Each week, I will be introducing you all to a contributor to Stim. If you're on Twitter, you can tune in on Saturday evenings around 6pm where each person will talk a little about themselves and answer any Qs you have; else you can pop over here to read all about it in condensed form.
Starting us off is Grace Au, a UK based writer contributing a piece of short fiction about hungry ghosts.
"This piece is partially inspired by listening to conspiracy podcasts about hungry ghosts, and partially constructed from childhood memories that I have of a constant, red ember glowing in my grandparents' shrine, illuminating their flat at night. I remember my gung gung (grandfather) accidentally waking me early each morning when he replenished the food offerings and incense for the spirits. Now knowing the context of those offerings makes me wonder how I would have reacted with this information as a small child, and what if I'd woken, blearily eyed in the dim light, to the sight of an ancestor in the form of a hungry ghost.
I only really write when I feel like I'm bursting at the seams with a story, memory or dream that needs to be pinned down before it floats away into the void of my head, which means a lot of frenzied typing between the hours of 11pm and 4am. It's extremely satisfying to wake up to something that can be edited in the morning even though I'm often sleepy.
I avidly read amateur horror stories online, listen to true crime podcasts and I'm a big fan of Buzzfeed Unsolved, Twin Peaks and Stranger Things, so I think that all these influences seep into my subconscious to produce sometimes surreal work on reconstructed memories and ethereal feelings. I don't know if it comes across but I often try to reconstruct in writing, a feeling that I get from, for example, a song (often by Lorde), a building or a memory.
Grace's pitch immediately sung to me, and having worked with them over at 3 of Cups Press on On Anxiety I knew they would create something truly beautiful.
Tune in next week to here from Helen Carmichael!
Grace Au (them/they) is a part time jewellery-maker, part time writer, part time jack-of-all-trades. They have a degree in Design from Goldsmiths, University of London and are currently studying Architecture at Newcastle University. They spend their days thinking about memes, mental health, horror fiction, politics and using design to make life more accessible to everyone. Their writing is featured in On Anxiety from 3 of Cups Press. You can buy their zines and jewellery here.
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