Interview with Rain Graves, author of Four Elements (water)
This interview is being included in the 2013 Women in Horror Interview Series. Every February, Women in Horror Recognition Month (WiHM) assists underrepresented female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure, and education through altruistic events, printed material, articles, interviews, and online support. You can find out more about WiHM here:
Rain Graves is a Bram Stoker Award (2002) winning poet and writer currently living in San Francisco. She has been published professionally in the horror fiction and poetry genre since 1997, in various magazines, books, and webzines. Her latest books include BARFODDER: Poetry Written in Dark Bars & Questionable Cafes (2009), and THE HAUNTED MANSION PROJECT: Year One (2012), and THE FOUR ELEMENTS (2013) with Linda Addison, Charlee Jacob, and Marge Simon–four Bram Stoker Award winning poets. Recent short fiction can be found in the popular Zombies vs. Robots comic book series of anthologies – WOMEN ON WAR (IDW, 2012), TALES FROM THE HOUSE BAND volumes 1 & 2 (2011, 2012), and HIGH STAKES (2013). She is a talented spoken word performer, Hostess of the Haunted Mansion Writer’s Retreat, former musician and retired, award-winning dance instructor. For more information on appearances, visit http://www.raingraves.com
Four Bram Stoker Award™ winning poets join together to paint a rich, dark tapestry of evocative emotion in The Four Elements. From modern interpretations to ancient mythology, they explore the magic and mystery of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. Their vivid poetry and prose brings to life a universe in a grain of sand, taking the reader through a journey of discovery from the inside out. Hear the hot voice of invisible awareness in Linda Addison’s interpretation of Air. Explore the realm of ethereal and surreal liquidity in Rain Graves’ Water. Burn from crevice to crown in Charlee Jacob’s wild-eyed visions of Fire. Contemplate Marge Simon’s poignant twists of dark irony to eruptions of spontaneous wonder in Earth. There is something for everyone in The Four Elements–conjured especially for the reader that likes to examine the meticulous depth and meaning in every word.
Q. February is Women in Horror Recognition Month. Women are still underrepresented in horror fiction writing. Why do you think that is?
When people think of horror, people don’t think of female authors right away. They think of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Chuck Palahniuk, and Clive Barker. But if you were a teenager that happened to be a girl reading those titles in the late 80’s, you were also consuming summer horror movies, and true crime. V. C. Andrews (posthumously, even) produced one of the most horrific series’ I can remember reading as a teen that wasn’t true crime – Flowers In The Attic. Because horror is more closely associated with men, women who write it are underestimated and often over-looked. They’re out there, though, and writing amazing stuff.
Q. I was very excited to find out that you were a part of the Four Elements project – a book of stories by four female Bram Stoker Award winners, each representing an element. How did you become involved in the project, what can you tell us about it and why (besides your name, of course) did you find yourself attracted to the element of water?
I chose water originally because I wanted to work with mythology, as well as modern myths of self. The things our mothers and grandmothers tell us as children and leave us with as adults. How that was for me relating to the flow of time, through water. There is a lot I didn’t cover, but what I did, felt right.
Q. Most of the nominees for the Stoker Awards are men. To be a woman and a Stoker Award winner – that’s rare… how did you feel about receiving the prestigious award?
When the Bram Stoker Award for poetry began to take shape, no one knew how to judge it, or felt qualified, or felt there were enough books being written to nominate. As more and more authors were doing it and being recognized because people liked reading it, more and more poetry was widely accepted by the horror readership as something they wanted to get their hands on and try.
Today, you can go through all the back years of the Bram Stoker Awards list of winners, and begin with all of the nominees to start reading and getting into it, if you don’t know where to start. You couldn’t do that 25 years ago. As long as people are aware of it, they can read it. That makes me happy.
Q. What was it like working with Marge Simon, Linda Addison and Charlee Jacob on “The Four Elements”?
Q. When I first met you – when we both read at Blow Salon during Sunday Streets in Berkeley – your reading – I believe from “Barfodder” – had the strongest impact on my nieces, age 22 and 12. They were both talking about it after the show; it was very intense, very memorable. Do you do a lot of readings, and do you enjoy them?
I have done a lot of spoken word performances around the bay area and beyond. I love performing, and I love making people think. It brings the written word alive in a way that your reader might not have ever experienced it on their own. Blow Salon was especially fun because I really dig what they do, and when Serena Toxicat turned me on to the event, I was thrilled to be a part of it. I love listening to what other people are doing, and going to these things are a great way to find great new things. We are lucky in the Bay Area, that there is such a strong literary culture here. It’s incredibly inspiring.
Q. Where do you think the intensity of your work comes from?
Q. Your poetry often integrates the brutality of real, urban themes and slice-of-life style events with the surreal and the supernatural. Do you think the monsters – haiku of a cuttlefish Cthulhu – give the reader respite from the stark terror of the darker corners of the reality we face every day?
Q. Do you have anything coming down the pike that we can look forward to?
Q. Is there anything you want to let our readers know that we haven’t covered already?
A. Good night, sleep tight… Don’t let the bed bugs bite. 🙂
Where to find Rain Online
Find Rain Here:
Find her Books Here:
Cemeterydance.com for Barfodder
Bad Moon Books for The Four Elements
On The Radio/Audio Here:
Here is an audio interview from an event on Halloween at SF in SF. Info: from“The Real Horror Show” reading plus interview – approx. 15 minutes. 10/22/10 event at SFinSF – (broadcast on KUSP 89.9 FM, 6:00 pm PT, 1/9/11, via the Agony Column.
IDW Publishing has a preview of the Zombies Vs. Robots: Women on War! Anthology