Candle in the Attic Window, an anthology of Gothic horror, is the latest release from Innsmouth Free Press. We are interviewing some of the book’s contributors. Today Mexican writer Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas talks about her story “Hitomi”.
What makes your story Gothic?
I wrote “Hitomi” thinking of a very classical idea used in Gothic fiction: the setting as a mirror for the characters’ feelings and thoughts. The story is pulled from the typical castle and transported to the city that turns out to be a labyrinth, filled with dark and humid places, so the house continues to set the mood. I also used a supernatural element at the beginning of the story that starts with a rain of black feathers and the hypnotic, almost involuntary urge to buy a book that functions as a threshold for the incursion of the foreign that, although a bit heavy, makes the literary double more notorious.
What was the source of inspiration for your story?
For a while, I’ve been wishing to write a story about the mythological figure of the bakeneko, but a tale that was not based in Japan. I wanted to work with it in a different setting. To do that, I thought of the central streets of Mexico City and its old neoclassical buildings that, today, are home to several different businesses, but seem to have gather darkness and moisture over the year. This gives them a ghostly feeling inherited from the past.
A fortunate re-reading of Aura (a novelette by Carlos Fuentes, 1962) inspired me to place the story on Donceles Street, which is filled with bookstores that sell old books.
What are your favourite Gothic movies and books?
Ever since I was little, I’ve read and re-read Poe, who is one of my favourite writers. Other than his stories, I find Polidori’s “The Vampyre”, Carmilla and Frankenstein to be wonderful.
If we are talking about movies, then Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, 1922) and the Mexican El Vampiro (The Vampire, 1957) are my favourites.
If you were the star of a Gothic TV show, what would your character be like? Would you be good or evil?
I think I would be a being that unfolds into two different entities, like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Sometimes, I’m kind of like that in real life.
Bio: Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas is a Mexican writer and a freelance copy editor. Her stories have been published in local independent magazines and anthologies like Historical Lovecraft (Innsmouth Free Press, 2011). She loves cats and has been working in a thesis on Gothic Literature for so long that it’s not sane anymore. She can be found online at www.nellygeraldine.com.