Staff Interview: Kelly Mintzer

   Kelly Mintzer

        staff writer; manic pixie

     Twitter | Instagram

01. Introduce yourself!

I’m Kelly!  I live in Philadelphia, work at Penn, and am currently on the last leg of what’s been a really fun bubonic adventure.  As I write this, I am applying Burt’s Bees to a pretty serious cocaine nose.

02. Tell us a little about your work. 

I honestly wouldn’t even begin to know how to describe what I write.  Something like the bad decision, but still good time, love child between J.D. Salinger, Charles Dickens and Stephen King, though most likely I’m giving myself far too much credit there.  Pretentious red wine nightmares, maybe?  You tell me.  I also write really self indulgent horror reviews for Critics Den, so those are super fun.

03. D&S is a dark fantasy and horror magazine. Tell us about some of the other media you enjoy in and around those genres!

Horror is my jam.  My bread and butter, if you will, which are entirely different food stuffs, when you come right down to it.  But let us say this; most of my money is going towards making sure we all remain duly terrified.  Fangoria subscriber, “Hannibal” super fan, person who has seen every terrible slasher movie too many times and can tell you the reasons that Lorrie Strode is a feminist icon. 

04. Have any of the above inspired your own work in any way? 

My work would not exist without the presence of myriad other, better (and frankly, some worse) pieces of horror.  

05. What is it about these genres that attracts you most?

It’s my version of a rollercoaster, I think.  It’s a fun scare, in a safe environment.  BUT, I also think that horror has the greatest capacity for unexpected story telling.  And though it often does not live up to, or fulfill that promise, I always hope it does.  It’s the boyfriend who always forgets my birthday, but I never stop thinking “maybe this year….”  I want the best for it.  I want it to succeed.  Because when it shoots on all cylinders, horror is rewarding in ways that very few things are. 

06. Tell us about something that frightens or disturbs you. Are you attracted to media that includes this? Why or why not?

Because we (I am going royal with my “we” here…) don’t want this to turn into a novel, I’m just going to go with spiders.  Boy, am I scared of spiders.  And weirdly, yes.  I couldn’t hazard anything resembling a reasonable guess as to why it is, but I am oddly often compelled to watch spiders in things…I’ve seen “Arachnophobia” a bunch of times, and not just because Jeff Daniels is a goddamn American treasure.  

07. Tell us about one of your favorite fantasy or mythological creatures.

Gritty.  He is the Patron Saint of Philadelphia, a more recent addition to the cannon of fantasy/mythological creatures, but trust me, he’s earned his place.  He is a marvelous, shaggy, orange monster, and he has my heart.

08. If you could spend next Halloween anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? Why?

Honestly, given infinite resources and options, I would still spend my Halloween giving out candy to trick or treaters at my mom’s house in Birdsboro.  Call it sentimentality, and/or nostalgia.  But very little makes me happier than watching cornball horror films-preferably with commercial interruptions-eating pizza, and giving kids in costumes candy.  It warms my heart.

09. What does the word ‘magic’ mean to you?

A book by William Goldman that is very, very good.

10. What do you hope readers will get out of Dusk & Shiver?

A scratch for an itch.  I hope that it will provide a release and an escape from a reality that is too often frightening in all the wrong ways.  I probably shouldn’t get political here (which is extremely difficult for me, but I will try to behave…) but I know that I often seek the solace of monsters and killers and creatures that are finite and can be defeated-or at very least understood-in a certain number of pages.  It would be lovely if people felt that from my work. 

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