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: Dan Coxen
Q: Thematically, what was important for you to include?
A: From the outset, I wanted to show more than one generation of motherhood and the baggage that we pass down from parent to child. As the father of two boys, it’s become a huge part of the pressure of parenting for me: this awareness that the way I act, and the decisions I make, can have an impact decades down the line on the actions of my own children.
Q: Did you know what you wanted to do with this story from the start, or did it surprise you?
A: ‘The Wives of Tromisle’ came to me almost fully formed, and it’s not changed a lot since then. There were some particular issues and challenges that I’d set myself, and an ending that didn’t really work and had to be rewritten, but the tone and thrust of the story are still as they were in that first draft.
Q: If there were ever a FATHER anthology put together as a sequel, would you follow that up, or write something totally new?
A: Interestingly, my first published anthology was on the theme of fatherhood! As a parent, it’s a theme I keep circling back to time and time again, sometimes in little ways, sometimes as the main thrust of a piece. So yes, I’d definitely be interested in a FATHER anthology – in many ways ‘The Wives of Tromisle’ is a story about absent fathers, anyway. There’s almost certainly more of this tale to be told…
Q: If your own mother could read this story, would you send it to her? Why or why not?
A: I wrote a story about the death of a neglectful father a few years ago, and when my dad read it he was worried that I’d based it on him! I had to explain that it was never meant to be a depiction of him – it was me exploring my own fears for what we pass on to our children. So yes, my mother might read it, but I’d probably have some explaining to do.
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