[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]
Nina Allan was born in Whitechapel, London, grew up in the Midlands and West Sussex, and studied Russian literature at the University of Exeter and Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
“I wrote my first short story at the age of six. Recurring obsessions include old clocks and rare insects, forgotten manuscripts and abandoned houses. Writers who have inspired and continue to inspire me include among many others Vladimir Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Auster, J. G Ballard, Roberto Bolano, M. John Harrison, Shirley Jackson, Kelly Link, and of course Christopher Priest, my partner and first reader. We live and work in the historic seaside town of Hastings, East Sussex.
My stories have appeared regularly in premier British speculative fiction magazines Interzone, Black Static and Crimewave, and have featured in the anthologies Best Horror of the Year #2, The Year’s Best SF #28 and The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2012 and 2013. My story ‘Angelus’ won the Aeon Award in 2007, and short fiction of mine has shown up on BFS and BSFA shortlists on several occasions.
A first collection of my short fiction, A Thread of Truth, was published by Eibonvale Press in 2007, followed by my story cycle The Silver Wind in 2011. My most recent books are the story collection Microcosmos (NewCon Press March 2013) the novella Spin (TTA Press 2013) and Stardust: The Ruby Castle Stories (PS Publishing April 2013). My first novel, The Race, set in an alternate and near-future version of southeast England, will be published in summer 2014 by NewCon Press.”
Nina was kind enough to chat with me about her Shirley Jackson Award nominated novella, THE GATEWAY.
Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your story and what inspired you to write it?