Author Interview – Anthony Engebretson

More From This Author

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera

"Hamlet's House"

Anthology: Uncanny & Unearthly Tales
Release Date: Oct 27th, 2023
Preorders: Paperback | Kindle
About the Author: Anthony Engebretson is a Nebraska-born author based in West Michigan. He has had short stories published in several anthologies. His debut novella, Sair Back, Sair Banes, was released in May 2022 and his second novella, Lumberjack, will be released in December 2023. He loves writing dark fiction with a speculative bent dealing with issues ranging from personal and mental health issues to systematic and structural horrors. He is also pursuing a masters in Library Science.
Q & A
How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?
I am excited! I'm really happy with this story and glad I could find it a home. I can't wait for people to read it.
What inspired the idea for your story?
I have always hated the trope of the haunted house story (and horror stories in general) where the pet dies. It seems when a story starts and there is a sweet little dog or cat or bird, more likely than not that poor critter is screwed. Because of course we have to show what a threat these dark forces are by killing the pet first. So with this story, I wanted to do a reverse of that: "What if the pet was the protagonist and the HUMAN died first?"
We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?
This is nothing original, but my kryptonite is self doubt and lack of confidence in myself and my work. It's not as bad as it used to be, though.
Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?
I don't know if I have a favorite author. One author whose work I really like and who I feel is having an influence on my own writing is Hailey Piper. I just love the dark, grisly, gruesome, brutal and fantastical stories she weaves.
Clearly, you’ve succeeded at writing a captivating story for GrendelPress, but we all start somewhere. What advice would you give yourself as a young writer?
Putting yourself out there is scary, but it's worth it.
We’d like to argue that every good story makes both the author and the readers feel something. What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with your story?
Again, my biggest goal with this story was to reverse the "pet dies first" trope and turn that on its head. But I wanted to do so while also telling a compelling, sad, dark and strange little story.
What do you love most about your story’s genre?
I think maybe the thing I love most about horror is how many emotions it can make us feel and how deeply and viscerally it makes us feel them. This can range from fear, disgust, anger, amusement, sadness, even joy.
What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?
Historical fiction is a big one. It's probably the only non-speculative genre I have interest in writing. I've always been a big fan of history and just experiencing the story of another time and (sometimes) place.
If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?
I would check out my debut novella, Sair Back, Sair Banes. It is a dark fantasy/folk horror set in Scotland and draws from the folklore of the kelpie, a shape-shifting being that lives in lochs and rivers. It takes the form of a horse, luring people onto its back. Once they are on, they become stuck to it and it drags them to a watery death.
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