarter "The Earth Bleeds at Night". in these small and fun interviews.
Caitlin, tell us about yourself!
My name is Caitlin. I’m a queer Canadian illustrator and award-winning author. I write mostly horror, but I also enjoy writing sci-fi, fantasy, and erotica (a bit out of left field, I know). I have three cats, I’m allergic to cockroaches, and I’m ambidextrous. I realize those last three facts have nothing to do with my writing, but it’s fun to spice things up every now and again!
How and why did you pick up the pen and start writing? Have you always been drawn to the creative arts or is this something that started later in life?
Growing up, I was always creatively inclined, but it was my grandfather who really got me into writing. He was an avid reader his whole life and he really enjoyed storytelling. When I was a kid, he’d come up with these “made to order” stories—so like, he’d ask me what I wanted in the story and I’d say that it needed to take place in haunted castle with a skeleton knight, and that the princess had a cat for a best friend, etc.—and they were always so good. They were my favourite part of coming over to visit him. As I got older, I increasingly wanted to be the one to tell him stories and that’s really how I got into creative writing.
-How do you approach research and realism when writing horror stories?
As if my life depends on it!
Well… sometimes, anyway.
Honestly, it really depends on the project I’m working on. If I’m writing a story that isn’t supposed to be grounded in reality—like my forthcoming novel But A Dream from Hear Us Scream Press—then I’m a little more lenient when it comes to how much research I do. Like, I don’t need to know the science behind a psychedelic dream sequence brought on by eating a witch or check the accuracy of things appearing in it, you know?
But if I’m writing something rooted in reality, then I try to be super accurate with details. If it’s set in a specific time period or if it deals with subject matter that I’m not an expert in or familiar with, then I try to do as much research as I can to get all the little details right. I know a lot of authors sweat the big stuff when it comes to their research and world building, and I definitely do too, but I find that it’s usually the small inaccuracies that can really pull a reader out of a story. So I try to make sure I get everything as accurate as I can.
-What is the weirdest thing you have ever googled or binged?
I’ve had to Google a lot of weird things since getting into horror and I’m wholeheartedly convinced I’m on a government watchlist because of it. I don’t know what the weirdest thing I’ve researched is, but some of the most recent ones that were concerning included “steps to make homemade chlorine gas” and “how long does it take to roast someone to death over a fire?” I swiftly followed those searches with “I swear this is for a story” and “I’m an author please don’t arrest me I swear it’s for a book” to try and reassure whoever is monitoring my online activity that I’m not a threat. (But we all do this, right? Right?)
If you were in a horror movie, which character would you be: the final girl, the comic relief, the first victim, or the killer?
Without question I would die first. Without question! I lack any physical skills or prowess needed to fight off or outrun a killer. I’m painfully trusting of everyone all the time, so it wouldn’t take much to catch me off guard. And I spend most of my day wearing noise-canceling headphones with my glasses off, so I literally wouldn’t hear or see my death coming. With that being said, I’m such an easy target that I can only hope most horror villains would ignore me in pursuit of more satisfying victims!
If you had to spend a night in a haunted house with one horror movie character, who would it be and why?
Oh, without question it would be Dennis Rafkin (played by Matthew Lillard) in 2001’s Thirteen Ghosts. The man’s a psychic, knows his way around a specter, and I think he’d have the practical experience to keep us (mostly) safe. I realize that he dies by the end of Thirteen Ghosts, but he was still super useful as a spirit which means that, alive or dead, I think he’s a great ally to have in a haunted house. (Plus, he’s played by Matthew Lillard, who’s cool as heck!)
Tell us about your recent works, where we can find them and all of your social media details.
My most recent novella is This Is Where We Talk Things Out from DarkLit Press, but I’ve been published in a few recent anthologies, including Dark Disaster from Uncomfortably Dark and I Can’t Miss You If You Never Leave from Parlor Ghost Press. My debut novel, It Wasn’t Supposed To Go Like This is out next fall from DarkLit Press and you can expect a few of my novellas to hit shelves next year from Hear Us Scream Press. You can find me on pretty much every platform with the handle @CaitlinMarceau.
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