Talking Scared

33 - Jennifer McMahon and the Green Mountain State of Fear

April 07, 2021 Neil McRobert Episode 33
Talking Scared
33 - Jennifer McMahon and the Green Mountain State of Fear
Show Notes

Welcome to the Green Mountain State, lovely, liberal . . . haunted!!

Our guest is to ghost-stories what Ben and Jerry are to ice cream – Vermont’s resident ghost-writer-in-chief, Jennifer McMahon. Her new novel, The Drowning Kind takes us back to the small towns, local stores and eerie histories typical of her fiction, but with an added turning of the screw – it’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s the pool out back. 

If that sounds cheesy, it ISN’T. The Drowning Kind is an alternative type of ghost story – how alternative, and whether what lurks in the pool is even a ghost – are both subjects we dive into. Jen tells me about why she finds such darkness in Vermont’s pleasant green hills, and I get very excited to talk to someone about the state’s folklore! 

Oh, and there are index cards. Many, many index cards. For the technique-geek, or the aspiring novelist, this is some serious insight into the creative process of a master plotter. As promised in the show, here is some further detail on her system. 


The Drowning Kind is out from Gallery Books on April 6th. 

Other books we discussed include: 

  • The Invited (2019), by Jennifer McMahon
  • The House Next Door (1978), by Anne River Siddons
  • The Haunting of Hill House (1959), by Shirley Jackson
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962), by Shirley Jackson
  • “The Monkey’s Paw” (1902), by W. W. Jacobs
  • Come Closer (2003), by Sara Gran

Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to

Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.

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