Wicked Women, the latest all-women horror anthology from New England Horror Writers, is out. Edited by Scott Goudsward and Trisha Wooldridge, it features a cover by Lynne Hansen. I thought it would be fun to do a sort of author blog hop and learn more about the stories and contributors.
Here’s Elaine Pascale, author of Milk Time.
OK, Who Are You?
Elaine Pascale has been writing her entire life. She took a break from fiction to give birth to two children and a doctoral dissertation. Her writing has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. She is the author of The Blood Lights; If Nothing Else, Eve, We’ve Enjoyed the Fruit; and the nonfiction book: Metamorphosis: Identity Outcomes in International Student Adaptation–A Grounded Theory Study. After nearly three decades of life in New England, she recently relocated to the Everglades where she lives with a Skunk Ape and a congregation of friendly alligators.
What Is Your Story About?
This story is about the perils of middle school class placement, and of not finding your clique thus rendering yourself such an outlier that no one, absolutely no one, cares if you live or die.
What Was Your Inspiration For The Story?
I can remember the anxiety of waiting to find out what “section” of grades 7, 8, 9, I had been placed into. The placement really established your social status for the year. We would ride our bikes to the school and the list of sections would be hanging on the door. When you saw your placement you thought, “so these are my people: this is where I fit socially.” At times, that was a good feeling, at other times, it was devastating.
What Drew You To Writing?
I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I was asking my parents to write down stories before I knew how to write. I guess I always thought that books were magical, and I wanted a piece of that magic.
Chuck Palahniuk, Angela Carter, Flannery O’Connor, Stephen King, Clive Barker. Since we are celebrating anthologies of women writers, Kandisha Press has some cool offerings including Under Her Black Wings. I recommend checking them out.
Guilty pleasures for 2020?
Ok, it’s 2020. What guilty pleasures are helping you cope?
No different from non-2020 years: chocolate, cigars, horror movies, Real Housewives franchises, forcing my cat to snuggle with me.
What’s your favorite line or snippet from your Wicked Women story?
His name, his identity in Times New Roman font, was on the list marked “Rounded Scissors.”
This is from the beginning of the story and it is the impetus for all the main character’s problems.
What are you currently obsessed with?
There is panther that lives in my neighborhood. He is basically a phantom, stalking people and pets in the enviable, elusive manner of a big cat. Despite the fact that he has made two attempts on my life, I just can’t quit him.
What are your writing mantras, rules, and/or rituals?
I guess my rule is that if you do not have a natural compulsion to write, don’t write. I hear so many people think they will become rich and/or famous as a writer. They say things like, “I hate my job, so I will quit and write and that will pay the bills,” or “I wanted to be an actor but that isn’t working out so I will just write.” Being a writer is a horrible existence-basically, you spend most of your time hating yourself and hating everything you write. I wouldn’t venture into that lightly!
In line with the theme of Wicked Women: We are the granddaughters of the ones they could not burn at the stake.
Where Can People Find You?