Today we welcome one of this year's anthology contributors, Lee Mather.
Tell us a little about yourself.
LM: I'm a 34-year-old writer and business graduate from Manchester, England. I have works published in horror, urban fantasy and science fiction. My fiction tends to have a dark heart.
Tell us a little about the background of your story.
LM: Masks is my contribution to the anthology. The story features a celebrated actor who is terminally ill. He receives a series of cryptic notes that hint at a terrible choice coming his way, a choice that might lead to a cure. I wanted to write something that touched upon our various faces, and how better to portray this through an actor.
Are there any interesting anecdotes relating to its creation?
LM: I wrote this story on my honeymoon of all places! I'm not much of a sunbather, and rather than read by the pool, I decided to write. It's pretty weird to see the outcome, which is a horrid little tale, and think that it started life in the Malaysian sunshine. I had a pen in one hand and an ice-cold Mojito in the other…
What do you like about horror as a genre?
LM: To be honest, I like any story that makes me feel, irrespective of genre. Horror doesn't have to be something that is shlocky or full of cheap thrills, but it should leave you with that raw, punched in the solar plexus feeling. Horror is best done when, as a reader, you have a reason to care about the outcome of the story. Pain and fear and grief are very real, very potent aspects of our lives. With a horror story, you hopefully get to experience these emotions from a safer place.
What scares you?
LM: Pain, physical or mental, inflicted in my loved ones, and me helpless to protect them. Oh, and spiders. I hate the little bastards.
Where can people find you online?
Anything you might want to know about me can be found at www.leemather.org.uk
Read up more about the current issue of Bloody Parchment and the submission guidelines here.