An ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical sword-fighting, Dana Fredsti works with big cats at an exotic feline conservation center, loves good wine, bad movies, zombies, and surfing. Under the nom de plume Inara LaVey, she’s written stories such as “Succubusted” and a novel called Ripping the Bodice for Ravenous Romance. Under her own name, she had a murder mystery called Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon published by James A. Rock, Inc. You can keep up with her at www.danafredsti.com.
Dana will be reading her Morbid Curiosity story “Hell on Heels” tomorrow (11/7) at the Pegasus Bookstore in downtown Berkeley at 7:30.
Q: What does morbid curiosity mean to you?
A: A healthy interest in things other people might consider rather...unhealthy. For instance, natural disasters, diseases, death, cemeteries, the supernatural, ???
Q: How did you discover Morbid Curiosity magazine?
A: Through the editor, Ms. Loren Rhoads, who was (and is) a friend. Her writing also inspired me to take mine more seriously.
Q: Did you have a favorite piece in the magazine?
A: I had over half a dozen essays in Morbid Curiosity magazine and pretty much love all of them. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably either be “The Skeleton Wore Fishnets” (MC#5), about my experience making a very bad B movie, or “A Day at the Cathouse” (MC#4), which talks about volunteering at the exotic feline breeding facility.
Q: What was your favorite story in the zine that wasn’t one of your own?
A: The one my ex wrote about the death of our cat in the very first issue of MC (editor’s note: “Long Drive Home” by Brian Thomas). It still makes me laugh and cry when I read it.
Q: How did “Hell on Heels,” the piece you have in Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues, come to be written?
A: I was young, broke, and needed a job, so I worked for a few days in a bikini bar as a dancer. It was a very odd experience. When I was trying to figure out what to submit to Loren for my next essay, that came up. She may have even asked me to write about it. Loren's idea of what is morbid is very broad. :-)
Q: Is there anything you’d like to add to that story now?
A: No, but I wouldn't mind rewriting it just a little. Y'know, a tweak here and there. But I pretty much said everything I wanted to say about it at the time.
Q: Do you have a tale to tell about your involvement with the magazine or the book?
A: It's all been good! I really enjoyed the absinthe-tasting party Loren and Mason hosted after one of the events back in the day.
Q: Have you ever been involved in the live events?
A: I did the West Hollywood Book Fair panel hosted by Del of Dark Delicacies (that's just fun to say!), getting up at 4 a.m. to drive from SF to LA the day of the event. It was totally worth it. Even the drive down was enjoyable, once I dragged myself out of bed. I also did the show at the Hypnodrome and OMG, that was just a blast! I've never been there before or heard of the Thrillpeddlers, but now that I have, I'll be going back. The readings were all fantastic, the vignettes by the Thrillpeddlers were hilarious, disturbing, and memorable, and the theater itself is just too much fun.
Q: Have you had another morbid experience that would make a good story?
A: I'm sure I could dredge up one or two if pressed.
Q: What are you up to these days?
Aieeee!!! I have a multiple-book contract with Ravenous Romance and am working on a zombie book right now, as well as the sequel to my murder mystery and various other projects. Between work, writing, promotion, my boyfriend, and my thirteen cats, life is full.
Causes Loren Rhoads Supports