These interviews are related to our GHOST AND GHOULS AND OTHER CREEPY THINGS campaign. For those just joining us, we are crowdfunding three projects on Kickstarter and also taking some time to introduce you to our participating authors, some of whom are new to eSpec. The campaign launches tomorrow, but you can check it out today and click to be notified!
eSpec Books interviews Meghan Arcuri, contributor to Even in the Grave, edited by James Chambers and Carol Gyzander.
eSB: Even in the Grave is a collection of ghost stories, without spoilers, can you tell us a bit about your story and how you came up with the idea?
MA: My story is about a grandmother whose spirit is trapped in her computer. Her granddaughter inherits the computer and the two discover they can communicate.
I had read a non-fiction article in the New York Times about a woman who had inherited her grandmother’s laptop. She kept getting emails/notifications that were addressed to her grandmother, and every time she got one, it made her sad, feeling haunted by her grandmother.
So, I thought: what if grandma’s ghost were literally trapped in the computer and able to respond?
eSB: What was the greatest challenge you had coming up with an idea that would stand out among the other submissions?
MA: To be honest, this story is not particularly scary. In fact, it’s meant to be funny. When I saw Jim and Carol’s call for ghost stories, I knew that technically this fit the bill, but I also knew no one would be getting nightmares from it any time soon. I explained this to Jim and Carol when I subbed, but fortunately they decided to take it.
eSB: Okay, first off the top of your head, who is your favorite ghost and why?
MA: I love the Ghost of Christmas Present from Scrooged. Carol Kane is a comic genius, and she was on fire in that movie.
eSB: Have you ever incorporated aspects of your own experiences in your fiction? Tell us about it.
MA: Yes. Being a parent can be super frightening. My daughter had a medical incident a few years ago which, in the moment, was terrifying. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing, but I used it as a source of inspiration for a story which went on to be nominated for a Bram Stoker Award®.
(This story—“Am I Missing the Sunlight?”—is in Borderlands 7, edited by Olivia Monteleone & Tom Monteleone.)
eSB: What is your least favorite aspect of being an author, and why?
MA: The self-doubt. It can be paralyzing at times, which is not at all productive.
eSB: What is one thing you would share that would surprise your readers?
MA: I love romance. As much fun as it is to mess around with your characters in a horror piece, there’s nothing like a HEA (happily ever after).
eSB: What are some of your other works readers can look for?
My story “Found and Lost” is in Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign, edited by James Chambers.
eSB: As a horror author, where do you find support for your writing?
MA: The horror writing community, at large, is tremendously supportive. People of every level are generous with their time and wisdom. You need only to ask for help, and at least one person will respond.
eSB: What advice would you give aspiring horror writers?
MA: Go to conventions. Go to readings. Join writers groups and/or organizations like the Horror Writers Association. These will provide you with opportunities to do the most important thing for your career: meet people. Not only will you be able to network and learn a lot of tips and tricks of the industry, you will also make lifelong friends.
eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?
MA: I recently ran my first marathon. Between that and all the Covid nonsense, my writing production has slowed. Now that training is over, I can set my sights on my white whale: writing a novel. The crazy things is, training for and running a marathon has given me a lot of strategies for how to approach the novel, so I’m feeling optimistic.
eSB: How can readers find out more about you?
MA: I am on Facebook and Twitter, and I have a website (see info below).
Meghan Arcuri is a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author. Her work can be found in various anthologies, including Borderlands 7 (Borderlands Press), Madhouse (Dark Regions Press), Chiral Mad, and Chiral Mad 3 (Written Backwards). She is currently the Vice President of the Horror Writers Association.
Prior to writing, she taught high school math, having earned her B.A. from Colgate University–with a double major in mathematics and English–and her masters from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
She lives with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Learn more about Meghan Arcuri:
Follow Meghan Arcuri on social media: