Talking Scared

137 – Kelly Link & Once Upon a Time in a Ghost Story

April 04, 2023 Neil McRobert Episode 137
Talking Scared
137 – Kelly Link & Once Upon a Time in a Ghost Story
Show Notes

Fairy tales are the first horror stories, right? Kids being eaten by witches, narcissistic imps who steal your babies. That’s the good stuff. 

Kelly Link knows a thing or two about the darkness inside fairy tales, and how to (re)tell them for maximum effect. She is a superstar of the short story, a Pultizer nominee and someone who just plain knows a lot of interesting stuff. 

Her new collection, White Cat, Black Dog takes some of your favourite stories and twists them into new shapes. Some you’ll recognise, most you won’t (unless you have a degree in folklore or just run to Wikipedia to look smart). We talk about how and why she reinvents stories, why she wishes every story was a ghost story, and how she controls the extreme weirdness in her fiction. 

Oh, and she also indulges me as I ask her lots of questions about my favourite story in years. One she wrote. You’ll be sick of me saying the title by the end.


White Cat, Black Dog was published on March 28th 

Other books mentioned in this episode include:

  • The Women Could Fly (2022), by Megan Giddings
  • Get In Trouble: Stories (2015), by Kelly Link
  • When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson (2021), ed. by Ellen Datlow
  • Our Share of Night (2022), by Mariana Enriquez 

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