interview by Vianne Venter

Issue 20 (Apr 2012)

Where is home?
Currently my partner and I live in the mountains of North Carolina.

Do you write full time?
I wish! I have a job that takes up a lot of my time and I am a very visible leader in my community (LGBTQ and Leather) so I often travel for that as well. My dream is to be able to write full time, and hopefully that will happen one day.

What inspired this story?
As a teenager I lived next door to an elderly woman who refused to believe that her husband had died. She was positive that he would come home and so she refused to leave her house to do anything, even shop for food because she wanted to be there when he got home. Her family took care of her . As I got older I read Dickens and came across the character of Miss Havisham… one day those things just sort of melded.

The setting is very vividly described, is it based on an actual place?
Yes, some of the neighborhoods of my hometown.

The opening feels like a post-apocalypse story, was this intentional?
In my hometown there was an apocalypse. The mills all closed, the work moved elsewhere. People lost their jobs, their homes. Neighborhoods that had once been filled with working families became centers of poverty and drug abuse. People took jobs making less money than they had ever made, (and they were the lucky ones), many more went on public assistance and pride, both personal and civic, crumbled. The neighborhood I described is the neighborhood in which I grew up. Houses that were once always painted and cared for have gone to seed, many are boarded over because of foreclosure or abandonment. The decay is terrible and very visible. The economic apocalypse is what occured in that story and in my old neighborhood and since I write what I see I suppose it is intentional as this situation saddens me deeply.

Are you working on anything right now?
I am. I am working on a novel and several short stories.

Where can we find more of your work?
I have been published by Xcite books in several anthologies, the same with Ravenous Romance. I can be found in the Sentinel Literary Anthology, Take 5 (“Read These Lips”, available online free) , Soup of Souls (Panic Press) The Trigger Reflex and Sinisterotica (Both published by Pill Hill Press) and will be featured in an upcoming anthology published by Bruce Bethke’s Rampant Loon Press. I am on Oysters and Chocolate as well. And, of course, here at Something Wicked.

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Vianne Venter

Vianne Venter is a freelance writer and sub-editor for various South African publications. She served as story editor and sub for Something Wicked since its inception in 2005. She is also an artist and mother. She can communicate with inanimate objects, but only if they’re feeling chatty. In her spare time… oh, who are we kidding? What spare time?

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