In celebration of the forthcoming anthology, EVIL IN TECHNICOLOR, we had an opportunity to chat with E. Catherine Tobler, author of the acclaimed new collection from Apex Books, The Grand Tour, and numerous other works, including The Kraken Sea and dozens and dozens of short stories.
VB) You wrote about an Egyptologist, and I’m curious what draws you to Ancient Egyptian myths, as a writer?
E. Catherine Tobler) I have always loved Egypt and still have the National Geographic book that sparked my interest as a kid. At first it was “gosh, mummies are spooky and neat,” and then it was “oh, they were people who had lives and stories.” I think it all goes back to an interest in storytelling. What do stories about gods and mortals show us about the people who told them? What kind of stories will we leave behind and how will they touch those who come after us? It’s that, or all kids are into Egypt and dinosaurs; I think it’s in the kid rules!
VB) How do you see this story as part of the tradition of old technicolor cinema?
E. Catherine Tobler) My favorite horror film is Les diaboliques (Diabolique), which debuted in 1955, the same year it seems Hammer Horror really took off. Les diaboliques is wholly black and white, but Hammer showed us monsters in color; The Wizard of Oz broke through a sepia world to show us wonders and horrors alike in brilliant color. I hope there is a moment in my story where the text achieves the same moment, when the reader’s perception shifts, and what was black and white rapidly bleeds into color.
VB) How has the pandemic changed your day-to-day life?
E. Catherine Tobler) I am my mother’s primary caretaker, so the pandemic has changed a lot of what we can do with and for her. I am super lucky that I write and edit, so largely my work has continued on—and has always been at home. I don’t get to hang out with my friends in person, but we’ve shifted our weekly gatherings to online settings. It’s not the same, but it’s something. I’ve seen friends in person and from a distance twice since March, and ugh, I’m an introvert, but this is above and beyond, and I miss their faces so much.