The Beauty of Ruin by Damien Angelica Walters (author of Sing Me Your Scars)

Although my reading tastes have been driving me firmly back into the realms of epic fantasy, horror has always been my first love. It's what I remember reading first, and what has driven most of my own writing endeavours. So, while I hardly need an excuse to celebrate the genre, events like Women in Horror Month certainly do provide a convenient prompt for me to look beyond the towering review pile and dabble a bit more within the genre.

Today, for our final post under the WiHM666 banner, we welcome Damien Angelica Walters, author of the upcoming Sing Me Your Scars, to talk (appropriately enough) about The Beauty of Ruin.

The Beauty of Ruin
by Damien Angelica Walters

I am a literary sadist.

But don’t take my word for it. A recent reviewer (Anton Cancre of Eviscerating Pen) said this about Sing Me Your Scars: “I wept enough while reading this that I joked about changing the name to I Like It When You Cry and while there is hope to be found here, it is hard earned.”

He’s right. I like writing about broken people, and I like writing about hurt, but I promise I’m not cackling madly in the corner while I do so. Most of the time, I’m fighting against a lump in my throat and wondering why I’m drawn to such darkness.

I remember reading Stephen King’s IT a long time ago and breaking into ugly tears near the end when Beverly, Ben, Bill, and Richie are walking into the Town House (page 1,110 in the hardcover). Beverly sees their reflections in the glass, and although Eddie and Stan are gone, for a brief instant she sees their reflections, too.

That moment. That moment.

I hated Stephen King for making me care so much about characters that I had to stop reading because I was crying too hard to see the words, but a part of me loved him for it, too. That ache in my heart was a beautiful thing.

When I start writing a story, I never say, “Hey, let’s break some hearts today,” but if it happens, I can’t say it doesn’t make me happy. It isn’t that I’ve made someone cry; it’s that I’ve made someone care. It means that in that moment, for that reader, the character was more than just a name on paper. In that moment, the character, and their hurt, was real.

In truth, I’m not sure if the confines of short fiction make that easier or harder. A little of both, maybe, but I try not to overthink such things. I do know that not every story will touch every reader, and while I hope my stories will make more people care than not, once a story is written, it no longer belongs to the writer.

I’ll keep writing and hopefully, continue to create characters and stories that reach into readers’ hearts and break them a little. And maybe, just maybe, those readers will come back for more.


About the Author

Damien Angelica Walters’ short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Year’s Best Weird Fiction Volume One, The Best of Electric Velocipede, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, Lightspeed, Shimmer, and Apex. “The Floating Girls: A Documentary,” originally published in Jamais Vu and reprinted in the Chinese literary journal ZUI Found, is on the Bram Stoker Award ballot for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction.

Forthcoming in 2015: Sing Me Your Scars, a collection of short fiction, from Apex Publications, and Paper Tigers, a novel, from Dark House Press.

You can find her on Twitter @DamienAWalters or online at


About the Book

Sing Me Your Scars
by Damien Angelica Walters

Sometimes a thread pulled through the flesh is all that holds you together. Sometimes the blade of a knife or the point of a nail is the only way you know you’re real. When pain becomes art and a quarter is buried deep within in you, all you want is to be seen, to have value, to be loved. But love can be fragile, folded into an origami elephant while you disappear, carried on the musical notes that build a bridge, or woven into an illusion so real, so perfect that you can fool yourself for a little while. Paper crumples, bridges fall, and illusions come to an end. Then you must pick up the pieces, stitch yourself back together, and shed your fear, because that is when you find out what you are truly made of and lift your voice, that is when you Sing Me Your Scars.

In her first collection of short fiction, Damien Angelica Walters weaves her lyrical voice through suffering and sorrow, teasing out the truth and discovering hope.

Paperback, 200 pages
Expected publication: March 10th 2015 by Apex Book Company


  1. Making them care about your characters is the key to a good story. Although I made a lot of readers cry with my first book and felt really bad about it, even though it was a good thing.
    Congratulations, Damien!


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