Some Thoughts with ... Angela Sylvaine

7 May 2024

The Author/s

Angela Sylvaine

Angela Sylvaine

Angela Sylvaine is a self-proclaimed cheerful goth who still believes in monsters. Her debut novel, FROST BITE, is out now, and her debut short story collection THE DEAD SPOT: STORIES OF LOST GIRLS will be available May 2024 from Dark Matter INK. Her short fiction and poetry have been appeared in over 50 magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, including Apex Magazine, Southwest Review, and The No Sleep Podcast.

She grew up in North Dakota and holds degrees in psychology, religion, and philosophy from the University of North Dakota. After marrying her high school sweetheart, they moved to Colorado, and now live on the front range of the Rockies with their three creepy cats.

Angela is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Denver Horror Collective, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers.

The Interview

1.- How did you start writing?
I came to writing later in life, in my mid thirties. I worked with someone who was a part time writer who encouraged me to try it, and I did. I immediately took to writing and haven’t stopped since!

2.- Why would you say horror attracts you as a writer?
I was raised to be very nice and polite, to always smile and be pleasant. I think horror is an outlet for me to delve into darker emotions and think about what the smiles people put on might be hiding. Plus, it’s fun! You get to experiment with monsters, ghosts, and all manner of things that don’t exist in the real world. 

3.- Could you tell us more about Frost Bite? What made you choose that kind of setting for the story?
Frost Bite is a 90s sci-fi horror comedy about a small North Dakota town that gets hit by a meteor, which infects the hibernating prairie dogs with alien worms. The animals rise and attack, and recent high school graduate, Realene, and her best friend must save their town from these creatures, as well as a doomsday cult. 
I grew up in a trailer park in North Dakota, very much like the home and town where Realene lives. When I thought of writing my own version of a creature horror story, I thought North Dakota would be a unique and fun setting.  

4.- The Dead Spot is your first story collection, with all the stories sharing a common theme around girls in difficult situations. Do you think it has been a recurring theme in your short fiction? Why?
Yes, it definitely has been a recurring theme. When I looked at putting together a collection, the theme naturally emerged from work I’d already written. As a woman in the world, I’m faced every day with the sad and tragic situations girls and women are put in, and I’ve also seen the fire and perseverance women show in the face of that. 

5.- Which one of the stories featured in the Dead Spot is your favourite one?
That’s a really tough! I think I’d have to choose The Return of the Wilderness Girls, because I love the characters and also think it hits on something about how society sometimes responds badly to things they don’t understand. 

6.- Your novella Chopping Spree is getting published this autumn; could you tell us the changes that this edition features from the original one? 
Yes, I am so excited for the re-release! Chopping Spree is a retro 80s mall slasher, and the story has been expanded to add a new subplot, new characters, and more bodies. 

7.- Which authors would you say are your major influences?
I grew up reading Stephen King, so he’s definitely an influence. More recently, I’m a huge fan of Stephen Graham Jones and Gwendolyn Kiste. 

8.- Would you recommend any kind of horror piece to people that enjoyed The Dead Spot?
If readers like the stories in The Dead Spot, I would recommend The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste. It features lost girls as well, and is an absolutely beautiful story. 

9.- What can we expect from Angela Sylvaine in the future?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Frost Bite! It’s going to be a fun followup that will be released in October of 2025.