Mav Skye writes slipstream subversive fiction. Supergirls is the story of two women corrupted by a lifestyle whose propaganda they feed on, a dystopian narrative of sexual predation hiding inside broken ideals. The protagonists are driven by the desire for wealth and their own conditioning by the fictional heroisms of TV and the myth of the superhero and the sequel is Night Without Stars. Mav met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about her novel and the theme of predation.
Tell us about Night Without Stars.
Fear is a flighty little feather. Blown one way, it can turn the strongest men into cowards, blown another direction, it can spur the weak to become warriors. We don’t know how we will respond or react until the fear feather tickles that little trigger inside every single one of us, that little trigger called SURVIVAL.
Night without Stars is about the survival beast inside, and how our lovely Supergirls, Jenn and May, deal with it. There are new characters added to our story as well, a rogue priest who falls desperately in love with Jenn. And two siblings rescued from the sex trade, Tina and Tony.
Do you think it is possible to survive in a predatory world without turning to predation?
We are living in a predatory world right now. You and I may live peacefully in our homes, but there are monsters out there. Possibly right next door. Down the street, a wolf in sheep’s clothing preaches at the local church. They are in our schools, work places, in our politics. Predators perceive innocence and goodness as weakness. They are constantly sizing up the gentle and naïve, sniffing the air for fear.
Because fear is what first turned them into the monsters they are now. Fear can strip power or empower.
Predators don’t come out of the womb as monsters. Not most anyway. No, predators are created when someone hurts them, someone steals their power. The emerging predator copes with the fear and the pain by identifying with the tormentor, by becoming the monster.
Is it possible to survive in a predatory world without turning to predation? Yes. But we must guard our hearts and minds, because every single one of us is susceptible to the beast within and without.
How does Supergirls 2 compare to 1?
The first book introduces us to Jenn and May, their desperate attempt to reach for their dreams by conning a bad guy (Piggy) out of his money. Obviously, their plan isn’t so simple, and it ends tragically for the sisters. The story is told from Jenn’s pov, and the story teeters on the edge of reality.
In Supergirls 2, we take the plunge all the way into the ghostly realm. Jenn and May are in their own world, and they pull others into their spiraling cycle of love, madness and survival. They find peace and family with a complete set of strangers (whom we get to know intimately as the story is written in multiple POV’s). It’s the American dream before it turns into the American nightmare.
Both books definitely have animalistic themes. And I have to admit that there is something of a cautionary tale for adults in them. The first had the obvious theme for a pig. I kept seeing Bells as this enormous, pink pig with an apple in his mouth, struggling on the floor in front of the fire. He is the ultimate in decadence and filthy rich lifestyle. He has a sadistic imagination where he is the ultimate god of his world.
The second book uses imagery that leads to “the beast within” theme. The story opens in a fairytale way with innocence and curiosity…by the end of the first chapter a man in a wolf mask is knocking on the door and I hope readers can just hear the old wolf’s words “Little pig, little pig let me come in!”. The single scene immediately impacts the rest of the story (and characters.) The suspense won’t let you go until the end.
Tell us what else is on the cards for you this year?
Oh, the usual literary riff raff. Let’s see, I’m shooting for October (again!) to release Wanted: Single rose, my first full-length horror novel. I’m also finishing up a draft of an extremely long (about 120k) small town crime story based on the town I grew up as a teen. It’s called Devil’s Playground.
Also, writing the third novella in the Supergirls series, of course, and you can be the first to know that I’m writing ZOMBIES. The book I’m currently working on is about a young girl who gets trapped in a doomsday prepper’s grain silo immediately after the apocalypse. A sadistic old woman has the only key to unlock the door, and thinks of more and more sadistic ways to torture the girl. I’m thinking about calling it Zombpunzel. Ha.
And as usual, I’m always writing new short stories here and there, and combining them with some previously published stories for my 3 Tales to Chill Your Bones series on Amazon.
Thanks Mav for a great interview.
Might as well sign up for Mav Skye’s Horror Newsletter while you’re looking around. It’ll get you a free copy of ‘Harvester of Days’