Another week, another great author to spotlight! Today, I’m proud to bring you K.B. Goddard. K.B. is a writer of fantastical fiction. Her focus is primarily on subtle supernatural tales in the vein of M.R. James and other Victorian scribes of ghost stories.
Earlier this month, K.B. and I discussed her evolution and inspiration as a writer, as well as the forthcoming Shadows at the Door anthology, which will feature one of her incredible short tales of the macabre.
A couple icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become a writer, and who are some of your favorite authors?
I’m not sure when I finally decided. I know it was one of those ideas that floated around in my mind since I was a child. For years I thought I’d like to write something one day. Then I started studying creative writing at the Open University in the UK, so I suppose I must have been thinking about it on some level. It was during the second of the two writing modules I took that I started to seriously consider it. It still took me a couple more years and the rise of self publishing to give it a go.
I enjoy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle especially the Sherlock Holmes stories, M.R. James and J. S. Le Fanu in terms of supernatural fiction. I went through a stage of reading a lot of Agatha Christie once. I do read modern authors too but I’m very bad at remembering the authors names! I do like Susan Hill and I’ve also enjoyed George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.
You’ve described yourself as a big fan of the ghost story. What draws you to this subgenre of horror, and do you remember the first ghost story you ever read?
It’s an interesting question, one I’m not sure I know the answer to. It might surprise people to know that I don’t particularly like to be terrified by horror and ghost stories. I also don’t like to be grossed out. For me the most appealing aspect of ghost fiction is the idea of the unknown, that we can’t explain everything, that there is still more to life than what we see. It’s the mystery of it that appeals to me.
I’m not sure which was the very first story I read. I remember listening to a story on the Storyteller cassettes (yes I’m old enough to remember cassettes) that we had as kids called Captain Bones. That scared me. Of course it turned out not to be a real ghost. After that I’m not sure. I think it was when our school library was moving to a new purpose-built building that they sold off some old books. My sister came home with a copy of A Little Night Reading, which was a collection of ghost stories compiled by the Irish comedian Dave Allen of his favourite ghost stories. They were probably the first I actually read. That collection included “The Rose Garden” and “Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” by M. R. James. I also remember reading “The Masque of The Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe at lunchtime in the school library, although it’s not strictly speaking a ghost story.
What can you reveal about your story that will appear in the upcoming Shadows at the Door anthology?
Well, it’s set in Victorian era Derbyshire during the summer tradition of wakes week and well dressing, and it involves a guilty conscience being disturbed by the sound of a penny whistle.
I’ll let you know when I figure it out!
Out of your published stories, do you have a personal favorite?
Probably “Reflections on a Malady.” It was my first Victorian ghost story and the one that started it all.
What projects are you currently working on, and what else do you have slated for the next year?
At the moment I’m between projects. I’m also still studying with the OU so that is taking up a lot of my time at the moment. But I’m hoping to start getting some planning done towards my next ghost story collection soon. There are a couple of other things hopefully on the horizon but I don’t want to jinx anything!