Tag Archives: R.J. Cavender

Q&A with Editor R.J. Cavender on His Writers Retreat at The Stanley Hotel, Birthplace of THE SHINING by Stephen King

Forty years ago this month a promising horror writer checked into Room 217 at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. The place crept him out so much it inspired his third published novel. You might have heard of it. It’s called The Shining. Story goes that Stephen King picked the hotel after opening a U.S. atlas and randomly pointing at a location, which turned out to be Boulder, Colorado. He wanted to get away from Maine so his next novel would have a “different sort of background.” It certainly worked.

Now on the anniversary of that trip, editor R.J. Cavender has organized a writers retreat at the haunted hotel in the Rockies for a group of authors looking for similar inspiration. It may be a brilliant idea or — if things turn out as well as they did for Jack Torrance — the worst idea of all time.

Before leaving on his trip this week, the intrepid Cavender answered a few questions for SF Signal. So, without further ado, heeeeeere’s R.J.!


JAMES AQUILONE: Why have a writers retreat at the Stanley Hotel? After all, Jack Torrance didn’t get much writing done during his stay in the Rockies.

R.J. CAVENDER: On the contrary! Jack was prolific, just very repetitive. To answer the question, though…why not? I’ve always dreamed of staying in the hotel from The Shining, so why not stay at the version that actually inspired the book? And with 40 of my author friends! It’s such a gorgeous, stately old place. Almost time to find out if Room 217 is haunted or not…
Continue reading

MIND MELD: Horrified by Horror – The Books, Films and Shows That Messed Us Up

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Why do we check under the bed for monsters or dread swimming in the ocean or sleep with the lights on? Most likely it’s because of a horror movie or novel. Maybe you watched or read it as a kid or even as an adult; maybe it was temporary or continues to this day. Nonetheless, the horror genre is responsible for many of our fears. And with that in mind we asked our esteemed panel the following question…

Q: What horror tale or tales (novel, short story, movie, TV show, comic book) have messed you up?

Continue reading

MIND MELD: Our Non-Writer Influences

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

We asked this week’s panelists about their influences outside of the literary world.

Q: Who are your non-writer influences? And how have they influenced your work?

Here’s what they said…
Continue reading

MIND MELD: Our Favorite Women Horror Writers

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Inspired by such so-called “Greatest Horror Writers” lists as this and this — which include zero women — I asked our esteemed panel the following questions…

Q: Who are your favorite women horror writers? Which current women horror writers deserve more attention?
Ann VanderMeer
The founder of the award-winning Buzzcity Press, Ann VanderMeer currently serves as an acquiring fiction editor for Tor.com, Cheeky Frawg Books, and weirdfictionreview.com. She was the editor-in-chief for Weird Tales for five years, during which time she was nominated three times for the Hugo Award, winning one. Along with nominations for the Shirley Jackson Award, she also has won a World Fantasy Award and a British Fantasy Award for co-editing The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. Other projects have included Best American Fantasy, three Steampunk anthologies, and a humor book, The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. Her latest anthologies include Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution, The Time Traveler’s Almanac, and an as-yet unnamed anthology of feminist speculative fiction.

Here are some of my favorite women writers who write horror:

  • Gertrude Barrows Bennett (writing as Francis Stevens) – She wrote a number of uncanny stories in the early 20th century and has been called “the woman who invented dark fantasy.” Indeed, it has been said that her fiction was a huge influence on H.P. Lovecraft. Although not all of Stevens’ work has dated well, she was the first American woman to have her weird fiction widely published and acclaimed.
  • C.L. Moore – Catherine L. Moore was an American science fiction and fantasy writer, most often known as C.L. Moore. She was one of the first women to write in either genre, and paved the way for many other female speculative fiction writers. Her earliest stories appeared in Weird Tales and a lot of her work was very dark, hence I add her to this list.
  • Daphne du Maurier – Although her work was incredibly dark, she was still a very popular writer during her lifetime. Many of her most prominent works have been adapted into movies. My favorite is “The Birds” from Alfred Hitchcock. Although her background could be considered more from the gothic side of fiction, I find her work very dark and disturbing.

Continue reading