INTERVIEW: Michael Wehunt


At the center of Michael Wehunt’s fiction is a vibrant emotional core enclosed in a skin of rich, musical language instantly recognizable to the ear. It’s these qualities that have allowed Wehunt to grace the pages of such esteemed publications as Cemetery Dance, Shadows and Tall Trees, The Dark, and The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. Michael took a few moments to sit and talk with us about the release of his first collection (reviewed a few days ago on this site), the travails of writing about (and in) the darkness, and the quiet ecstasy of lobster rolls.

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Powered by a refreshing stance to push her stories outside the comfortable and time-honored parameters of genre, Aliya Whiteley looks to be one of the field’s more unique and idiosyncratic practitioners. Her new novella The Arrival of Missives, reviewed earlier last week, is another entry from the author’s elusive and stimulating oeuvre. Aliya took some moments to sit down and discuss the genesis of her novella,  the balance of writing historically-tied fiction, and delicious jams.

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Though relatively new to the dark side of the literary barbwire, Mer Whinery has steadily been building a body of work that effectively trades in the haunted balladry of existence in the rural South and the bloodily thunderous passages of pulp cinema and fiction. The author’s debut collection was the source of our review earlier this week. Whinery took the time to hunker down with the folks at the Omnibus to discuss late-nite monster shows, the challenges of pigeonholing,  and the realities of hard living.

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T. E. Grau is one of the many young Turks of the latest renaissance in Weird fiction who staked his claim in the woolly territory last year with the publication of his first collection The Nameless Dark (reviewed here) from Lethe Press. His stories of eldritch terror and gritty nihilism have appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals, and the collection itself was nominated for a number of “Best Of-” awards. He also maintains The Cosmicomicon, a site that acts as both author page and a hotspot for reviews and interviews with other luminaries of the genre. Currently hard at work on his next two novellas for This Is Horror, Grau hopped aboard the Omnibus the other day to discuss the challenges of loving Lovecraft, the place for hope in horror, and lessons learned from writing for the screen.

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If Orrin Grey had it his way, he’d likely be penning his creepy stories from the dank confines of a ruined abbey or the shuttered attic of a familial mansion owned by a clan of eccentric psychos. As it stands, the author has no trouble penning yarns of ghastly and moribund power from his home base in Kansas, resulting in two collections to date: Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings (now out of print from Evileye Books) and Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, the latter reviewed earlier this week. He also currently serves as the columnist of the “Vault of Secrets” series at Innsmouth Free Press and an occasional editor. Orrin took some time to sit down and chat with us about monsters (and their ghosts), cinematic influence, and the joys of visual horror.

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Ray Cluley has become a familiar name in the field thanks to a seemingly tireless stream of stories and novellas that he’s produced since his initial appearance in the pages of Black Static in 2008. He’s become one of the premiere magazine’s most frequent contributors and has published in TTA’s other two titles, Interzone and Crimewave. He’s a recipient of the British Fantasy Award, has been reprinted in best-of anthologies by Ellen Datlow and Steve Berman, published with both Undertow Publications and Spectral Press, and has had his work translated into French. His first collection Probably Monsters was discussed earlier this week in our review. Cluley stopped by the Omnibus to talk about the benefits of short- and long-form fiction, the role of landscape and social outcasts in his work, and what goes into the construction of a story collection.

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V. H. Leslie has penned numerous tales of delicate beauty and chilling luminosity since her first story was published by Black Static in 2011. Her tales have also appeared in such respected venues and anthologies as  Shadows and Tall Trees, Strange Tales, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, and Weird Fiction Review. Her premier collection Skein and Bone collects many of these stories and acts as both the subject of our review from several weeks ago and this interview. Leslie took time from her residency to discuss the importance of arts and crafts to her creative process, her love of 19th century literature, and the prominence of “feyness” in her own fiction.

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• “Wild Acre” first appeared in Visions Fading Fast from Pendragon Press, a collection of novellas written by a handful of prominent names in the genre. How did you get to be part of this project? Did editor Gary McMahon approach you with a set theme or general aesthetic approach for the volume?

Gary asked me for a novella, but he left it wide open as far as the theme was concerned. I was flattered to be asked — I think Gary and I approach horror and dark fantasy from very similar vantage points. The story wasn’t written specifically for that book, though. It had already been bounced from a few places; one editor called it an “anti-horror” story. It’s always been one of my more polarizing stories. Gary understood its intent immediately, though, and I was pleased he helped to usher it into the world.

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