Emily Blue is a ghostwriter and top-rated freelancer on Upwork.com. She pens sickly-sweet romance novels so she can afford to buy food for her pet parrot (and overlord.) When not writing, she collects craft materials and occasionally uses them.
She has stories published in A Room is Locked: An Anthology, Volume 1 of The Monsters We Forgot anthology, and Clockwork Dragons.
Her story, “Lady of Graywing Manor,” appears in Haunts & Hellions: A Gothic Romance Anthology.
NTK: How did you become interested in Gothic Literature?
EB: Fantasy was, and always will be, my first love as a writer, but gothic stories hold a special place in my heart. I’ve always liked horror, darkness, mysteries, moody atmospheres, basically everything that defines the feeling of the genre. But it’s the human element that interests me most. What drives people? What motivates them? How do they react in a situation and why? Can they adapt? Or not? How far can a person be pushed? I always want the answers to those questions and gothic literature creates perfect opportunities to ask them.
NTK: How do you define “romance”?
EB: Romance is a feeling that runs deeper than the purely physical. It’s more than lusting, though it is a desire. It’s an action, a reaction, a mood, a situation. But that could mean anything to anyone. To me, if you strip romance of all its meat and tendon and gristle, down to the skeleton, it is a willingness to do something that doesn’t have to be done.
You don’t have to stop and watch the sunset. You don’t have to kiss and look into the eyes of someone else. But you want to. For you, and for them, you want that. So, you do it. And that’s romance.
NTK: What is your favorite Gothic horror story?
EB: It’s a little stereotypical, but I’ve always enjoyed Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. My favorite story from Poe is “The Masque of the Red Death.” I’m really into plague stories and apocalyptic fiction and “The Masque of the Red Death” hits all the right notes for me, as well as being beautifully descriptive.
And my favorite story from Lovecraft is “The Outsider” because I am also a wretched creature who occasionally leaves my dwelling to seek out human contact.
NTK: Do you have a favorite Gothic horror movie? What attracted you to this film?
EB: I’d have to say The Woman in Black really made an impression on me when I saw it in theaters. My mom and I like to go see horror movies together. The movie theater setting really, really enhances a good horror film. The Woman in Black just hits you and keeps hitting you, and the scenes in the marsh… You should go watch it if you haven’t. Watch it on the biggest screen you can get. Turn the lights off, too.
NTK: Are your characters based on real people?
EB: Not for this story, no.
NTK: Do you use an outline to write? Or do you write by the seat of your pants?
EB: For short stories, I often write out the series of events before I go to write the story. Not always, but pretty often. I had to, and wanted to, do research for this story. A lot of that didn’t make it into the story, but that wasn’t what it was for. Knowing the technology of the time and how life went for the average person helps to create a framework for the story, potentially influencing the decisions the characters make. You probably can’t just flip a switch to turn on the lights if electricity wasn’t a common household commodity, and you can’t use matches to light a lantern if matches weren’t on the market yet. Small things, small details, which really are important.
NTK: Do your characters have free will? Or do you decide their fate?
EB: Sometimes they have free will. But Clara and Freesia did exactly what I expected them to.
NTK: What are you most afraid of?
EB: The ocean. Whales. Being alone. Being alone in the ocean with a whale.
NTK: What is your favorite romance?
EB: Does my own relationship qualify?
NTK: Who is your favorite horror author?
EB: Some of Stephen King’s work resonates with me no matter how often I read it. I also like H. P. Lovecraft, Harlan Ellison, Edgar Allan Poe, and Robert McCammon, among others. I could never pick just one when I like so many different aspects of each.
NTK: What does the future hold for you? What books, short stories, or works do Horror Addicts have to look forward to?
EB: I don’t know what the future has in store for me. My current project is a titled Reeds Don’t Break, a novel about loss, love, antique stores, and lake spirits. I’m in the process of editing. No idea when it will be done. I’m not rushing it. It’s too special to me for that.