We here at GLAHW have met so many amazing and talented people out in the big wide world (you know, OFF the internets) and thought it was high-time we introduced them to you. Who knows? You may end up discovering a favorite new artist, photographer, writer, or all-around awesome human. This time around, we will be talking to Nicole e. Castle.
GLAHW: How long have you been writing? When did you get started?
I can remember the first story I wrote was in 3rd grade. It was about a ghost who was my friend and the adventures we went on. My teacher chose it as the “Best Story” in the class. I still have the handwritten copy in my 7-year-old script—it is one of my most precious mementos. It set me on the writerly path.
GLAHW: Why did you choose the horror genre?
Always loved monsters. One of my favorite memories is my step-mom saying how I would watch a scary movie, wake up screaming from a nightmare, and still want to see more! As a child, I knew what was real and what wasn’t, so maybe that was part of it. Instead of instilling fear, horror was a great joy to me.
GLAHW: Were you inspired by a person or event to begin your writing career?
I always had a good imagination. As I got older, I realized that many people in my immediate and extended family were (and are) very creative folks. It makes me proud to know I have some of that creative blood flowing through me. My dad’s side of the family are from the hills of eastern Kentucky and are all excellent story tellers.
GLAHW: Are you a Plotter or Pantser?
Pantser till the day I die.
GLAHW: Have you ever had an encounter with the supernatural?
No but I would welcome one. Um, maybe. I am certainly open to it and a part of me wishes it would happen. Maybe.
GLAHW: Are you superstitious? Why or why not?
GLAHW: What do you do for a living, outside of writing?
I teach college-level composition and literature at a few local community colleges in southeastern Michigan. I love teaching. However, reading other people’s work all the time, leaves me with little time to do my own. I know that’s a cop out, but teaching is hard if you want to do it right. And I do. I struggle with balancing my writing life and my teaching life.
GLAHW: Do you keep a journal every day?
I have kept journals throughout my lifetime but I haven’t written in one for a long time. I read those journals now and again to see the old me instead of the 49-year-old me. In some ways I am still that person, and in others, I am quite different.
GLAHW: What do you prefer to write – short stories, poetry, novels, scripts, etc.?
I enjoy poetry but I gravitate towards short fiction…very short fiction. I dabble with flash and really short stories. I try to be economical with my words & give a quick, sharp jab to the gut, leave you doubled over, and step back and disappear into the crowd.
GLAHW: What truly scares you?
Age brings more fears. Loss is at the top. I am getting older. I have aging parents and other close family members. When I think of not having my husband around anymore, it brings me physical pain. I am frozen in terror and have to walk myself back from oblivion.
GLAHW: What sort of hobbies are you into?
Reading, writing, live concerts, travel, passing on knowledge.
GLAHW: Do you read outside of the horror genre? If so, what else have you read?
Not really. A mentor of mine turned me on to Paul Bowles (who is often considered only a literary author) but I realized after reading enough of his work that Bowles is a horror fiction writer. Check him out!
GLAHW: What’s your favorite genre to write?
Weird, twisted, scary lingering tales.
GLAHW: Do you use a pseudonym?
Yes. Sort of.
GLAHW: What do you think makes a good story?
I like characters that I have never seen before but at same time seem so familiar. I want to feel stressed knowing that the story/novel is coming to an end. I want to feel momentarily bad after reading it but then after a few days, not be able to forget it.
GLAHW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
To do whatever Indiana Jones was doing. Wanted the whip and the satchel so terribly.
GLAHW: Are you spiritual?
Not really. Although, the Seven Tenets of The Satanic Temple have long fascinated me. Those principles make a lot of sense to me. Religious supremacy in the United States is dangerous. TST advocates for religious liberty and diversity. I am 100% behind that.
GLAHW: What are your influences?
Clive Barker is my favorite author of all time. He showed me what horror could truly be. Also, the splatterpunk writers of the late 80’s and early 90’s. They opened up such possibilities.
GLAHW: What are you reading right now?
DARK TALES by Shirley Jackson. I am also reading some horror anthologies from the early 1990’s that I found while organizing my huge book collection. HOT BLOOD and HOTTER BLOOD are personal favorites. And lots and lot of student essays! 😊
GLAHW: What else do you want your readers to know? Consider here your likes and dislikes, your interests, your favorite ways to unwind — whatever comes to mind.
I am the editor of GLAHW’s annual anthology, Ghostlight: The Magazine of Terror. I am so proud of all these anthologies and the amazing talent within its pages. FYI: I will begin taking submissions in March 2021. And finally, if your life is not the one you want or the one you hoped for, then do something about it. One day all the chances and opportunities will cease. To quote, Mr. Ray Bradbury: “Imagination should be at the center of your life.” So, get to living with a lusful, curious, imaginative heart.