#NGHW NEWS: INTERVIEW WITH CONTESTANT: Quentin Norris

Get to know the contestants of the Next Great Horror Writer Contest!

What do you love about horror?

Art and stories that dive into the stuff that makes us uncomfortable or scared can be a lot more than just shock, it’s a mirror reflecting the unpleasantries of humanity while also illuminating some of the beauty of it in ways you’d never imagine. That and there is something so primally fun about being scared by something that can’t actually hurt you.

What was the first horror movie/story/book/show that you fell in love with?

While growing up, I was scared of almost everything.  So for most of my childhood, I avoided most things related to horror. Even though at the same time, I was always obsessed with ghost stories and gothic folk tales. I always loved poems like Poe’s “The Raven”. Every now and then I’d work up enough courage to crack open a copy of Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark and then I wouldn’t be able to sleep with the lights out for a whole month. I think my horror fandom started in middle school. I saw Edward Scissorhands which was a gateway into discovering and obsessing over Universal Monster Movies, which became a gateway into the horror genre as a whole after that.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

Even when I’m not writing horror, my stories tend to fall into the urban fantasy or magical realism category, so I think most of my horror stories tend to be dark and macabre fantasy stories, typically in a modern setting.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

The music I listen to when writing usually has to perfectly reflect the mood and atmosphere of what I’m writing or it usually becomes a distraction. When writing horror I tend to gravitate more towards Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Tom Waits, or other theatrical artists with dark and strange narratives woven into their lyrics. Sometimes lyrics are distracting though and then I’ll put on a good creepy soundtrack. I’m particularly fond of Mica Levi’s masterful soundtrack for Under the Skin.

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I’m a cinephile and I spend a lot of time dedicated to watching films.

What is your favorite part about writing?

Stephen King compared writing to discovering dinosaur bones, finding each bone separately and finding out how they all fit together in order to make something whole. I completely agree with that philosophy and it’s what I find so fun about crafting a story. There’s a rush to it like no other feeling.

What is your favorite word?

Oof. I don’t know if I have just one. There are too many good ones. I guess maybe “salubrious?” I read it in a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip when I was a kid and have always kind of been obsessed with it even though I hardly ever use it.

What is your least favorite word?

Capitalism.

What turns you on in a book?

Interesting, complicated characters wrapped up in an immersive world to get lost in.

Why should people be on team Quentin?

This team has narratives that are like if Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Hayao Miazaki, David Cronenberg, and Tim Burton all collectively made a story baby.

Follow the #NGHW Contest, this season on HorrorAddicts.net!

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