Join me this week as I talk plant poisons, tasty flowers, and (fictional) animal besties with author E.F. Schraeder!
Willow Croft: As a nod to the title of an anthology one of your short stories is in (Moonflowers and Nightshade: An Anthology of Sapphic Horror https://www.samanthakolesnik.com/moonflowers-and-nightshade), what’s your favourite lethal plant, and why?
E.F. Schraeder: Oleander is lovely, but I’d have to say my favorite lethal plant is definitely hemlock. If it’s good enough for Socrates, it’s good enough for me.
Willow Croft: Contrary to your poisonous pick from above, there are plenty of edible flowers out there that are safe to eat. Have you ever used edible flowers in a recipe, and which ones/what was the recipe? Or, have you ever actually eaten a flower, recipe or no, and what did it taste like?
E.F. Schraeder: I’m basically obsessed with gardening and wildcrafting, so I’ve eaten plenty of edible flowers. Most are subtle in flavor and texture, some sweet. Pansies, dandelions, chamomile flowers, daylily, nasturtium, squash blossoms, rose petals, chicory, and others. I’ve made a lot of teas, nibbled some just as they are. To me, lavender registers as a strong taste— a pinch goes a long way. A little lavender to roasted or mashed potatoes is delightful.
Willow Croft: Another story of yours is in a techno-horror anthology called Lost Contact https://perpetualpublishing.com/product/lost-contact/. What modern-day tech most terrifies you, and what tech could you not live without?
E.F. Schraeder: I love being offline for stretches of time, but I have gotten used to email, so it might be hard to do without email forever. When it comes to techno-horror, there are plenty of modern technologies I find anywhere from annoying to unsettling: tracking and surveillance tech, embedded tech… disentangling the objects of daily life from the cloud-world sounds more appealing to me than where things seem to be headed.
Willow Croft: You mentioned that you’re a big animal lover. If you were cruising around the dark regions of space, what fictional animal (literary or movie) would you want to be your companion(s)?
E.F. Schraeder: There are so many wonderful creatures, that it’s hard to choose. Jonas from Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle has a practical appeal, but I think the fierce and loyal Aslan would be a marvelous travel companion.
Willow Croft: And, lastly, have you ever taken up residence in a house with a ghost, and what were they like?
E.F. Schraeder: I have not lived with a ghost, though I have seen some over the years. Though startling, I don’t recall being frightened.
Find out what else E.F. Schraeder grows in her spooky (and literary!) gardens by visiting her at the links below!