K. A. Laity is the award-winning author of Owl Stretching, Unquiet Dreams, and other works. Her bibliography is chock full of short stories, humor pieces, plays and essays, both scholarly and popular. She recently edited the brilliant anthology, Weird Noir, which contains stories by Paul Brazill, Jason Michel, Andrez Bergen and myself among others. Kate met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about hybrids and fiction.
Tell us about Weird Noir.
Weird Noir slipped out of the grate in the gutter on a wet Thursday night and took up residence on a dark corner somewhere in the inky shadows at the back of my head. I had an idea, I pitched it to Adele Wearing at Fox Spirit Books, who had enough confidence in my grim vision to tell me if I could put it together, she would publish it. So all I had to do was find a bunch of writers who tapped into the same madness. I left a sigil in the alley and they began to stream in the open crack. My only requirement for the stories was that I would be proud to have my name associated with them. So very proud. It’s a superb group of folks both established and new, but all remarkable storytellers.
How amenable to hybrids do you think Noir is?
I see noir as a mood more than a genre per se, so I think it’s very amenable to hybridity. It maybe difficult to avoid the general sense of hopelessness in the outcome — not everyone is going to make it to the end — but I could imagine, say, a noirish western, whereas something like L.A. Confidential, which worked hard for a noirish feel was undone by the ending. I suppose purists would disagree, but I’ve never much been interested in purity.
How would you elevator pitch the anthology to someone who only reads romance?
Oh, I’m so awful at promotion! Let’s see: what happens when romance takes a turn down the wrong alley, away from the lights, where the things you fear most lurk? How delicious to be bad just for a little while…
Can you see the anthology being filmed?
Absolutely — an anthology film or a series like the Twilight Zone with me as Alfred Hitchcock presenting. Taking noir out for a ramble, safely bringing it home in time to dream. Such dreams…
Or visit the Goodreads Weird Noir page for other buy links