SCREAM QUEEN: Courtney Alameda

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a seven-year veteran of the bookstore trenches, currently a librarian, and a lifelong book hoarder. I devote the bulk of my time to chasing glimpses of reapers who take out the undead lock, stock and lens; to derby-skating, Dante-quoting, angel-killing girls and boys who hunt lost history and the macabre among the stars. Words are in my bones and brains and blood, and I live to take cliches and twist them until they gasp and remember how to breathe.

I also love retro fashion, sky-high stilettos, and anything vaguely book-shaped.

Why horror?

I heart monsters — no matter the ilk.

What horror scene stayed with you and why?

Anyone seen PAN’S LABYRINTH? I enjoyed the movie from the start, but midway through the movie and bam! Del Toro plays his Pale Man card. My jaw hit the floor the moment the monster lifted its eye-studded palms to look at the audience. Suddenly, suddenly, I had the license to go and do likewise; I was no longer limited by the canon, by the same tired and oft-used monsters who appeared in thousands of novels. It changed my notions of what I could and couldn’t do as an artist, and I’ll never forget it.

Are there any horror projects you’re looking forward to?

Stephen King’s DR. SLEEP, which is the sequel to one of my favorite horror novels of all time: THE SHINING. I’m also anticipating the survival horror game THE EVIL WITHIN, which has gorgeous artwork and a (hopefully) compelling story.

I’m also looking forward to YA horror releases across the board, both from our own Scream Queens and from the likes of Gretchen McNeil (3:59, GET EVEN), Jennifer Bosworth (THE KILLING JAR), and Jonathan Maberry (FIRE & ASH, the fourth Benny Imura book). Oh yeah, and Mr. Barry Lyga! Can you get on releasing that third I HUNT KILLERS book? kthxbai.

Are you currently writing horror or will you be? If so, tell us about it!

But of course! I’m currently revising SHUTTER, which is set for publication in Fall of 2014 from Feiwel and Friends. The novel’s about seventeen-year-old Micheline Helsing, who sees dead people . . . in Technicolor. To her eyes, staggering corpses ooze crimson light, vampire veins glow cobalt blue, and ghosts rage in heart-stopping ultraviolet. Only a tetrachromat like Micheline can see the bright auras of the undead, and nobody exorcises ghosts on film quite like she does.

But when a malicious entity ravages a local hospital—the first ghost Micheline fails to trap with a camera’s lens—Micheline and the boys on her reaping crew wind up soulchained to the demon. As the tattoo-like, ghostly chains spread through her body, Micheline learns that if she can’t exorcise her captor in seven days or less, she and her friends are going to die.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

I’m also drafting an untitled horror/science fiction mashup, which is told from dual POVs and may be the most ambitious project I’ve taken on to date. I’d tell you what it’s about, but then I’d have to kill you.

Categories: Introductions

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