I’m stoked to have the wonderful Caroline Farrell with us today on Unusual Fiction. Caroline is a fellow Hallowe’en obsessive (she has an awesome gothic tree ) and not only does she pen supernatural tales and gritty fiction, she also writes and directs horror short films. Do yourself a favour and check out her work below.
Caroline Farrell is the author of Arkyne, Story of a Vampire, and the award-winning novel, Lady Beth. She has had several short stories published and is also the writer of the short films ADAM, the multiple prize-winning IN RIBBONS and has written and directed the short films, FRAMED, Best Short Horror Film at Underground Film Fest 2019, and HEART(h), the latter made during lockdown.
Who are your favourite directors of horror?
Oh, so many. Currently, it would be Mike Flanagan. I’ve just finished the season of ‘Midnight Mass’ and loved it. I also enjoyed ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ and ‘Doctor Sleep’. I admire Guillermo Del Toro for ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’. Jennifer Kent wrote and directed ‘The Babadook’ which I could watch over and over! From classic horror, it would have to be ‘The Innocents’ directed by Jack Clayton. The tone, pace and visuals of that film have always stayed with me. I enjoyed Brian O’Malley’s ‘The Lodgers’, and there are a lot of emerging Irish directors of horror to watch out for, including Sean Breathnach, Kate Dolan and Aislinn Clarke.
What inspires you to write for the screen?
I find it satisfying to create the narrative structure of a screenplay, and view it as a blueprint for collaboration. The real inspiration comes from working with like-minded people on set, in post-production, and to learn from the skills of the actors interpreting my work.
What projects are you working on now?
Work in progress is a novel, titled Iona’s House, a ghost story. I started writing it some years back, but personal setbacks meant that it floundered for a bit. A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to be selected for a place on the University of Limerick Winter School. I revisited the novel there, the support and encouragement from fellow students and faculty of amazingly talented writers providing me with the impetus to finish it. Support of the project was further boosted by an Arts Council professional development award, which affords me much needed time and space to work towards that final draft.
Please share an excerpt from one of your books.
Here’s a short link to a reading from Arkyne, Story of a Vampire: https://vimeo.com/468133499
I wrote this one on my blog, chapter by chapter. It started out as a screenplay, so that worked well as a blueprint for the book. What kept me going with it was the feedback that readers would send me after each chapter. So encouraging at the time, and helped me to finish it.
What are you most proud of with regards to your work.
Getting to the finish line! I can’t single out any piece of work as my proudest, because I believe that each written project is, or should be, an improvement on the last. That’s how it works for me – a constant learning process. What I am most proud of perhaps, is that I keep trying, and still love the process.