Lee Frankin is a new name in horror. Her debut novel Berserker: Green Hell is published by Hellbound Books. She took some time out to chat with me about her work and women in horror.
How would you describe your brand of horror?
My brand of horror would be described as visceral at a 100 miles per hour. I don’t do slow burns. I crank up the tension and take you on a wild ride.
Why do you write horror?
Horror is such an encompassing genre with massive scope and depth you can go anywhere with it. Besides I am fascinated by the minds of monsters (humans and otherwise) and personally familiar with pain, anguish and hopelessness. Horror puts me in control and, for a usually non-confrontational person it is extremely cathartic.
Who, in the horror genre, inspires you?
D.J Doyle inspires me as a writer, friend and mentor. Always encourages, pushes me to want to be a better writer. She gets the scope of horror and turns her hand at Comedic to Splatter to Folklore within a few words.
Not technically classed as horror, but Australian author Mathew Reilly introduced me to fast paced action writing. I truly believe he should be seen more as a “horror” writer as his stories embrace the horrors of life and surviving. He started out as an indie writer, self published 1000 copies of his first book The Contest and put them out in bookshops in Sydney. Now he is living in Hollywood with a few of his novels sold to rights.
What’s the favourite comment you’ve received in a review?
“It certainly is strong horror; its relentless, fast-paced narrative carries the reader along, sometimes breathless, sometimes shell-shocked, but always wanting to know what happens next.” - Simon Clark Night of the Triffords, Blood Crazy
Why do you think women are attracted to the horror genre?
I think horror is attractive to women because it is a safe place for us to face our worst fears. It is empowering, and we are not always the victim. Sometimes we get to be the villains.
Would you be a villain, victim or hero in a horror story?
Unintentionally, the villain because the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I am full of good intentions. Naturally a victim, I loathe confrontation and have always been a peacekeeper. Yet there is a part of me who, you will find in my stories who desperately wishes to be the hero. Put wrongs to right and save the world.
Monsters and Horror Heroes. Who would you snog, kill and marry?
Snog Blade, Kill Freddy Kruegar and Marry… Elen Ripley. I will forgive her for being a cat person but she is so feisty and independent she wouldn’t cramp my style yet I would be able to bathe in her awesomeness.
What apocalyptic event will you survive and how?
I would survive any population driven event ie viral, zombie or economic downfall as I live in an isolated area with access to well water. I’m a bit of a quiet prepper and my military training will definitely come into place. I also have three strong sons and a driven, detailed focused husband.
Tell us briefly about your work in progress.
I am currently working on a short creature feature and the sequel to Beserker-Green Hell. The working title is Beserker – Sand Fire and will be set primarily in the Australian outback. We will learn more the alien beast Ezeljah who we find in the basement of a Russian gulag as Pinny works desperately to protect those he loves, from the truth of who and what he is and the government agencies that want to exploit him.
Share the opening of one of the stories you’ve had published.
Hell? Why had I come back? I asked myself for the millionth time. Because you’re a coward, came the familiar answer. Because I’d returned willingly to this purgatory, and trudged up and down all nine rings of Dante’s Inferno. Trust me, I wish it was the pit of fire
and brimstone the preachers all promised.
I wish it was a place you could leave, or a nightmare that would leave you—but it’s not. Hell is an endless green; broken only by deep shadows, white blankets of rain, and cesspools of bog and mud. It’s a thick, viscous heat that rots body and mind with incessant, stagnant
decay and the odour of sweating men—and that’s so bad we can’t even stand our own stench. This is where we are: in Hell—or Dia Nguc as they call it in Vietnam.
What three pieces of advice would you offer anyone wanting to create horror?
Be true to yourself and your story.
Be patient and know your own limits if you allow yourself to go to those dark places “normal” people do dare venture. This is what makes us horror writers a different breed.
Have fun with it. As I mentioned before there is such an amazing scope and depth to horror there are only the lines you draw yourself and they are different for everyone, readers and writers alike.
An avid reader from a young age Lee discovered a
penchant for the dark and is fascinated by the horrors
both in film and books. She considers her horror
gauge is broken and is rarely spooked or grossed out.
Lee, is also a developing writer with a novel and,
several short stories published by the likes of
Hellbound Books and KJ Kennedy to name names.
Link to buy Berserker: Green Hell