The new season of Horror Addicts is here and for episode 124 Dan Shaurette is co-hosting the show with Emerian Rich. This episode will focus on the latest book from Horroraddicts.net called Once Upon A Scream. Dan writes Morbid Meals for the Horror Addicts blog and wrote and produced the audio drama Black Jack in season 10 of the horror addicts podcast and Black Magic during season 8 of the podcast. Recently we talked to Dan about Once Upon A Scream and what other things he is working on:
What inspired Once Upon A Scream?
You can blame Lana Del Rey for this anthology and its title. For the soundtrack to Angelina Jolie’s movie Maleficent, Lana Del Rey recorded a hauntingly dark cover of “Once Upon a Dream”, from Sleeping Beauty. I fell immediately in love with the song as well as the movie, which I thought was a beautiful retelling of the story. It was then that I thought I’d love to read a book of retold fairy tales as horror stories and riffing off the song’s title I came up with “Once Upon a Scream“.
What do you like about fairy tales?
I love fairy tales because they cross so many literary boundaries. They take fables with anthropomorphic ideas as characters and demonstrate a lesson to learn, but then cross over into fantasy and horror as magic and the supernatural play a part in warning the reader. The difference is that “The Tortoise and The Hare” is a fable, but if there was a fairy tale version, perhaps a wicked witch would turn a cocky track star into a rabbit to teach him a lesson in humility.
Do you have a favorite fairy tale?
That’s a very hard call, but of the classics, I would have to say “Little Red Riding Hood”. In essence it is a tale warning readers to follow the known path and to be vigilant against strangers who will try to deceive you. And eat you.
What are some of the fairy tales that are written about in the book?
We opened the anthology to re-imagined classic fairy tales and to new stories with familiar elements. For darker classics we have bloody good versions of Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella to name a few. Then we have stories with ghosts, fairies, changelings, doppelgängers, elves, trolls, and more. One story, for example, tells the tale of woe faced by a boy visited by the tooth fairy. He gets a reward for his tooth and eventually becomes greedy (even if he wants to help his family, too), so he crosses a dangerous line acquiring more teeth to trade.
What is your story in the anthology about?
My story, entitled “Leila”, is a medieval tale that warns about the dangers lurking in the deep, dark woods. Of course, since I tend to write stories with vampires, the monster haunting the woods is a vampire. And yet, the vampire saves the protagonist of the story after a tragedy he faced in the woods. Twist!
What are you currently working on?
I recently finished two stories for two other anthologies. One is a steampunk voodoo zombie story featuring Matt Black and Doc MacGillivray, which I hope listeners remember from my audio dramas here on HorrorAddicts. The other is a modern New Year’s Eve story that involves two witches who accidentally wreak a lot of havoc. Both were a lot of fun to write and I hope they are accepted for publication. After that, I have a list of other stories to write.
Where can people find you online?
The easiest place is at DanShaurette.com, but of course I’m also here on HorrorAddicts.net cooking up Morbid Meals.