01. Introduce yourself!
My name is Kristina Manente and I am a freelance writer and audio engineer who travels too much. Cherry blossoms are my favorite flower, even though they are delicate and fleeting, and I have an extreme fondness for foreign musicals. I could probably live off of tea, and I have the world’s cutest dog named Basil (he is named after three Basils: of Baker Street, Rathbone, and Hallward). I taught English in a small fishing city in Japan for a year, volunteered on an archaeological dig on an Iron Age site in Israel, drove 10,000 miles in a 1994 Corsa from London to Ulaanbataar for charity, and fell accidentally in love with K-pop in Seoul. I’m a bit of a loon.
02. Tell us a little about your work.
On the writing side of things, I write about nerdy things for the likes of SYFY, VRV, Polygon, FANDOM, etc. I also dabble in beauty, fashion, and travel. I do have a book published, and many more planned, but the bulk of my creative writing has been with other people in a RP style format and mostly for our own enjoyment. Audio wise I’m a BBC trained audio engineer and am currently producing and editing four podcasts: The Baker Street Babes, Calling Darkness, Ghost Light Theater, and FanGirls.
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!
Spoiler alert, I am not a horror person. I’m a scaredy cat. I can’t watch scary movies, suspense in general makes me lose my mind, and my over-active imagination will make sure anything remotely bothersome becomes nightmare fuel for weeks. Ironically, most of my work at the moment is in horror and dark fantasy. I’m apparently a masochist. Does Lord of the Rings count as dark fantasy?
04. Have any of the above inspired your own work in any way?
I sometimes peek at popular podcasts and film in the genre to get a feeling for my audio work, but generally I just imagine scary things and that gets me through producing terrifying soundscapes for Calling Darkness and Ghost Light Theater. I’m relatively good at spooking myself out.
05. What is it about these genres that attracts you most?
They don’t, yet I somehow keep falling into them and am apparently quite good at making things sound scary. If I make myself uncomfortable, I’ve done a good job.
06. Tell us about something that frightens or disturbs you. Are you attracted to media that includes this? Why or why not?
Sounds I can’t see the creator of, visions I can’t understand, and what my mind thinks up in the dark. I’m a relatively logical person, but my brain loves to make me wonder if spirits, ghosts, and monsters really exist. It’s why I don’t tend to indulge in anything remotely scary, suspenseful, or dark in general. I’ll obsess over it in a not so great way and lie awake convinced my soul is about to be sucked out of my body.
07. Tell us about one of your favorite fantasy or mythological creatures.
I’ve always been a fan of elves, which seems like a trite and cliche answer. But the other-worldliness of them is interesting. You can make them cute, or elegant, or downright weird. They morph to so many things, yet they’re always “heightened” in some way. I love it.
08. If you could spend next Halloween anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? Why?
I’ve lived so many places that just didn’t care about Halloween, so someplace where people really enjoy the dressing up part of it. I’m not a partier, but I love costume parties and silly games.
09. What does the word ‘magic’ mean to you?
Making things you imagine become real.
10. What do you hope readers will get out of Dusk&Shiver?
Stories that delight, intrigue, and possibly terrify them (if they’re into that).