Kenzie is badass and a great friend. She is also super talented and knows how to bring the dread, the gore and the splatter.
Tell us a little about your story.
Some summers ago, a couple of close college friends and I rented a beach condo, and every damn time we’d head out to the beach for the day, we’d have to deal with (ugh) other people there. You know the type I mean. The loudest, most obnoxious ones who take up the nicest spots on the sand with the best views, and they often had the audacity of “reserving” those spots by leaving their beach canopies and chairs and junk out overnight. I often wondered how hotel and condo rental owners and managers dealt with awful repeat guests like that, especially if those guests had regular reservations every year…and plenty of money. My story, “#TheVacationers,” answers that question by turning a group of old friends into killers who specialize in getting rid of problematic vacationers like that.
Friendships though can be just as problematic.
Why did you want to write a slasher story and do you feel you brought something different to the table?
I confess I’ve become a little too comfortable in writing slasher stories. I kind of enjoy it. It just feels…right, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. (That’s for future therapy sessions I can’t afford.) As for whether or not I brought something different to the table, I don’t know, really. Perhaps. But a little part of me hopes not too much since I want readers to feel the same way I do about horrible vacationers…and that sometimes, it may pay to get rid of them.
(Wait. No…No, I’m not.)
Do you have a favourite slasher story/movie?
I have a few favorite slashers, but I’m not a big fan of the basic stalk-and-slash horror film where the masked killer is indestructible, like Friday the 13th or Halloween. I’m more of a fan of slashers that work well in combination with another subgenre, like home invasion horror. My favorite one, Inside, the French film by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, is a perfect home invasion slasher that was so bold in its choices and had a killer that was every bit as frightening and vicious as her male counterparts, perhaps even more so I’d argue.
Why is it important to you to have a woman led press like Kandisha?
Sometimes, we just need to work with other women who empathize as authors in a genre that’s primarily dominated by men. Women who have been writing horror but may be hesitant about submitting anything might feel more inclined to submit their work to a press like Kandisha that understands horror through a woman’s lens. It’s all about the kinship, support, and shared vision.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on two novellas as well as a couple of short stories for upcoming anthologies. I’m also struggling to maintain a normal work-life balance like everybody else.
Where can people find you?
TikTok: @kenzieblyjay (I’m utterly clueless with TikTok though.)