Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Hans’

Sarah Hans, author of Entomophobia

It’s always fun to talk to authors about their books and about what they’re working on. And today, I’ve got another author on, a friend of mine whose novel, Entomophobia, is only going to be around for a short while. So, to help her spread the word, I figured I’d bring her on the blog and pick her brains on her book.

I also bought a copy because Entomophobia just sounds really fun, and I love the idea of having a book that will only be available for a little while. The fact that it’s written by a friend made it extra special.

So, without further ado, Followers of Fear, let’s give it up for author, fellow HWA Ohio member, and my friend, Sarah Hans!

Rami Ungar: Welcome to the show, Sarah. Tell us about yourself.

Sarah Hans: I’m a public school teacher in my day job and I write mostly horror, but I also write science fiction, fantasy, and whatever else I can get paid for.

RU: How did you get into writing? And what exactly attracts you to the horror genre?

SH: I’ve been telling stories since before I could write. I found writing really tedious until the computer was invented, because my brain moves so much faster than my hand could keep up with a pen. Typing is much better! For a long time I wanted to be a science fiction author, because I love sci-fi and enjoy it so much, but every time I wrote something it would turn into horror, so I just leaned into that. Sometimes the genre chooses you!

RU: Tell us about your novel, Entomophobia. What is it about and what will readers enjoy about it?

SH: Entomophobia is about a woman in the middle of a contentious divorce and child custody battle who is cursed to turn into a bunch of insects. I hope readers enjoy seeing a very smart, determined woman who is down on her luck find strength within herself to keep going even when things seem impossibly terrible.

RU: A lot happens to your main character, Meri. Can you tell us a bit about her, what she’s dealing with and why readers will like her or want to follow her?

SH: Meri is extremely resilient. Her abusive husband is now getting custody of her daughter, she’s living with her awful mother, and now she’s got bugs coming out of her skin, but she’s not going to give up.

RU: I understand Entomophobia is only available for a short time. Can you explain why that is? Also, are you doing anything to keep it around longer?

SH: My publisher has closed her doors and the book will only be available through her until the end of the year. After that, I may self-publish it, because few publishers will reprint a book. I’ve never self-published before so it could be a fun new challenge!

RU: As someone with plenty of experience in that department, I’d be happy to give you any advice I can if you want it. Anyway, can you tell us about some of the other stories you’ve written and published?

SH: I have a collection called Dead Girls Don’t Love full of my short stories. Most people call them “quiet horror” because I don’t (usually) do a ton of gore. The horror is often psychological. I love to write from the point of view of the monster, or about people who become monsters. I also like to write feminist stories about the horror of living in an oppressive patriarchy. One of my best stories, “Tiny Teeth,” is available on Pseudopod episode 660 in both text and podcast format. I’m really proud of that one. It’ll be appearing in my next collection.

The cover of Entomophobia.

RU: What are some projects that you’re working on now or that you have coming up?

SH: I’m currently revising and tweaking a novella I just finished writing that’s about meth addicts hiding out in an abandoned asylum. I’m also about halfway through a historical horror novel about an identity thief who finds herself getting in way too deep.

RU: What is some advice you would give another writer, regardless of background or experience?

SH: It can be hard to give advice because there’s so much advice out there, and sometimes it’s conflicting! Some things I would say: Ask for what you want. Keep writing, submitting, revising, submitting. When you go to cons or interact online, don’t look to “network” and make contacts, be a real person, be genuine and honest. Most folks I’ve encountered in the writing community have been really kind, generous, and lovely, so be that in return. The opportunities will come—but you may have to wait for the world to be ready for your writing and be prepared for the day you’re finally a hit!

RU: Finally, if you were stuck on a desert island for a little while and could only take three books with you, what books would you pick?

SH: I’d want three books I’d never read before! Probably one young adult, one horror, and one romance.

RU: Solid choices. Thank you for being on the blog, Sarah. And best of luck with Entomophobia. I hope it gets plenty of new readers.

If you would like to get a copy of Entomophobia, you can purchase it in paperback and ebook from Amazon. And if you would like to connect with Sarah Hans, you can find her on her blog, SarahHans.com, as well as on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I hope you enjoyed this interview and are interested in checking out the book. Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares!

February is Women in Horror Month. Since women writers are a big influence on my writing–JK Rowling got me into storytelling in the first place, and Anne Rice helped pave the way for me to write darker fiction–I thought I’d recommend some stories for those who want to help support the month. You’ll see some familiar names here, but also some you may not be familiar with. Either way, I hope you’ll consider giving them a read.

Tiny Teeth by Sarah Hans. This is actually a short story by a friend and colleague of mine, but it is a scary one. Imagine a world where a virus turns children into dangerous, gnawing animals, and one woman’s experience in that world. You can find it on Pseudopod.org, a website where scary short stories are read by narrators and released as a podcast. Give it a listen. Guarantee you, it’ll be 45 minutes not wasted. Here’s the link.

Garden of Eldritch Delights by Lucy A. Snyder. This is also by a friend and colleague of mine, but it’s also a great collection of scary stories. The majority of them feature cosmic horror themes and entities, which I love, as well as intriguing characters and plots. A couple of the stories also incorporate sci-fi and fantasy themes, and feature a diverse cast, which is something I love to see. If you pick up Garden of Eldritch Delights, you will find it worth your time. Here’s the Amazon link.

The Amaranthine Books by Joleene Naylor. You’ve probably seen Joleene’s name around this blog before, but did you know she’s written an entire book series? She has, a vampire series called the Amaranthine books, and they all come highly rated. Even better, some of the books are free or under a dollar under the Kindle edition, so why not take the opportunity to read them? You can find all the Amaranthine books, and then some, on Joleene’s Amazon page.

In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. Technically, these are mysteries, but they have horror themes about them, so I’ll count them here. In a Dark, Dark Wood follows a mystery writer invited out to a bachelorette party by a friend she hasn’t seen in years, unaware of the forces conspiring against her. The Death of Mrs. Westaway stars a Tarot reader on hard times who finds out she’s received an inheritance from a grandmother she didn’t know she had, and what that inheritance entails for her. Both are terrifying and keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense. You can check out both further on the author’s Amazon page (and I need to check out more of her work).

Kept me on the edge of my seat the whole audio book.

Within These Walls and The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn. No joke, Ania Ahlborn is one of the scariest writers I’ve ever had the pleasure to read, and I really need to read more of her work, as should you. Within These Walls follows a true crime writer as he and his daughter stay in the home of a Manson-like cult leader, and what happens while they’re there (I actually reviewed it a few years ago). The Shuddering follows a group of young adults as they go skiing at a mountain resort, only to discover the area has come under siege from a rather hungry enemy. Either one will leave you shaking in your boots! Here’s the Amazon page if you want it.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Come on, you know I had to include this. Even if I’m not a fan of this book, it’s undeniable that Jackson’s most well-known novel, and one of the most influential horror stories of the 20th century. Following a group of paranormal researchers as they explore the titular house and the effect the house has on them, this book is still a well-known classic in the genre, and some consider it required reading for fans and authors. It’s so well known, I won’t include any links for it (surprise!).

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. Again, can you blame me? Whatever you think of the many sequels, it’s undeniable that Anne Rice’s debut novel has remained a classic for a reason. A journalist interviews a 200-year-old vampire named Louis, who recounts his creation in French New Orleans and his travels around the world looking for meaning and for more of his kind. It’s a haunting tale, the horror coming more from Louis’s psychological journey and despair rather than from the supernatural. As I said earlier, this novel also paved the way for my eventual turn to horror, so I can’t recommend it enough (and I’ll have to reread it someday). Again, no need for links. It’s that well-known.

 

What recommendations do you have for Women in Horror Month? Are you reading anything for it? Are you familiar with any of these books? What was your opinion of them?

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I hope you find something good to read based on this list. I’ll be listening to The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates this month on audio book, so maybe I’ll add it to a future list someday. I better get started soon!

Until next time, pleasant nightmares!