Today on the blog, I have the first author interview I’ve done in nearly four years. I recently had the chance to talk to horror and dark fiction writer WB Welch. WB is the author of the books Brenna’s Wing, Blood Drops, and Wet Water, along with co-author on the book The Last Letter with Tory Hunter. Her new book, Rose’s Gold, is currently available for pre-order and will release one week from today on July 29th, 2021.
Let’s start simple. For those who aren’t familiar with your work, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a bit of a mess, if I do say so myself, but I’m an author who’s struggled to find the genre I work best in. I’ve published some horror, which is super fun for me – I’m a big horror fan and have been since I was very young – but I feel like my writing really shines in my dark, literary prose. There’s more often than not a speculative element, and I try to create authentic and relatable characters. Also, pizza makes me happy.
And of course, time for the natural cliche follow-up question, what’s Rose’s Gold about?
Rose’s Gold is about a woman named Rose who wakes up in a tower with no memory of events past her adolescence. She must examine every nook and cranny of her prison in the sky to solve the mystery of who locked her away and how she might escape.
But she soon realizes the contents of the room – clothing that fits perfectly, a hairbrush that rests naturally in her hand – are her own belongings, and as she starts to piece together her past, she discovers that an even greater mystery resides in her own identity. There’s a wedding band set and a golden locket containing a photo of a family she’s convinced are her husband and children.
But things aren’t always as they seem, and sometimes desire can send you plummeting mercilessly into the depths.
It’s a dark, speculative tale about hope, perseverance, and the preservation of love.
Who are some of the authors — or even some of the works — that inspire you? Do you think any of those inspirations show through in Rose’s Gold?
For entertainment, I often enjoy tragic, moody, and/or dark movies and books. A couple movies that come to mind are Closer and Pan’s Labyrinth. I’m also a fan of anything out of this world – science fiction, fairy tales, fantasy, and horror – I enjoyed Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, and I’ve consumed entirely too much Stephen King (one of my favorites of his is Bag of Bones).
I’ve always had a wandering imagination, and I’m always amazed at these fantastical settings and creatures I’ve seen others create. I push myself to come up with something new or to find a way to present something in a new light, and I feel like that shows through in Rose’s Gold. It’s loosely inspired by Rapunzel, but it’s a literary story that takes a deep dive into the mind of someone suffering memory loss and isolation. We also get to explore this world of hers. And there’s a speculative lean that takes us past the realities of our world.
Most authors tend to skew to one end of the length spectrum when writing, be that a novel or short story. Why go the novella route?
In my writing, when an idea comes to me, I can often tell pretty immediately if it’s going to be a short story, novella, or a novel. I don’t ever want to stretch or cut a story for the sake of word count. I let the story come to its natural conclusion. Rose’s Gold never felt like it would be novel-length because the focus of the world is narrow. We are watching the character and the decisions she makes. To try to stretch it into a longer piece would have changed the story and the effect, I feel.
Much of your earlier work is in horror, though I’d personally classify Rose’s Gold as more of a psychological thriller. How do you think your previous experience writing horror helped you to create this story?
From someone who’s written a handful of horror and consumed a ton of it, I’m pretty familiar with building tension, and my time creating these dark worlds and pushing myself to come up with new ways to frighten or disturb people has helped to me to find the voice I like to use and the tone I like to create. I really like to get into my characters’ heads and experience the scenes as they would.
Who is a writer you’d love to collaborate with in the future, should you have the opportunity to do so?
I think it would be really cool to collab with Jeff VanderMeer if we’re shooting for the stars.
Rose’s Gold has a bit of a Rapunzel feel to it, albeit one that’s quickly flipped on its head as the story goes on. Was that intentional or just a product of the isolated environment the story is told in?
It was loosely intentional. The original idea came from a tall structure I saw in a field one day when taking the long drive to my dad’s house. I’m in Texas, so I’m sure this was on a farm or a ranch, but it was tower shaped and made me curious as to what its purpose was.
At the time, I had also been holding onto a photo of a woman, a dark and moody photo, that I wanted to write a story about. I decided to put the two together, and that’s when the Rapunzel element hit me, but as you said, the correlation fades as the story goes on.
Someone walks up to you on the street and asks you for a book that most people haven’t heard of. What do you recommend to them?
I’m not sure how well known this is, but The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. I devoured it in a few days and may come back and read it again someday, which isn’t something I do often as the TBR list is ever-growing.
Lightning round. Time for some rapid-fire questions.
- Waffles or pancakes? Waffles
- Coffee or tea? Tea
- Favorite holiday? Halloween, but mostly because of all the scary movies being featured on channels and streaming platforms for the month of October.
- Best Weird Al song? I know I’ve heard some of his songs, but it’s been a long time. I couldn’t name one for you.
- Favorite time of day to write? When I’m fresh out of sleep. The words flow easier.
- Cats or dogs? Doggies!
- How many Cheerios do you think you could stack on a sleeping baby’s head? At least nine
- Is the moon made of cheese or spare ribs? Follow up, would you eat it? Hopefully both. I can’t eat either, but since we’re dreaming, absolutely. Bye bye gravitational pull.
- Best weird ice cream flavor you’ve ever had? I’m not sure I’ve had a weird ice cream flavor, but I really miss the strawberry shortcake ice cream bars you can often find at gas station. I can’t eat dairy or sugar, so my current ice cream selections are very limited. I gobble them up though!
- Favorite Pokemon? Pancham!
- When you were on the Michael Brightside Podcast, how hard was it not to sing Mr. Brightside by The Killers? LOL. It honestly didn’t cross my mind, but now it’s stuck in my head.
- What’s the largest animal you think you could defeat in hand-to-hand combat? I don’t know. A wasp sent me running and made me feel like my booty was being eaten by a hive of ants. I’m not sure I’m much of a challenge for the animal world. I’m more of a hugger.
- What’s something random you collect? Enamel pins. I like getting new ones on vacation or just unique ones as I come across them. I have a cork board I put them on at home.
- Have you tried turning it off and back on again? Yup. That usually fixes it.
Do you have any future projects in the works? If so, what can you share about them?
I have a novel that is being reviewed on an R&R with an agent, and I have another novel that’s about a third of the way done that I’m going to dive back into once I finish this release. These novels fall into the same vein as Rose’s Gold, as they are dark and literary with a suspense/thriller plot. I am very excited and hopeful for both of them and can’t wait to get them out into the world.
Is there anything else you’d like the readers of this blog to know?
If you’re still reading this, thank you for your time and attention. If you’ve read my work before and you aren’t sure about Rose’s Gold, I ask that you give it a chance. I feel it’s a strong story, and I’m quite proud of this one. And if you haven’t read my books before…Hello! It’s nice to meet you. I go by WB, and if you do give my work a go, I hope you enjoy every second of it.
Some links to WB’s work:
Rose’s Gold Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B097S7HMLV
Paperbacks available on wbwelch.com
Sign up for WB’s mailing list: http://eepurl.com/hzWcvb