Mothers of the Roundtable Author Spotlight: Brian Evenson

May 8, 2023

R. Leigh Hennig gathered many of the amazing authors from Mother: Tales of Love and Terror for a council at the roundtable about writing, mothers, and horror. Join us as we pop in for a brief spotlight on how the stories of Mother, and their makers, worked their horrible magic to create this book.


Author Spotlight: Brian Evenson, author of  “Waiting for Mother”


Q: What inspired your story?

A: The story actually began from a conversation I had with a friend of mine who is a filmmaker, who was interested in putting together a script about a mother and father whose daughter disappears and who, when they think they have a lead on where she ends up having an encounter with a strange woman around her daughter’s age who seems both to be keeping them from their daughter and wanting to be a kind of surrogate daughter to her.  But as I kept thinking about the idea and mulling it over, I became more interested in something that was the inverse of that, a vanished mother and a daughter that’s looking for her.  I don’t know why that version interests me more.  Maybe because I have vivid memories of my own mother reading to me and my siblings P. D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother when I was little.


Q: What was your process for writing this, and did that at all differ from your usual approach?

A: Originally I had a kind of schema for a different story, but this story kept asserting itself. Most stories I’ve written I try to get the shape and structure of the story in place on the first draft, but this one ended up being one that kept on shifting and changing from draft to draft.  It was a difficult, process, kind of like building up a house, then demoing it to the frame, then rebuilding it again.  I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but it really changed by the time I finished it, especially the ending of it.


Q: If there were ever a FATHER anthology put together as a sequel, would you follow that up, or write something totally new?

A: Since the father in my story is dead, I imagine I’d approach it quite differently. I also come from a culture (Mormonism) in which there are all sorts of patriarchal associations with fathers that have been part of a larger critique/investigation in my work. I imagine I’d go more in that direction.


Q: Do you have any thoughts on turning this story into something longer, or do you feel the tale has been told?

A: I feel like there’s an untold part of the story in terms of who this person is who is manipulating the daughter, but I also think it’s a more haunting story if we don’t ever quite know why she’s doing what she’s doing.


Brian Evenson is the author of over a dozen books of fiction, most recently The Glassy Burning Floor of He!. He has won the Shirley Jackson Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the International Horror Guild Award. He has been a finalist for the Ray Bradbury Prize and the Edgar Award. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at CalArts.
Fracture by Mercedes M. Yardley - Mother: Tales of Love and Terror

Fracture, by Mercedes M. Yardley

Read the full story that is on the Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot right here!

Vote for MOTHER!

Mother: Tales of Love and Terror has been included on the preliminary ballot for the 2022 Bram Stoker Awards® for Superior Achievement in an Anthology. If you are a voting member of the HWA, we would love to have you consider our anthology, as well as Mercedes M. Yardley’s story, “Fracture,” which is also on the ballot in the Short Fiction category. 

Popular Categories

Weird Up Your Inbox

Get news, updates, and recipes for mayhem delivered right to your electronic device once a week.

It’s totally worth it.

Great reads & deals

Humans are the Problem on Long List for Best Horror of the Year, Vol 14, ed. by Ellen Datlow

It’s been a crazy year with a lot of awesome news for Weird Little Worlds Press, and the perfect end to it was the inclusion of our inaugural anthology being considered for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year anthology. 

Related Articles