Asking the Author

 
 
                          In this segment of our webpage we will be featuring small interviews with authors. 
 
Have you ever wondered if your favorite author has a pet or a weakness for a special snack food? 
 
Do you want to know about book tour etiquette or the craziest fan letters? 
 
Then check out our "Asking the Author" page. 
And once you've sated your curiosity please look for the in-store display of the author's works!



Cherie Priest
(Photo Credit - Libby Bulloff)

Cherie Priest is made of awesome. She is the author of nineteen books and novellas. She has written about things as diverse as southern gothic horror (Four and Twenty Blackbirds), steampunk Civil War zombies (The Clockwork Century books), and a mystery based around the unexpected appearance of a comic book superheroine (I Am Princess X.) She lives in Chattanooga, right beside a haunted battlefield, which has to add atmosphere to one's writing. She also has some adorable pets, who I recommend you go look at.


Sara:

Chapelwood is set here in Birmingham and based in historical events. I know in previous interviews you’ve mentioned that the real events are so bizarre that you couldn’t actually use everything. Do you have any other historical gems you’re saving because they’re just too strange?

 

Cherie:
I keep meaning to do a piece that begins when the 19th century Freemasons threw a semi-secret party and ceremonially dumped a carafe of Atlantic ocean water into the Tennessee River, allegedly to symbolize the union of the two waters (via a canal or something). I can imagine something Lovecraftian coming out of that; it's just weird enough to turn into something really fun. Right now I'm eyeballs deep in other things - but I do have a few notes backed up somewhere. One of these days...one of these days. 

 
Sara:

You’re probably most well-known for your Clockwork Century books, although I first encountered your writing with Four and Twenty Blackbirds, and now you have things as diverse as I Am Princess X and Maplecroft. Do you have a favorite genre that you’ve written in so far? Or one you’re hoping to try out?


Cherie:
I love, love, love gothic horror in all its permutations, modern and vintage.
 

Sara: 

I know that you’re afraid of sloths with their creepy little faces and horrible claws, but is there anything else that chills your blood?


Cherie:
Sloths ARE creepy. With their hook-hands and ghost-faces...ugh. I wouldn't hurt one, but I wouldn't touch one if I could possibly help it, either. Other than that, I don't have any real phobias or anything. I used to be wildly afraid of needles - the kind where you pass out and make a fool of yourself - but nine piercings and three tattoos later, and it's no big deal. 
 

 

Sara:

What is your ideal comfort food?


Cherie:
Southern-style BBQ, especially when I'm sick. Just the right combo of sweet and protein. Also, anything upon which I can put chili, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.
 

 

Sara:

What is your favorite place to go in Chattanooga? 


Cherie:
I like Lookout Mountain - the Incline, and Saint Elmo (with Mojo Burrito, yum!) - and I'm also a fan of doing a lazy Saturday over toward Hamilton Place, for shopping and/or visiting PetSmart to pet the critters at the adoptathons. I'm not super-adventurous, really.
 


Sara:

Do you dream in color?


Cherie:
More often than not.
 

 

Sara:

What was your favorite book when you were a child?


Cherie:
Anything Nancy Drew, and anything by James Howe - particularly Howliday Inn and Bunnicula.
 

 

Sara:

You spoke on the Writing Excuses Podcast about how Lovecraft was a man who was afraid of everything. Do you think that being afraid helps and author to write convincing horror?


Cherie:
It certainly helped him. And I'm as afraid of the dark as anybody, so I hope it helps me, too.
 

 

Sara:

How will the world end?


Cherie:
Not bang, nor whimper, nor fire, nor ice. 
I expect Silly String.
 


Sara:

You've done the pacific northwest, the northeast, and now the south. Is there any other location that calls to you, but you haven't found the right narrative for yet?


Cherie:
Southwest? I like the southwest. I'd love to do a Detroit story too; that city has always been very kind to me ... but I don't feel informed/authoritative enough to give it a go (as an outsider). 


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