I recently had a chance to interview Indie horror writer Barbara Silkstone. I sent her a list of questions and to my great suprise instead of simply answering the questions she sent a great write up, so here it is for your enjoyment.
Horror in Pink
It was my first horror writers’ conference. I was jazzed at the thought of rubbing elbows with some of my heroes of horror, both wet and dry. Horror is my first love. I was going to meet with writers who possessed the gift for tormenting their fans with chilling tales. I read the roster of famous and infamous authors, dropped my registration form in the mail, and looked forward to the four day event.
I’d accidentally met Stephen King at the World Fantasy Conference the year before. He was so kind and encouraging, despite my telling him to ‘shhh…’ during a screening from Blade Runner. Later that day, he took a quick read of some of my works and told me I was good… just needed to keep at it..
Thrilled to be carrying a green-light from the “King” I signed up for the World Horror Conference in Providence on Halloween weekend.
Afflicted with the “What to Wear” syndrome, I dashed to the store to buy an outfit for the event. First lesson I learned… true horror writers don’t care what they’re wearing as long as it’s black and the top is a t-shirt and the bottoms are jeans. In my excitement I imagined myself chatting with Robert Bloch or sharing a brewski with the editors of Fangoria. I’d been published in small press horror … Haunts and Thin Ice… well-intentioned pubs that didn’t last. I imagined I was about to be discovered.
Up until that date (and ever since) I have never owned a single pink garment. I’m not a “pink.” I’m a black or turquoise, never pink. Somewhere between my house and the shops I began to channel someone else. She must have been some fru-fru lady with ringlets in her hair and rosy cheeks. She probably wore five-inch heels and perfume. Whoever she was, she looked like me and used my credit cards. She returned home with a pink dress. It wasn’t just a pink dress; it was sissy-pink with a big lace collar. What was I thinking? I still wonder.
A few days later I arrived at the World Horror Conference, went up to my room, and changed into the dress. I came back down to the conference ballroom. Everyone was dressed in black. The Los Angeles crowd looked like Tim Burton sketches from Nightmare Before Christmas. I stood out like a wedding cake at cemetery.
Robert Bloch smiled at me. It was a pity smile. I wandered over and complimented him on his suit. It was a dapper outfit taken from a Raymond Chandler novel. Wide labels and double-breasted. “Nice suit,” I said. With a twitch at the corner of his mouth he said, “I get them at a very quiet place. You can always get the trousers, the jackets are hard to come by.” Somehow in all my pinkness, I understood his joke. He shopped at a funeral parlor.
A fairly well-known horror writer started to play eye-hockey with me. He stared. I stared back. He was a guest on a panel discussing blood and gore. He sat high on the dais, but kept sneaking peeks at me. I was a lone “pastel” in a sea of darkness. When the discussion was over, he came to me salivating with curiosity. We sat in the hotel bar and he peppered me with questions about my life. I thought perhaps my natural charm was showing. I was being discovered. It never occurred to me that I was such an oddity in pink I might show up as a victim in his next book. I spent the rest of the day under the microscope of other authors of the macabre. One after another they queued up to spend time with me. I was suddenly surprisingly popular. Was I discovered?
The following night there came a knock on my hotel room door. Two of the female horror groupies stood there. One placed a crumpled tiara on my head. The other handed me a homemade trophy. They declared me the “Honorary B—ch” of the Conference. “If you weren’t so nice, we’d hate you. Every guy here is following you. Don’t you dare wear pink to another conference!”
I had attracted attention, but the wrong kind. ‘We’re coming to get you, Barbara….’
Somewhere along the writing path that became my life, I discovered I had a gift for dissecting and reassembling fairy tales. A touch of Dr. Frankenstein. My best selling Kindle book… The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters is drawn from the classics but bent to fit our contemporary world. Blood and gore you can laugh at. The tag line for The Secret Diary of Alice is ~ A murder by beheading sends Alice Harte, reluctant real estate broker for thugs, running into the arms of Nigel Channing, a charming British con man.
I’m putting the final touches on Wendy & the Lost Boys. My heroine does battle with Hook, Kroc and pirates on the high seas while solving the grotesque murder of her friend and rediscovering the lost boys. This second book in my new series will be published on Kindle in June.
As far as favorite authors and books … Stephen King will always be “King” and The Shining the perfect horror novel. It was the inspiration for my sojourn into genre. Poe was the all-time genius and then again… I adore Raymond Chandler. Keep it short and sweet. I prefer dry horror to the wet stuff.
Regarding collaboration… Never say never but then again… he travels swiftest, who travels alone.
The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters :
I can be found rambling around my blog…
Barb’s Wire – eBooks and More
I co-blog with best-selling authors
Karen Cantwell – Take the Monkeys and Run and LC Evans – We Interrupt This Date
We dish out sit down humor at… A Moose Walked into a Bar
I’m on Facebook as Barbara Silkstone
I tweet at barbsilkstone