Today I am interviewing Errick Nunnally, two-time Hugo Finalist with Journey Planet and author of the new horror short-story, Devil’s Hollow, which can be read in the new anthology, Giving the Devil His Due.
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DJ: Hi Errick! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?Errick Nunnaly: Hi, DJ! Thanks for the opportunity. I am a relatively normal human with a weakness for comic books, sci-fi, and other speculative works. I was raised in Boston, Massachusetts—the Mattapan neighborhood—and after high school I did a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps. I have a Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design—a very dissonantly titled degree—and a black belt in Krav Maga/Muay Thai. Like most authors, I have a wide range of interests from socio-political history to marine biology to cocktails.
DJ: Before we get to your story, as I mentioned above, Giving the Devil His Due, is a charity anthology. What charity is the anthology for, and why was this project something you wanted to be a part of?Errick: The anthology is for The Pixel Project, a non-profit focused on ending violence against women. They are an online collective, so their communications channels and network are huge in social media and new technologies. In particular, their project, the Read For Pixels Campaign, contains the anthology and related events such as blog tours, panels, signings, and interviews. I wanted to be a part of it because it’s currently the best way for me to contribute to the cause.
DJ: What is your story, Devil’s Hollow, about?Errick: The theme for the entire anthology was “comeuppance” with a Twilight Zone feel. I am a huge fan of revenge. I love comeuppance, it’s definitely an entertaining thought as it pertains to real world problems, if impractical all too often. So, these stories are supposed to reflect that. My story is about a woman who comes to recognize the opportunity that follows when she and her toxic husband drop their son off at college. Through a serendipitous occurrence, she comes in contact with a network that’s all to happy to encourage her…independent thinking.
DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Devil’s Hollow?Errick: The different forms of abusive behaviors that partners can model. I wanted to present a situation that was not as overt as someone who is unfamiliar with domestic violence might think. How someone can be trapped and to what extent their autonomy erased. And I really, really, really wanted to present a comeuppance that was unexpected and plausible.
DJ: There are many different definitions of horror in genre, so I’m curious, when you write “horror”, how is it that you try to scare your readers? Do you go for gore? Shock? Maybe build up tense moments? Perhaps it is the unknown? Does a horror story even need to try to scare its reader?Errick: I don’t believe horror needs to be scary, shocking, or gory, per se as much much as it needs to be disturbingly horrific. It should also plumb as much human depth and emotion as possible. It is horrific by demonstration, not necessarily that the characters are experiencing the emotion of horror as much as they are in a horrific situation. If their solution to the probem is as disturbingly horrific as the problem, we’re good. That said, everyone has their threshold and there are plenty of different writers out there willing to go mining for it.
DJ: Being an author, what do you believe makes a good short-story? How does it differ from writing novel-length stories?Errick: Short stories get to the point much faster. It’s more difficult to create the sort of believable tension that a novel can wallow in, but I think that often makes short horror more entertaining.
DJ: The anthology has already been published for a couple months now; what have you noticed that readers have been talking about most with your story once they finish it?Errick: I’m actually surprised I haven’t heard more about Karla’s solution at the end of the story. I put a lot into figuring that out and making it as plausible as possible! I’m not sure even a fictional detective could put it together. There’s also a name, a historical reference to an infamous, largely unknown woman who knew how to deal with problematic men in the 17th century. I sincerely hope someone finds that stuff as interesting as I do!
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Devil’s Hollow that you can share with us?Errick: “It felt as if the ground would split at any moment and she’d slide down into Hell where the Devil himself would welcome her.”
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/erricknunnally
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Devil’s Hollow and Giving the Devil His Due that we haven’t talked about yet?Errick: One of the reasons I wrote this story the way I did was as a challenge. Often, I’m working in the speculative realm, but for this I tell as realistic a tale as possible.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!Errick: The pleasure was all mine, thank you!
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***Giving the Devil His Due is published by Running Wild Press and is available TODAY!!!***
100% of the net proceeds from the sales of the anthology will go towards supporting The Pixel Project’s anti-violence against women work!
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Goodreads | The Pixel Project
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