31 Nights of Fright: An Interview with Emma J. Gibbon

Another day down, and we are back at it on our march toward Halloween! Today we have Emma J. Gibbon, a UK/US author that is nearing the publication date for her first collection of fiction (more on that later). She responded in the massive slew of emails I received about this event and I cannot be more happy to have her on board.

FOF: First and foremost, tell us about yourself

EG:      My name is Emma J. Gibbon. I’m a horror writer and speculative poet and also a librarian. I’m originally from Yorkshire in the UK and immigrated to the US in 2010. I live in the woods in Maine with my husband, Steve, my two dogs, Odin and Mothra and my cat, Grim.

FOF: What do you do? And why do you like it?

EG:     I mostly write horror and weird fiction but I occasionally veer into the realms of fantasy and science-fiction. I primarily write short fiction and poetry but I would like to publish at least one novel some day–hopefully many more than one! My work as a librarian involves collection development and programming so I get to buy a bunch of books and then talk about them! I love what I do–all of it. I feel very lucky.

FOF: Explain a little bit of your process? Where do you find your inspiration?

EG:      My process is…chaos, basically. Every new piece seems to work differently. For poetry, I prefer to write in longhand first then type it up later and make edits. I also find poetry easier to write in the morning, which is strange because I am the absolute opposite of a morning person. My sleepy brain seems to need less logic but makes more creative connections. For fiction, I work best at night and I write on the computer. I’m a pantser rather than a plotter. I find my writing tends to go a little flat when I plan. I like the sense of discovery that comes with not knowing where I am going. As for inspiration, I’m very much a believer in what Neil Gaiman calls “composting,” in that your experiences, your life, the things that you are interested in become the raw material from which your ideas grow. I have a tendency to become obsessed with things–people, moments in history, ideas, books etc and these things pop up in my work almost unconsciously. I often don’t realize I’m doing it until I read the finished work.

FOF:   What drew you to horror in the first place?

EG:      I’ve always been a bit spooky. I think often people are just made that way. From a very early age, I would beg my mother to let me stay up late to watch horror films. I’m showing my age here but my brother and I used to go the the video store and gaze longingly at the horror covers and try and convince whoever adult was with us to rent them. I think the first book I ever bought from the Scholastic book fair was a collection of ghost stories. I spent a lot of time trying to write literary fiction but everything I write turns dark. It’s who I am. I’ve been a lot happier since I embraced it.

FOF: What is your favorite horror work? (Movie, Show, Art, Book, whatever you want)

EG:      I’m definitely going to forget something as I have a lot of favorites. Books: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski and We’ve Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Favorite short stories: Two Houses by Kelly Link and For He Can Creep by Siobhan Carroll. Two authors whose short fiction has really creeped me out (which is hard to do) are M. Rickert and Stephen Graham Jones. My favorite horror film is May directed by Lucky McKee but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention The Lost Boys. Once we convinced someone to buy it for us (after many rentals), my brother and I watched that film every day. I know all the dialogue. We wore out at least two VHS tapes.

FOF: What has been your favorite thing you have gotten to work on doing this?

EG:      That’s a hard one–getting my first story published was a big one, having a poem in Strange Horizons is another, getting a collection accepted for publication was massive. What has been an unexpected joy is becoming involved in the horror community. I have been bowled over by their overall friendliness, support and camaraderie.

FOF: What role do you think your specific style of art plays in the community overall?

EG:      I’m not sure I know. It might be too early to tell.

FOF: Anything you are working on that you want to highlight?

EG:      I have my debut fiction collection, Dark Blood Comes from the Feet, coming out in May from Trepidatio Publishing which is very exciting!

FOF: :      If you could do anything with any horror franchise, what would it be?

EG:      I would love to edit a What We Do in the Shadows tribute anthology.

FOF: Anything else you’d like to say?

EG:    Thank you for the interview!

Huge thank you to Emma J . Gibbon for wanting to do this interview! I am excited to grab her collection in May!
Keep up with Emma on Twitter and her website down below her press bio!

Stay tuned for more creators this month!

Emma J. Gibbon is originally from Yorkshire in the U.K. and now lives in Midcoast Maine. She is a writer and librarian. Her stories have appeared in the New England Horror Writers anthologies, Wicked Haunted and Wicked WeirdThe Muse & The Flame and the Toasted Cake podcast. Her debut fiction collection, Dark Blood Comes from the Feet, is out in May from Trepidatio Publishing. Her poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, LiminalityPedestal Magazine and Eye to the Telescope. Emma lives with her husband, Steve, and three exceptional animals: Odin, Mothra and M. Bison (also known as Grim). She is a member of the New England Horror Writers, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association and the Tuesday Mayhem Society. Her website is emmajgibbon.com.

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