Yvonne Miller Interviews Eric Raglin
Thank you for joining us today on our interview segment with the very talented Eric Raglan. Eric Raglin (he/him) is a Nebraskan speculative fiction writer, horror literature teacher, and podcaster for Cursed Morsels. He frequently writes about queer issues, the terrors of capitalism, and body horror. His work has been published in Novel Noctule, Dread Stone Press, and Hyphen Punk. His debut short story collection is Nightmare Yearnings. He is the editor of ANTIFA SPLATTERPUNK and the co-editor of ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare. Find him at ericraglin.com or on Twitter @ericraglin1992.
Yvonne Miller: Your debut collection, Nightmare Yearnings releases on September 4th. Do you have a favourite story within that collection, can you tell us a little about it?
Eric Raglin: It’s always tough to choose a favorite, but I think the final story, “When Mothman Came to Queer Lake,” captures a lot of what I’m going for with the collection. It has weirdness, queerness, and the encroaching threat of fascism and climate apocalypse. It’s a fairly short piece, but it has a lot of emotional punch. I’ve been happy to see early readers resonate with it, too.
YM: Where do you get your inspiration for writing?
ER: Inspiration can come from anywhere. For instance, “The Lord Above” (another story featured in my collection) was inspired by several negative real-life experiences with landlords. Other stories, like “The Reveal” and “The Patch,” come directly from news articles about weird and wild current events. But recently, I’ve enjoyed using random word generators to get inspired. It’s a great way to make strange creative connections that I wouldn’t come to otherwise.
YM: What is your favourite kind of character to write?
ER: I like to write about chaotic, emotionally messy people doing their best to navigate impossible situations. This type of character lends itself well to intense conflict and reader empathy.
YM: What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
ER: Writing gets me invested when it has vivid prose that crackles with energy and emotion. I can forgive many other storytelling flaws if the prose accomplishes this.
YM: Describe your writing space.
ER: Most often, my writing space is a coffee shop during its slow time. I love sipping on iced tea and typing away at a story. The atmosphere feels cozy.
YM: What made you get involved with the podcast, Cursed Morsels? How do you think it differs from the written word?
ER: At the start of the pandemic, I wanted an excuse to talk with friends digitally. The podcast started as a way for me to do exactly that, with each episode featuring a different friend and a different short horror story for us to discuss. After I managed to book an interview with Livia Llewellyn, the focus of the podcast shifted toward writer interviews. I’ve enjoyed talking to so many people and hearing their thoughts on writing, horror, and the creative process. I consider the podcast a way to promote others’ work, make new friends, and learn all I can about the craft of writing.
YM: Lets talk a little about the cover of Nightmare Yearnings. It is seriously haunting but in a way that I am struggling to articulate. Do you think that was your approach with the collection?
ER: Absolutely. I’ve always loved stories that are haunting in a way that is hard to describe. I wanted to conjure that feeling in several of the collection’s stories, leaving the reader with a weird, unsettled feeling that lingers without explanation. Matthew Revert, the book’s cover designer, did a superb job capturing this feeling.
YM: What was the highlight of writing this book?
ER: Two stories in the collection (“Ghost of an Ocean” and “Remi Rook the Cannibal Cook”) take place in Western Nebraska. Folks who have never been there might assume that it’s a flat, boring place, but I consider it to be one of the most gorgeous places on Earth. So, as strange as it sounds, a highlight of writing the book was revisiting those gorgeous places through those stories. I happen to live in the less interesting part of Nebraska, so writing these stories felt like escaping into a place I often long for.
YM: How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
ER: I have a slasher novella brewing, but it’s too early to say much about it. However, I can guarantee there will be weirdness in abundance.
A thrill-seeker studies a language learned through close encounters with death.
A flock of extinct birds haunt a grieving woman for reasons unknown.
A boy participates in a public access cannibal cooking show to win his family’s love.
A couple panics when Mothman shows up to their slice of rural paradise with omens in tow.
In his debut short story collection, Eric Raglin presents sixteen queer and weird horror stories.
Well, what can I say about myself? I’m a 33-year-old married woman and mum to 3 crazy boys, aged 13,6 and 4. My eldest has a genetic condition that causes a visual impairment so as you can imagine life can be very chaotic and provides many challenges along the way but I would 100% never change any of them. They fulfil my life beyond measure.
I adore books – I adore shouting about books! I’m a reviewer of mainly horror and dark fantasy. Whether that’s featuring werewolves, evil creatures or the depravity of humanity, I will read them all.
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