Welcome everyone, I’m The Li-Bury-An, and today we have a spotlight on Carmen Baca.
A powerful voice in Quiet Horror, a subgenre which is seeing a resurgence of late, Carmen Baca stands tall among literary giants such as Shirley Jackson and Edith Wharton. Baca blends magic and mysticism beautifully with her own Hispanic heritage. Her iconic character, Atlaclamani Ahuatzi, is featured in all three of the Kandisha Press Women of Horror anthologies so far. She has also made appearances in Carmen’s book La Quinceañera, and a full book featuring Atlaclamani in the works.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY features the 3rd installment of Atlaclamani’s story. In this tale, Atla is accosted by three teenagers with nefarious intentions, and must use her powers to save herself.
“The light of life and innocence went out in all three pairs of eyes when the intent was understood and humanity left the young people as though they were the undead. Only one thought governed their actions. They rose together and stood staring one another down long enough for Atla to get out of their way. She settled not far off to watch the show.”From “Atla’s Journey” by Carmen Baca
Today, Carmen talks a little bit about Atlaclamani, and how she came up with her story for THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY : Women of Horror Anthology Volume 3. Out now from Kandisha Press!
“The One that Got Away, the theme of “Atla’s Journey,” came alive as the third installment of an Aztec woman’s larger story. I did not intend to publish a small serial in the Women in Horror anthologies, but that’s pretty much what’s happened with the first three volumes, thanks to Jill Girardi, editor.
The Azteca, Atlaclamani Ahuatzi, came to life as an unexpected antagonist in my fifth book, La Quinceañera. When readers kept mentioning her and asking to know more about her, I knew Atlaclamani had to have her own book one day. When I answered the submission call for Women Monsters, Volume 1 of these horror anthologies, The Aztec’s story emerged from the final chapter of that book.
I never know my characters’ back stories until after they appear in a previous work, so for Volume 2, Atla’s life story began with a childhood act that started her journey of self-discovery. Inner powers associated with the number seven, the age she first discovered them, started governing the stories which followed. Eventually, they will become chapters in the Aztec’s own book. She also makes a cameo appearance in the sequel to La Quinceañera where her influence governs the actions of a new antagonist (still in the beginning stages). ”
CARMEN BACA taught high school and college English for thirty-six years before retiring in 2014. Her command of English and her regional Spanish dialect contributes to her story-telling style. Her debut novel El Hermano published in April of 2017 and became a finalist in the NM-AZ book awards program in 2018. Her third book, Cuentos del Cañón, received first place for short story fiction anthology in 2020 from the same program. To date, she has published 5 books and 43 short works in online literary magazines and anthologies. She and her husband live a quiet life in the country caring for their animals and any stray cat that happens to come by.