ZACHARY ROSENBERG is a horror writer in Florida who practices law by day and writes scary and fantastical tales by night. His works have been published in various anthologies and will be forthcoming in Unspeakable Horrors 3 and Shakespeare Unleashed, as well as publications such as Seize the Press, the Deadlands, and Dark Matter Magazine. You may find his books published by Brigids Gate Press, Darklit Press and Off Limits Press.
The Fiends in the Furrows III: Final Harvest
“The Gods That Drift with Us”
What do you like most about Folk Horror?
Folk Horror is a beautiful construction of what happens when the modern meets the ancient, the “Old Ways.” There is a strong helplessness to the genre, that one has traversed out of where they should go. Whether it be a modern city or their village, folk horror is all about something ancient and hungry and primal lurking in the darkest corners. The old ways are here (or at least believed) and your own beliefs can’t save you. It’s so isolating and frightening all at once. But also so unmistakably human.
What inspired you to write your FIENDS III story?
“The Gods That Drift With Us” was inspired by pretty common folk horror trappings. The idea of the traveler who approaches the small village and it’s really an “Old Ways” deathtrap. I’d toyed with the idea of reversing it a little, giving more depth and seeing that the traveler might just have something planned of their own. Thinking deeper about the idea, I went into historical influences and most especially the idea of Jewish history. Going to medieval Spain when the Jews were persecuted and driven from the land. What might happen if they went back to a country they didn’t recognize any longer? The more I thought on that, with Jewish lore and history, the more it crystalized for me. You don’t see enough Jewish folk horror out there so I hope this example will resonate!
What upcoming projects are you working on?
Currently, I’ve got quite a bit in the pipeline! I’ve got my debut novella, a horror western called “Hungers as Old As This Land” coming, plus working on edits for my pulp detective horror “The Long Shalom.” Working on wrapping up my pirate horror novel for Darklit Press, along with another Jewish folk horror I’ve titled “Teshuvah.” Beyond that, I’m working on another horror novella to shop around and multiple short stories. Plus one top secret big fantasy novel project with a close friend!