It’s always great to host so many outstanding writers and creatives on my blog for Women in Horror but it’s especially fun to welcome back my friends from within the horror community. So, I’m chuffed to bits to have back the awesome, Pippa Pilgrim, horror podcast extraordinaire, writer of wicked horror with her husband Myk Pilgrim. Together they own Pugnacious Press Publishing. She also produces the horror channel, Deadflicks.
What have you got in the pipeline?
A few of you may know me from previous interviews from Fi, isn’t she fabulous? My
name is Pippa Pilgrim, although I still write under my maiden-name. I co-own the
publishing company Pugnacious Press Publishing with my writing partner and
husband, Myk Pilgrim. You can find my stories in 13 Wicked Tales: a Wicked Library
Anthology, featured on the Wicked Library podcast, Frisson Comics, Sirens Call
Magazine, & Holiday-themed horror collections Poisoned Candy: Bite-sized Horror
for Halloween, Bloody Stockings: Bite-sized Horror for Christmas, Rancid Eggs: Bite-
sized Horror for Easter, & Devil’s Night: Bite-sized Horror for Halloween.
Over the last few years, I’ve been collating my numerous short stories into a
collection due for release summer 2023. This will be the culmination of 10 years of
work, and I’m pretty damn excited about it.
In March 2022 I will have an audio produced story called And Just Like the Movies
(written in January 2021), released through The Wicked Library Podcast. In And Just
Like the Movies, Noelle and her far more scientifically gifted friend Zuri, love to get
drunk on Fridays and watch their favourite movies. But when Zuri creates a device
that allows them to experience film in a WHOLE new way, Friday Movie Night takes
an unexpected turn. Their favourite film The Madness Beyond will never be the same
again and neither will they. There’s horror, death, bad accents, and a giant snake.
In July 2022 my story Achromatica will appear in Chromophobia: A Strangehouse
Anthology by Women in Horror, edited by the brilliant Bram Stoker award-winning
Sara Tantlinger and published by Rooster Republic Press. I’m incredibly excited for
this release and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. The special edition hard
copies are already available for pre-order through Rooster Republic Press’s website.
Achromatica is about the lack of colour. Answering the question of what would
happen if the world was white? I am a big believer in the world as a spectrum, we
need colour, we need individuality, after all, variety is the spice of life.
Discuss your latest work
My latest work actually is taking a leap away from the written page and onto video,
with the relaunch of our Pugnacious Press Patreon and Deadflicks Patreon and
video channels. Deadflicks is our premier horror video and podcast dedicated to
dissecting horror. We have a few drinks, invite on some fantastic guests and get to
the nitty gritty of what makes a fantastic horror story, and how it is brought to life in
film. This also goes for delving into some of the terrible schlock we’ve come across.
Regarding promoting women in the industry, and being as inclusive as possible, I
have my own solo video channel and Podcast due to launch in March, under the
Deadflicks umbrella, called That Time of The Month, where I will be focusing
specifically on horror by women and LGBTQIA+ people, with a brilliant line up of
guests joining me (no I can’t reveal any names yet), to cut our teeth on feminist and
Share an excerpt from one of your stories/novels
As it is such a short little piece, I thought I would share the entirety of my
story Death Rattle with you.
Grandmother tucked my feet under the soft cotton blanket on my mother’s old bed,
and bunched it around my ankles, “Never hang your feet out of the covers or a Naga
will eat you.”
Of course, mother told her to stop telling me scary stories, but I didn’t mind.
I loved sleeping at Grandmother’s house, each room a maze of dust and
oddities, soaked in a haze of rich crimson incense. I’d admire new additions to her
curious collection every visit. From mounted, bloodstained katar daggers, which
Grandma told me never to touch, to strange paintings of gods I couldn’t name, bug-
eyed masks, and a huge golden clock that sang on the hour.
My favourite oddity wasn’t all that odd. A coiled necklace of hollow opal
beads, which rattled as grandma lifted me into her arms. I’d roll the rough beads
around my fingers and listen to the thudding inside. She told me long ago they were
a gift from Grandfather. He’d been dead for so long, it seemed like the only thing she
had left from her life with him.
Each night I’d kick the covers off, so she’d have to tuck me in again, it was a
game we’d play. That night she perched herself on the edge of my bed and fluffed
the pillows, “My darling Biju, tonight I will tell you what happened to Grandfather.”
I nestled your newborn mother in my arms when it came to me that night.
The bedroom door creaked open, spilling moonlight across the floor, and
waking me. Something heavy and gleaming snaked into the room, its body scraping
against the crooked floorboards.
Terrified, I lay still beneath the covers beside Grandfather, quieted my
breath, and shrank within myself. I slipped one hand beneath my pillow and gripped
the handle of Grandfather’s katar. He’d insisted we keep it in the bedroom, despite
The room swam with nutmeg and cinnamon, honey thick and saccharine.
It tasted the humid air beneath, us searching for warm flesh with its sallow
forked tongue, piercing between two plump human lips. Its rippling, golden scaled
body, coiled the bedstead and slithered from my side to Grandfather’s, its opal
beaded tail rattling.
I grasped your mother’s tiny body tighter and watched Grandfather’s chest
heave with his deep breaths. I didn’t have the strength to protect both of them, so I
made my choice.
Grandfather’s bare foot listed above the covers; toes curled.
At the edge of the mattress, a bald topped, golden fleshed head, which bled
into rows of scales at the neck, watched him sleep. It slipped onto the bed, its
opalescent eyes betraying no emotion. It swept forwards, top jawed needle teeth,
protruding from those rosebud lips, and sunk its simitar fangs into the soft meat of
Grandfather yelped, and twisted, then fell silent once more, paralyzed.
The Naga unhinged its jaw, stretching beyond the physics of its human face.
Lips split towards its opal eyes, in a taut sneer, before flaring its cavernous, crimson-
Tears soaked my pillow and acid burned my throat.
The Naga drew Grandfather’s naked body free from the twisted sheets, and
with constricted swallows, forced him down its twisted gullet.
Your mother stirred in my arms. I looked down at her peaceful face, and I
knew I’d made the right choice.
The Naga swollen from its feast slithered up the bed, its body changing.
Golden scales melted into shrinking bronze flesh, its tail split and became two long
muscular legs. Arms sprouted from along the creature’s torso, growing fingers,
knuckles, and tufts of black hair.
It wrapped an arm around me in a passionate embrace, and twisted its
naked, icy frame against mine. Strings of opal beads rattling on its ankles.
Its hand reached further, fingers resting against your mother’s miniscule
body. “So warm,” it whispered; forked tongue caressing my ear lobe.
I tried to stay calm, my heart screaming in my chest. I leant down and placed
your mother into her bassinet on the floor and prayed. I turned over to face the Naga.
Its handsome face, not unlike that of your grandfather. I stared into its eyes, those
unchanging frozen pearls. Black twists of long beard played against my goose-
bumped chest. It licked its lips and pressed them to my neck.
I pushed myself upwards and drew the katar from under my pillow. Raising it
above my head, I thrust it into the Naga’s chest, tearing through its stolen skin.
The Naga mewled and clawed at its chest. The torn human skin revealed
rows of scales beneath, which fragmented like shredded cloth, revealing more
human skin. Layers peeled back like reems of burning paper, pages curling and
twisting over themselves. It hissed and tore at the katar, which dropped free from the
I toppled backwards onto the floor; the Naga rose above me on its shriveled
More folds of skin and scales ruptured and peeled away from its center,
turning the creature inside out. It shrunk beneath crumpled layers of shed snakeskin,
head compressing like a crushed eggshell. Its eyes wept pearlescent tears, like
white molasses, pooling on the mattress; and deflated in their diminutive sockets.
The Naga crumbled, into an ashen pile of scales, needle teeth, and rows of
opal rattle beads.
Grandma patted her necklace and nodded to me, “Your Grandfather might
still be here, if he’d stayed under the covers.
”What is your favourite horror sub-genre?
I have always been very drawn to supernatural horror. I love stories of creatures
from the beyond, portals to other worlds, and monsters that crawl out from under
your bed. I love speculative fiction, bending our reality just slightly, enough to make
you say, “Maybe, just maybe, that could happen.”. I am attracted to the same genre
when it comes to my writing. I tend to lean away from slashers, murder mysteries
and the like, as I see enough real horror when it comes to my day job. Truth really is
stranger than fiction. I like to work on the premise of “what if?” when looking at story
A good example of my inspiration for my favourite horror sub-genre would be the
things I encounter on my daily commute to work. I don’t drive (mostly due to never
having got my arse in gear to learn), so, I travel by bus, from where we live in the
Highlands of Scotland, to Stirling City for work. The journey takes an hour and a half
winding through ancient woodland, over craggy waterfalls, and past fields and fields
of everything from, sheep, to Christmas trees, to the lovable “heiland coos”, as
pronounced correctly. Sometimes as the bus winds round corners of forest, where
the ground is entirely moss, and fairy rings. You’d swear you saw a gigantic hand
gripping a tree trunk, but you’re moving so quickly, before you can blink, you’ve
The weather is also very odd, you enter an area where the mist hovers low in the
valley, like a snaking blanket, as the sun hits with a pink glow as you dive below its
cover, and find yourself trudging through something like Silent Hill, before finding a
patch of snow that lasts between two exact rode signs and no further. You rush past
a field of sheep where this one large, grey sheep, seems to tower over the others, its
legs seem almost human. Wait what was that? And then you’re gone. Plus, once you
hit the city, we have the Wallace Monument, which looks like it should contain the
eye of Sauron and be scouring the city for hobbits.
I find myself staring out of the window and wondering “what if?” to a lot of the more
peculiar things I pass. What if that upturned tree holds a passage beneath its roots to
a dark and hidden world like Clive Barker’s Midian? What if that was a wolf in
Throw a little science fiction into the supernatural horror sub-genre, with the odd
portal and strange potion, and I’m hooked.
Pippa Bailey (she/her)
Pippa Bailey is a foul-mouthed queer horror author, voice actor, reviewer & all-round
She lives in a tiny cottage in the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Myk Pilgrim.
When Pippa isn’t writing she spends her time collecting tasteless memes, drinking
too much tea, making terrible puns, and generally bothering the local wildlife.
You can sneak up on her if you are very very quiet, but it is not advisable.
Pippa’s work has appeared alongside Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Jack
Ketchum, Joe R Lansdale, and the marvellous Myk Pilgrim in Dark Faces Evil Place
Also in 13 Wicked Tales: a Wicked Library Anthology, featured on the Wicked Library
podcast, Frisson Comics, Sirens Call Magazine, & Holiday-themed horror collections
Poisoned Candy: Bite-sized Horror for Halloween, Bloody Stockings: Bite-sized
Horror for Christmas, Rancid Eggs: Bite-sized Horror for Easter, & Devil’s Night: Bite-
sized Horror for Halloween.
Her story Achromatica will appear in Chromophobia: A Strangehouse Anthology by
Women in Horror, edited by the brilliant Bram Stoker award-winning Sara Tantlinger
and published by Rooster Republic Press. Due out in Summer of 2022.
Watch along deadflicks “The Black Imp”
That time of the month intro: https://youtu.be/cOjpcGFTgfU
Deadflicks new intro: https://youtu.be/daeVZ6tmGP4