#NGHW News: Interview with Contestant : Daphne Strasert

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

What do you love about horror?

I love that horror brushes just on the other side of reality. It is so closely related to the real world—that’s what grounds it and makes it scary—but it still has the elements of the fantastic. Like Alice slipping to the other side of the looking glass, things are the same, but just ever so slightly out of place. That dissonance makes my hair stand on end. I know something is wrong, I just can’t tell you what it is.

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

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was eight-ish when I first saw it and it scared the spit out of me. It had such a moody, dark atmosphere that still gives me the chills sometimes. At the same time, it was so campy and nineties that I couldn’t stop watching.

Can you describe the sort of horror stories you write?

My stories are pretty clean, not so much blood and gore. They are more psychological—what’s real, what’s not, what blurs the line between the two. I play with the ideas of consciousness, insanity, and sense of self. Particularly, I explore how the appearance of humanity doesn’t necessarily keep someone from being a monster.

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

I do! So much music. I have tastes all over the board, but when I write, I prefer things without lyrics. I’ve been listening to lots of instrumental electronica lately (think Lindsey Stirling). I also really enjoy orchestral (Two Steps from Hell is a great example).

Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

I’m an avid comic book fan. X-Men were my first love and I credit that with jumpstarting my interest in storytelling.

What is your favorite part about writing?

Finding the perfect word or description is so deeply satisfying. As a writer, stories appear a certain way in your head and that may never be accurately reflected on the page. Taking any step closer to that is a huge feeling of accomplishment.

What is your favorite word?


It’s so much fun to write, like a bunch of squiggles.

(The longer you stare at it, the less sense it makes…)

What is your least favorite word?


I always spell it wrong and there is no way to say it without my tongue tripping over itself. I mostly mumble and hope for the best.

What turns you on in a book?

Characters. Good writing is important, but I can overlook so much if I love a character. On the flip side of that, if a story lacks a compelling protagonist, nothing drives me to finish reading.

Why should people be on team Daphne?

Addicts should be on Team Daphne. I’m charming, I’m witty, and most importantly, I use my blinker when I drive. I love a challenge and enjoy exploring new ideas. This competition is perfect for me, because I get to try new things and stretch my capabilities. I’m excited to be exposed to so many people who share my interests.

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

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