Today’s mini-interview comes from the author of the charming “Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance”. Yes, dead people searching for lost limbs are considered charming around here, thank you very much.
1. For those who haven’t read it yet, can you describe “Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance” in one sentence?
Dead relatives, shunned by their living descendants, decide to trick them into being nice to a poor widow.
2. You have an impressive catalogue of short, dark fiction, but this one is a little bit different for you–as sweet and funny as it is dark. Please tell us a little bit about that, your inspirations, or just how it happened.
A dead guy crawls out of the earth to retrieve his arm bone. That’s the image that first appeared in my head, but I knew right away that it wasn’t a horror story, and that the dead guy wasn’t scary or ravenous or all Grrrr Brraaaiiiinns. He was just a guy, a bit put out about having lost his arm, who’d really rather have it back now, thanks. Once I knew who he was, I told the story that he made sense in.
I did have a lot of fun with this story because it let me use banter like I don’t usually get to do. I love quick, smart, dialogue, and I’m lucky that I have those kinds of friends in real life, but it doesn’t often fit into my fiction, which is – let’s face it – more often about dead people than most people’s. Once the first draft was done I went through and named the characters after people in my real life, which helped me to shape their personalities on the second, third, and fourth drafts.
I’ll admit that partway through the first draft I realized it would be a perfect for for Red Penny Papers, and wrote it with this magazine in mind. Doing that allowed me to take it in a campy, sarcastic direction. Thank you for that!
3. Yes, that is rather our style, so thank you for bringing it. Although I already know the answer to this one: can you tell our readers where they can find out more about your adventures in writing, publishing, and making art?
3. You can find more about me at http://carriecuinn.com, including a page for my writing resume (anything that you can read for free online is listed there with clickable links). In addition you can find me editing at my dayjob, Dagan Books, at http://daganbooks.com.
Faaaaabulous. Thank you so much, Carrie. If y’all haven’t checked out Mrs. Henderson’s story yet, why not today?
(And to all you US folk: Happy Labor Day and long weekend!)