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5 Creative Questions with… Melanie Schubert

Melanie Schubert is a Melburnian writer and podcaster who co-hosts Of the Publishing Persuasion with Angela Montoya. Having listened to this pod quite a few times, when I think of Melanie, I think of Angela roaring praise about her into the mic. "Delicious! Delightful!" she often exclaims when introducing Melanie. They chinwag and banter as only close friends can before segueing into a longform interview with someone from the wide world of publishing - usually an author or agent. It so happens an upcoming episode will include Katya de Becerra, the acclaimed horror novelist who was one of my editors in This Fresh Hell, and also me! The wondrous reason is Melanie, Katya and I are all contributors to the same upcoming anthology: Castle of Horror Anthology Volume 11: Revenge. Being three Australians in the same US-published tome, we have dubbed ourselves The Drop Bear Invasion. The cutest Antipodeans you ever did see - then you see the claws.

Melanie's story, Severed Cape, is outrageously unhinged and encapsulates the revenge theme in a way that speaks to the zeitgeist. I believe its avenging Wonder Woman-like character will say something to the same women who find resonance in Paris Paloma's 'Labour' and/or the current bear vs man debate raging on TikTok. Severed Cape is gory and its premise was genuinely shocking, even to me, a dedicated true crime consumer who understands the concept of making things out of body parts. And yet...

Melanie Schubert. Photo: supplied

Melanie Schubert is the 31st in my series of creatives to take five questions.

When my creative process is stuck, I reach for… rest. A walk. Yoga. Movies that feel like they could be set in the world I want to write in.

The weirdest thing about being a creative human is… all of it? (>_<) Honestly I pretty much never stop thinking how just being alive and existing as a human is the most bizarre and inexplicable thing in the world.

The most unusual object in my house is… omg... so many.... my podcast cohost and I are locked in an eternal battle of who can send each other the weirdest thing so a lot of recent items are from her. The weirdest so far are a crocheted poop and a haunted papier-mâché figurine with her face on it.

A haunted sculpture of Angela Montoya, Melanie's podcast co-host

But also noteworthy are some clay fish I bought from an artist in the Ukraine that have old men's faces and a ceramic horse-head vase with a broken ear that I found in an alley one day....I mean, I couldn't just leave it there! It was looking at me like it wanted a second chance at a home so I gave it one.

Ukrainian ceramic fish with old men's faces

I celebrate my achievements with … pizza, drinks and/or booty dancing in my living room.

Something in the world that already exists that I wish I had created is… nothing really! I love that there are other people behind art that resonates with me! It makes me feel less alone in this world ❤️

Melanie Schubert's story, Severed Cape, is published in Castle of Horror Anthology Volume 11: Revenge, out 7 May 2024. Available for US readers in Kindle and paperback and for Australian readers through Angus & Robertson.

Listen to Of the Publishing Persuasion on Spotify or YouTube and follow it on Instagram.

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