A Point of Pride: Interview with C.R. Langille
C.R. Langille spent many a Saturday afternoon watching monster movies with their mother. It wasn’t long before they started crafting nightmares to share with their readers. They are a retired, disabled veteran with a deep love for weird and creepy tales. This prompted them to form Timber Ghost Press in January of 2021. They are an affiliate member of the Horror Writer’s Association, a member of the League of Utah Writers, and they received their MFA: Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.
What inspired you to start writing?
When I was in the 6th grade, I picked up a copy of The Crystal Shard written by R.A. Salvatore. It was one of those fantasy novels written in the Dungeons and Dragons setting of the Forgotten Realms. Up to that point in my life, I wasn’t a huge fan of reading, but something about that book ignited a spark in me. Soon after I read that book, I devoured every fantasy book I could get my hands on. It was at that moment that I decided I wanted to write books and entertain people the same way.
What was it about the horror genre that drew you to it?
As I read more and more, my tastes began to wander to horror. It made sense since I grew up watching horror flicks with my mom—movies like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Alien, etc. I started reading King, Koontz, and Bentley Little, and it wasn’t long before I began reading a lot of different horror authors. I’ve always enjoyed horror, so I’m not surprised I gravitated toward writing horror.
Do you make a conscious effort to include LGBTQ material in your writing and if so, what do you want to portray?
Unfortunately, early on in my writing career, I did not make an effort. However, as I matured as a person and a writer, it started to come out more. I found, too, that once I came out as genderfluid, I have written a lot more LGBTQ into my stories. I wonder if there is a correlation there or not (my guess is, yes)?
What has writing horror taught you about the world and yourself?
I like writing horror because it allows me to explore my fears in a safe environment. While I was earning my MFA, I remember in one class, the professor said we all write about a universal truth (or something similar, it was a while ago) and asked us to explore the themes in our stories, stating that if something constantly popped up, it would be what our universal truth was. For me, that was the loss of family. I don’t know how many times I’ve written about that subject in different ways. I am deathly afraid of losing my family, so I suppose one way to confront that is to write about it. As for what horror has taught me about the world… well, horror is a funny thing. I feel like horror gets used as an allegory for serious issues, and it’s neat to see different perspectives or explore something deeper, but in an entertaining way.
How have you seen the horror genre change over the years? And how do you think it will continue to evolve?
Absolutely! Horror, like the other genres, evolves with the times. I’m ecstatic to see the horror community start to take back cosmic horror and turn it around, so it isn’t so steeped with racism. You’re beginning to see trigger warnings and content warnings which is fantastic. I also love that there is a drive out there with small press publishers tackling big-world issues like Bag of Bones Press and Child Poverty or Tenebrous Press and Trans Issues. This is a wonderful community, and it makes me proud to be a part of it. I think as time marches forward, we’ll see more and more of this happen, and it warms my dark little heart.
How do you feel the LGBTQ community has been represented thus far in the genre and what hopes do you have for representation in the genre going forward?
I think we are finally getting to the point where we are seeing some amazing representation of the LGBTQ community in literature and horror specifically. We definitely have a lot more room to grow, but I think all the hard work laid down by the passionate has started to pay off in the last 5-10 years.
Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ characters in horror?
I like Monique from Hailey Piper’s, The Worm and His Kings and Eric and Andrew from Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World.
Who are some LGBTQ horror authors you recommend our audience check out?
I can’t recommend M. Regan enough. Their writing is lyrical, beautiful, and able to cut to the marrow when necessary. Another up-and-coming author who writes amazing author is Caitlin Marceau. Her writing is creepy, dark, and makes me rethink how I write my own stories.
What is one piece of advice you would give horror authors today?
Write about what scares you because when you tap into the true fear, it will transfer over to the page, and the readers will pick that up. Also, and this goes out to all writers, try and write every day, even if it is just a little bit. It won’t take long before your body and mind pick it up as a habit, and you’ll find it gets easier as you go.
And to the LGBTQ writers out there who are just getting started, what advice would you give them?
Write and write a lot. Read a lot, and not just horror. People will reject your work, and most of the time, it isn’t personal, so don’t take it as such. I’m a firm believer that a well-written story still has to land in front of the right hands on the right day because getting accepted is very subjective. You will get rejected, and that’s part of the game. Just keep trying, and eventually, you will find someone who digs what you write and will fall in love with your stories.
So well stated, as always. Your depth, sensitivity and passion are an inspiration.