The Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint Drive-by: Caitlín R. Kiernan

Caitlín R. Kiernan is the author of (among others) Silk, The Five Cups, The Red Tree, Murder of Angels and the novelisation of the film, Beowulf. She’s also produced over one hundred short stories and novellas. She has won a myriad of awards, including multiple International Horror Guild Awards, the Barnes and Noble Maiden Voyage Award for Best First Novel for Silk, and Galápagos garnered an honourable mention from the Tiptree Awards. She has also been nominated for World Fantasy Awards four times!

Her upcoming works include: The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, Blood Oranges, Two Worlds and in Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan (Volume One) and Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart.

Her writing walks the fine line between dark fantasy and horror and is not afraid to cross over. She prefers danishes.

1. If I wasn’t a writer, I would …
be a vertebrate paleontologist.

2. I didn’t choose horror, horror chose me – discuss:
I write what I write because it’s what I know how to write. I write what I write because this is how I see the world. I don’t try to push the tone or themes or what have you in any direction, but, inevitably, my stories stray into dark places. They rarely stray back out again.

3. Dracula -v- Cthulhu. Discuss:
Well, both represent ancient forces. Only, Lovecraft’s describing a thing immeasurably more ancient and powerful than Stoker’s Count. Lovecraft is playing with aeons, not centuries. With, let’s say, supernovas, not firecrackers. One of these beings – Dracula – can, in theory, be accounted for within human ideas of good and evil. The other – Cthulhu – exists entirely beyond any ideas of morality or humanity. Cthulhu is a “bad thing” only in the sense that an asteroid plowing into the Earth would be a “bad thing.” The asteroid is indifferent. Earth isn’t a target; it’s just in the way.

4. A story can always be improved by the addition/deletion of …
For me, this is unanswerable. Writing fiction comes with no universal truths, no “rules,” no inviolable dos and don’ts.

5. Donuts or danishes?

She lives at The Red Tree.

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