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Don’t turn on the light: Fear of the Dark - edited by Maria Grazia Cavicchioli & Jason Rolfe - now available as an ebook!
Maria Grazia Cavicchioli founded Horror Bound as an online magazine in 2008, releasing an anthology of short fiction inspired by Edgar Allan Poe a year later, Return of the Raven. The second anthology by Horror Bound, Fear of the Dark, is now available for the first time as an ebook. In this interview, Maria reflects on the formation of Horror Bound, its anthologies, and hints at the possibilities of new work coming out in the future. How did Horror Bound come into being? I had always believed that horror was misunderstood as a genre. I wanted to bring it up to the level of the “literary.” I attempted to do that with Horror Bound and I think I was quite successful at it. Horror as a genre usually brings up visions of blood and gore and the SAW movies (laughter). I had always known that it went beyond that. Horror is very much about the human condition. I frequently asked the writers what it was that drew them to the horror genre and they more often than not said that it was indeed the human condition. When I asked award-winning author Gary Braunbeck that question he said, “I want a reason for this. I want a reason for babies born with cancer, for the endless supply of thoughtless cruelties both little and large that we inflict on one another on an everyday basis, for old folks who are abandoned to die alone and unwanted and unloved; I want an explanation, please, for all of the soul-sick, broken-hearted people who become so hollowed by their aloneness that they turn on the gas, eat the business end of a shotgun, or find a ceiling beam that can take their weight. I want sense made of this, I want to know the reason why... and since none is forthcoming either from above or from those around me, I've decided to try and find the answer on my own, and so far the best - the only - way for me to work toward this is through writing horror stories.” Sarah Langan and Ramsay Campbell (also fantastic writers) had very similar answers. Horror Bound Magazine was very well received – a great deal of interactivity and engagement with the community of writers, artists, and fans. How did your idea turn into such a highly regarded virtual space that brought these people together? It was the level of respect that I had for the writers and the fan base and for the genre itself. I had always believed that dark fiction/horror deserved the same level of respect that the other genres had and Horror Bound reflected that. Someone called it a “classy magazine”. Unlike some of the other online pubs we did not have pictures of blood and gore on our pages. (laughter). Zombies were rarely a topic of discussion. Two anthologies came out of Horror Bound Magazine. What inspired the first one, Return of the Raven, and how did the second one, Fear of the Dark – now out as an ebook – come about? Return of the Raven was inspired by my love for the work of Edgar Allan Poe. I had loved his work since my early teens. I still do. In fact I think his work inspired the creation of Horror Bound. Unbeknownst to me at the time, 2009 was also the 200th anniversary of his birth. That was quite a surprise as I had planned to have the book released 2009 without that knowledge. Fear of the Dark was inspired by the concept of the dark and how people related it. I wanted to understand what it was about the dark that scares us so much. What archetype does it serve? It seems to be a worldwide phenomenon. It was my attempt to have that question answered. Fear of the Dark is an ambitious anthology – 20 writers, 300 pages, and all very solid dark stories. I particularly find it striking how you and Jason arranged the stories in a way where some elements interconnected – for example, dolls! Were those connections accidental? Is that way of connecting stories something unique to this anthology, or was it inspired by other anthologies of stories you’ve come across? I think the arrangement of the stories was coincidental or happening at a subconscious level. The anthology features the work of some of the greatest dark fiction writers out there today. The calibre of the writing in Fear of the Dark is outstanding. Many of them had a feel of a “classic” horror story, while others were quite edgy, but still literary. This literary aspect has always been central to Horror Bound, hasn’t it? Is this part of what differentiates Fear of the Dark from other horror genre writing? Exactly right. The caliber of the stories is outstanding and we managed to get some of the greatest writers in the genre today. Horror Bound (both the epub and the publishing venture) has always been about showing the public how important horror and dark fiction is as a genre. It covers some very important themes and topics. Also about showcasing those fantastic writers whose fiction gets to the core of the human condition. How it very much belongs to the literary realm. Eventually, you decided Horror Bound Magazine had to end. What brought about that decision? We were around for about 5-6 years and I felt it was time to move on. You never know. I might be back in another form soon. (laughter). It certainly is wonderful to have you back with an ebook version of Fear of the Dark to share. Do you foresee new work coming from Horror Bound? Thanks very much. We are thrilled to have the ebook made available to the public. As for more work – that’s an option. Stay tuned.
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