CHHR: Please give a brief introduction.
I’m E. N. Dahl. I grew up in the long shadows of tall trees, reading books about all things dark and strange. I’m also MTF transgender, which some might hide, but there are people all over the world who have to hide who they are, trans or otherwise. If my living openly helps them, I’m proud to do it.
CHHR: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Oof, that’s going back a long way. Early on. Very early. Maybe… eight? Nine? Childhood is this unending miasma of disconnected events, so I’m afraid I can’t really pin that one down.
CHHR: What does your writing schedule look like?
Write in the AM, edit in the PM. I ‘brainstorm’ by reading submission calls and just running with the topic, or taking a walk/doing yoga to get the blood flowing.
CHHR: Do you have any interesting writing rituals? If so, what are they?
I have to brush my teeth first. Morning breath/a weird taste in my mouth will drive me insane. You’d think insanity would help for writing horror, but sadly, it doesn’t. Not that particular kind, anyway.
CHHR: Do you like writing short stories or novels?
Yes. Also screenplay!
CHHR: How is the horror scene where you live?
Dead in the water, but so is the entire literary world. I live near a university, so there are sometimes cool book-related events or author signings that they open to the public, but beyond this, a copy of US Weekly is about as complex as the reading material gets for most people.
CHHR: Do you use outlines or do you go with the flow?
All flow. Well, once in a while I’ll use outlines. I’m more the reverse outline type, writing it all first, then charting things out to see what needs to move around, if anything.
CHHR: How did publishing your first book or short story change your writing process?
It made me realize how exhausting it is to keep up publicity. I love writing guest articles, blog posts, etc., but finding those opportunities kills my productivity and inspiration. Guess that’s what an agent’s for, huh?
CHHR: What do you think makes a good horror story?
Rooting for the bad guy, or subverting tropes. I like seeing writers who not only know what clichés exist in their genre, but actively use those clichés to trick you.
CHHR: What are you currently working on?
That’s… a really good question. I’m mostly between projects, but I’ve been chipping away at a feature film script based on a short story I wrote a while back.
CHHR: What is in your TBR pile?
Oh so many things. If ebooks had weight, my Kindle would’ve crashed right down into Hell by now.
CHHR: What is the last book that scared you?
Hm… I want to make a political joke here, but will instead answer honestly, if vaguely. I read a memoir by a friend of mine, and despite knowing that she is alive and well today, the subject matter had me seriously worrying that she’d wind up hurt, maimed, or killed by the end of the book. I’m still a little worried about her…
CHHR: What is your favorite horror book?
Favorite of all time? Hm… Spermjackers from Hell was really pointed and funny. Not sure if it’s my fav, but I did love it.
CHHR: What is your favorite horror film?
Cube 2: Hypercube, because it involves quantum physics, and how can you pass up that title?
CHHR: What type of music do you listen to? What’s your favorite album?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Tonight Alive, and Halestorm is pretty great—my tastes range from classic rock to pretty heavy stuff, with occasional Josh Groban-type stuff thrown in. My unconditional favorite album is probably Every Trick in the Book by Ice Nine Kills, because every song is based off a classic book. They even have a song for King’s Carrie, with a follow-up about The Shining. The band recently dropped a single about Nightmare on Elm Street, for all you movie lovers.
CHHR: What is your spirit animal?
The snake. In pretty much every religion, the snake is a mysterious, all-knowing shapeshifter. I’m sure you can see why this appeals to me.
CHHR: What is your favorite beer?
I liked that brewery that had beers based on Norse mythology, but they recently tried to copyright the names they were using, i.e. Loki, Thor, etc., and that’s not cool.
CHHR: If you could have a beer with one author, who would it be?
How loosely can I interpret this question? If The Bible is, as some Catholics hold, written by God and passed down to humans, then ‘God’ might be a fun choice, not that I’m religious. Otherwise, I feel like Swift or Wilde would have some interesting things to say about modern society.
E. N. Dahl is a novelist and screen writer from a shadowy corner of the USA. She’s been published widely under a variety of names. Under this one, she has appeared with The Horror Tree, Transmundane Press, and several others. When not writing and writing, she can probably be found doing yoga or laughing at a scary movie.