I enjoy the writing of Chloë Yates. There is an irreverant humour that really appeals to me. So it is a pleasure to ask her a few questions and find out a little more about her.
Q. How would you describe your writing and who does it appeal to (other than me)?
A. In broad terms, I suppose I write dark fantasy; sometimes it’s more on the horror side, sometimes it’s a bit comedic, and sometimes it’s a combination thereof. I’d like to think there’s an underlying misrule to my work, with a hearty dose of oddness. I’ve found that it appeals to Archbishops, cranky grandmothers, the Lord of the Dance, and astronauts. Exclusively those. I’m not expecting to make the bestseller list.
Q. Your poem in Piercing The Vale is very different from everything else I’ve read by you. Can we expect more of this?
A. I became a bit conscious of some folks not taking me seriously, which is fine, but a bit irritating to be pigeonholed so early. The fact is I want to try everything. I want to and I can. I want to write romps, and epics, to create something harrowing and something bittersweet. I want to tell love stories, grand stories, and small, personal stories. I want to raise gruesome greenies and wild adventures. I want to write poetry that breaks your heart and poetry that makes you want to sing the lines, and I live to impress the world with my rhymegasms. So, in simple terms, I guess you could say all bets are off.
Q. It is shameless plug time. What do you have out right now and why should we buy it?
A. Check out www.chloeyates.com for all the latest news about where you can grab my work. My latest piece is the poem in Piercing the Vale. You should buy it if you think you know what I am and what I have to say. It will prove you wrong. I like that shit. (You should also buy it because it’s a very good anthology and Fox Spirit rules. Fact).
Q. What goodies do you have in the wings for the near future?
A. I’m currently working on a short story/poetry collection for Fox Spirit, which is actually volume 2 of the Feral Tales Trilogy. It’s not so much a riff on Fairy Tales, although there will be quite a bit of fairy tale and mythological bumpfery, but the central idea is to go back to the essence of such tales – the cautionary. Whether you can work out what the warning I’m giving is, is entirely another matter. I’m from the Ron Swanson School of didacticism.
Keep your eye out for the upcoming Eve of War, the follow up to FS’s BFS nominated Tales of Eve. I’ve a story in that and also one in Respectable Horror, edited by the exquisite Kate Laity. Now that’s something a bit different. I think you’ll be surprised again. I’ve also got stories in the last couple of Fox Pockets. One has my longest title to date. They’re… well, you’ll see.
Q. If you could put on a skin mask and be somebody for a day who would you choose and why?
A. The very idea of being someone else is off-putting – and other people’s bodilies give me the heebie-jeebies. I know and understand my hang-ups and fixations, having to cope with someone else’s would be brain melting. The grass is almost never greener. Although, Guillermo del Toro. His world must be brain melty in the good way.
Q. You’re stuck on a desert island and you only have five books to read. Which five would you choose and why?
A. This is too hard. It’s like you’re trying to break my brain. Let me think.
1) Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. I read that novel for half a dozen different classes at Uni, and each time I got something different from it. A cracking story too.
2) Smoke and Mirrors, by Neil Gaiman. This book broadened my idea of what short stories could be. There’s so many different kinds of story in there and I don’t think I could ever get tired of it.
3) The Complete Works of Shakespeare. My coconut headed friends, who I would make from strips of coconut tree bark and leaves, and I could act out the plays.
4) The Book of Symbols, by The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism. Gods, I love this book! Not only are the pictures splendid, the information contained therein is fascinating without being too weighty to plough through. Plus it’s pretty hefty so it could probably crack a coconut if necessary. Just in case there’s no rocks on the beach.
5) Can I count the Fox Pocket series as one entity? I think I should be able to. I’ve not been over greedy elsewise. I want them because they are fabulous, and not just because I’m in all but one… no, really, I’m telling the truth. So much goodness.
But what about Jane Austen? Or Jane Eyre? And there’s no Stephen King in there (I’d take either The Stand or The Talisman, fyi) I have been greedy now. I’m not ashamed.