A Bloody Valentine: Margaret L. Colton

Now we’ve hit a stride! Next up is the lovely Margaret L. Colton, who you might find lurking around Charon Coin Press’ State of Horror anthology series. (We’re not going to talk about how much I like her and how much fun we have gossiping about Jerry Benns either…’cause that might give away our game!) Margie is just awesome, y’all. Seriously.

For now, though…let’s get to the interview, shall we?


It’s Valentine’s Day. What’s your take on the “Most Romantic Day of the Year?”

I like to think of Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate the people I love. A call or text to my friends telling them they are important is the usual. I make sure I tell my lovely daughters how much I love them and how important they are to me, then back that up with chocolate (of course), and a stuffed animal. My new granddaughter is too little for cards and chocolate so just spending time with her and baby kisses is a must! The forced-mushy romantic stuff does not appeal to me, instead my writer’s brain kicks in and I see a horror story behind every symbol of Valentine’s Day. The lovely smiles of a couple across the over-crowded dinner table mask the murder plotted out weeks before—the couple who slays together, stays together. The Rom-com movie has hidden messages that will turn movie-goers into mindless brain-munching monsters. These ideas go through my head…wait, I think I need to write something.

What made you decide horror would be your genre of choice?

I love the freedom of the horror genre. The only limit is the imagination. Monsters come in all forms, and can easily look like a normal everyday person. The things that terrify people the most can be normal everyday occurrences. I love the psychological aspect of horror, how an idea can form in a character’s mind and make them question their sanity as well as their safety. I think that a really good horror story sticks with you, makes you cautious, run up the stairs quickly, or flip on the lights. I like being able to create stories with that kind of emotional impact.

From where do you pull your horror inspiration?

I pull inspiration from so many places. As a writer, I just look at a place or a situation and start “seeing” a story there—that darkness lurking below the surface. My greatest horror influence has to be Edgar Allen Poe. I want to have that same kind of psychological scare that is just so horrifying you can’t believe what you just read and then realize your heart is beating a little faster. As a history buff I love to incorporate real stories in with the fiction. So much of the real stories of history are more frightening than anything I could dream up on my own. I also love the legends and lore based on historical events. They are fun to really get into and can add another whole facet to a story.

What horror stereotype do you despise? What is one that you love?

I am not wild about the stereotype that horror is just mindless monsters attacking and blood everywhere. I think there is a whole spectrum of horror with rich plots and characters of depth. I think there is a market for slashing, violent, quick scare kind of horror stories and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. However there are so many wonderful stories that are like a slow burn scare sneaking up on you and you stay scared weeks later. A stereotype I love. I’m not sure if this is exactly a stereotype, but I love humor in horror. I love quick one-liners, or situations that are just ridiculously funny—think Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s a great feeling to be scared one minute and belly-laughing the next in the same story. One of my goals is to add more humor to my horror.

What scares you?

I have the standard unthinkable horrible things that keep me up worrying about my family, much too terrifying to even think about. However my actual phobia is snakes. Like I can’t even look at the word. I’m absolutely out-of-my-mind scared of them. And no there is no snake anywhere that is more afraid of me than I am of it.


Edited by Jerry E. Benns
From Charon Coin Press

Margaret L. Colton is featured in New Jersey, North Carolina, and the upcoming Louisiana anthology.

State of Horror: Illinois State of Horror: New Jersey State of Horror: North Carolina
State of Horror: Illinois State of Horror: New Jersey State of Horror North Carolina
Barnes & Noble
CCP Store
Barnes & Noble
CCP Store
Barnes & Noble
CCP Store

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