Chicago Review of Books Chats with Liz Hand About Curious Toys

Chicago Review of Books sat down with Liz to talk about Curious Toys, as well as researching history, Chicago, and her genre-defying work.

I’m fascinated by artists who work and live outside the mainstream — I’ve written historical novels about the 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud and the notorious Victorian painter Richard Dadd, among others. But Darger offered different challenges. He was such a genuinely strange person. He was obsessed with young girls, in particular five-year-old Elsie Paroubek, who was abducted and murdered in Chicago in 1911. Almost certainly he suffered severe abuse and trauma when he was institutionalized, and you can see that in his paintings and drawings — his artwork is often extremely disturbing and violent. And there’s been some speculation that he was a sexual predator and serial killer, and that he might even have been Elsie Paroubek’s murderer.

Read the entire interview at Chicago Review of Books.

Liz talks NYC and DC punk with Razorcake

Writer Michael T. Fournier interviewed Liz for punk zine Razorcake’s Paging All Punks, “a new series focused on interviews with writers about their involvement in the punk scene.” Their conversation touches on Liz’s involvement in the New York City and Washington, DC punk scenes, punk’s influence on her life and writing, jobs, being poor, Maine, and lots inbetween.

…I was in awe of Legs [McNeil] and John Holmstrom. I had no conception that they were just a couple of kids my age who were doing this DIY thing in a storefront. It’s very weird. I look at myself back then, and I didn’t, for whatever reason—maybe because I wanted to be a “writer,” a quote unquote writer, writing books that would be published by a publisher, or getting published in The New Yorker, you know what I mean? I had this fantasy that’s the kind of writer I was going to be.

Or I wanted to be Lester Bangs. I really wanted to be a rock critic. I had no conception of how to do it. I don’t know if it’s because I was a young woman, you know? Or because I didn’t know other people who were doing it. I knew musicians, people in bands who were performers, but I didn’t know other kinds of makers. I guess I wasn’t confident enough to put myself out there with writing.

Read the entire interview at Razorcake.

Writing, Punk & Inexplicable Experiences: Elizabeth Hand on This Is Horror Podcast

Elizabeth joined the crew at the This Is Horror Podcast to discuss her first experiences with story, writers that had an effect on her, the punk scene’s influence on her writing, Wylding Hall, PS Publishing—the famous U.K. indie genre publisher—and much more. The interview is split into two parts:

TIH 273: Elizabeth Hand on Creative Writing, Life Lessons, and the Seventies Punk Scene

Locus Magazine talks to Elizabeth about Wylding Hall, Hard Light and unresolved endings

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Locus Magazine has posted select excerpts of their October 2015 print edition interview with Elizabeth on their website. She discusses the several incarnations of Wylding Hall, how the troubled history of British folk band Fairport Convention inspired her, and how the novella’s quiet horrors play out in daylight.

Just because you’re young and really stoned and in a weird creepy place, that doesn’t mean something really weird and creepy isn’t actually happening. I like the notion, too, that you don’t know you’ve seen a ghost until afterward. There’s an Edith Wharton story called ‘Afterward’. Somebody saw something, or they didn’t see something, and then later on they put it together and realized they had seen a ghost. I wanted to play with that, the idea of sunlit horror. Most of Wylding Hall takes place during the day.

She also touches on drawing from her earlier supernatural novels in the writing of Hard Light, the third Cass Neary book, as well as teasing the fourth, The Book of Lamps and Banners.

Read more excerpts at Locus.