SCREAM QUEEN: Lauren Roy

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve worn several hats in the book industry: writer, bookseller, sales rep, and, of course, reader. Scary stories always drew me — from a collection of urban legends in a musty book of Americana my parents got I-don’t-know-where, to the SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK series, to picking up Stephen King’s SKELETON CREW when I was 11 or 12. My mother worried they’d take it away from me at school. My dad was ready to argue my case to the principal if they did.

By day I work for one of the Big N publishers, selling books to independent bookstores. By night, I’m scratching out books of my own.

Why horror?

The best sleepovers always featured horror movies at midnight. Sometimes it was whatever was on USA Up All Night, others it was whatever we could find in the horror section in the video store (remember video stores? No? Get off my lawn.) Either way it was hours spent with the covers pulled up to your nose, pretending you weren’t scared, giggling if your friends shrieked, hoping you weren’t the first to lose your cool. And then chatting long after the movie was over, because if you went to sleep something was definitely going to crawl out of the shadows and kill you.

Even though the sleepovers are long done, I’ve still spent nights wide awake after a good book or movie ended, certain whatever I’ve just watched or read was coming for me.

It’d be keen to pass that terror on to others.

What horror scene stayed with you and why?

Oh god, there are too many to count. My entangled fear of ET and Cujo is a post all its own, so we’ll hold off on that one. That leaves me with two:

The creepy crucifix in Carrie, and the hand bursting out of the grave at the end.

The other I can’t actually name. I remember a clip of a movie, with a family lining a set of stairs in an old Victorian house. I remember them being afraid of something lurking around the corner where the stairs turned — possibly behind a cellar door, or one of those closets tucked beneath the stairs. I can only recall it in flashes, and think I must have glimpsed it peeking around a corner in my OWN house, sneaking down to see what my parents were watching long after I was supposed to be in bed. I don’t know whether the strange, flickery quality of it had something to do with the ghost in the movie, or plain ol’ bad reception on our TV.

In fact, I don’t even know if this memory is real, or some childhood fever dream that seemed real. But the scene scared me then, and freaks me out a little now, and if anyone out there has seen a movie (we’re talking pre-1980s) that fits that terribly vague description, I’d love to know the title.

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

Ellen Datlow’s Fearful Symmetries anthology. Kickstarter ftw!

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

My current projects tend toward urban fantasy and YA fantasy, but I’ve done some work for Pelgrane Press’ Trail of Cthulhu RPG. Those adventures are forthcoming!



Categories: Introductions

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