Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your novella, Offstage Offerings! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Priya Sridhar: This book is about a haunted theater, and what a camp counselor discovers behind the scenes. Vivian is snarky about working with kids, and more so about the seeming pretentiousness of the theater; that changes when her mentor disappears, and the kids confide a dark secret. This story came from my memories of summer camp, where I was one of the bratty kids that enjoyed the stage.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in bringing the story to life, and what have been some of your creative influences?
PS: Neil Gaiman is always going to be a creative influence on me, as well Diana Wynne Jones and Jane Yolen. My creative process can be unpredictable but for this book; my plan was to follow a simple outline and then expand gradually. It's always good to write about conflict and explain how the story gets worse for the protagonist before it gets better.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Vivian’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
PS: As someone who's been laid off twice, it often feels like circumstances beyond our control determine if we are employed or not. The parts that we can control are going to interviews, working to make a good first impression, researching the place; but beyond that? It can be luck of the draw. When the time is right, we have to choose to do the right thing over our job security.
BD: What makes Unnverving Press the perfect home for Offstage Offerings?
PS: Eddie Generous is a great editor who knows horror. He and I had a few talks about how the book edits would go and was certain about the ideal direction. Then, he sent links for resources that helped me nail the tone and revise accordingly.
BD: Do you foresee expanding the novella into subsequent books or even into other entertainment mediums, if given the opportunity?
PS: Haha, if I had a nickel for every time I was asked that... In all seriousness, if there is a sequel in the cards, it'd probably be focused on one of the other counselors or students. Vivian's story is told for now, but there are always more stories in one universe. I could easily put in experiences from doing a clown camp for a week and how the clowns aren't the monsters.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
PS: I’m revising a novel about two Indian sisters that end up in a New England town with monsters and monster-hunting uncles. In addition, I'm currently posting articles on Medium about animation, literature and games.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Offstage Offerings and your other work?
PS: Visit my website at www.priyajsridhar.com to find out more about Offstage Offerings and my other books.