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constructinghorror.com: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro


“Long ago it seemed to me — after reading Dracula at age fourteen — that there were many worse things than a vampire, and that the human capacity to be hideous to one another was a greater threat than even the most bloodthirsty vampire could achieve.” Chelsea Quinn Yarbro took the idea of vampires and turned it into the timeless classic series about the vampire Count St. Germain. It is this love of horror combined with history that gives Yarbro a true competitive edge and earned her the honor of being deemed a Living Legend in 2006 by the International Horror Guild, and the Grand Master award in 2003 from the World Horror Association.


The Audio Interview


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Yarbro has been in the business for a good long time, long enough to know what works in horror and she has more than eighty five books and more than ninety works of short fiction, essays and reviews. On top of that, she composes serious music and has studied seven different instruments as well as voice. Additionally, she writes or has written in a wide variety of genres such as science fiction, westerns, young adult adventure and, yes, historical horror of which she is best known.

Yarbro has a solid system for her writing which seems to have garnered her a great deal of success as her track record shows. She turns out three to four books a year and one or two short stories and essays. Her system is simple: She writes six hours, six days out of the week unless she is traveling. Additionally, the spends three to four hours, five days a week doing research.

If Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is not a familiar name, you may know her by the works she has done under pseudonyms. She has written as Quinn Fawcett with her writing projects with Bill Fawcett. As Trystam Kith she wrote the two volume nasty vampires. Terry Nelson Bonner wrote volume five in The Making of Australia series and T.C.F. Hopkins has written some non fiction history. Finally, Vanessa Pryor wrote one romance novel, Taste of Wine.

Yarbro’s work is getting attention from some of the heavies in the literary world. The legendary Peter Straub says, “Vibrantly original…Quinn Yarbro is one of our finest writers and craftspersons, incapable of a sloppy sentence, a slack paragraph, or a fuzzy thought.” The Library Journal says of Yarbro, “Yarbro re-creates in lavish detail one of history’s darkest and least understood periods. [A] well-researched, sumptuously written tale of honor and compassion in the midst of death and superstition.” Publisher’s Weekly also has this to say of her work, “Richly rewarding….Yarbro flawlessly weaves a meticulous historical milieu and enthralling characters with the fantastic.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has known that she wanted to be a writer since she was about four years old (when she started reading). The passion was instilled in her early, infused with her love of reading and a passion for history. And her readers are well rewarded for it.

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