The tingling of bells serves as a warning for this chilling tale. When I read this story, I could so vividly imagine the setting to a point what it felt as if I were there! It is a tale of witchcraft and a reminder that if a sign says to leave, you would do well to heed its warning.
Q (Crone Girls Press): Author Interview Question 1: What drove your story for this anthology? Tell us the “story behind the story.”
A (Jessica Nettles): I wanted to explore the possible escalations that the dismissal of the Roe v. Wade ruling would cause. This decision impacts more than just abortions. It impacts women in all kind of ways, including those of us who are older, those of us in non-hetero relationships, or any women that can be considered “non-productive” by the standards many conservative and evangelical followers cling to. I also wanted to expand on the idea that women’s power comes from within themselves and within relationships they forge with other women. We are a sisterhood.
Q: What does it mean to read and write horror when you’re competing with news headlines (for example, this anthology came about in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V Wade)? How has it changed (or not!) your approach to the genre as a writer or as a fan?
A: I don’t see myself competing with headlines. I see my writing as a response to my social and cultural environment. I explore how these things restrict us and how we can accept or decide to rise up against those things that hold us back. I write about the monstrous things we do to each other or allow to happen because it’s more comfortable to not fight. History often isn’t about the winner or the loser. History shares humanity’s greatest triumphs, but, if we pay attention, it also will reveal humanity at its most horrifying. We can create all the monsters in the world, but in the end, often we are the monsters. Nothing has really changed my approach as a writer or fan. I come to the genre looking for truth and sharing what I believe is truth, or at least as close to it as I can get.
Q: There are a number of different flavors of horror. Where does your story fit, and what drew you to this particular category?
A: My story is quiet or slow burn horror, which is what I normally write. I’m drawn to this sub-genre because it allows the reader to imagine many things and, if it’s done well, it gets under the readers’ skin and sticks with them.
Q: Why do you write horror? What about the genre appeals to you as an author?
A: Horror is an intrinsic part of Southern writing. We love our haint stories. We love Big Foot. We live in a part of the world that takes the supernatural as seriously as church and family. It appeals to me because it can reveal secrets and allows me to explore my personal fears.
Q: What’s next in your writing journey?
A: I am working on at least one more short story for 2022. I am also getting started on my second novel, which will be the next Kate Warne adventure.
About The Author
Jessica Nettles grew up with one foot in the real world and the other in a world mixed with dabs of spiritual belief, science-fiction and fantasy dreams, and spooky experiences that she, nor her family, could quite explain. At age 11, she found the perfect outlet for this bizarre childhood in the form of writing. Her influences range from Ray Bradbury to Flannery O’Connor and Shirley Jackson. She reads as voraciously as she can while balancing her career as an English Instructor and a writer of Southern Gothic and Historical Fantasy. She is also on the board of the Broadleaf Writing Association in Atlanta, Georgia and is a member of HWA Atlanta.
Her first novel, Children of Menlo Park, will be released by Falstaff Books in the fall of 2021, and her short story (one of many, many short stories she’s written), “The Undead Have No Dignity” was published in Off the Beaten Path 4 by Prospective Press. She loves her beautiful adult children, who are successful in their own right, as well as her two black cats. She lives in Powder Springs, Georgia.
Find her online at: www.jessicanettlesauthor.com