Interview with A.F. Stewart

A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author, she’s published novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry.

You're the youngest of seven. Did that help with character-building?

I didn’t grow up with most of my siblings, as they are quite a bit older. They were around, of course, but our relationships did have a built-in distance that had to be overcome. That sort of dynamic helps with the outsider type of protagonists I like to write.

What do you like most about writing horror?

I enjoy delving into the darker psychological aspects of human nature and exploring what makes people give in to their darker impulses. Plus, I get to kill characters in fun and gruesome ways. That’s always satisfying and delightful.

What book inspired you to be a writer as a child? 

It wasn’t a book, but a short story called All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. That was the first story where I felt a subconscious “wow, this is how words can rip your heart out”; it created a strong emotional reaction after reading, and it definitely influenced my desire to write. It also started my lifelong love of short stories.

Did you celebrate when you finished your first book? If so, how?

My very first book was a poetry collection, and I didn’t really celebrate. It was more like an “Oh my, what have I done?” sort of feeling. The first book where I had a sense of triumph was Chronicles of the Undead; getting that book to work was an achievement. But I still didn’t celebrate. It was on to the next book.

"The legends of Camelot got it wrong." I love this line in the blurb for Eternal Myths: A Contemporary Arthurian Fantasy. Where did the inspiration come from?

That came from some of the dialogue in the stories where the characters mention the various legends, and how things didn’t really happen that way. There are so many versions and interpretations of the Arthurian stories, I had the characters address that. Being immortals, I felt they would have strong opinions about the retellings of their lives.