Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mitzi Szereto Interview - Ladies of Gothic Horror

Photo Content from Mitzi Szereto

Mitzi Szereto is an author and anthology editor of multi-genre fiction and non-fiction. She has her own blog Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog and is creator/presenter of the Web channel Mitzi TV, which covers the “quirky” side of London, England. She’s been featured internationally on radio and television and in major newspapers and magazines. She gives talks and readings at book and literature festivals and teaches creative writing workshops around the world. Widely considered the pioneer of the erotic writing workshop in the UK and mainland Europe, she’s also lectured in creative writing at several British universities. Her anthology Erotic Travel Tales 2 is the first anthology of erotica to include a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Mitzi and her celebrity co-author bear Teddy Tedaloo ( divide their time between the Pacific Northwest and the UK.


When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I had a creative calling from early childhood. It was a toss-up as to which direction I’d go in – art, music or writing. I applied myself to all three, drawing and painting, playing musical instruments and composing songs, and writing stories and poetry, including a novel at the age of ten. I knew I needed to be a creative artist of some kind. There was no other choice.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
I find distractions the norm these days. Every time I plan on focusing the bulk of my time working on a specific project, something comes along to take me away from it. Often it’s something beyond my control, which makes it all the more frustrating and annoying. Having said that, for my current book the main distraction ended up being discussions and negotiations for my next book – which went on for some months. Mind you, I’m not complaining, especially since the distractions ultimately resulted in a book deal!

Where’d you get the idea to do a collection of short stories instead of a full-length novel?
For some reason I keep putting my novels on hold in lieu of doing anthologies. My last book Florida Gothic was a novel, and I’d expected to get to work on the second book in the series. But instead I got the idea to put together a collection of classic gothic horror stories from women writers. Once I started hunting for stories and researching these women’s lives, I knew I had to keep going until I saw it through to completion. The fact that the book’s publication happened in time for Women in Horror Month was an added bonus!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I’m not sure it’s happened yet.

In your new book; LADIES OF GOTHIC HORROR, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
As I mentioned, it’s a collection of classic gothic horror stories written by women writers of the past. These women left behind a rich and inspiring legacy for today’s writers, especially women writers. I thought it was time to get some of these works back in print via a well-rounded collection of short gothic fiction that would be accompanied by comprehensive biographies for each writer. It’s important to see where these women came from to better appreciate their work. These women were true groundbreakers in their day. They faced some major barriers to being published, often from their own families! I’m sure many of today’s female authors can identify with the struggles these women faced. We might have moved into the 21st century, but in some respects things haven’t changed all that much.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
That I can’t control what they do. They tend to ignore me and do exactly as they please.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
You’ve got me stumped on that one. Because I work in so many genres, I’m not sure I can conceive of a character from one book meeting a character from another. It would simply be too bizarre!

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently putting together an anthology of true crime, the theme being serial killers. Although I’ve worked in the crime genre before, this will be my first foray into true crime. However, let me make this clear: my goal is not to glorify serial killers or, for that matter, sensationalize the crimes these people have committed. The accounts in this collection will be international in scope and include individuals some readers may not be familiar with. Different historical time frames will be covered too. I’m really excited about this title. I’ve got commitments from an exciting range of writers, including award-winning crime novelists as well as respected academics and experts in the field. The Book of Extraordinary True Crime: Serial Killers is scheduled to be published in November 2019. In fact, it’s already listed for pre-order at Amazon!

  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities by Thomas Wolfe
  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills
Any ghost stories you would like to share?
I’m fairly certain I had a visitation from my grandmother some years back. I’d been unwell following surgery and woke in the middle of the night to see a face in front of me. It wasn’t a dream, because I was sitting bolt upright and perfectly cognizant of what was happening around me. The face was still there and remained so before very slowly drawing away from me until it faded. I have no other explanation for this and no, I wasn’t taking any painkillers.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?
Umm… maybe the number of hooded tops I own? 

What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever worn?
Ha. Not telling!

If you could live in any period in history, where would it be and why?
I would’ve loved being a young woman in the Swinging Sixties in London with all that great music and fashion and that incredible sense of creativity and freedom. The world seemed so full of promise and opportunity back then. Life was fun and sexy. Plus people could actually afford to live in London in those days!

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
How much work I need to get done – and knowing I won’t get it done!

Classic gothic horror stories from the literary mistresses of the past!

Many of gothic horror’s spookiest tales have come from the pens of women. Yet a substantial number of these women were overshadowed by their male contemporaries, especially with regard to the classics. "Ladies of Gothic Horror (A Collection of Classic Stories)" redresses this imbalance by bringing together a selection of gothic stories from the past written exclusively by women. Carefully edited and compiled by author and anthologist Mitzi Szereto, "Ladies of Gothic Horror" offers readers plenty of good old-fashioned chills and thrills. Whether you’re a devotee of the genre, a literature lover, an academic or a student, this volume of short fiction is sure to please. The biographies accompanying each story will show that these women were anything but typical for their time. Includes seventeen stories from authors Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Gaskell, Edith Wharton, Marjorie Bowen, Gertrude Atherton, Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Elia W. Peattie and many more.

You can purchase Ladies of Gothic Horror at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MITZI SZERETO for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive an E-Copy of Ladies of Gothic Horror (A Collection of Classic Stories) by Mitzi Szereto.


  1. The Cask of Amontillado by E.A. Poe for a perfect short piece or Pet Sematary by Stephen King for a novel.

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