Chilling Chat: Episode #206 – Hannah Hulbert


Hannah Hulbert lives in urban Dorset, UK. She is on a permanent sabbatical from reality as she raises two children and devotes her time to visiting imaginary worlds, some of her own creation. You can find her short stories in the British Fantasy Society’s Horizons, the Hannah Hulbertanthologies Curse of the Gods (ed. Sarah Gribble), Once and Future Moon (ed. Allen Ashley), and Beneath Strange Stars (TL;DR Press). She often tweets and doodles when she should be writing. 

NTK: What is your favorite form of divination?

HH: I chose tasseography for my story because I adore tea! But I prefer my future to reveal itself in real-time.

NTK: Have you ever had your tea leaves read?

HH: I am not a superstitious person at all, so I have never done any type of fortune-telling of any sort. I had to do quite a bit of research for this story as I came into it knowing absolutely nothing!

NTK: What is your favorite tea?

HH: I love all sorts of teas! There is a wonderful tea shop round the corner from where I live that sells loose leaf teas and I always have at least 12 open at one time and have yet to try one I really didn’t like. The Christmas selection they offer is probably my favourite to choose from though.

NTK: How did you become interested in the Victorian era?

HH: I first studied the Victorians at school when I was nine and loved the aesthetic – the ornate architecture, the heavy fabrics, the way that even the most mundane items were made beautifully. 

NTK: What is your favorite Victorian horror story?

HH: I find Victorian fiction rather stodgy, but there’s a lot to enjoy in Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’. I am a bit obsessed with the decay of man-made structures, as they are reclaimed by nature. I also really like fiction within fiction interacting with itself. And you just can’t beat a bit of pathetic fallacy.

NTK: Do you have a favorite Victorian horror movie? What attracted you to this film?

HH: It’s a bit early, but I adore ‘Sleepy Hollow’. I mostly like my horror hammy, beautiful or ecological, and this ticks two out of three.

NTK: Are your characters based on real people?

HH: Not at all. I love writing wicked mothers, but my mum is the best!

NTK: Do you use an outline to write? Or do you write by the seat of your pants?

HH: ‘Power and Shadow’ actually started life as a steampunk flash. It evolved to fill the specifications for the anthology call and is a lot better for it. 

NTK: Do your characters have free will? Or do you decide their fate?

HH: I think my characters grow alongside the plot symbiotically. The two are inseparably entwined, affecting each other simultaneously. 

NTK: What are you most afraid of?

HH: Anything that might harm my kids. 

NTK: Who is your favorite horror author?

HH: Shirley Jackson. I love ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle.’

NTK: What does the future hold for you? What books, short stories, or works do Horror Addicts have to look forward to?

HH: I am in a bit of a dry spell at the moment, working on my first novella (an eco-horror haunted house hybrid) but members of the British Fantasy Society should watch out for the next issue of Horizons and I have a story in the forthcoming anthology From the Yonder III from WarMonkey Publications.

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