shopify analytics ecommerce

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Stephanie Ellis

by | Oct 5, 2018 | The Fiends in the Furrows | 0 comments

Stephanie Ellis writes short story and novella length dark speculative fiction which has found success in a variety of magazines and anthologies.

She is co-editor and contributor to The Infernal Clock, a fledgling press which has produced two anthologies to-date. She is also co-editor of Trembling With Fear, HorrorTree.com’s online magazine.

The Fiends in the Furrows: An Anthology of Folk Horror

“The Way of the Mother”

What is your favorite season and why?

A bit of a clash between Spring and Autumn here but if pushed to it, I would say Autumn. I moved to rural Shropshire when I was 8yrs old, my dad took over a pub in the middle of nowhere and the memories that have stayed with me tend to be of that time of year: mist-filled lanes, bonfires around which the farmers would gather with their pints of cider, the drawing in of night, the smell of soil in freshly-plowed fields. Autumn creates ‘cosy’ memories and feelings when you curl up against the growing dark.

What drew you to Folk Horror?

Folk horror has always been part of my life. The nature of those nine years meant an exposure to the rural calendar and the trials to which human and animal were subjected. In one bar of the pub, animal traps decorated the walls, there was a crossbow (traps and crossbow were rendered harmless by the way), a fox’s brush; in the cellar, my dad would hang pheasants gifted by farmers and I would often walk into them unawares, walking home I would also see rows of crows caught by the farmers hung up along fences to deter other birds. All of these are small aspects of death in a very real situation, folk horror was part of my childhood and I never really realized it until I started writing.

What does Folk Horror mean to you? How would you describe it to someone?

Folk Horror to me is the dark relationship between man and the land. In Autumn and Winter, I always had the feeling there was something more around us as the landscape changed, as the sun went down something ‘otherworldly’ walked the fields. The horror bleeds into this relationship as ancient rituals to promote the good harvest, to benefit those who work the land, become distorted. Myths and legends, ancient stones, strange landmarks feed minds who need reasons for the way the land behaves. A faith system of sorts, one usually washed in blood. Blood is life and Mother Nature is both giver and taker. Blood is her tribute.

What is the most Folk Horror thing you’ve seen/encountered in your community?

The most Folk Horror thing? That would be a few years back when I went to the Beltane Festival at Butser Hill in Hampshire. A fan of the original Wicker Man film, I discovered Butser put on a similar burning—without the sacrifice! Just watching that giant figure blaze up and then disintegrate was pretty amazing. People had been eating and drinking as the sun went down, dancing and listening to music and then we all gathered to watch the burning, voices were quieter, there was no shrieking and shouting, just everyone being part of something, it felt special.  I wanted to return this year but sadly prices have become extortionate and I think it is suffering from a growing commercialism.

What writing projects do you have next?

On an editorial level, I am co-editing DeadCades, The Infernal Clock’s latest anthology with each story being set in a different decade from 1880-2020. That is due out in October and features some amazing stories.
My main, main project though is a folk horror novel. Some time ago I wrote a short story called The Dance which was published. I loved the characters in it so much (Tommy, Betty, and Fiddler) I developed a novel around them and the world they lived in, a borderline place between our world and something that belongs to Nature. Called The Five Turns of the Wheel it focusses on the relationship between the traveling troupe of three from the Otherworld, who return each autumn to perform Nature’s rituals, and the villagers of the Weald whose lives are dominated by the cycle of seasons, the ‘turns of the wheel’; in particular it reflects the suffering of women in terms of the blood they shed for Nature in more ways than one. (From that you will probably gather that my Fiends story is set in the same world, it just shows I can’t seem to let it go!)

THE FIENDS IN THE FURROWS

The Fiends in the Furrows: An Anthology of Folk Horror is a collection of nine short stories that hew both to the earthy traditions and blaze new trails in Folk Horror.

Fans of Folk Horror, as well as those unfamiliar with it, will find horrors galore in these stories. Themes of rural isolation and insularity, paranoia, mindless and monstrous ritual, as well as arcane ceremonies clashing against modern preoccupations run through these stories.

Nosetouch Press is proud to bring The Fiends in the Furrows: An Anthology of Folk Horror to horror enthusiasts everywhere.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This