Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of this year's short story collection! As the editor, how would you describe your thematic approach when arranging the short story collection?
Paula Guran: I consider a great deal when trying to determine story order. Not everyone reads an anthology from cover to cover with the stories in the sequence an editor selects, but for those who do you like to provide a journey of sorts. You don’t want to bunch stories with the same tone together nor do you want a story to leap out at the reader as totally different than the rest. The first story needs to represent, to give the “flavor” of the rest of the volume. The final story may be one that simply “stuns” or that’s overall feeling is one of finality.
BD: As the collection’s release will be aptly time with Halloween, what do you feel makes The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: Volume Two truly stand out, making it a must-have for those getting into the spooky holiday spirit?
PG: This is the thirteenth volume in the series. (There was a name change when it changed publishers.) The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror has had a while to establish what it is. I think, overall, the stories show a broad range of what “dark fiction” can be and is at this point in time. Horror, as it is often said, is an emotion. Folks react differently with emotions. There’s probably a little something of everything offered each year. Plus, although well-established writers are certainly part of the mix, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror also often introduces newer authors to readers.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
PG: I have a new series starting: The Year’s Best Fantasy. The first volume will cover this year, 2021, and be published mid-2022. There’s also Far Out: Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy that came out in late July 2021. I’m rather proud of that one and hope it gets more attention than it has so far.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: Volume Two and your other work?
PG: You can always check my website: paulaguran.com. It suffered a server failure last year and lost most of the content, but I try to update it as needed. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.