S. G. Larner is a denizen of sunny Brisbane, Australia, where she wrangles three children and complains about the heat. She revels in exploring the dark underbelly of the world in her short fiction and poetry, as an antidote to her relatively mundane life. Her work has appeared in Aurealis, SQ Mag, Tincture Journal, and Equilibrium Overturned, among others. Upcoming publications include Suspended in Dusk (Books of the Dead Press) and Phantazein (Fablecroft Publishing). In her non-existent spare time she knits, sews, runs, and co-ordinates a school library. You can find her at http://foregoreality.wordpress.com and on twitter @StaceySarasvati.
Can you tell us what you are working on now, and also about your recent publications?
I’m working on a number of short stories, mostly for different open market calls. They range from urban fantasy to horror. I’m part of the #6in6 group, aiming to write six stories in six weeks. The six weeks is almost over and I’m pretty sure I’ll have if not six brand new first drafts, then five new stories and a few in various stages of rewrites. I also churn out poetry as the mood takes me.
Recent publications include “Perfect Soldiers” in Equilibrium Overturned (through Grey Matter Press), a horror sci fi dystopian mash up; “Chasing the Storm” in SQ Mag 14, a dark fantasy/horror set in North QLD; “Paradise Drowned”, another near future dystopia set on the Gold Coast.
Last year you completed an Australian Horror Writers Association mentorship with Jason Fischer. Could you tell us about this experience and what the benefits were?
Jason’s a fantastic writer and an awesome person. He helped me see where the strengths were in my writing, but more importantly, where I needed to improve. Almost all the stories he cast his critical eye over have now been sold. Having a mentor is a good way of finding out what markets to try for, and which to possibly avoid. I think the thing he helped me with the most, though, was his belief in me. During that mentorship I was struggling with depression and kept fielding rejections, so to have someone like Jason in my corner was the boost of confidence to keep me submitting stories.
Are we seeing a trend away from horror and towards science fiction in your published work? Which areas of science fiction are most inspiring for you?
Not really! I think what I get published tends to go in phases. I’ve had a few post-climate change, dystopian stories published or accepted lately (mostly set in Australia). But I’m still writing horror and dark fantasy. I don’t like to limit myself to one subgenre, so I do tend to skip around a bit when I write different stories. Horror was big for me just after my son was born and I guess if anything the horror I write now is probably less in your face, and maybe more science fiction oriented, whereas before it was all body horror and monsters and psychological torment.
I was ecstatic to get into Fablecroft’s upcoming anthology Phantazein, and I also have stories coming out later on this year through Fictionvale, and Suspended in Dusk (Books of the Dead Press). Two of these stories are near-future Australian dystopias and one is a dark fairytale.
I’d like to write more speculative poetry and challenge myself with some Weird fiction.
What Australian works have you loved recently?
I loved Kirstyn McDermott’s Caution: Contains Small Parts, and Kaaron Warren’s Through Splintered Walls. I also really enjoyed Robert G. Cook’s “Glasskin”, and Trent Jamieson’s The Memory of Death novella.
Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?
Not really. I’m still fairly new to the writing scene and my aim has been to publish through traditional markets as a way to give my writing credibility and build up readership. I don’t have the personality to self-publish! I do like the idea of self-publishing stories that have been published elsewhere once the rights return to me, though.
In five years I will probably have worked up enough courage to commit to a novel (it will be speculative fiction, of course, but who knows what flavour?). And hopefully I will be reading the gorgeous speculative stories of my friends (which is what I do now anyway!).
This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and collating the links at SF Signal. You can read interviews at: