Laughing at Torture Porn with Myrrym Davies… You Gotta Love It


Sometimes you meet a person that you click with, that in just a short conversation you feel as if you’ve known that person for years and not minutes. For me, this is the case with Myrrym Davies, a cool lady and a fabulous editor. (You know it’s so, ’cause I say it’s so.) I had a chance to sit down with Myrrym and have a computer to computer chat. This is a woman who laughs at torture porn. Yeah, she’s cool… Sit back and relax and when you’re done reading, let Myrrym know who cool she is.

AJ: Who is Myrrym Davies??

MD: Well, I suppose the best description would be “horror writin’ homemaker.” Like many other genre writers, I have a mortgage, a husband, two kids and the requisite dog, and work a full-time job to help keep the bills paid. At night and on weekends, I split my time between writing and serving as Graveside Tales Publishing’s senior editor. It’s almost a Jekyll and Hyde sort of existence because Myrrym the Writer is the complete opposite of Myrrym the Homemaker. While my daytime persona concerns itself with things like parent-teacher conferences, home repair, and encouraging good table manners in her children, Myrrym the Writer tends to focus on the darker aspects of human nature… which is a polite way of saying she’s a total gore hound who swears a lot and giggles at torture porn. It’s a fine line to walk, balancing home life and horror, but I think I’m doing a pretty good job of keeping the two separate.

AJ: You laugh at torture porn as well? Awesome. I think all good writers tend to walk that fine line between their ‘real lives’ and their ‘writer lives’. What is it about horror that intrigues you?

MD: As a fan, I have a fine appreciation of the whole field. Everything from quiet, character driven tales of the paranormal to senseless hack-and-slash delights me as no other genre fiction can. As a writer, however, I am much more intrigued by the human aspects of horror, particularly the psychology of fear, and the various ways in which it can be generated or expressed. Horror allows for a wide range of creativity and emotional play—two things that, I feel, are lacking in more mainstream works of fiction.

AJ: I think scaring people is one of the hardest things to do and it has long since been my fascination with horror–simply because I want to be scared, but very little fiction does this. Do you have that need to be scared or to scare folks?

MD: Reading a book and getting that tingle at the base of my skull is a delicious feeling, but I have to agree with you in saying there are precious few pieces of horror lit that actually deliver those kinds of chills. This is not to say the authors aren’t trying – they are. It’s me, not them. I am a horror junkie, which is a wonderful thing to be, but it does take its toll in the form of desensitization.

As to whether I feel the need to scare others, I would have to go with “not necessarily.” I’m a humorist by nature, so the majority of my work tends to lean towards the comedic, but the few serious pieces I’ve written were created to make the reader uneasy more than to frighten. I want them to be so engrossed in the characters and events that reading feels almost voyeuristic—like they are watching something they shouldn’t, but can’t look away.

AJ: Reading should be voyeuristic? That’s an interesting statement. Do you ever get that feeling when you read or write? That maybe you can’t stop, even if you wanted to?

MD: There are a few books that have made me feel that way. Ketchum’s Girl Next Door, for instance. I barreled through it in a day—I just couldn’t stop turning the pages—but when I closed the book, I almost felt dirty for having read it. With writing, it’s a bit different. My editing duties keep me from writing every day, and it’s hard to get into the story when you only have thirty minutes or so to dedicate to it. But on weekends, which I have designated strictly for writing, I have been known to clock ten or twelve hours in front of the laptop. My husband has to remind me to stop and eat, sometimes.

AJ: I’ve heard that about Ketchum’s Girl Next Door–that many folks just devoured the book, but afterward they felt dirty for having read it all the way through with complete fascination and repulsion at the story itself. Sounds like Ketchum did his job.

You mention you are an editor. Can you tell me a little about this?

MD: Yes. I am the senior editor for Graveside Tales Publishing, and have a few independent editing gigs in the works for later in 2011. It’s an interesting experience, editing. On one hand, I get to interact with a lot of talented writers, and editing their work helps me refine my own writing. On the other hand, the amount of reading and correspondence one has to engage in takes up a huge amount of time. I don’t think I’ve taken a meal with my family since 2009.

AJ: How did you get into editing?

MD: Honestly? By accident. I used to trade editing and proofreading services with a handful of other writers, and got a rep for being good at it. When The Monsters Next Door e-zine put out an ad for a short fiction editor, I offered to help out. Things kind of snowballed from there. TMND shut its doors in late 2009, but a few days after we announced the closing, I was contacted by Dale Murphy at Graveside asking if I would be interested in doing some editing for them. I guess I did a good job because a couple of months later, I was bumped up to senior editor. It’s a lot of work, and there are certain aspects of the job I don’t particularly enjoy (sending rejection letters comes to mind), but I’ve been blessed with working with some top-notch writers. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

AJ: Yes, I remember TMND. I believe that is where you and I first met when you edited one of my stories for the e-zine.

MD: I think you are right. We did meet through TMND. That was a darn good story, by the way.

AJ: Tell me a little about Graveside Tales.

MD: Graveside Tales is a small press publisher of horror and dark fantasy novels, novellas, and anthologies. The company was started in 2007, and is currently owned and operated by Dale Murphy. Our lineup primarily consists of character-driven tales with a supernatural twist, though we do occasionally publish more action-oriented material. We release six titles a year in both print and digital format, and intend to launch a digital-only imprint later this year. It can get hectic, being the only editor there, but I enjoy being a part of GST, and couldn’t ask for a better group of authors to work with.

AJ: Have you guys announced your 2011 lineup and if so, can you give us a little peek at what’s to come from GST?

AJ: Yes, we have. Our lineup is as follows:

February 2011 – The Wide Game by Michael West

April 2011 – Looking at the World with Broken Glass in My Eye–a short story collection by Mark Justice

June 2011 – The Beast Within II, edited by Ms. Jennifer Brozek

August 2011 – The Bleeding Room by Barry Napier

October 2011 – Part One of The Gentle Art of Making Enemies by Kevin Mellor

December 2011 – Memory Bones – a short story collection by Mike Stone

AJ: That’s a pretty solid lineup, should be some great books.

Before we let you go, what about Myrrym, the writer? Anything new coming up in the future?

MD: Well, for now, I intend to rework a humorous horror novella I wrote last year, and expand on a 20K word piece that hasn’t yet decided whether it wants to be a novella or a novel when it grows up. I do have a couple of writing projects in the works for later this year. The details are still being hammered out, so I can’t really say what they are, but I can tell you I’m pretty excited to be a part of them. Publication-wise, a few of my short stories will be released in anthologies during the first half of 2011, and another will make its debut in the April issue of Necrotic Tissue. I have also been invited to be a guest at FandomFest in Louisville, KY this July. Looking forward to finally meeting some of the writers I’ve worked with over the last few years!

AJ: Wow, you have a lot going on.

Do you have a website where we can find you?

MD: Yes, it’s Myrrym Davies Website Feel free to stop by and take a look around.

AJ: We certainly will. And how about for Graveside Tales? A website or Facebook page?

MD: The Graveside Tales web address is
Graveside Tales Website

or you can find us on Facebook at
GST on Facebook

AJ: Thank you for your time, Myrrym. It’s been nice drawing blood from you and learning more about Graveside Tales as well.

(Herbie’s Note: We have bottled Myrrym’s blood and will be selling it for those who are in need of a sense of humor and/or editing skills.)

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Comments
  1. JAM says:

    Ah, I understand the juggling of the writer persona and family persona, and the conflict between the two. She’s so busy! Impressive!

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