An Interview with Indie Horror Author – Stella Coulson
Stella Coulson, the author of Whitby After Dark, is a green-eyed brunette (sometimes red) who loves writing both stories and poetry. She is a contradiction when it comes to science vs spirituality. A spiritual soul and a keen Darwinist.
She was kind enough to take a break from “The Otherworld” to answer a few questions for Terror Realm.
Terror Realm (TR): Who are your horror heroes and why?
Stella Coulson (SC): Angela Carter – for her short stories: ‘The Bloody Chamber’ which puts the darkness and Grimm back into the old tales; Stephen King for Green Mile – who mixed horror, dark fantasy element with stark reality, and Misery: Using a writer’s greatest fear – a crazed fan and by changing our perceptions of all woman as victims and men as predator. Guillermo del Toro for his captivating and unique vision in filmmaking : ‘Devil’s Backbone’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and also his intense and haunting written work: ‘The Strain’, ‘The Fall’ and ‘The Night Eternal’; and Anne Rice for her ’Vampire Chronicles’: This has a dark, addictive rich universe of intriguing characters. Jeff Lindsey for his ‘Dexter’ books and Thomas Harris’ ‘Hannibal’ series.LeFanu’s ‘Carmilla’ provided much inspiration to me. A Romanic but depraved soul. She walked the line between antihero and villain, both evil and sympathetic. A truly compelling and fascinating character.
LeFanu’s ‘Carmilla’ provided much inspiration to me. A Romanic but depraved soul. She walked the line between antihero and villain, both evil and sympathetic. A truly compelling and fascinating character.
It goes without saying Bram Stoker, who was the biggest influence of all – his crafting of old folklore, primal fears, the depiction of cold unapologetic evil and depiction of the beautiful and strong Mina Murray, who is a great role model.
TR: What is your first memory of horror?
SC: It was mum buying me dark fairy stories which she’d read to me, I loved the dark original fairy tales and myths, unedited and raw and deeply different to the Disney portrayal: tales of wicked monarchs dancing in red-hot iron shoes, girls cutting off toes to fit glass shoes and Faustian deals with sea witches that end up with the death of the heroine.
TR: Do you have a particular ritual or routine to get you in the mood to create horror?
SC: Researching the mythology and folklore that inspired contemporary horror, vampires, and otherworldly creatures. This can evoke interesting ideas that spark ideas within my story’s universe. I would also visit the setting of my book’s universe – The real ‘Whitby’ in North Yorkshire, UK. It is a Gothic, unique small coastal town that inspires the literary senses.
TR: What are your experiences of getting published and finding an audience?
SC: A long journey, but social networks and the internet as a whole made it possible for indie authors to have a small voice within the vast literary world. It’s a unique experience for each writer. I took a long break with the first and second story (due out this year) whereas other writers write nonstop. As an indie writer, you can use new media to get your story out there. I’ve discovered new writers by being an Indie author and can now count several indie writers as among my new favourites.
TR: Tell us about your most recent horror project.
SC: It is the sequel to my 1st book Whitby After Dark – called ‘The Otherworld’, Lenore Lee Tale #2.When Lenore’s world falls down, the fallout results in her travelling to another dimension called the ‘Otherworld’. Within it, she encounters feral beasts, monsters and beautiful creatures with sadist tastes. Once a victim, but never no more.
TR: And finally – as we’re all fans of horror here: if you could be in any horror movie what would it be and why?
SC: Hehe well I wouldn’t want to be predator bait, so I would want to be one of the supernaturals so that I would, at least, have a chance of defending myself within a horror film. Since I’m a vampire fan, it would need to be an 80s vampire fantasy horror. So I would want to be ‘Star’ in the brilliant ‘Lost Boys’. Because if I were to be in a horror, I’d want to be able to make it to the end credits.
An excerpt from Whitby After Dark by Stella Coulson.
I see a dim lit shore on the coastline. I hear a man’s laughter. I see the girl again. The poor thing is terrified; her blue eyes wide, the fear filling ever fiber of her. A dark figure reaches for her, brushes her face with his hand. I see a dim lit shore on the coastline. I hear a man’s laughter. I see the girl again. The poor thing is terrified; her blue eyes wide, the fear filling ever fiber of her. A dark figure reaches for her, brushes her face with his hand.
“Please…don’t… Not again,” she pleaded.
The girl trembled as he leaned in toward her. He laughed again. She then froze. It wasn’t just her being still. Nothing about her moved. The girl was petrified and couldn’t move at all. She had become a living statue, Couldn’t move, Couldn’t plead, and couldn’t scream. The fear was so stale I could taste it, I felt sick with it. There was nothing I could do. This dream had happened before; I’ve already seen it happen. I couldn’t stop it. I was helpless.
The vision smacked into me again. I saw the man move his face nearer and nearer. I was now in her body. I felt what she felt,
her helplessness, and her memories of how he’d touch her every night, her pleading him ‘NO’. He wouldn’t stop. He’d never stop. I felt him touch her/my body and unable to do anything about it. I was out the scene again. The poor girl was only about twelve yrs old, a child, innocent, till he took everything from her. Her mind was like a tidal wave of pain. It washed over me and the dark figure.
“They will never believe you,” he whispered. Her mind cried out. It was unbearable. It filled my every pore. It happened again, she dropped to the floor. She was dead.