I personally love to read anthologies, so when I heard about Unspeakable, which is a queer gothic anthology, I was immediately interested! Today is my stop on the blog tour, and I’m proud to share an interview with one of the authors, Katalina Watt, who wrote the story Laguna and the Engkanto.
1. What were your main inspirations for your story, Laguna and the Engkanto?
My current work explores Filipino folklore and this story is about an engkanto, an umbrella term for various environmental spirits or creatures. My specific engkanto is similar to a sirena or mermaid, but I wanted to keep an ambiguity; it’s gender is never stated and it is both beautiful and terrifying. This is also a coming of age story about Laguna’s sexual awakening in adolescence, as well as exploring women’s relationships with each other, their own bodies, and sense of self.
2. What has your experience as an author been like so far?
I’ve had the joy of working with various small publishers on projects from anthologies to literary magazines, and it’s been very inspiring collaborating with other writers and artists who have a specific vision and are creating a platform for voices that have been marginalised or underrepresented in the industry. My day job in publishing has given me an insight into the publication process, but seeing your work being supported and enjoyed is a phenomenal feeling.
3. What is your favourite kind of reader response?
For my work that is explicitly horror, I am always delighted when readers tell me they were genuinely terrified. For my speculative work, which falls more into fantasy and science fiction, it’s great to hear that a reader is immersed in the world you’ve created. My experience has been that Filipino folklore isn’t particularly well known in the UK, and I’ve enjoyed introducing my retellings of these tales to a new audience.
4. Do you have any strange or funny writing habits? If so, what are they?
I listen to atmospheric soundscapes and tend to do a lot of bizarre-looking research – not only while writing at my laptop but out in the world while the story is percolating in my mind. Recently, while on a hiking holiday in the Highlands of Scotland, my partner was looking at me askance as I was studying some wild animal remains and making delighted sounds.
5. What book would you recommend to anyone?
As an ex-bookseller I’m always dubious to make blanket recommendations, but one of my favourite books is a short story collection: ‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter – fairytale/folk tale retellings with glorious and vivid prose exploring feminism, sexuality, and the Gothic.
14th – Becca @astoldbybex ( https://beccaleighanne.com/ ), excerpt post
15th – Jim @gnhorror ( https://gingernutsofhorror.com/index.html ), review
16th – Kate @yourtitakate ( https://yourtitakate.wordpress.com/ ), review & possibly some aesthetics
17th – Emmy @saskeah ( https://booksbeyondbinaries.blog/ ), story previews & interviews with trans & non binary authors
18th – Lauren @northernplunder ( https://northernplunder.com/ ), review
19th – Steph @stephlikesbooks ( https://stephlikesbooks.blogspot.com/ ), review
20th – Lili @utopiamind ( https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/ ), review
22nd – Wendy @whatthelogsaid ( https://whatthelog.com/ ), review
23rd – Emily @ashortbooklover ( https://ashortbooklover.wordpress.com/ ), review
24th – Lauren @gothicbookworm ( https://thegothicbookworm.wordpress.com/ ), interview with one of the authors, Saint
25th – Molly @molsbymoonlight ( https://bibookishbabe23.wordpress.com/ ), first line of each story
26th – Jemma @FbooksAWTFT ( https://fantasticbooksawtft.wordpress.com/ ) , interview with the editor Celine
27th – Louise @foxesfairytale ( https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/ ), review
28th – Bec @becbentliff ( https://twobookthieves.com/), excerpt
Do you like to read anthologies?