Ultimate Horrotica (Author Interview)

Ultimate Horrotica looks like a scary erotica collection.  Can you tell us a little about Ultimate Horrotica?

People often assume that erotic means sexual, and although it does on some level it equally refers to the life instinct and the cusp of excitement. My writing does contain high levels of erotica. However, erotica actually comes from the word ‘eros’ or life force and that is in opposition to ‘thanatos’ an innate fascination with death, so there are different perspectives of the nature of erotica. The titillation found in horror comes from the head on collision of eros and Thanatos, that is the erotica. The vampire, for example, offers eternal life through a seductive death. That is very erotic. Sanguine Fervor portrays the victims struggle as she tries to rationalise her sexual attraction towards the vampire that offers death. She tries to escape and fails. She surrenders in a highly erotic sequence and then realises that she is doomed to live as a monster in the absence of the sun. Erotica does not necessarily imply sexual acts, although there are some very sexual descriptions in some of the stories.

Any plans to turn it into a series?

I am in the process of writing a trilogy. Ad Sex Speculum is the first of the trilogy and takes the traditional horror creatures and identifies them as Immortalis, a form of demon. The premise is heavily based on supernatural folklore and the occult but offers an alternative outcome. The notion of human sacrifice is not new, and it appears in many historical cultures. However, in Ad Sex Speculum the sacrifices choose their fate. They are driven by the deadly sins and basic need, but ultimately, they choose. There are seven different strands that slowly come together. It is an epic horror and it is overtly graphic in terms of both horror and erotica.

What will readers get out of your book?

Ultimate Horrotica is a huge book, over 550 pages of short stories and it covers most of the horror genre. Ultimate Horrotica is both an ode to traditional horror and a comment on human horror. It contains multiple short stories and includes traditional tales such as those depicting zombies, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, slashers and other mythical creatures. In parts their origins and lore are offered homage and the tales are true to their origins. In other parts I have taken an idea and altered it, for example I have rewritten Poe’s The Raven as a short and amusing tale about crows. The history of Lilith, a character omitted from The Bible is depicted in both Vrykolakos and Lilith. Tallboy derived from the name Larry Talbot recreates the werewolf legend.

I also examine modern human horrors on a personal and social level. The Cyber Bully is constructed entirely from text talk and shows the rapid progression and destruction caused by online bullying. Other tales examine failed cult mentalities, abuses and addictions in the human world. As a steppingstone Words Overheard in the Underworld discusses the greatest horror, and that is of course man. There are also some psychological horrors such as Pride and Anomaly.

Anomaly is a story of shifting perspectives and is written as a short story told by two characters. The first is a professor who identifies a new form of schizophrenia which he dubs ‘Chronosphrenia’ because the patients claim to be able to travel through time across their genetic lines. The professor states that the patients are actually experiencing a form of delusion.

The second narrator is a patient trying to convince her therapist that she has this condition and can travel through time. She is speaking as her younger self, or at least that is what she believes and for the most part the reader decides who is telling the truth. The story changes very subtly, and it is up to the reader to locate the change, through one a one-word fact. This fact is given at the very end in an obituary. That single word changes the entire perspective of the tale and reveals some quite horrific information about one of the characters.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Ultimate Horrotica?

Turning the genre on its head and writing extreme content as a woman. Entranced Malice combines horror and erotica in the worst possible way. A demon seduces a mortal woman with the intention of causing great suffering and trapping her eternally in hell. Initially I planned the seduction as a simple and benign erotic scene, but whilst writing I thought that the demon, with his power of hypnosis, could go a step beyond. Rather than stripping his victim of her clothes, why not have him strip her skin. It is a slow seduction whereby the victim has a delayed reaction to pain due to the euphoric spell shrouding her. The pain comes when she realises what has actually occurred and thereafter the horror takes over. Underground Poetry did class it as ‘Extreme’ but other publishers just refused to accept it because of the content.

I love Anne Rice and The Vampire Lestat is one of the best books that I have ever read. None the less there is a tendency unique to female authors to turn the antagonist into a sympathetic character. Louis tells a very different story to Lestat and Lestat is almost justifying his behaviour and in doing so turns himself from villain to hero. My antagonists are the heroes because the antagonist is ther hero in horror. Audiences go to the cinema to see Jason, Michael and Freddy not the final girl and definitely not the highly irrelevant male protagonist. My antagonists are evil, they shall remain evil and I intend to still get the audience to identify with them and root for them.

What do you like to do when not writing?

I have studied extensively, travelled widely, had a family and engaged in most sports and arts activities including extreme sports. I also draw horror, participate in horror groups, create horror photography and study the genre.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

Instagram @horrotica_valkyrie
Twitter @horroticav
Facebook @valkyriekerry