Interview with John S. McFarland, Author of The Black Garden | NewInBooks
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Black Garden?
My family has a centuries-old connection to the old French Mississippi River town of Ste. Genevieve. I wanted to use the town, or my version of it, in horror stories. Inspired by the regionalism of Faulkner, I wanted to create a Yoknapatawpha County of Hell.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Black Garden, what would they be?
The Allegretto from Beethoven’s Seventh.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
Horror, or Flannery O’Connor. Southern Gothic, James Joyce, Fitzgerald, Shakespeare.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
Several Ramsey Campbell, TED Klein and Michelle Paver. Have a goal to re-read all of Poe and Lovecraft.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
The diphtheria scene and the scene in which Perdita is attacked.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
“Death is the Mother of Beauty”…Wallace Stevens. So get on it and create.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
Remember to read my collection of stories also set in Ste. Odile, The Dark Walk Forward, and the sequel to The Black Garden coming out next year, called The Mother of Centuries.
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