Author Interview - Kitty R. Kane (Book 41 in the Short Sharp Shocks! series, The Straitjacket In the Woods
Book 41 in the Short Sharp Shocks! is Kitty R. Kane’s The Straitjacket In The Woods. Published 30th November but available now for presales. Recently Dean and Kitty sat down and had a quick chat about her life and work.
DEMAIN PUBLISHING: Welcome to the family. For those that don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself and your writing.
KITTY R. KANE: Hi! Of course – I’ve been a lifelong horror fan since very young when I would steal Richard Laymon novels out of my father's bedside cabinet. It was Laymon that inspired me to become a writer of horror. I always knew I wanted to write but received little encouragement at school. Maybe part of me felt like it was one in the eye to the doubters when I was first published, and I've really not stopped since.
DP: Good for you. It’s been a while since I’ve read any of Laymon’s work but I was big fan a few years back. What is The Straitjacket In The Woods about?
KRK: My story is a Laymon inspired tale. It has been kicking around my mind for a long time, I wanted to explore family units with a difference, and spin a Laymon style twist in it.
DP: Yeap, I could see the influences...tell us about your protagonist.
KRK: My main protagonist is a woman called Pendulous Sedge. It's the name of a plant that I stole but she is my experiment with what can happen to misunderstood people when evil people get a hold of them and abuse them. And a shining example of humanity and love in the face of severe horror.
DP: That’s a great way of coming up with a character’s name – will have to try that one day. Did you have to do much research before writing your story?
KRK: The research I had to do for this was centred around deformity and the differing forms it can take and the effects it has upon the afflicted. I also researched a little about genealogy and the effects of inbreeding.
DP: With that in mind, where there any scenes you found difficult to write?
KRK: The most difficult scene for me in this story was the sexual assault. I am a sexual assault counsellor in my real life, and bringing it into my work is always difficult, but sometimes for the story to work it is required. The Laymon inspiration demands there be a sexual element in the story, but it is certainly more subtle than my earlier work.
DP: Other than Richard Laymon, which other authors influenced you / your writing?
KRK: Author who inspire me are of course Richard Laymon, but also Ramsey Campbell, Susan Hill, Graham Masterton, Tim Lebbon, Jack Ketchum, Diane Guest, Robert R McCammon and many more.
DP: Some great names there – I do need to read some more Ketchum. Always happy to see Graham mentioned too. What would be your definition of horror be?
KRK: What is horror to me? It's not the creature created by a brilliant mind. It's not the ghost cooked up by a great tale-spinner, it's not even the blood and gore of films like Saw, horror to me, as I've witnessed too many times in real life, is what man is capable of doing to fellow man.
DP: Sadly very true...in terms of films, anything you’re looking forward to seeing?
KRK: Without question Dr Sleep. I loved the book, I can’t wait to get chance to see the film.
DP: And finally, what frightens Kitty R. Kane?
KRK: I'm scared of a few things, I have a strange phobia of balloons, anything that goes bang really, but what terrifies me more than anything else is not seeing my daughter with her own family.
Thank you so much for your time and all the best with your Short Sharp Shocks!