Greetings from the Ether,
With the upcoming release of Hinnom Magazine Issue 005, we wanted to take a moment to spotlight some of the authors involved in the project. Rue Karney’s tale “Toothpaste” is one readers will likely not forget any time soon. Join us as we dive into her process of writing it, and what the future has in store for the enigmatic author.
CP: Can you tell us a little about yourself? How you came to write horror?
RK: I’ve experimented with various genres and only came to writing horror a few years ago when I realized that some of the weirder stories I was writing were leaning more towards horror than fantasy. I find writing horror liberating – I’m able to let my imagination off the leash and come up with ideas and characters that have been hiding away inside me for many years. I love examining the darker recesses of my imagination and seeing what is lurking there.
CP: “Toothpaste” is a beautifully crafted story with an empowering message. What inspired the story? How did it come to fruition?
RK: Thank you for saying so. It’s a story that has evolved over a few years, and there are several autobiographical elements including the breaking off of the tooth, which happened to me once when I was brushing my teeth. The idea for the goannas came from a work colleague who bought a house where the previous owners had fed wild goannas and these creatures would come up out of the garden and onto verandah and try to get inside for a feed. I’d been looking for the perfect ending for the story and when she told me about the goannas I knew I’d found it. The little creatures just popped into my head, and I liked them as a metaphor for helping Sapphire find her voice. Living with domestic violence erodes confidence and self-worth, which makes it a difficult situation to escape, and I wanted to find a way for Sapphire to remember herself and reconnect with her inner strength.
CP: You have been published in some very esteemed publications, even a Year’s Best anthology. Where do you hope writing takes you? What goals do you hope to achieve?
RK: I’d like to publish a novel. I’ve written several and always get great feedback but haven’t managed to nail a contract yet. One day soon I hope. I’ll continue to write and publish short stories as often as I can. My goal is to continue to improve with every story I write and be the best writer I can be. I love writing. It’s a tricky process at times but I have a lot of fun doing it.
CP: Do you have any forthcoming releases we can look forward to? What does the future have in store for Rue Karney?
RK: I have another story coming out in an anthology that I hope will be released soon. The anthology is titled Nothing and will be published by Hic Dragones in the near future. As I mentioned above I’m working on a novel but I think it will be a couple of years before I’m ready to show it to the world. It has similar themes to “Toothpaste” and I’m experimenting with a structure that is proving quite tricky to deal with.
CP: What has been your favorite moment so far, as a writer?
RK: Every time one of my stories gets published is a favorite moment for me! But I was particularly happy to win the Australian Horror Writers Association short story competition back in 2016, especially because the winner’s plaque has a picture of Frankenstein on it.
CP: What writer do you find the most inspiring, living or dead? Why?
RK: There are many writers who inspire me, but my number one inspiration is Kurt Vonnegut. He was a smart, wise, funny and compassionate man as well as a great writer. I think Slaughterhouse 5 is one of the most brilliant novels of all time. He’s not classified as a horror writer but the way he deals with the human condition, and all its horrors and joys, has a lot to teach writers of any genre.
CP: We always like to end our interviews with a little tidbit of advice for up-and-coming writers, as most of our readers are writers themselves. What’s the best advice you could give to someone new to the craft?
RK: Always listen to feedback from editors, and use it to improve your story. I rewrite my stories multiple times, and when I’m lucky enough to get feedback from an editor I consider it carefully and 99.9% of the time when I apply what they’ve said the story works out better (the .01% of times it doesn’t work is when I haven’t quite got it right).
Rue Karney is a writer from Brisbane, Australia who loves to read and write stories that are strange, unsettling, bizarre and weird. Karney’s work has appeared in the anthologies Hauntings, In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep, Monsters Amongst Us and Pacific Monsters as well as the magazines SQ Mag and Midnight Echo. Her Australian Horror Writers Association winning short story, “Brother,” was translated into Italian and published in Collana Mondi Incantati as “Fratello.” When not exhuming the strange places and people from her head to create stories, Karney enjoys travelling, learning French and reading about neuropsychology and psychopaths