After reading Eliza Master’s “Lamina” in my submissions inbox, I needed a moment to process what I had just read and ended up stopping there for the day. When I went back to it, I knew I needed to have this story for the anthology. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say, don’t be fooled by the fact that the end of the story is happy.
Q (Crone Girls Press): What do you write? How long have you been writing? What are your preferred genres and why?
A (Eliza Master): When I was at summer camp I made up stories to tell my friends. Eventually I started writing them down. I honed my skills about ten years ago, with an intensive writing program as well by participating in critique groups.
My imagination is a land of its own and a perfect vacation. I focus on relationships. My stories are character oriented. I know them, before I know what happens. I usually say that I write social science fiction, fantasy and horror. But I also write literary, kids and romance.
Q: What inspired your story in this anthology? Tell us the “story behind the story.”
A: Before I wrote Lamina I asked myself, “What is the worst thing a woman can do?” Eating her own baby came to mind. I did a little research and saw that mythology had already covered the idea. Then I thought, “But what if it isn’t her fault?” And “What would that look like in a close alternate future?” I tried to imagine what it’s like to find something out of control and evil inside oneself.
This story was really fun to write because it moves in two directions. Forward through the plot and backwards in time. I also used some semantics to connect the sections. It was like a puzzle that was very satisfying to finish.
Q: What draws you to the genre of horror/dark fiction? What do you find there that you don’t find anywhere else?
A: I’m fascinated by gritty edges and how far people will go.
Q: Why horror? Why do you write it? What about the genre appeals to you as an author?
A: I like horror because I can explore my fascination with violence and messed up stuff without hurting anyone.
Q: Of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite, and why?
A: My favorite character is a Lagomorph named Sirrus. He is a male rabbit/human that gives birth.
Q: What do you find the most challenging about the writing process, and how do you meet that challenge?
A: For me, the hardest part is scheduling especially when I am struggling with a piece. Because my writing is self-propelled it’s easy to find excuses. I have some projects that have been on the shelf for years.
Community support, workshops, reading and podcasts re-inspire me. I love to learn and get excited to to mesh new ideas into my work.
Q: What was the worst writing advice you ever received? The best writing advice? Why, and how did it affect your writing?
A: The worst would be pep talks. The bland, “You Can Do It!” stuff drives me mad.
The best advise is to free-write and fix it later. it helps me write a lot faster and unearth new ideas.
Q: If someone asked you to recommend books/stories similar to what you write, who/what titles would you be giving them? And, why?
A: How much room do we have? Haha!
I admire Ursula LeGuin, Octavia Butler and Chekov as well as many living authors.
Q: What’s next in your writing journey?
A: I plan on focusing on short stories for a while.
Eliza Master began writing with crayons stored in an old cookie tin. Since then, many magazines have published her stories. Eliza’s three novellas, The Scarlet Cord, The Twisted Rope and The Shibari Knot are soon to be released.
She attempts to make each day better than the previous one. When Eliza isn’t writing you can find her amongst brightly colored clay pots dreaming of her next adventure.
For more about Eliza, follow her on Facebook!
To read “Lamina” by Eliza Master, pick up a copy of Stories We Tell After Midnight 2. And, once you are finished, please think about leaving us a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews make our cold, dark little heart so happy…