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Today I am interviewing Jared Shurin and Mahvesh Murad, co-editors of the new anthology, The Outcast Hours.
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DJ: Hi Jared Shurin & Mahvesh Murad! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourselves?
Jared Shurin: Thank you very much for having us! Mahvesh and I are a co-scheming team, separated by a mere 6,500 miles. A few years ago we discovered that, as much as we like plotting mad projects alone, it is much more fun (and productive) when we work together. Since then, we’ve written reviews and re-reads, shared a table of contents or two, and, of course, edited anthologies. The Djinn Falls in Love was published in 2017 and The Outcast Hours is out soon.
DJ: What is The Outcast Hours about?
Jared: The people who live at night. Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever you do – the sun always sets. There are so many people who live, work, play, and travel – all during the night. Who are the people who come to life when the light goes out? Bartenders, shift workers, ambulance drivers; people on dates, on duty, or on the run… There are so many stories, and we never hear them.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Outcast Hours?
Mahvesh Murad: Prince’s “Joy in Repetition”
Jared: There’s a fantastic quote from Ursula Le Guin that kicks off the book: “We like to think we live in daylight, but half the world is always dark; and fantasy, like poetry, speaks the language of the night.” So, like everyone else in SF/F: her.
DJ: What kinds of stories readers expect in the anthology?
Jared: Anything and everything! We’ve got mystery, horror and fantasy, but also romance, historical, literary fiction, domestic thriller, coming of age stories, cyberpunk, puppy drama, #metoo commentary… We wanted diverse takes on the challenge.
Mahvesh: All of the above!
DJ: Being an editor, what do you believe makes a good short story?
DJ: When it comes to getting stories for these anthologies, how does that process work? Do you send requests to certain authors, asking them to write a story? Or do you get stories from authors asking for consideration to be included?
Mahvesh: We make a wishlist of writers we can only hope to charm into writing for us, then we proceed to do so. Someone saying ‘no’ has never stopped us.
Jared: We find great strength in our shamelessness.
DJ: This may… this will be a difficult question to answer, but what are some of your favorite stories in The Outcast Hours? I don’t mean what you believe is the best, but perhaps some stories has a particular setting, theme, message, or character that you stood out to you?
Jared: They’re all very, very different stories. There are a couple that speak to my own personal – real and imagined – experience of the night. I think everyone will connect with a story, but it won’t be the same one. We all face (or embrace) (or run from) (or enjoy) the night different. Which is a long-winded and weaselly way for me to get out of answering this question.
Mahvesh: My mother once told me it was terribly wrong to pick out a favourite child (but it was me).
DJ: I have interviewed many co-authors before, you are among the the first co-editors I’ve ever had on! How does editing a co-editing an anthology, differ from doing it solo?
Mahvesh: It’s way more fun. Jared does all the work, and I applaud him.
Jared: I take credit for Mahvesh’s work, which is much more rewarding than doing my own.
DJ: What was your favorite part about editing The Outcast Hours?
Jared: Reading every story for the first time.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Jared: That one story. I’m not sure which one, but, for every reader, there will be the one.
Mahvesh: That’s there’s a glorious range of voices in the anthology.
DJ: Now that The Outcast Hours is released, what is next for the both of you?
Mahvesh: Secrets. Intrigue. World domination.
Jared: Sleep. (Ironically.)
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/jaredshurin
Author Newsletter: www.raptorvelocity.com
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Outcast Hours that we haven’t talked about yet?
Jared: Do readers need to know about the TOTALLY OFFICIAL EDITORS’ PLAYLIST? Why yes, of course they do — https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjS9-459VLLe9QLWqIe4-qUDX436dkjEr
Mahvesh: That’s of course totally a work in progress – we’d love to have readers suggest songs they think fit!
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of both of your days to answer my questions!
Jared: Thank you! That was a lot of fun – I hope you and your readers enjoy the book.
Mahvesh: Thank you for having us!
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*** The Outcast Hours is published by Solaris and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
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DIVERSE NEW ANTHOLOGY FROM THE ACCLAIMED EDITORS OF THE DJINN FALLS IN LOVE AND OTHER STORIES!
These are the stories of people who live at night: under neon and starlight, and never the light of the sun.
These are the stories of poets and police, tourists and traders; the hidden and the forbidden; the lonely and the lovers.
This is their time.
The Outcast Hours gathers over two dozen brand-new stories from award-winning writers across genres and continents, including bold new fiction from Marina Warner, Frances Hardinge, China Miéville, Sami Shah, Omar Robert Hamilton, Kuzhali Manickavel, Will Hill, Indrapramit Das, Silvia Moreno Garcia, Jeffrey Alan Love, Maha Khan Phillips, and many, many more.
About the Editor:
Critic, editor, rogue voice for hire and recovering radio show host from Karachi, Pakistan.
Published regularly in
Editor of the Apex Book of World SF 4 (2015) & co-editor of The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories (2017).
Weekly interview podcast Midnight in Karachi published weekly on Tor.com
Narrator of stories, TV & radio commercials, documentaries, phone trees. Have sold you more stuff than you know.
Jared Shurin has been a finalist for the World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson and Hugo Awards, and he has twice won the British Fantasy Award. He is the co-founder and editor of the pop culture website Pornokitsch.
More at jurassic-london.com