Mothers of the Roundtable Author Spotlight: Dan Coxen

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: 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.

Dan Coxon is an editor and writer from London, UK. His debut short story collection, Only the Broken Remain (Black Shuck Books, 2020), was shortlisted for two British Fantasy Awards, while his anthology This Dreaming Isle (Unsung Stories, 2018) was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Awards and the British Fantasy Awards. He is co-editor of Writing the Uncanny (Dead Ink Books, 2021), and his latest anthology, Isolation, was published by Titan Books in September 2022.
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