A chat with Master of Macabre, Shaunessy Ashdown.
HA: What inspired you to enter the Masters of the Macabre contest?
Shaunessy: The Wicked Women Writers Challenge, of course! I became a fan when Kimberly Steele, an author I admire very much (check out her cool vampire novel Forever Fifteen), participated in 2010. Each writer had to write a story about one of The Seven Deadly Sins and thought that would be so much fun to do. You can imagine how elated I was when a year later I saw that there was going to be a challenge for the lads.
HA: What did you think of the items you were given?
Shaunessy: I thought, “Score!!!”
HA: When you listened to the other stories, who did you think would win?
Shaunessy: As soon as I heard Michael Burns speak his first words, with that fun-loving voice of his, I thought, “Oh, this is gonna be good.” and I was not disappointed. I have to also mention Colin Barnes’s very intelligent story. Both of these authors did an excellent job of putting the phobic protagonist in a situation where her/his phobia is cranked up to maximum volume, so to say. I didn’t quite manage that in my story and so I was honestly quite jealous.
HA: How did you feel when you were told you won?
Shaunessy: Like I’d been kissed by Elvira!
HA: What will this contest mean to the future of your writing?
Shaunessy: Who can say? I feel very encouraged to write more fiction and to record it, and to do more challenges. Does anyone out there have any for me?
HA: Where can listeners find out more about you and your writing?
Shaunessy: Well, if you Google my name, all you will find is a lot of schoolbooks I’ve written for English lessons in Germany/Austria—not exactly what horror addicts are looking for!
I wrote a couple pieces here that are quite personal in nature. They might be of interest to someone who is dealing with addiction or just struggling through their 30’s. I published them anonymously in 2007-8 but I think now it’s safe for me to reveal myself as the author.
Any schoolteachers out there should please watch my video which gives suggestions for helping queer victims of bullying.