When a group of bloggers I know gets together to publish a book, I want to be there applauding them. So when Anshu Bhojnagarwala told me about Route 13 – The Highway to Hell, I asked her to share more about. Here’s our interview.
Route 13 – The Highway to Hell – Interview with Anshu Bhojnagarwala
What was the idea behind your horror anthology – Route 13?
Priya and I had thought of writing a horror anthology sometime in 2018. Why horror? Well, I am not sure. It might have something to do with the fact that though we were both writing in different niches, horror was one genre we both were not comfortable foraying into. And we both wanted to do something about it, break our complacency and do something outside our comfort zone. However, nothing happened. And we let the matters drop.
However, Priya raised the topic again in November last year and we realized it was time we did something about it, or it will again be delegated to the back burner and forgotten. But we were a little sceptical. Who would want to write horror? Would we get fellow authors? We talked to a few writers, and one wouldn’t believe, that within 10 days we had our team ready. We wanted 13 writers, 13 horror stories and wanted to publish it on 13th March, which was a Friday.
What kind of horror stories does Route 13 have?
We have a variety of horror in our anthology. We have occult, witch craft, paranormal, supernatural, monsters, splatter/extreme, haunted house, psychological and paranoia just to name a few.
It’s an interesting combination of stories and there is something for every reader.
Also, we didn’t want the book to be only about us. We wanted to do something special, we wanted those who we asked to invest some of their time on our page to receive something back, in short, we wanted them to be involved. And thus, #minitales came into existence. It was our way of saying thank you to each and every single one of our supporters who participated, discussed, and supported us.
Is there any interesting tidbit you would like to share regarding the book, Route 13?
In fact, quite few. Little did we know when we started writing our horror story that we would actually be haunted.
While writing my story, I heard anklets jingling (yes, a little Ramsay-ish, but it happened alright) in the middle of the night and someone walking in the next room. I was so scared that I stopped writing in the night and kept all my writing and editing work confined to daylight only.
Priya started seeing buzzing bees and flies everywhere after writing her psychological/paranormal piece of fiction – Pastel of the Past.
These weren’t the only episodes. While compiling the stories, prologue, interludes and epilogue, we started losing our content from the sheet. We uploaded a story only to find it missing sometime later. It was weird, as if our document was spooked.
How did the writers arrive at their story?
It’s quite interesting to know how some of the writers stumbled upon their stories.
Sarveswari, with one of the scariest stories (Welcome) in the book, one day, found her kids playing with her phone. They took pictures of her, without her knowledge, while she was going about her day’s work. When she looked at the pictures later, she thought how it would be if she saw the same pictures on the phone if her kids were not around. The idea appealed to her so much that she dropped the revenge story that she had almost finished writing.
Ell P’s story, The Case of the Seance which revolves around occult and is brilliantly written, was inspired from her cousin who believed spirits don’t lie and used to dabble in Ouija boards.
Varadharajan conceived his story while driving. His kid was watching the classic nursery rhyme old Macdonald on a loop and the song was stuck in his mind. He wanted to physically do something to the song, thankfully, he came up with a story instead. In the splatter/extreme genre, he has nailed the rhyme in the story (pun intended 😉 )
Tina’s daughter went through a nightmare with horrific scribbling on the wall and as a mother Tina had an intuition about this. That’s what prompted her to write her supernatural/extreme story – The Adventures of a Virgin.
What is The Hive? And are you planning more anthologies in the future?
We thought of naming our writing group The Hive because we saw our team like a beehive, always buzzing around being busy, coming up with new things as a collective.
And because bees are not the ones to sit idle, we are surely planning more anthologies in the future, whether they will be horror, remains to be seen.
Route 13 – The Highway to Hell has been appreciated by readers, and we are getting some rare reviews. Not only it has made quite a sensational debut in the horror space but it is also sitting tight with the likes of Dean Koontz and Stephen King.
Here is what a couple of our readers had to say about the anthology: Sonal Singh and Aesha Shah.
If you love reading horror or are fascinated with this genre, do give this book a chance. It won’t disappoint you.
What a wonderful interview! Thank you, Corinne, for featuring The Hive.
I loved this book! Now I got to read about how this book came together, and I loved the whole process. Hats off to all of you.
Mahati ramya adivishnu
I enjoyed reading this book and I love horror by the way. Each story showed horror in a different perspective and so, unique. My review will be up soon on my blog.
Thank you so much Corinne for featuring us! This means a lot to The Hive. 🙂 Hugs!
Thanks so much corinne for publishing this. You are a gem of a person and you prove it again and again.