Mothers of the Roundtable Author Spotlight: Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito

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:  Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito, author of “Number ONE.”


Q: What inspired your story?

A: I went to an elementary school in the deep south and my principal walked around with a punishment paddle chained to his belt. I’ve forgotten the man and his name, but never that image of discipline and obedience. My Mother’s story builds on those concepts in relation to family, hierarchy, and parental requirements for perfection.

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

A: Family secrets and palace intrigue appear often in my stories. For this one, I’ve thought a lot about what happens next to Mother and the children. I’m sure there’s more in that world to explore and write.

Q: If your own mother could read this story, would you send it to her? Why or why not?

A: Definitely. I often write with my family in mind and specifically focus on feminism, race, and family. My stories also lean heavily into my heritage as a Chinese American and my immigrant experience. My mom regularly reads my stories and understands many of the themes from a cultural perspective. Often, I write for the immigrants in my family so that they have a connection to horror literature. At the same time, I write for a broader readership and try to make my stories relatable to everyone.

Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito is a Chinese American writer based in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not spending time with her family outdoors, she’s crafting short stories in horror, sci-fi, fantasy, or whatever genre-bending she can get away with. Her work can be found, or is forthcoming, in Nailed Magazine, Red Penguin’s Co!ections, Buckman Journal’s Issue 006, Flame Tree Press’s Asian Ghost Stories, Strangehouse’s Chromophobia, Not A Pipe’s Stories (Within), Startling Stories, and Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror. Find her online at francesippolito.com.
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. 

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