Zachary Roseberg is the author of Hungers as Old as this Land (Brigid’s Gate Press, May 2023), The Long Shalom (Off Limits Press, forthcoming); and a contributing author to Seize the Press‘s January 2023 issue as well as upcoming issues of The Deadlands, Dark Matter Magazine, the Shakespeare Unleashed anthology (Monstrous Books, Crystal Lake Publishing), and so much more. Here, he talks about his own brand of horror and why it’s so important to be part of a community.
Q: Tell us about your brand of horror. What are the vibes your stories create? How are you honoring your own culture and history? What do you want your readers to be haunted by long after they’ve finished reading the last line?
A: I think at this point, my biggest claim to a brand would be Jewish horror specifically. Not every story deals with Jewish lore or history, but a lot of them still have Jewish characters or inspirations. I like my stories to have a vibe of weirdness and steadily unfolding horror or drama. As far as my own culture and history goes, I love incorporating openly Jewish characters and folklore, making sure it’s represented in a unique and interesting light. Really, haunting impressions are important as well…I want this story to linger. Either the dread of what they’ve experienced and imagined, or the dread of how “this happened.”
Q: Your writing philosophy sounds simple: “Keep writing.” But it’s not that easy. What have you done to improve your craft and build your skills? What advice would you give to other writers?
A: Truly, it isn’t that simple. Really, what’s worked best for me is twofold: Not only writing, but reading. Read authors you admire, read people acclaimed, read everything in between. Having ideas is great, but you have to train yourself to express them in prose. Listening to critique and feedback is incredibly important, and never assume that you have it right the first time. Learning how to pace a story and build tension, as well as involving a reader early, are positively key.
Q: You are a known member of the horror writers’ community. What are the ways you participate in that community? What do you give to it, and what do you get from it? Why is it so important to foster genuine friendships with other writers?
A: Interaction is a chief way. It’s a pretty friendly community to just join and chat with people about books. I personally love to review things, promote others’ works, be supportive, and give feedback and readings for others. Writing is a solitary thing, and it’s up to us to make a community for one another, after all.
Q: What are you working on now, and what can readers expect from you soon? Where can folks get their hands on your work? What are you excited about?
A: I’m so excited to get more stories into the world, and to have a great writing year! I’ve got a lot upcoming: the Shakespeare Unleashed anthology, Seize the Press‘s January issue, forthcoming issues of The Deadlands and Dark Matter Magazine, and several books, especially my debut horror Western Hungers as Old as this Land, along with my pulp horror at Off Limits Press, The Long Shalom!
Zach will also be a panelist on “The Rise of Indie Horror” segment of SFF Addicts Podcast’s TBRCon2023 moderated by Tim Meyer (@SFFAddictsPod), streaming live here on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. EST.
His work sounds fascinating. I’ll check him out! Finding that balance of writing and reading is sometimes hard—I need two more hours in very day—but excellent advice