You’re in for a treat today to hear from the lovely and inspiring Steph Post. She’s a writer and an artist, and she’s got the best wildlife and farm animals at her home. One day I’m just going to show up there and hang out with all the chickens and dogs and owls. (Don’t tell her!)
Seriously, the owls!
Check out Jasper. I’m not sure how she ever gets any writing done with all the amazingness outside her window, but she does! You can find out more about all her novels and stories on her web site, and you can also visit her Etsy store and get yourself some wonderful prints and tea towels and ornaments and other beautiful things.
But we’re all here for the fear. So let’s go…
Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes! I’m not sure if they’re conventional ghosts or not, but I’ve definitely seen spirits and apparitions, so I certainly believe in otherworldly visitations. I was also brought up thinking everyone else did as well! I remember coming downstairs one morning before school and my mom was like, “Oh, by the way, I saw a ghost last night. I think she was one of the sharecroppers who used to live here. [We lived on very old land out in the middle of nowhere.] She came through the living room, so if you happen to see her, just know she’s cool.” And then I went on to toast some Pop Tarts….. So, yep, I believe in ghosts.
Do you have a recurring nightmare?
I have incredibly vivid dreams and can lucid-dream often, but nightmares that I can’t control are the worst. The usual, being killed or dying dreams, are bad, but the worst are dreams about alligators. Although this has never happened (except for the small alligator in my front yard a few years ago that my dog found), I have recurring nightmares of having to fight a vicious alligator that’s trying to kill my dogs. I’ve personally been chased by an alligator and have fought off possums and rattlesnakes from my dogs, but never the way it happens in my dreams. Also, I just realized how these situations must sound to people who didn’t grow up/live now in the woods.
“I have recurring nightmares of having to fight a vicious alligator.”
How do you deal with fear?
Okay, this might sound lame, but there’s a scene in the first episode of the show Lost where Jack is telling Kate that it’s fine to be terrified for five seconds and then you have to act. The few times I’ve been really scared (and not in fight/flight mode), I’ve always tried to do this. Give myself five seconds to freak out and then confront the fear.
What is your favorite monster or villain?
Okay, you’re talking to the girl whose first crush was Darth Vader. I’ve always had a thing for villains. I’ve been thinking about this for a minute now, and there are SO many, but I’m going to go way out in left field here and say Magneto from the Uncanny X-Men. The old ’90s comics, not the films. I’m a total sucker for a world-crushing villain who has a moment of doubt or redemption. Like Vader, Magento is always going to have my total-nerd-self heart.
If you HAD to live through/experience one of Stephen King’s novels or stories, which one would you pick and why?
This was a hard one! I actually took a class on King’s fiction in graduate school, and I’ve written and presented papers about his work in relationship to women and fairy tales. But I’m going to go with a story I’ve never analyzed or written about, only enjoyed—”The Langoliers” from the collection Four Past Midnight.
Besides the fact that Mr. Toomy is another fantastic villain, who I would LOVE to meet, I love how King plays with the concept of time and characters who have to confront time being truly eaten away in front of them. And, if you know the story, I think I’d make it back on the plane. I survived being locked for a night in the “Lost Children’s Room” in the basement of the Atlanta Airport when I was a kid, so I think I can handle the airport of Bangor, Maine.
Steph Post is the author of the novels Miraculum, Lightwood, Walk in the Fire, Holding Smoke, and A Tree Born Crooked. She graduated from Davidson College as a recipient of the Patricia Cornwell Scholarship and holds a Master’s degree in Graduate Liberal Studies from UNCW. Her work has most recently appeared in Garden & Gun, Saw Palm, and Stephen King’s Contemporary Classics. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award and was a semi-finalist for The Big Moose Prize. She lives in Florida with 97 chickens, turkeys, and guinea hens.