V. Castro is an author I feel privileged to include in Inferno. If you like gritty, powerful writing, check out her novella, Hairspray and Switchblades from Unnerving (I sprinted through this fantastic page turner not long ago). V. fires her way into the Sixth Circle of Inferno with At the Bottom of my Lake of Blood.
Infernal Clock: What was the inspiration behind your story?
When approached for this anthology I knew I wanted it to be from a different perspective. I have been The Other all my life and I relish sharing that experience because although it has caused much pain, it has made me the woman I am and becoming. I’ve also been to very dark places at the bottom. Exploring that is important to me and I think its important for other people struggling to know they are not alone. You can be at the bottom, but there is always a way out. You don’t have to settle. You don’t have to believe you are not enough.
Infernal Clock: What is your idea of hell on earth?
My idea of hell on Earth is not living the life you truly want to live, even if it means a little pain and hard work. Hell is not being true to yourself, denying who you really are and not going for what you really want out of this very short life.
Infernal Clock: The Inferno was created on old ideas of sin. If you had to label the nine levels how, what would you call them? Would you keep it at 9? Increase or decrease?
For me there is one sin and that is not treating others with love or respect. This goes for humans, animals, children, and Earth.
Infernal Clock: They say the Devil has all the good tunes. What song would you recommend as an accompaniment to your story?
I wrote this story to Seasons In the Abyss by Slayer. I love music and write all the time to music. For this theme, I thought it was appropriate because the song begins slow, almost like an obsessive thought. The beginning captures the simmering rage. The gong is when the thought turns to action. There is a building of the tempo and arrangement that marks the “breakthrough” in the story. That is when the music speeds up. All hell breaks loose (literally) after that.
Infernal Clock: If you were able to visit the Inferno, what level would you want to go to and who would you want to see there?
I want to see Satan. The chamber would most likely be empty or a mirror with our own reflection.
Infernal Clock: What is the hottest food you’ve ever eaten. Can you share a recipe?
Probably a Madras curry here in the UK or my very own salsa. I use multiple dried chilis to give it a complex spicy flavor. The recipe is too long! The curry was in a restaurant.
Infernal Clock: Who is your ‘favourite’ villain in history or fiction?
My favorite villain would be Satan. Consider who tells the story in the first place. You never know.
Infernal Clock: What is your long-term ambition for your writing?
My stories made into films. My stories to have meaning even if it is for one person.
Infernal Clock: Top-tip for other writers
Don’t compare. Your journey is your own. The story you write can only be told by you. Find your voice and express it without apology especially if you are from a marginalized community.
V. Castro is a Mexican American writer originally from Texas now
residing in the UK with her family. When not caring for her three
children, she dedicates her time to writing.
For more information about her books and other publications, please
visit www.vvcastro.com. Violet is also co-founder of Fright Girl
Summer, a book festival for women in horror. You can also follow her
on Twitter and Instagram @vlatinalondon.
Her latest publication:
Goddess of Filth from Creature Publishing is available for preorder! Click on the book cover.