Saturday Special Report: 2023 Dark Dozen Interview with Caitlin Marceau
For this week's Dark Dozen interview, we have author Caitlin Marceau, author of THIS IS WHERE WE TALK THINGS OUT.
Her story, FAMILY PLANNING, will be a part of this year's anthology, DARK DISASTERS!
Read on to learn more about Caitlin and see how she handles the Dark!
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was a little kid. My grandfather used to tell me stories that I would “design” for him. So, like, he’d ask me what kind of story I wanted, and I’d say something like, “it has to have a witch, a dragon, and forty cats that can fly,” and he’d make something up based on that information. It was always the highlight of getting to see him and it inspired me to want to write my own stories when I got older.
If you had three sentences to pitch your work to a new reader, what is your pitch?
My work will make you afraid of the things you love. I write (mostly) about Canadiana, queer women, and f*cked up families. If you enjoy being uncomfortable, then you’ll love my stuff. (I hope.)
What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?
The community! There are so many tremendously talented, kindhearted, creative individuals in the online horror space, and it blows me away that I’m even lucky enough to call some of them my friends. Although there are always bad actors in any community, I think the good outweighs the bad when it comes to horror.
What’s the one thing that scares you the most in this world and have you ever written about it?
I don’t know if it scares me the most, but my asthma is a pretty big fear of mine. Like, the idea that one day my lungs betray me and cause me to slowly suffocate is pretty terrifying to me and that’s the fear that feels the most real and possible to me, so I think it probably does scare me the most. And yes! I have a few suffocation stories out there!
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 mean, you could pick up any book in the horror genre and I wouldn’t want to be stuck in it. I’m scared of everything so like, it’s all bad for me! It’s all a horrible nightmare! If I had to choose one of mine though, the ending of my novella This Is Where We Talk Things Out is probably the most f*cked up ending I’ve ever written. So, I definitely wouldn’t want to be stuck in that one.
Darkest or most disturbing horror movie ever watched:
I know people will disagree with this choice, but Midsommar. The fact that people think Dani gets some kind of a happy ending in this movie is absolutely wild to me.
Darkest or most disturbing horror novel ever read:
Ooof, I don’t know if I have an answer for this one. I feel like whenever I pick up a book, I usually walk away saying that it was the most upsetting thing I’ve ever read… at least until I pick up another book and say the exact same thing after I finish it. I will say that some of my recent favourites include Wasps In The Ice Cream by Tim McGregor and The Devil’s Pocketbook by Ross Jeffery.
Darkest/ Worst Way to Die:
Realistically, probably Alzheimer’s disease. It’s slow, it f*cks with your memory, and it robs you of your identity and independence. It’s an absolute nightmare.
If you had one hour to speak to any living author, who would it be and why?
I think I’d have to pick Neil Gaiman. He’s so unbelievably creative and he’s done so much. I’d want to peel back the curtain and talk about his process, his inspiration, and what excites him creatively.
What has been one of the proudest moments of your writing journey?
Publishing my first book, Palimpsest, through Ghost Orchid Press. I had always dreamed of publishing a book, but it always felt like an impossible goal. So when it was picked up for publication, it really felt like I’d made it. Like my dream of being an author wasn’t some impossible goal, but rather a very possible reality. It was amazing, honestly. I think I’m still riding the high of that moment almost two years later.
Who are you outside of being an author? What makes you tick other than the worlds and stories you create?
Honestly, there are days where I don’t think I do exist outside of being an author. Like, getting to write and create worlds is my passion and sometimes it feels all-consuming. But, more honestly, outside of my writing (and illustrating, which usually relates to some kind of book or literary project), I’m a much quieter person. I like to play video games, I watch movies, I like to take classes on random topics, and I spend a lot of time with my partner and cat. Like, a lot of time with them.
What is a piece of advice that you WISH someone had given you early in your career?
Write the stories you wish you could read. If you spend your time writing things for other readers, you’ll never fall in love with your work and the joy of writing will die out pretty quickly. But when you write stories you’re excited about, you want to read, and you think matter, you’ll never fall out of love with what you do.
Caitlin Marceau is a queer award-winning author and illustrator based in Montreal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association, and has spoken about genre literature at several Canadian conventions. Her work includes Femina, A Blackness Absolute, and This Is Where We Talk Things Out. Her novella, I’m Having Regrets, will be coming out later this year and her debut novel, It Wasn’t Supposed To Go Like This, is set for publication in 2024. For more, visit CaitlinMarceau.ca or find her on social media.