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I first met Cat when she submitted for the Livestock charity anthology opened by Angel of Voices From the Mausoleum and myself, and I was blown away by her story. If you haven't read it yet, you absolutely should - and all proceeds go to the Center for Reproductive Rights. She was super friendly in our interactions, and when I reached out to chat, she quickly became a very good friend of mine and her support is priceless. She's a huge fan of charity projects, which I admire, and a wonderful human in general. Her writing evokes strong emotion and a whole lot of terror, and I can't wait to see what's ahead for her in 2023. If you don't follow her, you absolutely should - and then go listen to our episode of The Ghoulish Gallery, as well as the other two podcasts she's involved with!

1. For anyone who hasn’t listened to our episode of The Ghoulish Gallery, what is the Frogman?

The Frogman is an entity that lives in Loveland, OH. As his name suggests, he is a bipedal frog man. Debatably, he is also a wizard. Early sightings of him report that he carries a wand. There is some compelling photographic evidence.

If anyone hasn’t listened to the episode, I suggest they do. Everyone should be aware of, and prepared for an encounter with The Frogman before visiting the Loveland region.

2. Have you always used writing as a creative outlet?

I have.

That’s actually how I knew that I was going into the right field. There were so many things I wanted to be when I was younger, and I dabbled in everything. I’ve taken just about every kind of dance class there is, I’ve played several instruments, and I went to art school for about six years. When I got a little older that curiosity switched more to sciences. I took psychology, anatomy, forensics and coding as AP courses. The one thing that never changed was the writing.

Other interests came and went, but writing was constant. I didn’t even see it as another hobby, because it just felt like something natural that I did whenever I had the free time. I was probably the last person in my life to know I was going to be a writer.

3. What are some of the ongoing activities you have your hands in?

Those would be my podcasts! I am a cohost on both Slasher Radio and This Horror Life. I always recommend checking those out if you want some of my hottest movie takes.

There is also an exciting third podcast that I’m not allowed to announce just yet, but cannot wait for.

I might or might not have also commissioned art for a BookTube channel. I have 0 content filmed so far, but when it arrives it’s going to be called The Cat of Amontillado.

4. Frogman vs. Bigfoot – who wins?

Listen, I’m biased, we all know this. But Bigfoot is a non-violent tree hugger and the Frogman might be magic. Never bet against a wizard.

5. I love that you get involved in so many charity projects: what anthologies have you been a part of, for which causes?

As I’m sure you know (since you did the most amazing foreword for it) my most recent charity anthology inclusion was for LIVESTOCK: Horror Stories From the Un-Herd. The proceeds go to benefit the Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization that focuses on legal protections for bodily autonomy and worldwide human rights.

Before that I was featured in another charity anthology that was also inspired by the overturning of Roe V. Wade. It’s called Hell Hath Only Fury, and was edited by S.H. Cooper and Oli A. White. The proceeds go to benefit The Brigid Alliance, a service that helps individuals overcome obstacles in receiving abortion care.

The first charity anthology I ever got to be a part of also came out this year. It’s called Strange Weeds, it was put together by Donnie Goodman and Meghan the Horror Babe. It’s a collection of entirely marijuana themed horror fiction in support of The Last Prisoner Project. They’re an organization that advocates for the freedom of those currently in prison for cannabis charges — which are no longer illegal.

Participating in charity anthologies has been, without a doubt, the most rewarding thing I’ve done this year. When I see that an anthology is benefitting a cause I believe in, it moves that right up to the top of my submission queue. I’m hoping to do more work like this in the upcoming year.

6. What kind of setting is the most unnerving for you in a horror movie?

I find that in horror movies, I am most unnerved by sterile, clinical settings. I don’t like hospitals much to begin with, but if I’m watching a horror movie and things are too clean, I just know something terrible is about to happen.

7. What is a horror movie you watched/book you read as a kid that you feel really influenced your love of the genre, and why?

There were a lot of scary books and movies that I watched when I was younger. I’m sure all of them contributed a little to my current obsession with the horror genre. But there are two that I always credit as truly kicking things off.

The book that influenced me as a kid, and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this, was Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. The stories were a little spooky, a little fun, very appropriate for children, but the illustrations by Stephen Gammell traumatized my entire generation. How are you supposed to go back to normal children’s books after seeing some of that art?

The movie that sealed the deal was Cube, which I always sort of think of as my first horror movie. That’s not entirely true, because I’d grown up watching old black and white horror films, the universal monster movies and everything by William Castle. But I was around 6 or so when I found Cube playing on the Scifi network, and it flipped a switch in my brain. It was the first time I was fully aware I was watching a horror movie, something that was supposed to scare me, and that was all I ever wanted to watch after that.

8. What movie would you want to be the Final Girl in? It doesn’t even have to be a movie with a designated Final Girl, just one where you think you would rock that role.

I love this question so much. I always picture myself as a Final Girl when I watch horror movies, and think about how I’d survive (or not) in any given scenarios. I think about it most with zombies. I could survive the hell out of any English zombie film, and die immediately in any Korean zombie film.

If I could be the Final Girl in anything though, I’d want it to be a slasher, alongside all the greats. I think my answer has to be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). I often feel at my most bad ass during road trips, because those already feel like an adventure and I’m on them in my most comfortable, fight-for-survival attire.

9. Is there a particular trope that you would love to see disappear? Is there one you’d like to see more of?

I’m very forgiving of tropes in horror; moreso than in any other genre. Even some of the ones I get tired of, are still being used or subverted in interesting ways. My favorite movie of all time is The Cabin in the Woods for the way that it not only uses, but tries to explain some of the dumbest tropes, like splitting up to go looking for something, or letting the sexually active blonde die first. For the most part, I’d say that I’m pro-trope as long as they’re handled well.

My favorite is The Harbinger. I adore that one creepy old man at the beginning of the movie that tells those teenagers not to do the thing that will immediately get them all killed. Even when it’s executed questionably, I still love it. In Friday the 13th pt 2, Crazy Ralph is basically stalking the counselors to keep them away from the camp, which makes no sense but is still one of the best parts of the movie. I would love to see this trope make a comeback in a big way, because I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

10. What are your writing goals for 2023?

My biggest writing goal for 2023 is to sell a lot of books. My novella, Revenge Arc, is coming out this summer and more than anything I would love to see Archive of the Odd not lose any money on all of the very expensive formatting decisions.

I would also love to be included in more anthologies. As I mentioned earlier, I’m especially interested in doing more charity works this year, but anthologies as a whole have been fantastic. They’re a great opportunity to meet other writers, as well as other people in the industry like editors and artists.

My last one, as it is every year, is to receive 100 rejection letters. It’s a method of chasing publication that I read about several years ago. When I started doing it, I didn’t take it very literally, I just took some inspiration from the idea that rejections can also show progress. This year I actually kept track of rejection letters, and it’s wild the difference that it’s made. I submitted to more things, I took bigger chances, and my number of submissions drastically increased. So I’d like 2023 to be the year that I hit literally 100 rejection letters.

Where to keep up with Cat:

Twitter: @Cat_Voleur

IG: catvoleur


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