Joanne Harris (MBE) studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels, including Chocolat (1999), which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.
Since then, she has written 14 more novels, two collections of short stories and three cookbooks. Her books are now published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, has honorary doctorates in literature from the universities of Sheffield and Huddersfield, and has been a judge for the Whitbread Prize, the Orange Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science.
What was the inspiration for your Horrorology tale “Faceless”?
I wrote it while I was staying alone in an old parsonage in Oxford. It was snowing; there was no internet or phone line; the house was enormous, ancient and (I thought) visibly haunted. What else could I do?
Can you remember the first story you read that made you think “I want to write!”?
Ray Bradbury’s short story: THE SMILE.
Is horror a sort of natural home for you or do you lean more towards another part of speculative fiction?
I write all kinds of things. My first novel was a horror story, but I like to explore all areas of speculative fiction, including fantasy, sci-fi and magical realism.
You’re offered the chance to visit the Library of the Damned – do you accept?
Of course. Is there tea?
The future of horror is … ?
Inside us all, awaiting its chance to break out again through the pitiful veils of rationality and reassurance we like to drape around ourselves …
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