Welcome everyone, I’m The Li-Bury-An, and today we have a spotlight on R.A. Busby

R.A. Busby reads from her story “Kiss” which appears in THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY : Women of Horror Anthology Vol. 3

The definition of a masterful horror author is one who can not only make their readers uncomfortable, but who can maintain that discomfort until the last line of the story. Such is R.A. Busby’s truly masterful talent. Her story “Holes” in Volume 2 of our anthology series was about a woman with trypophobia– the fear of holes- who slowly loses her mind during a pandemic. For months after reading the story, I found myself noticing everything with a hole in it (this sounds hilarious but if you read the story, you’ll understand.) And I wasn’t the only one. Since the publication of Volume 2, countless others have remarked how much the story effected them, deeply disturbed them, and had them fearing they’d developed trypophobia as well.

Her new story for Volume 3 delivers the goods as well. Written in the classic horror vein of the greats such as Edgar Allan Poe, Daphne Du Maurier and Arthur Machen, this is the story of a physician at a dinner party, who is asked to discuss his most disturbing case– that of a woman with a veiled face, who haunts him to this very day..

     “I was quite intoxicated, and for that reason had embarked on the bracing walk back home, to which I did not wish to go. My wife Alice was a harridan, stern and unyielding; our son Charles, a miserable bully. More and more, I’d found myself drawn to—well, a certain club whose name is notorious even in these licentious times.”

From “Kiss” by R.A. Busby

Today, R.A. Busby talks about how she came up with her story “Kiss” for THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY : Women of Horror Anthology Volume 3. Out now from Kandisha Press!

“The genesis of “Kiss” began when I saw a painting by the Italian artist Pietro Longhi called Rhinoceros, painted in 1751. In the painting, a group of Venetians in their Carnival masks have gathered to look at an exciting curiosity: a captive rhinoceros. What arrested my sight was not the rhino, but one of the spectators.

She was a woman in the back wearing a Venetian mask I’d never seen. It was entirely black, made of velvet, with only two circular holes for the eyes, but what I found disturbing was that the mask had no laces. It concealed only the central portion of the face, leaving the sides of the face uncovered, so the effect was deeply unsettling, as if her face had been swallowed up by darkness.

Initially, I’d thought of the woman at the scandalous costume ball wearing that Venetian mask, but then I thought, “What if that darkness really is her true face? And if so, what would she do about it?” and the story went on from there.”

A portion of the painting that inspired R.A. Busby’s story, “Kiss.”

R.A. BUSBY : An award-winning literature teacher and die-hard horror fan, R. A. Busby is also the author of “Bits” (Short Sharp Shocks #45),  “Street View” (Collective Realms #2), “Not the Man I Married” (Black Petals #93), “Holes” (Graveyard Smash, Women of Horror Anthology, Vol. 2), “Cactusland” (34 Orchard #2), and “Kiss” (Kandisha Press). “I was always instructed to write about what I know,” she states, “and I know what scares me.” In her spare time, R.A. Busby watches cheesy Gothic movies and goes running in the desert with her dog. 

Twitter: @rabusby1

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