Interview With E.F. Schraeder, Author of Liar

E.F. Schraeder writes about reality-adjacent themes and believes in magic, ghosts, public schools, and dogs. The author of Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021) and the story collection Ghastly Tales of Gaiety and Greed: Unauthorized and Haunted Cedar Point (Omnium Gatherum, 2020), E.F. Schraeder was also a semi-finalist in Headmistress Press’ 2019 Charlotte Mew Chapbook Contest.

In addition to two poetry chapbooks, Schraeder’s creative work has appeared in many journals and anthologies including Strange Horizons, Birthing MonstersMystery Weekly Magazine, Dark Voices, Sinister Wisdom, The Feminist Wire, Lavender Review, and others.

Check out the author’s IndieMuse page.

Does one of the main characters in Liar hold a special place in your heart? If so, please explain.

Totally—Rainey is a horror fan, which made her perspective really intriguing to write. Between the struggles she faces and her psychological descent, her awareness of and enthusiasm for the genre provided a fertile backdrop.

How did you choose the setting for Liar?

Like Rainey, I also lived in Vermont. The idea of setting a story in that kind of quiet, rural landscape took root then. There is something chilling about the silence one finds in that kind of environment.

Do you write listening to music? If so what?

Yes! I love listening to music while writing (and pretty much everything else). What I’m working on usually influences those choices heavily, so I don’t have a band or artist I always listen to, but it is almost always loud, whatever it is. There are some Lianne La Havas songs that I could just have on repeat forever, but I mix it up a lot. While writing Liar, I listened to mostly instrumental music, and really just kept it broody. Art of Noise was a frequent go-to choice since their songs don’t always have lyrics. For the project I’m working on now, I’ve been cranking Siouxsie, LeTigre, and The Savages.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I have way too many favorites to have favorites, but in the under-appreciated category, I’d probably have to include Kallocain by the Swedish poet and novelist Karin Boye. Written in 1940, it’s an early dystopian novel that has found a larger audience over time. In it Boye imagines some pretty terrifying privacy invasions, and given her personal life as a politically engaged, out lesbian writing about these issues at a particular moment in time, I find a lot of meaning and inspiration in both her work and life.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

From that fevered first draft to the editing stages, I’d say a little of both.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. It’s hilarious and a little creepy.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I’m a habitat gardener with an organic vegetable garden, so I’m knee deep in gardening tasks this time of year. I grow some heirloom veggies and am always trying to trick hot peppers into growing happily in Ohio. I have a house full of rescued animals, and I’m pretty invested in making my dogs and cats happy, so there’s that, too.

Would you rather have an endless summer or an endless winter?

I may not hate winter as much as Rainey, but I would pick 100% Summer.

Are you a morning person or night owl?

Mornings, disturbingly early.

Do you have any new series planned?

Yes! I’m working on a YA-friendly supernatural tale that I’m planning as a series. There’s a snarky queer lead, a premonition, a ghost. Since there’s a murder she tries to stop before it happens, it’s sort of a reverse mystery. I imagine it as a series because I already have the next crisis in mind for her, poor thing.

Thanks to E.F. for stopping by IndieMuse. Check out the IndieMuse review for Schraeder’s Liar: Memoir of a Haunting

More to explore…

“A Dying Moment” by Gavin Gardiner

He’d come to believe that however he did it would result in this final, stretched second. The pull of a trigger would warp into hours, the leap in front of a train would become a Hollywood slow-mo sequence, and the moment of the concrete’s ferocious arrival—as this woman was experiencing—would stick like a broken record.

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