We have another double-installment Sunday coming your way today as we head into our final three 31 Days of Halloween interviews.
First up, I’m happy to welcome Nate Southard to the Library. His presence here is especially fitting since he wrote a scene that would be on my own top ten list of unnerving reads (the slow, agonizing loss of illumination in This Little Light of Mine, while hungry monsters wait in the shadows, creeping ever closer). Nate’s also the author of Just Like Hell, Scavengers, Red Sky, Will the Sun Ever Come Out Again, and many others.
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31 Days of Halloween… with Nate Southard
In your opinion, what is the all-time scariest horror novel or short story?
Paul Tremblay’s “The Teacher” is a short story that…I can’t say I found it scary, but it horrified me in a very fundamental way. The set-up is pretty simple: a group of students gets a new teacher, and he has one specific lesson in mind. It involves a video tape, but to say any more would be a cheat to the reader. I’ll just say I was shaking by the time I finished the story, I was so disturbed by it. Everyone should grab a copy of Paul’s collection In the Mean Time and check it out.
What’s the scariest scene and/or book you yourself have written?
I think my novella He Stepped Through is probably the scariest thing I’ve written. I call it my Lovecraftian episode of The Shield. Working on the story’s climax is the only time I can think of when I felt legitimately scared as I wrote. My girlfriend at the time knocked on my office door to let me know it was time to walk the dogs, and I screamed in a far less than mature manner. I’m not proud, but I’m not ashamed, either.
What are your top three fears?
1. Crowds (I’m more than a little agoraphobic)
2. Dementia (I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer’s)
3. Myself (I’m kind of a mess)