Angela Slatter is a Brisbane-based writer of speculative fiction. In 2010, she had two short story collections published, Sourdough & Other Stories with Tartarus Press (UK) (which was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award) and The Girl with No Hands & Other Tales (Ticonderoga Publications) (which won an Aurealis Award). In 2012, she will have another collection of short stories, Midnight and Moonshine, a collaboration with friend and writing-partner-in-crime, Lisa L Hannett. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Jack Dann’s Dreaming Again, Tartarus Press’ Strange Tales II, Twelfth Planet Press’ 2012, Dirk Flinthart’s Canterbury 2100, and in journals such as Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and Shimmer. Her work has had several Honourable Mentions in the Datlow, Link, Grant Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies, and the Datlow Year’s Best Horror anthologies, and her stories have been shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards four years in a row.
It is been a rather excitement-packed couple of years for you – no less than three short story collections out, slews of nominations, honours and awards, and of course your doctoring. What has been the highlight of your writing life recently?
Oh, gosh, how to choose. Last year’s Aurealis Awards were a definite highlight. Meeting editor Stephen Jones and publisher Jo Fletcher in London recently was also wonderful and fun. I think, though, I’d have to say that the big one has been writing this latest collection with Lisa Hannett, Midnight and Moonshine. It’s a really fun, scary, clever, engaging mosaic of stories and it’s certainly constantly challenging for both of us. I think it’s a good sign when we both stop every so often and say “I love this collection, Brain!” Being able to share stories and meld our various stores of knowledge and useless information, being able to work together on a project that’s close to both our hearts is just such a gift.
You are currently working on novel-length books featuring Verity from your short story “Brisneyland By Night”. Can you tell us more about the books and when we might expect to see them?
I guess the novel’s a mix of fairy tale, crime noir and urban fantasy, pitting Verity against a range of monsters you usually wouldn’t expect to see in a noir setting. The first book begins her journey through the world of the Weyrd, looking at the inciting incidents that set her on her path, battling Hansel and Gretel witches, golems made of garbage and trying to reason with angels and sirens who aren’t really reasonable, trying to build a new relationship and forget an old one. The second book, Vigil, is a sort of Eurydice and Orpheus tale, which takes her on a journey across the world, also while she’s dealing with morning sickness and a nagging newly discovered mother who has a few more issues than most.
As to when they’re going to be out – err, I need to finish them and get them to publishers! The plan is that by the end of the year the first one will be done and out there looking for a home, and the second one will be well and truly drafted. That’s the plan!
What other projects do you have on the boil? Are you and the other Evil Dr Brain currently collaborating on longer works?
I am scribbling, on and off, stories for a follow-on to Sourdough and Other Stories, calledThe Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings. It includes the British Fantasy Award-nominated “The Coffin-maker’s Daughter”, and is what I’m calling a fairy tale serial killer mosaic novel. I have two other novels that are half done (Well of Souls and Gate of the Dead, which are set in a kind of alternative Crusader kingdom).
As I said earlier, the other Evil Dr Brain and I are finishing up Midnight and Moonshine, which is coming out in November from Ticonderoga Publications. We also have notes for another collection, The Sepphoris Mosaic which will include “The February Dragon”.
There’s always something on the boil.
What Australian works have you loved recently?
Margo Lanagan’s Seahearts springs to mind, as does Deborah Biancotti’s Bad Power.
Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?
Well, I hope people are thinking bigger and thinking more about placing work out in the wider world – actively trying to publish internationally rather than just at home. Also, I’d really like to think that the writing community is more supportive and hopefully less combative/competitive. If we build a stronger community, it’s going to be better for all writers and all fans.