Out of Water: Sarah Read

1. What do readers need to know about Sarah Read?

I love writing gothic and spooky fiction. I love reading all sorts of things from many different genres. I’m a history buff, a librarian, a knitter, a mom–I’m basically Mary Poppins, which is great so long as I continue to use my powers for good. I have two books out, my debut novel THE BONE WEAVER’S ORCHARD and my debut collection OUT OF WATER, both nominated for Bram Stoker Awards! I have a husband who is very tall, two adorable sons, and a marble tabby cat lioness. I attract spiders with my uncanny arachnid magnetism.

2. What was the inspiration for your collection Out of Water from Trepidatio?

There were lots of little ones, all running in different directions. There is definitely a water pattern in my writing. In all of the stories, there are either things born from water, crawling out of the water, they’ve run out of water, or they are fish out of water. So that’s why I chose the title. There are a lot of family themes. I like weaving science into my stories, because I’m a big nerd. Sometimes I read about some scientific oddity and have to write a story around it. Other stories were written to process grief. Some to face my own phobias–Endoskeletal was written about my fear of broken bones, mixed with my fascination for archaeology.

3. Who are your literary influences?

The Brontes are a strong influence for me, and Anne Rice. I read a lot of Dean Koontz as a kid, and though I don’t register the influence, there must be some. Caitlin Kiernan was a favorite in my teens. Angela Carter and Connie Willis. Once a friend introduced me to Gaiman’s Sandman comics when I was 15, that set a definite trajectory, I feel. That mingling of horror and fantasy and myth is exactly my preferred spice blend. Gothic classics like The Secret Garden and Grimm’s fairy tales, with an extra layer of shadow–something witchy with its bones on the outside. Brian Froud’s fairy books led me to deeper readings of older tales. A lot of the threads I followed started in anthologies compiled by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

4. Can you remember the first thing you ever read that made you want to be a writer?

It was probably Anne of Green Gables! Or Little Women. Relating to those imaginative characters who became writers was formative for me. I know I was writing before I read those books, though–some evidence of this still exists in a box somewhere–and I’m not sure I ever thought I’d be anything else.

5. Who’s your favourite villain and why?

Ooh, I love this question, even though it is almost impossible to answer. My standard answer is Captain Hook, though not for any profound reason–I just like Peter Pan and I like pirates. Thoughtful answer would probably be The Nothing in The Neverending Story. The vanishing of imagination is a terrifying prospect.

6. What’s next for Sarah Read?

I’m editing a novel to start submitting to agents soon! I’m very excited about the project, even though I know this is now entering the excruciating phase of the process. I’m also working on a prequel and sequel for Bone Weaver, and having a ton of fun writing both. Of course, that means a bit of a drought when it comes to actual releases. Having all my work come out in 2019 means it may be a while before the coffers are refilled. I do post bits and pieces on my Patreon page, though, for my followers to read there. And of course there will be an occasional sprinkling of short fiction.

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