Alison Moore was born in Manchester in 1971. Her short fiction has been included in Best British Short Stories and Best British Horror anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra. The title story of her debut collection The Pre-War House and Other Stories won a New Writer novella prize. Her first novel, The Lighthouse, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012 and the National Book Awards 2012 (New Writer of the Year), winning the McKitterick Prize 2013. Her second novel, He Wants, was published in 2014. She lives in a village on the Leicestershire-Nottinghamshire border and is an honorary lecturer at Nottingham University.
What inspired your story “The Meantime”?
My friend told me that her little girl hated the phrase ‘in the meantime’ – it does sound like something unpleasant is going to happen. By using the phrase to refer to periods of stricture, I discovered the story.
What’s the first horror story you can remember making a big impact on you?
Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree books – there was childhood horror in those lands at the top of the Faraway Tree, and in the threat of them moving away with the children still trapped in them.
Name your three favourite horror writers.
I particularly like Stephen King’s ‘writer’ novels: The Shining, The Dark Half, Misery. I have to say Roald Dahl for giving us Tales of the Unexpected. And a recent favourite: Shirley Jackson.
Is your writing generally firmly in the horror arena or do you do occasional jaunts into other areas of speculative fiction?
I write what is categorised as literary fiction as well as what creeps into the territory of horror. I often write on the border between the two.
What’s in your to-be-read pile at the moment?
Next up is The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters – I picked it up when I saw her at Derby Book Festival in June. Also towards the top of the teetering pile are Jim Crace’s Harvest and, one of many books inherited from my dad, John Updike’s Rabbit, Run.
The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories can be pre-ordered here.