Author Interview – Melrose Dowdy

More From This Author

Books & Stories
I post my illustrations daily on Twitter. While I'm not open for commissions, I do explain the stories attached to the illustrations there. @MelroseDowdy
Like many artists, I also have a Linktree showing all the places you can reach me. melrosedowdyart

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera

"Death in the Highlands"

Anthology: The Devil Who Loves Me
Release Date: June 23rd, 2023
Preorders: Paperback | Kindle
About the Author:Melrose Dowdy is an illustrator working primarily in digital media and an author of speculative fiction. After obtaining an education in fine art, Melrose began a cross-country journey in the USA seeking out the most inspirational art and stories to inspire greater creativity. Melrose stalks the internet like a regular ghost and often shares art at Twitter and various Discord servers.
Q & A

How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?

I'm ecstatic and elated to have this opportunity to share my work with others!

What inspired the idea for your story?

I wanted to tackle the subject of the struggle against Death, the yearning toward life, in an artful way. That meant I had to personify Death and create a context in which this drama could play out. I couldn't think of a more mystical and foreboding place than the Highlands of Scotland.

We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?

I illustrate all my writing, which means the writing takes twice as long.

Clearly, you’ve succeeded at writing a captivating story for GrendelPress, but we all start somewhere. What advice would you give yourself as a young writer?

Writing short stories means you can learn from your mistakes twice as fast. The worst mistake is tackling a large project as an amateur.

We’d like to argue that every good story makes both the author and the readers feel something. What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with your story?

Death can be cheated, and it should be every now and then. It's a person with a personality. It can be charmed and bargained with. Death passes over people who deserve a little more time to live. Obviously Death is known for its cruelty, but it's merciful and generous, too.

What do you love most about your story’s genre?

Horror works best for me when it's crossed with other genres like fantasy or romance, and that's the effort I made with Death in the Highlands.

Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?

Peter S. Beagle is a favorite author of mine because of The Last Unicorn. I never stop mentioning how skillfully he tackles themes of transformation and death in that novel specifically.

What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?

I spend more time writing fantasy because it pulls from tried-and-true archetypes and themes that we know can move our hearts. The lake should have a lady in it. The ailing kingdom has a sick king. The world of the afterlife is not so far away as it seems. These symbols allow us to touch a spirit that's older and greater than ourselves.

If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?

I'm working on a series of YA short stories with a titular character called Sarah Lambert. She lives in the afterlife world, and her job is to deliver people there. Unfortunately, things in the afterlife are run by bureaucracies just as they are on Earth. A web of red tape and middle management absurdity turn the process into chaos. The Bureau of Psychopomps lost her boyfriend while delivering him to the afterlife, and she is seeking him out.
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