Interview with Patterns of Orbit author Chloe Clark

Chloe Clark is an upcoming author who publishes both poetry and prose across multiple genres, with her concentration being in horror, sci-fi, and occasionally sports. She is also an epicure who is especially fond of Oreos and likes to share her recipes and kitchen hacks on her blog. Miss Clark also considers herself a horror scholar and when not writing shares her knowledge of the craft as an instructor. She is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the literary journal, Cotton Xenomorph.

Recently Horror Tree contributor Jason Ivey was able to speak with author Chloe Clark about her most recent release, a mixed genre collection called Patterns of Orbit.

Patterns of Orbit Trailer 1


Jason Ivey: If you would, please tell me (us) a little about yourself. What is your background and why do you love to write poetry and fiction?
Chloe Clark: I’ve told stories for the majority of my life and have always been interested in narrative–studying folklore for many years.
JI: The connecting theme throughout your latest collection Patterns of Orbit revolves around space/the extra-terrestrial. What inspired this theme?
CC:I love space and have always been intrigued by near future technology. I think space is something still so unexplored, which is so rare in a life of constant information.
JI: I often like to hear the story behind a story, especially the inspiration of an idea. Would you mind sharing an anecdote of what inspired the various stories appearing in your latest collection Patterns of Orbit.
CC: Honestly, a lot of stories are inspired by reading some interesting science fact and then it sitting in my brain for awhile until I’ll see something that reminds me of it. All of my stories usually begin with a visual of the first scene and then I visualize the whole story as I write a first draft. The story “The Waves Hear Every Promise…” began as I was remembering drives up to Lake Superior when I was young, and then later reading a news story about weird things found washed up on shore.
JI: Was there a story(ies) in this collection that was/were your favorite? If so, why?
CC: That’s too hard to pick! I think I have ones that are favorites for different reasons. Swingman for an example is close to my heart because it’s my sole basketball story in the collection.
JI: Was there any that struck a personal cord, or really challenged your abilities as a writer, that maybe taught you something about yourself?
CC: I think “Accidental Girls” was a hard one to write because I had to grow in to being able to write it. It did teach me that sometimes taking the time to really understand the layers of a story and its complications is as important as writing the story itself.
JI: What is it poetry that appeals to you? What is your favorite genre of poetry to write in?
CC: Poetry is very freeing in some senses because I am a very careful prose writer and I think poetry, especially free verse, allows me freedom to focus on a much smaller scale so the editing is, in many ways, a simpler process just because it’s much shorter.
JI: I’ve seen that among your bibliography was Every Song A Vengeance collection of speculative poetry that was written from the vantage point of Keanu Reeve’s popular character, John Wick. Would you mind elaborating on this project/collection a bit?
CC: I love the John Wick films and always saw Reeves’ performance as feeling like a personification of grief. Even the fact that the movies take place over a few days, but Keanu has aged a decade feels like part of that. So for me it was a way to write a collection of poems about aging and grief that used Wick as a cipher of sorts.
JI: What is it about the horror/sci-fi genre that appeals to you?
CC: I think horror and sci-fi allow me to explore characters in a deeply human way. I love the movement and pacing of a well-wound narrative and how that plays against telling stories about human emotions.
JI:I read that you are considered a horror scholar correct? Tell me (us) if you will, what interesting things have you learned in your study of the genre? What little-known facts, if any, could you share with us?
CC:I think the elements that interest me in the history of horror have been how the genre subverts so much. Horror has long been one of the most consistently ahead of its time genres.
JI: I was reading that you were given a column by the magazine Anomaly where you tasted different flavored Oreo cookies and wrote about them. What would you say your current top 5 favorites are you’ve tasted?
CC: Beyond the Original Oreo which is a classic for a reason, the Gingerbread tastes like Christmas, Mint Oreos are refreshing delights (I like them chilled in the fridge), the Rootbeer Float Oreos were terrible and wonderful at once, and the Snickerdoodle was a cinnamon-heavy bit of heaven.
JI: You also teach writing classes/courses. Would you have some advice, perhaps a hack, some bit of gained wisdom that you might could share on the craft?
CC: The number one thing I tell everyone is: know what your character loves. Whether it’s an ideal, a person, or even a hobby.
Number two is know their job: what do they do to carry them through the world.
JI: Besides your passion for horror/sci-fi, writing, and Oreos, it seems that you are also a gourmet. In fact, one can see this in your stories, as well as your blog where you share recipes. Do you have any new recipe you would like to share? Or, perhaps how it relates to your passion/craft as a storyteller?
CC: To me writing is very like cooking, it’s all about crafting flavors and senses to create something that feels like it was always meant to go together.
Thanks for your time Chloe! You can find out more about Chloe Clark and her current projects by visiting her website here.

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