Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Erin Fanning knits some spooky tales!

Cate: Yay, Erin Fanning's here for my special Halloween celebration. Erin, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Erin: I split my time between the mountains of central Idaho, my home state, and the lakes and forests of northern Michigan, where my husband grew up. Both places are quiet and remote, perfect for generating story ideas and allowing the imagination to go wild.

Cate: Sounds perfect for writing! What do you love most about Halloween?
Erin: Trick or treating with my nieces and nephews. I love their enthusiasm and wandering the neighborhoods with them, and, of course, sampling all their candy. It makes me feel like a kid again.

Cate: Any favorite Halloween stories you’d care to share?
Erin: The remoteness of where I live has greatly influenced my writing with everything from a mountain biking guidebook to kayaking articles to nature essays. But the deep forest and soaring mountains have particularly sparked my imagination, helping me write many fantasy and horror short stories.

In 2008 Sam’s Dot published my collection of short stories, The Curse of Blackhawk Bay : “Around Lake Trillium strange events occur. Children disappear, ghosts appear, and a man bursts into flames. The lake itself is inhabited by something vast and dark. With each event there appears a crow--but what does it want? Who will be next to confront the secret of the lake and of Blackhawk Bay?”

And some of my individual stories can be found for free on the Internet like:

Cate: Very cool! Tell us about your latest release.
Erin: I’m currently editing Blood Stitches, the first book in the Yarn Weavers series, an urban-fantasy-romance based on Mayan mythology (how’s that for a genre-buster?) due out from Lyrical/Kensington May 2015.

Cate: LOVE mashed genres :) Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Erin: Here’s the back-cover blurb: “It’s called El Toque de la Luna—Touched by the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…

Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster…And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.”

Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Erin: In 2009, an Italian woman, trapped underneath her bed after an earthquake, kept herself occupied by knitting. I read about her around the same time I was learning how to knit. I imagined firefighters digging through the rubble and finding her wrapped in a knitted afghan.

The story tumbled around in my brain, somehow intersecting with my interest in Mexican culture. From there, I discovered the Mayan twin myth and the battle with the demon Vucub Caquix. Bit and pieces of Mayan mythology adhered themselves to my imagination, morphing into a history of magic and needlework.

Soon Gabby and her family formed, along with a question: what if you could not only knit your way to safety but also create a disaster through knitting. It wasn’t long afterward that Blood Stitches pushed its way through my fingertips.

Cate: Anything else you’d like to share?
Erin: For more information, please visit my website:

Cate: Thanks for being part of the Halloween bash, Erin!