Caitlin Starling


When you started writing, was there a specific genre you wanted to write in? And what would you say was your big break?


I know exactly what you mean about being a magpie when it comes to information. I sometimes feel that the less the useful it is likely to be, the more likely I am to remember it. What topics are you currently mining for unusual or esoteric trivia?


I would definitely read your take on SUBNAUTICA. What is it about that game that appeals to you, and what games are you currently playing or have you enjoyed recently?


Cassandra Khaw has a novella in Walk Among Us and she writes for Ubisoft Montreal. And you are working on more narrative design and interactive fiction. What attracts you to game narrative and can you imagine a novel like The Luminous Dead as a game? (I can.)


I was really into the clan books and the sourcebooks for Cyberpunk and World of Darkness. And I was enjoying reading about the Glass Walker tribe of werewolves, this interesting blend of a 1990s cyberpunk aesthetic and World of Darkness garou. Is there the possibility that you’ll be writing for other parts of World of Darkness?


You’ve talked about how Evelyn had been around for a while, how she was a role-playing character, but that she wasn’t enough of a protagonist, and so you stuck her in a trunk. What is the story behind her coming out of the trunk and what did you have to learn about her to make her a full-bodied person?


Did Jane in THE DEATH OF JANE LAWRENCE come about in the same way as Evelyn? From the opening chapters she pops off the page very strongly. Had she been brewing in your imagination for a while?


I think you and Aliya Whiteley and also Chana Porter are all writing very personal varieties of surreal, disquieting fiction which melds an exploration of the human body, and body horror, with strong statements about the potency, sensuality, and weirdness of nature. What does nature mean to you, as a writer and as a 21st-century anthropocene human?


You mention ‘cycles of grief and trauma’ in The Luminous Dead, and your main characters are all to differing degrees dealing with pain and problems. And in Yellow Jessamine the past becomes poison, roots from the living entwined with the dead. How hard is it for you to get into the right frame of mind to write those people in those situations? And do you ever find you need a break away from them? Do you become fatigued putting eviscerating their souls on the page?


You probably can’t talk about the newest thing you’ve pitched, yet, or about the fantasy horror, but I think THE DEATH OF JANE LAWRENCE is going to make a real big mark. How would you characterise it for someone new to your work? And what other books or writers would you like to signal boost?