Canberra-based author Kaaron Warren has been publishing horror and science fiction for more than 20 years. We caught a brief chat with her ahead of her forthcoming workshop (and Halloween!)…
Do you have any Halloween reads you’d recommend, and do you have a dream literary Halloween costume?
I’ve just finished Adrian Barnes’ Nod, which was brilliant. It explores how quickly civilization would fall apart if we all forgot to sleep. I also love Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts and The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes.
For short stories, a good place to start is the ‘Year’s Best’ compilations. Ellen Datlow does a worldwide one, and Ticonderoga Books does an Australian one. I have a story in Looming Low from Dim Shores Book. There are some very creepy, weird stories in this anthology. I’m loving it. Robert Hood’s ‘Peripheral Visions’ from IFWG Australia is full of brilliant ghost stories.
My dream literary Halloween costume is a tricky one! There are so many possibilities. Carrie, from Stephen King’s Carrie, or Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey) or maybe even the un-named narrator in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.
What can we expect from your upcoming Horror Writing workshop this Saturday?
I’m hoping to help attendees develop characters we care about. This is what the real horror is. When someone we care about is in danger, or we lose a loved one. In the novel Nod there are a few scenes where a character is in peril, and I really cared if they survived or not.
We’ll look at tapping into the senses in order to draw the reader into your story, and talk about subtle versus not-so-subtle ways to terrify. We’ll work on titles as well, trying to find words that resonate before the story even begins.
Kaaron Warren presents a Horror Writing workshop for the ACT Writers Centre on Saturday 28 October. Find out more and register to attend HERE.
Photo of Kaaron Warren by Art Atelier