HorrorAddictsCon: Master of Macabre 2011 – Shaunessy Ashdown

A chat with Master of Macabre, Shaunessy Ashdown.

HA: What inspired you to enter the Masters of the Macabre contest?

Shaunessy: The Wicked Women Writers Challenge, of course! I became a fan when Kimberly Steele, an author I admire very much (check out her cool vampire novel Forever Fifteen), participated in 2010. Each writer had to write a story about one of The Seven Deadly Sins and thought that would be so much fun to do. You can imagine how elated I was when a year later I saw that there was going to be a challenge for the lads.

HA: What did you think of the items you were given? 

Shaunessy: I thought, “Score!!!”

HA: When you listened to the other stories, who did you think would win?

Shaunessy: As soon as I heard Michael Burns speak his first words, with that fun-loving voice of his, I thought, “Oh, this is gonna be good.” and I was not disappointed. I have to also mention Colin Barnes’s very intelligent story. Both of these authors did an excellent job of putting the phobic protagonist in a situation where her/his phobia is cranked up to maximum volume, so to say. I didn’t quite manage that in my story and so I was honestly quite jealous.

HA: How did you feel when you were told you won?

Shaunessy: Like I’d been kissed by Elvira!

HA: What will this contest mean to the future of your writing?

Shaunessy: Who can say? I feel very encouraged to write more fiction and to record it, and to do more challenges. Does anyone out there have any for me?

HA: Where can listeners find out more about you and your writing? 

Shaunessy: Well, if you Google my name, all you will find is a lot of schoolbooks I’ve written for English lessons in Germany/Austria—not exactly what horror addicts are looking for!

I wrote a couple pieces here that are quite personal in nature. They might be of interest to someone who is dealing with addiction or just struggling through their 30’s. I published them anonymously in 2007-8 but I think now it’s safe for me to reveal myself as the author.

Any schoolteachers out there should please watch my video which gives suggestions for helping queer victims of bullying.

4 thoughts on “HorrorAddictsCon: Master of Macabre 2011 – Shaunessy Ashdown

  1. Thanks for the Forever Fifteen shoutout! I’ve recently finished writing a novel called River’s Heart that features a major character based on Shaunessy as a pre-teen. Shaunni’s story was HILARIOUS, I loved the detailed description of the slimy bachelor party, but it also had some deep moments. Good horror is all about humor and depth in the right places. Honestly, if I had been given the same themes: bachelor party, mirror-phobia, and motorcycles, I doubt I would have come up with the genius that was this winning story. It was compulsive listening.


  2. Awww, thanks, you guys!

    These are the questions I asked myself when I was writing the story:

    1. On Spectrophobia: How could someone become afraid of mirrors?
    2. On the bachelor party: How can it be really horrific?
    3. On the motorcycle: How can you use it as an instrument of torture?

    I can’t wait to read Kimberly’s River’s Heart. Send me a preview copy, please! Or is it already online somewhere?


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