Angel McCoy shared her story, Barnes Family Reunion with The Masters of Horror Anthology. We asked her some questions about her writing.
Where did you come up with your anthology idea?
My story “The Barnes Family Reunion” started with an afternoon mind-stroll about the impact of certain French philosophers on young minds. Having studied French Literature in college, this is the kind of daydream that plays across my mind from time to time. At about the same time, I came across a picture of a house I lived in as a child. Many of the environmental elements of the story come from my own youth—like the apple tree and the 4-H barn at the local fair.
How long did it take for you to put together your story?
I worked and re-worked this story over the course of several months. I had the story written long before Triskaideka conceived the anthology. It had been sitting here waiting for the right home.
Why did you submit your MoH story – was it one you have had for a while or one that you put together especially for the Anthology?
When the call went out for stories for the anthology, I didn’t think I had a story to submit. Most of my fiction is tied up either in submissions or in publication. Three times, the anthology appeared on my radar, and at that point, I decided I’d better check and see if I had anything to submit. I found “The Barnes Family Reunion” lurking in a folder. I took it out, brushed it off, gave it a polish, and then sent it to Lee. I had procrastinated so long, I figured it would be too late, but I was happily wrong.
What research / preparation did you do for your story?
The research is my favorite part. For this particular story, I had to look up the most popular methods of suicide and what each act does to a body. Every method of death has certain physical repercussions. I found it fascinating to learn about different poisons and the reactions a body has to them. In addition, I got to reread a portion of one of my favorite books: Les Fleurs du Mal by Baudelaire. I translated the quotation used in the story myself, and that was quite a test of my rusty language skills.
Who’s story are you most looking forward to reading? why?
I’m really looking forward to reading all the stories by the women authors in the book: Jennifer Brozek, Carole Gill, Cassie Hart, and Karen Johnson Mead. The horror industry has historically been dominated by men, and so I’m thrilled to see so many female horror writers in a single anthology. Our numbers are increasing! (And, of course, I’m also really looking forward to reading all the stories.)
Why do you write horror? What is the fascination in it for you?
I was infected by horror when I was a kid, and I’ve never managed to shake it. It has metastasized into my bones. It’s the adrenaline and the opportunity horror gives for epic word use. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding exactly the right combination of words to describe seeping blood.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing professionally for about 18 years. I’ve been a writer since birth. I was actively trying to earn love with my writing as early as grade school. If you believe in past lives, as I do, then you’ll get it when I say, I was a starving writer in a past life, and am just continuing what I started back then—hopefully with a little more income and definitely a little less red wine than last time.
Is writing your full time thing, or do you have a day job? What is it?
Writing is my full-time thing and, yes, I have a day job. I write for ArenaNet, a game company that makes the Guild Wars series of massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs). I’m part of a team that is writing dialogue and lore, and designing characters, world, and gameplay for the upcoming Guild Wars 2. (http://www.guildwars2.com)
Why do you write?
I don’t know. I just do. I always have written, and I always will. Even when making no money at it, I write. It’s who I am. I will tell you, however, that there’s NOTHING more rewarding than getting a sincerely good reaction from someone who has read your work. That’s better than ice cream.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my first novel, whose working title is “Chasing the Crazy.” It’s about a woman with schizophrenia whose hallucinations are becoming real and killing people, but she’s the only one who can see them.
So tell us something about yourself.
Hi! I live at the edge of nowhere, on the shores of the Puget Sound where killer whales and deep-water sharks roam. I’m extremely busy, working a full-time job as a game designer/writer, imagining short fiction and a novel, and serving as head editor at WilyWriters.com (spec fic podcasts). I have three cats (Boo, Simon, & Lapiz Lasuli) who have the daunting job of reminding me to look away from the laptop and laugh more. They’re my saviors. Look me up at my website: www.AngelMcCoy.com! Be sure to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!
Get the Masters of Horror Anthology now at Triskaideka Books, follow the link through the Master of Horrors Anthology – check it out http://triskaidekabooks.co.nz/