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  • Writer's pictureLee Franklin

Jessica Landry

G'day and welcome to the Couch of Chaos. I appreciate you coming out on manic monday. It must be so exciting as I heard you just received yet another nomination for a Stoker...Wow that must be exciting, how do you sleep? Yeah, not on the Couch of Chaos. But no, truly exciting, quite a few women on the list this year which is great to see. OK, lets get this party started.

From where do you hail? And what is your modus operandi with the blood soaked pen?

I live in the cold, dark depths known as Winnipeg, Manitoba. And my horror is one of strained relationships — between sisters, between friends, between mothers and daughters. My stories tend to gravitate more toward troubled women, because, let’s face it, we’re all a little troubled.

A mother isn’t meant to have favourites, but tell me, what is your favourite story that you have written? And why? Just so all those other stories know.

An impossible question! I love all my children! …but now that the others are out of the room, I have a soft spot for “Scordatura,” which was published in Twice-Told: A Collection of Doubles from Chthonic Matter Press in 2019. It’s about a strained relationship (imagine that!) between a young cello player and her spiteful mother, who was once a world-renowned cello player herself but is now unable to play. She forces her own interests onto her unwilling (but talented) daughter…with disastrous consequences. It’s very near and dear to me because it cuts a little close to home and I love how it ends — bleak, yet hopeful. Writing it was a good therapy session — and I didn’t even have to leave my house!

If there was one thing you could change, improve about your writing or writing process, what would it be? More coffee and less cake are not acceptable answers.

I think I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t drink coffee. Hot beverages just ain’t my thing! But I do love cake, soo…anyway, if there’s one thing that comes to mind it’s that I wish I could write faster. Over the years, I’ve gone from a pantser to an outliner, so that’s certainly helped in terms of speed, but I still feel on some days like I’m writing slower than molasses, which can be frustrating when all the ideas in your brain (and there are many lodged in my noggin) are screaming at you to write them down.

All of our characters have elements of ourselves woven into them. Which poor character is most like you?

Every tragic character has a little piece of me in them. A lot of them strive for what they believe are ‘normal’ relationships in their lives, but they can never quite get there because there is no such thing as ‘normal.’ Unfortunately for them, they usually find this out the hard way.

Imagine I am filthy successful agent (I did say imagine) we are stepping into an elevator. Hit me with your top three elevator pitches for three pieces of your work.

Here goes nothing!

What if the Hindenburg didn’t go down because of human error, but because of something else? — My Bram Stoker Award-winning short story, “Mutter,” which is featured in Fantastic Tales of Terror from Crystal Lake Publishing.

After suffering a horrible tragedy, a young mother discovers the nightmare is far from over for her grieving teenage daughter. — “The Heart Stops at the End of Laurel Lane,” featured in Lost Highways: Dark Fictions from the Road also from Crystal Lake Publishing.

When a tar-like substance finds its way into her room, a young girl soon discovers the secrets lurking within the walls of her home. — “Bury Me in Tar and Twine,” featured in Tales of the Lost Vol. 1 from Things in the Well Publishing.

What is the greatest challenge to women succeeding in horror?

I think women in horror are reaching new heights each and every day, which is amazing to see. The issue we face now is ensuring that every single person, of any race, who identifies as a woman gets seen and heard — and we all need to work together to help everyone succeed.

You have a choice of five people to invite to dinner. Any five in life or beyond? Ok, make that four because it is a given you will invite yours truly. Four friends plus me to your dinner party. Who are they?

I miss my extended family! We used to have Sunday dinners every week in the “before times,” but we’ve been in lockdown for so long that I forget what everyone looks like. Bring me back to the good ol’ days!

How do you determine success for yourself?

There are millions of different ways to determine success. For me, personally, I measure it by happiness — no one’s forcing me to write or to head down this creative path. As long as I’m happy, then I feel successful.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration in a lot of things — from other writers to movies, from music to the weather outside. I do turn to art a lot to look for some deeper inspiration — I have paintings and photographs on my walls from Clive Barker and Nona Limmen. As long as there’s some creepy art in my vicinity, the inspiration will come!

Tell us, why should we read your work? Don’t say because it is better than mine.

Hey, I can’t tell you what to do or who to read! There are a bunch of women in horror who deserve your attention, so I can only suggest that you seek them out. Read things that you normally wouldn’t, step outside of your comfort zone — you might be surprised at what you find.

Need More Landry in Your Bookcase? Find It Here!





Upcoming anthology I’m co-editing:

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