This week we chat to Laura Ellen Scott, author of The Mean Bone in Her Body and Crybaby Lane, the first two books in The New Royal Mysteries Series.
Tell us a bit about you and your writing.
I’m a recovering Ohioan who writes dark mystery novels, heavily influenced by gothic horror. The first two books of the New Royal Mysteries are The Mean Bone in Her Body and Crybaby Lane, and the series is set in a college/prison town where the University has partnered with the corrections industry to offer a crime writing program. Mean Bone sets the stage with several creepy domestic spaces, and Crybaby adds legends and lies to the mix. I have a reputation as a prose stylist, but there’s nothing fancy about my tropes.
I write a more straight-up horror (again, gothic-flavored) in my flash. My chapbook, Curio, is still available as a free ebook via goodreads, and my flash novella A Texas (about adult undead siblings) is available at Heavy Feather Review.
What in your opinion makes good horror?
Shadows, antiquity, small towns, paranoia, and decay.
How do you feel about flash fiction as a medium for horror?
Flash horror allows me to disturb differently. I can refocus images outside of context, and I can fragment/fracture the point of view. This lets me get closer to panic, irrationality, and grace. If you are a person who wears glasses, like I do, you experience distorted vision every day, and we’re always thinking in terms of “correcting” that distortion. Flash respects the uncorrected experience.
What is your favourite horror short story?
Can’t pick just one! “Catskin,” by Kelly Link. “Green Tea,” by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. “The Doll, by Joyce Carol Oates. “Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff,” by Peter Straub.
What scares you the most and what is your favourite horror scene/passage/novel?
I’m drawn to the uncanny more than the fantastic; I see malevolence in a coffee cup. I’m also a sucker for the most basic thrills, like when a character hides or is trapped. One of the scariest things I’ve ever read is the cellar scene in “The Pedersen Kid,” by William Gass. Cellars are terrifying.
Please give us a one sentence horror story!
The mirror-butcher can do nothing more than scratch the silver from the butcher-mirror and moan for his dying machine, “wowoo—wowoo—wowoo.”