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 INTERVIEW 

Michelle Zink

El Templo #29 (agosto 2012) por R. A. Calle Morales


In your four published books there's a strong influence of the Gothic atmosphere. What does the Gothic genre have that attracts you so much? What is it so captivating in those distressing environments and oneiric mysteries to catch the attention of so many readers?

I don’t think human beings were engineered to live the way we do today. The modern world can be so sterile, so overwhelmed with stimulus and noise. And really, in the grand scheme of things, these changes have happened very quickly. In just the past hundred years, we’ve gone from candlelight and quiet to constant online interaction, 24/7 television (in America, some grocery stores even have televisions by the check-out counter where they play commercials while we wait to pay for our groceries), and constant contact with others through our phones. The Gothic era is in many ways a return to a quieter world, one in which we can’t log onto Google to find an answer to every question. I find the slower pace, the quiet, the richness of the era to be a perfect backdrop to the kinds of mysteries I love to read and write.

Science fiction and urban fantasy are the predominant genres in the teen literature market these days. What terror and/or mystery book from outside the current trends would you recommend to young people?

Well, as you know, I’m a huge Carlos Ruiz Zafon fan. His brand of gothic thriller has everything I adore in a mystery - brooding atmosphere, intricate plotting, and complex characters. I often recommend even his adult books to teenagers. I’m also in love with Patrick Ness’s work, both the Chaos Walking trilogy (technically Science Fiction, though very different from most) and A Monster Calls. And if you’re looking for a different take on horror, you can’t beat Tonya Hurley’s Ghostgirl and her gritty, edgy upcoming series, The Blessed.

In both the Prophecy of the Sisters and A Temptation of Angels, there are creatures between two worlds: celestial and demonic creatures. How did you manage to work with such creatures so deeply-rooted into folklore like angels, demons and spirits? Where did you get all the information?

Many of my ideas come from ancient myths and legends. I start out with an intriguing story and then begin asking myself questions. What if it happened this way instead? What if the other side had won this epic battle? What happened to these people or beings after history signed off on the story? By working with the accepted version of a myth or legend and then adding and subtracting elements, I hope to build on something familiar to create something new and different. It’s always the “what-ifs” that intrigue me.

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