Saturday Special Report: 2023 Dark Dozen Interview with Bridgett Nelson
For this week's Dark Dozen interview, we have author Bridgett Nelson, author of BOUQUET OF VISCERA.
Her story, SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES, will be a part of this year's anthology, DARK DISASTERS!
Read on to learn more about Bridgett and see how she handles the Dark!
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I was still in single digits when I started writing poems, songs, and short stories. In high school, I was the feature editor for the school newspaper and also wrote a weekly column for our county journal. In college, I wanted to major in creative writing (with a minor in journalism), but my dad shut that down pretty quickly, wanting me to do something that guaranteed a job and financial security. So, I went to nursing school. I loved being a nurse, and I think I was pretty good at it, but it never filled that gaping hole in my heart like writing did. I didn’t write through my twenties and thirties, focusing instead on my family. Then, during the worst of the pandemic, stuck inside the house for months on end, I started writing again…what a ride it has been! J
If you had three sentences to pitch your work to a new reader, what is your pitch?
1. Edward Lee said he needed therapy after reading it.
2. I'm all about twist endings.
3. I'm a happy, upbeat person, but my writing is the opposite.
What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?
The people. I’ve found my weirdo tribe, and I couldn’t love them more.
What’s the one thing that scares you the most in this world and have you ever written about it?
Something bad happening to my kids. I haven’t written about it and won’t. It would feel too much like I was tempting the fates.
Tell us about a scene in one of your stories or someone else’s that you would not want to be stuck in and why? Name the book and author, if not you.
I love body horror, but holy crap, does it give me the heebie jeebies! My story “Spores” in A Bouquet of Viscera follows the first-person perspective of a man infected with malignant fungal spores that cause ‘bleeding’ mushrooms to grow all over his body. It’s revolting, cringey, and, if it happened to me, would be a strong argument for a self-inflicted bullet.
Darkest or most disturbing horror movie ever watched:
Darkest or most disturbing horror novel ever read:
The expected answer is probably The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum. But two works by Stephen King (Richard Bachman) left indelible marks on me: The Long Walk and “The Raft.”
And Nick Cutter’s The Troop and The Deep were so dark and grisly, I was barely able to finish either…and there were specific scenes (mostly involving animals) I had to skim over.
Darkest/ Worst Way to Die:
I’ve always thought burning to death would be horrifically painful. And the panic and mental torture from being buried alive would be unimaginable.
If you had one hour to speak to any living author, who would it be and why?
I grew up reading Stephen King, and his stories profoundly influenced me, but I’m going to go a little out of the box with this answer. I’m a huge Karin Slaughter fan…I’ve been reading her for nearly two decades, and she’s my biggest inspiration.
What has been one of the proudest moments of your writing journey?
Winning two Splatterpunk Awards at KillerCon in Austin, Texas, on August 12, 2023 – one for ‘Best Collection’ (A Bouquet of Viscera) and one for ‘Best Short Story’ (“Jinx”). The imposter syndrome diminished a little that night.
Who are you outside of being an author? What makes you tick other than the worlds and stories you create?
I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, a dog and tarantula lover, a registered nurse, an avid reader, and a total goofball. I constantly have music playing, love slapstick comedies, musicals, and all things Halloween. I hate bras, licorice, and bananas. Lime green is my favorite color, and I’m a sucker for a good chimichanga. And amaretto sours. My kiddos, Parker & Autumn, are my world. As are my fur-babies: Sal (St. Bernard), Bodhi (black pug), Dexter, (fawn pug), and Harlow (silver pug).
What is a piece of advice that you WISH someone had given you early in your career? That it’s okay to be proud of your accomplishments, even if you’ve only had one short-story published in an unknown anthology. Imposter syndrome is real, and it’s vicious. Just remember…even the most successful, sought-after authors have experienced imposter syndrome at one time or another. We all have. Don’t let it beat you down.
Bridgett Nelson is a registered nurse turned horror author. Her first collection, A Bouquet of
Viscera, is a two-time Splatterpunk Award winner, recognized both for the collection itself and
its standout story, "Jinx." She is also the author of What the Fuck Was That? and Sweet, Sour,
& Spicy. Her work has appeared in The Never Dead, Razor Blade in the Fun-Size Candy, Counting Bodies
Like Sheep, Dead & Bloated, American Cannibal, A Woman Unbecoming, and several volumes of
the If I Die Before I Wake series of anthologies. Bridgett is working on her first original novel and has been contracted by Encyclopocalypse Publications to write a novelization of the cult classic film Deadgirl.
She is an active member of the Horror Writers Association and the co-chair of HWA: West Virginia. She was a 2022 Michael Knost WINGS award nominee, won second-place in the '22 Gross-Out contest at KillerCon in Austin, Texas, and third place in the ’23 Gross-Out contest.
NEED MORE NELSON?