Why did you want to write a slasher story and do you feel you brought something different to the table?
I’d been watching a lot of slasher movies and I became interested in the character development of the final girl, and the way she typically has to dig deep and discover her survival instinct in order to come out unscathed. In “Spellbound” I wanted to explore that core idea a bit more, so I created a main character who had been suicidal, and for whom discovering her instinct to survive was a transformative experience. I think for a lot of us, life can feel hard and sometimes too much, but when we’re pushed to face our own mortality, we discover that we do truly want to live.
Do you have a favourite slasher story/movie?
It’s so hard to choose! I love the full-on intensity of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but I think my absolute favourite is probably Halloween 2018. Laurie Strode is such a fantastic character in that movie, and it’s great to see an older woman playing a role that is at once badass and vulnerable.
Why is it important to you to have a woman led press like Kandisha?
I find the whole community of women in horror so amazingly supportive. There’s a great feeling that we’re all in it together and helping to lift each other up. Having a women-led press is cool because it gives space to voices that might otherwise have struggled to be heard.
What’s next for you?
My first novella, Marionette, is due out from Silver Shamrock Publishing in November: a story of sex and seances in fin de siecle Paris.
Where can people find you?
My website, antoniarachelward.com, Twitter @antoniarachelw1 or Instagram @antoniarachelward.