Author Interview – KT Wagner

More From This Author

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera

"The Mall Santas Ride at Moonrise"

Anthology: Uncanny & Unearthly Tales
Release Date: Oct 27th, 2023
Preorders: Coming Soon
About the Author: Surrounded by gnomes, gargoyles and poisonous plants, KT Wagner writes speculative fiction in the garden of her home on the west coast of Canada. She enjoys day-dreaming and is a collector of strange plants, weird trivia and obscure tomes. KT's short stories are published in magazines and anthologies, also at and @KT_Wagner
Q & A
How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?
I love to see my stories out in the world. For me, a story only comes alive at the point where a reader's imagination interacts with the words I've arranged on the page.
What inspired the idea for your story?
Christmas is my second favourite season after Halloween, and I wanted to write a spooky story set during the winter holidays. I'm endlessly fascinated by the mythological Wild Hunt, the idea of a Faerie world just out of sight of most humans, and changelings. The Mall Santas Ridge at Moonrise was inspired by all of these, as well as an early twentieth-century mansion on the rural campus of the college I attended back in the 1980s. Thinking about the atmosphere of that building and the eighties in general, inspired me.
We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?
Distractions and endings! I tend to write out from a seed of an idea, researching and reimagining the story as I go. Unfortunately, I love to research a little too much, and I'm frequently sucked into a time-eating vortex, especially when something new-to-me and fascinating pops up. Poof! Hours disappear.
And endings tend to stall me out completely. I can't seem to master the trick of outlining a complete story up-front, and often stories sit, unfinished, for months while I search for an ending that works.
Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?
I have a long list of authors I love, but it's short stories and novellas that tend to stand out for me. Three examples are Cassandra Khaw, Kelly Link, and Kelly Robson. For me, they are atop a list of authors who are an auto-buy for any publication they are in. Their stories work on so many levels and all deliver a delicious creepy vibe.
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?
Immerse yourself in writing communities both local and virtual. Join a writers association. Find a critique group. Take a workshop. The benefits are countless, not the least being the support you will receive. Developing your skill and art is a rewarding, but frequently difficult, path. Also, if a particular community or group is not helping you, move on as soon as possible. You WILL fit somewhere.
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?
I'm always looking to explore the perspective of the character in a story who would "normally" be considered the villain. A few years ago, it was pointed out to me that a compelling antagonist believes they're the hero of the story. What happens when the writer takes one of those characters and makes them the protagonist, telling the story from their point of view? I think it challenges some of our assumptions and stereotypes, even if just in a subtle way.
What do you love most about your story’s genre?
One thing I particularly like about Gothic is the treatment of setting as a character. The focus on atmosphere to highlight underlying themes, the decay, the grotesque, and the supernatural, all appeal to me as both a writer and reader.
What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?
I already twist science fiction and horror together and I'd like to try my hand at writing mysteries (and possibly thrillers) with the genres I already write. I've read a few speculative mysteries, and really like the layering and twisting of these genres.
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