Interview: 5 Minutes With Tracie Mcbride

 Today, Ginger Nuts of Horror is proud to have Tracie Mcbride over for a chat. Tracie’s   first short story was published in 2004, and since then her work has been published or is forthcoming in over 50 print and electronic publications.  In 2008  she won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best New Talent.

I’m also an associate editor for Dark Moon Digest and vice-president of the writers’ co-operative Dark Continents Publishing.  My first short story collection, “Ghosts Can Bleed”, is now available in e-book and paperback. 
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Most of the time I feel like I’m two different people; there’s the mild-mannered, middle-aged teacher aide and suburban mother of three, and then there’s…well, if you’ve read my fiction, you’ll get an idea of what my alter ego might be like (if you can coax her out of the shadows long enough to get a good look at her).
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
When it comes to describing my own work, I prefer dark speculative fiction. “Speculative Fiction” because there’s usually something unreal happening in my stories, and “dark” because there’s rarely a happy ending (or beginning, or middle). “Horror” is a wonderfully controversial, broad and slippery definition; within the catch-all genre of horror there are so many shades and subgenres that just labelling something “horror” is about as informative and useful as labelling a Granny Smith apple “fruit”.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I go through phases. My current literary crush is China Miéville, but my bookshelf has been or still is heavily populated with Stephen King, Anne Rice, Julian May, P.K. Dick, Robert Heinlein, Margaret Atwood, Robert Heinlein, Joe Hill and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. As you can see from this list, my influences range from across the horror, fantasy and science fiction spectrum.
What are you reading now?
In paperback, it’s “Embassytown” by China Miéville. On my Kindle I have about 30 titles that I have promised to read for fellow HWA members with a view to considering them for Stoker recommendations (I’m not allowed to say which ones). In my editing and proofreading files, I’m checking J.A. Karr’s “Ghostly Summons” one more time before publication by Dark Continents Publishing, and I’m editing a new novella by up-and-coming young Australian writer Matthew Tait.
Which book do you wish you had written?
I only get to pick one? I’m forever reading stories that make me go, “Damn! I wish I’d thought of that!” It’s part of what drives me forward as a writer. If you’re going to hold a gun to my head, then I’ll say “Iron Council” by China Miéville. Or “Imagica” by Clive Barker. Or “Kil’n People” by David Brin. Or…
How would you describe your writing style?
Deceptively simple. As an admirer of the short form, I have to make every word count, so you won’t find two-page descriptions of a curtain blowing in the breeze.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
A typical day for me is not spent writing. Writing gets slotted in around other commitments in short, concentrated bursts. I don’t think I have any unusual habits, but then, who can say what is or isn’t “usual”? I think about the only way I significantly depart from the norm (whatever that is) is that I don’t drink coffee. It’s tea for me. Coke if it’s been a bad day. Rum and coke if it’s been a REALLY bad day.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Tough call. I’m quite fond of “Baptism”, a story about cannibalistic mermaids vs. the religious patriarchy (guess who wins) which has drawn a lot of praise and was reprinted this year in the charity anthology “Horror For Good”.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
There’s only one title in existence which is all Tracie McBride, which is “Ghosts Can Bleed”, a collection of short stories and poems spanning the first six or so years of my writing career. It was released by Dark Continents Publishing in 2011. I’m in negotiations with another small press to release a second collection in 2013. There may still be a novel. One day.
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