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  • Writer's pictureLee Franklin

Nicole Kurtz

G'day, or should I say Howdy ... welcome to the Couch of Chaos. Please sit down and make yourself at home, umm no spurs on the couch, thanks. I must say after the last few days it is refreshing to have some calm in the storm. I took to the Snow-Yetis with a flame thrower after yesterday's incident. I do hope that kid is going to be OK. Anyway, lets "Giddy-up"

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

NGK: I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee originally, but I currently live in South Carolina, in the United States. I write weird westerns and psychological horror.

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.

NGK: I am working to improve the tightness of my writing. I can be verbose, and spend many sentences on setting and side quests (what I call runaway details) that don’t progress the plot.

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.

“The Cybil Lewis series is Blade Runner with a Black female lead in post-apocalyptic D.C.”

“It’s Aliens versus Cowboys, but with People of Color horror and magic.” Sisters of the Wild Sage: A Weird Western Collection.

“SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire is an anthology of vampires and slayers from the African diaspora.”

Tell us, why should we read your work?

NGK: Readers should read my work if they’re seeking diverse protagonists, strong heroines in fantastic settings. My works tend to focus on Black women and other POC in a variety of whens and wheres.

Is there one thing you would have done differently in your writing career?

NGK: I’ve been professionally writing for over 20 years and if I had to go back and do things differently, I would’ve waited to publish. I should’ve spent more time learning the business end of writing while developing my writing before jumping out there without a parachute.

Who, is your favourite monster?

NGK: My favourite monster is Frankenstein’s Monster, as he appears in the novel, Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. The creature’s yearning for acceptance and love is one I personally identify with as well as having society fear and making judgments based you solely on your appearance. As a Black woman, I can also identify with as well.

Other than reading my work, what are your goals for 2021?

NGK: My goals for 2021 are to attend StokerCon, start and finish my horror novel, and get vaccinated. After last year, I don’t make too many long term goals because who knows what the year will bring.

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

NGK: Of all the characters I’ve written, my Cybil Lewis character is most like me. Her sarcasm, her cynicism, her own moral compass are closer to me than my other characters.

What is the greatest challenge to women succeeding in horror?

NGK: Gatekeeping and the prevailing myth that women don’t write horror or don’t do it well. Just yesterday, some author on Twitter stated that women don’t write splatterpunk or grimdark. These prevailing misogynistic utterances continue to limit women’s access to opportunities in horror.

Where did you discover your love for all things that go bump in the night, or splat on the walls?

NGK: My love for horror started with Where the Wild Things Are. As I got older, I read everything Stephen King wrote, and graduated to Shirley Jackson.

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