-Interview by Linnea Linton
Collective member Adrianne Montoya is a Colorado native who’s spent most of her years in Denver. Though her podcast Southwest Gothic she shares spooky history and weird west stories and is currently working on two novels.
1. Name one horror author you admire. How did they help you become a better writer?
Paul Tremblay. His pacing is impeccable, the way he slams the reader with the right detail at the right moment. I’m inspired by his balance between the micro and the macro, and I’m striving to manipulate minimum details for maximum impact the way he does. He’s completely ruined Richard Scarry picture books for me, in the best way possible.
2. What author did you dislike at first but grew into?
Ania Ahlborn. Initially, I was put off by how hard and fast she hits, but I’ve come to appreciate the tightness of her storytelling. She’s highly psychological, and her gore is efficient, useful.
3. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?
I’m torn between black cat and baby alligator. Both are soft, both are bitey, both put too many dead things in their mouths.
4. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I tend to draw on history and folklore, so yeah, lotsa research. Details are important, but I really aim to get the flavor right. I spend plenty of time in the library, but I dig online, too. I love wild stories from forums and creepypastas. I try to do enough research while I’m in the outlining stage, before I really start writing. I also love to go on site, travel to my locales to soak up the right flavor. I take photos I can refer to later to refresh the spirit of a place.
5. What’s your outlook on publishing?
My background is in academics, and that’s my excuse for clinging to the dream of trad publishing. That said, I think both traditional and self-pub are totally legit ways to get your voice out there and reach your audience, but you have to know what’s right for your genre, your writing, and the audience you’re courting.
6. Name 6 of your favorite horror movies or books. Elaborate on your number one.
Oh man, there are so many! The enduring no. 1 for me is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, 200 years a winner. The chill is in the act of creation, and the urge to create, gone so horribly wrong. I love that we think we’re reading about one monster, and then realize that the narrator has been the monster all along. It’s worse because Victor Frankenstein is a decent-ish guy with good motivations, totally relatable. He doesn’t start out evil, just obsessed. Every time I reread it I see the indications of his descent into madness earlier and earlier in the text. The power of the text is in its humanity.
2. El laberinto del Fauno, Guillermo del Toro (film)
3. El orfanato, Juan Antonio Bayona (film)
4. The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (short story)
5. Aura, Carlos Fuentes (novella)
6. and I’m going to with Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian as a horror novel. If that’s not horror, what the hell is?