David Massengill’s short story “Bellevue” will appear in the Gothic Blue Book: The Revenge Edition this month.
1. Vampires or Zombies? Which do you prefer in fiction?
Zombies. I’d love to see an author stray from the zombie apocalypse storyline and do a historical gothic/horror novel in the Haitian zombie tradition. Maybe like Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour only with witch doctors and set in the Caribbean?
2. Haunted House or Haunted Mental Asylum? If you had to spend the night in one to write about your experience which would you chose, and why?
Haunted house. I find the topic of mental institutions depressing, and I hate the thought of people’s spirits trapped inside those places.
3. Have you ever read a book or a fictional story that frightened you so much you had to put it down at least once while you were reading? If so, what was it? What frightened you?
Scott Smith’s The Ruins and Richard Matheson’s Hell House. The Ruins is a great work of organic horror. I think what disturbed me most about that novel was the physical invasiveness of its natural–and surprisingly believable–antagonist. What’s terrifying about Hell House is its characters’ loss of self-confidence and control. They’re stranded in a haunted house with no windows, and the force inside that house worms its way into each character’s identity and causes rot.
4. Why do you enjoy writing Gothic/Literary horror/horror/paranormal fiction? Or just, why do you enjoy writing in general?
I think writing gothic/horror fiction is a safe way to confront and process personal and societal fears. I believe society needs its scary stories to stay sane. For years, I only wrote literary fiction, and then I began writing horror because I enjoyed reading it so much. I find writing horror to be more fun than writing literary, but I’m most satisfied when I’m able to blend the two together.
5. What other projects do you have in the works?
A collection of tales involving very dangerous insects.
DAVID MASSENGILL lives in Seattle and visits Bellevue only occasionally. His short stories and works of flash fiction have appeared in numerous literary magazines and the anthologies Long Live the New Flesh: Year Two and State of Horror: California. You can read more of his fiction at www.davidmassengillfiction.com