To celebrate the release of Quoth the Raven, edited by Lyn Worthen and published by Camden Park Press, I’m getting cozy with my fellow anthology contributors to learn more about their stories and what inspires their dark little writers’ hearts.
Next, I’m interviewing Donea Lee Weaver, author of “The Ca(t)sualty” in Quoth the Raven.
Quoth the Raven celebrates the eerie and influential legacy of Edgar Allan Poe. What is it about Edgar Allan Poe’s work that speaks to you (perhaps from the grave)?
I think what really speaks to me about Poe’s work is the way he delves into the psychology of madness. So many triggers and so many reactions and consequences. It’s fascinating!
Pick three adjectives to describe the story you wrote for Quoth the Raven.
Morally-gray, snarky, accidental.
Imagine you’re in an old-timey elevator, a rickety one that boasts a well-worn, rusty cage. There’s a man in all black in the elevator with you, and he asks what your story is about. What do you tell him?
I’d ask him, “Have you ever been married?…Happily?…If your answer is ‘yes,’ then my story is a cautionary tale of what could happen if you pushed your spouse too far – and liked the cat more than her…”
Okay, I’m continuing with this scenario thing. It’s 1849, and you’re at a gathering of literature lovers, a salon, if you will. Across the room, you spy Edgar Allan Poe, and you simply must go over to him to compliment his work. What is the story or poem of his that you laud to excess? And why?
I’d tell him that the story that has stuck with me from when I first read it in school, is “The Tell-Tale Heart.” The image of the old man’s eye and how the main character tries to convince the reader that he’s not mad…yet, he so clearly is…it’s awesome.
As a writer, what do you think are the most important elements of dark fiction?
They absolutely have to be atmospheric, such a dark and riveting setting that when the madness/terror happens you’re already sucked in. I also think they need to really dig into the inner-dialogue of what drives the main character to do this terrible thing they do.
As a reader, why are you attracted to dark fiction? Why do you think we like to read about the things that terrify us?
For me, it’s always been about the adrenaline rush. When I’m so terrified, I want to cover my eyes and hide away, but I’m still peeking through my fingers, because I just have to know what happens next.
What’s a story or poem – by any author – that has truly creeped you out (in the best way possible, of course)? What was it about that particular story that just got to you?
I’d have to go with Frankenstein. It’s terrifying and heart-breaking at the same time. And the way it plays with ideas of gods and monsters is really quite genius.
Who are some of your literary inspirations?
There are many, but some of the stories that have truly stuck with me – the ones I wish with all my heart were real – those are the most inspiring to me, and they were written by: J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl, Eva Ibottson, Cornelia Funke, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
What are you currently working on right now?
I’m working on a contemporary, light sci-fi novel that has a creepy explanation about the faces you might see in inanimate objects…
Where can we find more of your work or connect with you online?
I had a short novella published in an anthology a while back, but it has since been unpublished, so my story in Quoth the Raven is the only piece of mine you can currently find online. Hopefully, more to come soon. People can always connect with me on Twitter or Instagram: @donealee
About Donea Lee:
Donea Lee Weaver is a perpetual daydreamer who’s been creating and telling stories since her elementary school days. When she’s not writing about the things she loves (all things fantasy, sci-fi, romance and yes, even a little horror) she’s out exploring with her daughter, dog and husband somewhere in northern UT. She also loves to read, travel and play games with her sisters and best friend. She earned a BA in English from Weber State University and is a member of SCBWI, The League of UT Writers and attends the Storymaker’s Writing Conference every year. Feel free to contact her at email@example.com or find her on Twitter and Instagram: @donealee
About Quoth the Raven:
The works of Poe were dark and often disturbing. From dismembered corpses, rivals bricked behind cellar walls, murders in back alleys, laments for lost loves, obsessions that drive men – and women! – to madness, his stories have had a profound impact on both the horror and mystery genres to this day.
In Quoth the Raven, we invite you to answer the call of the raven and revisit Poe’s work, re-imagined for the twenty-first century. Here, the lover of mystery and goth horror will find familiar themes in contemporary settings, variations on Poe’s tales, and faithful recreations of the author’s signature style.
Purchase your copy of the anthology HERE.