Author Interview – Rachel Ashcraft

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Anthology: More Than A Monster
Release Date: Sept 8th, 2023
Preorders: Paperback
About the Author: Rachel is a librarian by trade and a writer by night. When not writing strange tales, she's wrangling cats and plants. She has words in Hungry Shadow Press, Celestite Poetry, and Shacklebound Anthologies: Wyrms and Planetside.
Q & A

How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?

I’m so excited for the opportunity! I’m happy that it was able to find a home in this anthology. This is actually my first full length short story to be published.

What inspired the idea for your story?

When thinking about the prompt my mind kept going back to the novel Grendel by John Gardner. I originally read it in high school and it’s one of those stories that really stays with you. I was trying to think of a myth or folklore tale that I could retell from a different perspective. I’d also recently become interested in Swiss myths and history and stumbled across the tale of Prince Lindwurm. A tale about twins, one born human, and one born a wurm or dragon. It was just such a weird and fascinating premise to springboard from and I found myself interested in trying to tell this tale from the dragon’s perspective.

We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?

Definitely procrastination.

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?

Carve out that time to sit down and write and read as much as you can! But also be in the world, meet people, explore, and widen your perspective. There are so many people to learn from.

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 always find it difficult to analyze my own writing, but in the end, I think this is a story about identity and trying to find how one can exist truly and authentically.

What do you love most about your story’s genre?

I love the freedom the genre gives to explore ideas in a new way.

Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?

Oof tough question. I have a soft spot for Midwest writers and have recently been reading a lot of Ray Bradbury’s short stories and novellas. I love the lyricism of his prose in “Dandelion Wine” and how he presents mundane situations as magical. It all comes down to perspective. How does your character view the world? How do their experiences color their environment and interactions? Another writer I’m drawn to is Hilary Mantel. Another very unique writer that brings history to life with fully drawn characters, dialogue, and a unique styling.

What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?

Historical fiction. In some ways it's very similar to sci-fi or fantasy. I love the challenge of rendering a different time or place.

If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?

Well, this is actually my first published short story! I have a few drabbles and pieces of poetry published. Check out the Dinner Guest published by Hungry Shadow Press. A creepy little tale about hidden things coming to light.
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