The Graveyard Shift Sister feature is back for 2016!
First up this year in this interview series is Tonya Liburd.
Tonya is an editor, author, and champion of people of color as fiction creators. I spoke with her about people of color behind the scenes in fiction and publishing, creating from a place of pain, and using your heritage and history in your writing.
As I’m sure several people who read this feature are creators themselves, I also asked her what publishers are tired of seeing. (There’s also a link to where you can submit your uber creative story as well!)
It is finally here! Seems so long since I’ve posted about my own book release. This one is especially close to my heart as it is a collection of Southern Gothic horror short stories inspired by my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.
Not familiar with Southern Gothic? It’s a genre of Gothic fiction unique to American literature set in the American South. (Although I’ve taken a few liberties…) Commonly featured are characters who may dabble in hoodoo and conjure magic–like my great-aunt. Other characters practice more devious or violent acts. But all of them are deeply flawed, disturbed or eccentric characters. Much of Southern Gothic focuses on the macabre and grotesque. Maybe that’s why I love the genre.
It isn’t all foreboding haunted plantations, either. Also featured are warped rural–and sometimes urban–communities that reflect the morals, or lack thereof, of the South and showcase sinister events relating to poverty, alienation, racism, crime, and violence.
Southern writers in particular are said to craft a strong sense of place, where the setting itself becomes a character and the human characters may be tied to those places. That’s what I hope I’ve done with this collection. Here’s the back cover copy:
Pull up a rocking chair and sit a spell. Soak in these tales of Southern Gothic horror:
Sinister shopkeepers whose goods hold the highest price, a woman’s search for her mother drags her into the binding embrace of a monster, a witchdoctor’s young niece tells him a life-altering secret, an investigator who knows how to keep a 100% confession rate….
These are stories where the setting itself becomes a character—fog laced cemeteries, sulfur rich salt marshes—places housing creatures that defy understanding and where the grotesque and macabre are celebrated.