1. What do you like best about horror fiction?
I think my favorite aspect is the bending of reality. In my favorite horror stories, the line between the real and the unreal blurs, and the narrator’s mind becomes as much of an enemy as the evil they’re running from. I love big, overblown emotions, I love narratively convenient swooning, and I love monsters that might not even be there. I feel like the most effective horror uses the reader’s mind against them, and I think the best way to do that is to leave them uncertain. Is the house really alive? Did the narrator actually see the monster? Is their—and your—mind playing tricks? I love that tension.
2. What should people know about the Boston area?
This can probably be said of any city, but there’s something really cool about the juxtaposition of old and new in Boston—and throughout New England in general. One of my favorite spots is Mount Auburn Cemetery. It’s this gorgeous nineteenth-century garden cemetery with a cathedral and a sphinx and an incredibly atmospheric weeping willow, and it’s also across the street from a gas station and a grocery store. Salem’s got its House of Seven Gables and witch trial memorials, but it also has a cute little dress shop and an excellent burger joint. Providence was home to Poe and Lovecraft back in the day, and also me for a few years of college. I love how the pragmatic and the romantic are shoved up against each other, because it’s such a historically dense region that there’s no room for them to be otherwise.
3. What horror tropes do you think are overused?
I’m very much over the Not-Deer. It’s a deer, or some other harmless woodland creature, but there’s something not quite right about it—it’s got wolf teeth, or six legs, or red eyes. I grew up in the middle of the woods, and the thing that always scared me the most was coming across the ruin of an old farm and staring down into the well. The Not-Deer feels like the creation of someone who’s afraid of what might be lurking out in nature; I’m more afraid of what humans have left behind.
GOTHIC FANTASY | SUPERNATURAL | NOVEL
“…a darkly romantic fable, although love absolutely plays a key part of the narrative within the superstructure of philosophy, theology, and the occult. There’s a hopefulness to the story that offsets the ever-present specter of death that hovers throughout, hand-in-hand with the macabre.”
Death is an end and a beginning.
On the island city of Lenorum, Maeve serves the Sisterhood of Good Death, a convent whose purpose is to shepherd lost souls from one world to the next. But her life of devotion to the unquiet dead is upended by an encounter with the haughty poet Imogen Madrigal, who has mysteriously returned from beyond the veil not in spirit, but in the flesh—and is determined to obtain justice, whatever the cost. Maeve agrees to help Imogen solve her murder, which propels her headlong into the hedonistic and heretical world of the extravagant and influential Poets’ Court.
THE UNTIMELY UNDEATH OF IMOGEN MADRIGAL delivers a metaphysical mystery in the richly imagined, darkly fantastic and urbane world of Lenorum, as Maeve comes to terms with her own path and learns what living a good life truly means.
FORTHCOMING | May 23
ABOUT GRAYSON DALY
Grayson Daly is a writer and lover of fantasy, mystery, and any genre with the word “gothic” appended to the front. She grew up in a New England village and moved to the slightly larger one of Boston, where she lives with her childhood best friend and thirteen houseplants. When not writing, Grayson can be found building robots, learning to play the banjo, and haunting the bubble tea shop down the street.
The Untimely Undeath of Imogen Madrigal is her debut novel.
- ISBN-13: 978-1-944286-28-6
- Length: 350 pages