Tracy Fahey is an Irish writer of Gothic fiction. In 2017, her debut collection The Unheimlich Manoeuvre was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award for Best Collection. In 2019, her short story, ‘That Thing I Did’ received an Honourable Mention by Ellen Datlow in her The Best Horror of the Year Volume 11, with five stories on Datlow’s Recommended Reading list for 2019. Her short fiction is published in over twenty-five Irish, US and UK anthologies. She holds a PhD on the Gothic in visual arts, and her non-fiction writing has been published in edited collections and journals. She has been awarded residencies in Ireland and Greece. Her first novel, The Girl in the Fort, was released in 2017. Her second collection, New Music For Old Rituals, collects together her folk horror stories and was released in 2018 by Black Shuck Books.
The Fiends in the Furrows II: More Tales of Folk Horror
Ireland, where I live, is incredibly rich in terms of folklore, so dark horror that stems from folklore is something endemic here. I grew up hearing stories about the fae, banshees, ghosts and the Devil. Many of these legends (which are supernatural stories linked to real sites) are cautionary tales to do with meddling with otherworldly forces. I find these stories endlessly inspiring.
Where did the inspiration for your FIENDS II short story come from?
My short story, ‘Dearg-an-Daol’ came from a mix of strange sources. Watching Possum (2018, dir. Matthew Holness), listening to The Disintegration Loops by William Basinski, my love of Irish folklore, and thinking in an unstructured way about memory and family and the resonance of both. And beetles.
What is your favorite kind of tree, and why?
The whitethorn. It’s a tree of huge magical significance in Ireland. Many legends surround it to do with the fae, especially the lone whitethorn.
How has the Coronavirus pandemic impacted your writing?
Initially the pandemic impacted negatively on my writing; I found the cognitive dissonance caused by both trying to be positive and trying to write horror almost overwhelming. Turning to drawing was a release and a relief, and working in another medium allowed ideas to percolate. And now the words have returned, but at present I find myself writing in a spread of genres, other than straight horror.
I applied for and got a place on a crime-writing course, which has been really interesting, and I’m actively co-writing on several projects – I’m finding writing and thinking together to be both supportive and fruitful.
What’s next for you, in terms of writing projects?
At the moment I have new short fiction coming out in Best New Horror #30 (ed. Stephen Jones), and Women In Horror Anthology: Volume II (Kandisha Press). I’m working on the final stages my next collection, I Spit Myself Out, and considering the evolution of a crime fiction collection. And there’s a possible film collaboration in the pipeline that I’m very excited about, but it’s in the early stages…