Featured Author: Sarah E. Glenn
Story: Voter Base
State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I
Sarah E. Glenn specializes in stories involving out-of-the-ordinary heroes and circumstances, usually with a sidecar of funny. She has a BS in journalism from the University of Kentucky, and has done graduate work in ancient languages, which helps her immensely with crossword puzzles. She belongs to the Short Mystery Fiction Society, the Historical Novel Society, and Sisters in Crime: the Speed City Indiana Chapter and the Guppies Chapter. She contributed “New Age Old Story” to Fish Tales, the first Guppy anthology.
Sarah developed strong ideals from her parents, a salesman turned missionary and a social worker. Due to their tutelage and that stint as a classical languages grad student, she’s better read than her love of Kolchak, comic books, and fantasy role-playing games would suggest.
Sarah edited two different newsletters and was a first round judge in Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine ‘s 2003 “Slesar’sTwist Contest“. More recently, she has been a judge for the 2011 and 2012 Derringers. She is now chief editor at Mystery and Horror, LLC.
Synopsis: “Voter Base” in State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I
Gene Arnot is mayor of a small town, Greenville, and has bigger political aspirations—he is setting himself up to run for the state legislature. Then he is visited by his father-in-law Gator Follette. Gator is not exactly human and represents the “old families” of the swamp—the entities who put him in power and are they are nefarious force behind the town’s prosperity. Gator is unhappy with Arnot’s decision to allow development near the swamp. Arnot tries to tell Gator he is looking out for the best interest of the Families and can do a better job higher up in the govt. Gator ambushes Arnot at his home with not only Arnot’s unusual constituents but also Arnot’s wife and child—who Arnot hasn’t seen since soon after the birth of Jr. Arnot’s wife prefers to live in her natural state in the wilds of the bayou. Arnot has to do some fast talking if he wants to survive the rally.
Leaping atop it, he straightened to his full height and shoved his fear back down his gullet. Babies and angry constituents could both smell fear.
He raised a fist. “I intend to become a force to be reckoned with!”
Time to Meet Sarah Glenn
Charon Coin Press: What inspired your story in State of Horror?
Sarah Glenn: I’d read Shadow Over Innsmouth when I was younger. The story refers to dark pacts made between humans and the creatures, but focuses on someone learning the awful truth. I wondered more about the people making the pacts: what they had to endure and, of course, what would happen if they wanted out of their end of the deal.
CCP: Is there a reason this particular state appealed to you?
SG: It struck me as a good setting for my story, plus I’ve had a soft spot for New Orleans since I visited it during Carnival. That experience was highlighted by a fellow from Tulane trying to pick me up. He was crestfallen when my father explained that I was thirteen and he should take a hike.
CCP: What do you look for in a horror story as a reader?
SG: I like a horror story with strong psychological elements. The tension in Hell House (Matheson), for example, or Jack’s slide back into alcoholism in The Shining (King). Both of them also have a sense of isolation from the real world that allows the surreal to flourish.
CCP: What is your favorite writing snack food?
SG: Hot tea or Code Red Mountain Dew to drink, chocolate something for the food. I also like Cheetos, but it’s too messy for typing.
CCP: What other works do you have out there?
SG: One out-of-print novel, All This and Family, Too, that I hope to make available again under the Mystery and Horror, LLC banner. I have a new historical mystery short story coming out later this year with the Speed City chapter of Sisters in Crime. I co-wrote it with Gwen Mayo, and we are working on a novel with the characters. There are also a number of anthologies I’ve edited for MAHLLC; visit http://www.mysteryandhorrorllc.com/ to see them.
CCP: What is one important thing the readers need to know about you?
SG: I draw my writing from real life. A story may be me going off on a tangent from a real event, but that’s where I get most of my ideas. I’ll often ask myself, “Where could this go wrong?” or think, “That would be a really great way to kill somebody.” Great = awful.
CCP: Who are your favorite authors?
SG: Sara Paretsky, for her gritty Chicago mysteries. Anne Perry, for her delving into the dark side of human nature. Robin Cook, for his medical thrillers. I consider many of Cook’s stories to have a horror element, because the scary things he writes about are frequently possible.
CCP: What drew you to State of Horror?
SG: I saw Armand’s call for subs at Ralan.com, and it sounded like a great idea. I like stories with a strong sense of place.
CCP: Do you have a favorite state or state you are waiting to open?
SG: I have at least one idea for a Kentucky story, but it’s still gelling in my little grey cells.
CCP: Music or no music when writing? (and if yes on music, what are you listening to?)
SG: I like music, especially when it sets a mood. Alan Parsons is a favorite of mine. I’ll also listen to standards, but not Sinatra because then I stop and sing along. Recently, I’ve been working on a story set in the 1920’s and have been collecting music from that era.
CCP: If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would you go and why?
SG: Kauai in Hawaii, but only because I’ve already seen Santorini. The ocean both fascinates and frightens me, so I look for seascapes of extreme beauty.
CCP: What was the hardest part about writing your story?
SG: Ending it. I had it all in my head up to when Our Hero confronts his in-laws, but I was dissatisfied with the various endings I could think of. Then, I began volunteering regularly in Kentucky political races, and I knew exactly what he should do.
CCP: Do you have any writing rituals?
SG: I used to, but then I found reasons that I couldn’t do the ritual. Now, I just shut down my distractions and put music on.
As we wrap up the time with Sarah Glenn today, here are some of the ways to follow and learn more about today’s State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I featured author. To follow her on Twitter seek out @saraheglenn. Her Facebook author page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sarah-E-Glenn/177315008966709 (or click here). However, the best way to keep up with her is to follow her on her website, http://saraheglenn.blogspot.com/ . Pick up your copy today by visiting these great retailers.