Creator and Executive Editor of Quail Bell
In the final days of Quail Bell’s Indie-Go-Go funding campaign, we catch up with the creator and Executive Editor to discuss the otherworldly, the second publication of Quail Bell Express, and Edgar Allan Poe.
How was Quail Bell started?
I’ve always been fascinated by the imaginary, the nostalgic, and the otherworldly. That includes everything from high fantasy to vintage fashion to Latin American to the Victorian Gothic. I decided to start a blog centered on these topics. At first, I went with Opus Fae. I posted my own original short stories, poems, collages, drawings, photographs, and more. For several years now, I’ve sold my art and writing online and at events like art festivals and bookstore readings. Within a couple of months, I became confident that enough people around the world shared my common interests and I wanted to become a curator of sorts. So I launched QuailBellMagazine.com. At first, I solicited submissions but before I knew it, people were requesting submission guidelines and sending me unsolicited submissions. Fast forward two years and I have about 75 semi-regular contributors and collaborators from across the globe.
Was it a natural transition to create a ‘zine when all previous content had been online?
I’ve been reading and making ‘zines for years. As a little girl, I would make teeny comics and fashion magazines for my younger sisters. I’ve always gravitated toward print, but it’s much harder to create a global community via postal mail than it is the Internet. Making a print ‘zine has always been a priority for Quail Bell and I’m happy that we’re in the midst of producing our second.
What attracts you to the realm of fantasy?
My simplest explanation is this: Fantasy attracts me because it challenges my notion of reality. To quote Edgar Allan Poe, “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
You seem to be a fan of Edgar Allan Poe!
Yes, ever since I was a little girl. In middle school, I saw beautiful interpretations of his work performed at Catholic University and George Mason University that continue to mesmerize me to this day. Over the past couple of years, I’ve appeared in a couple of Poe-inspired productions put on by Haunts of Richmond, as well. Then, of course, on September 27th, my documentary film, “The Persistence of Poe,” screens at the Poe Museum.
Are there any advantages of Quail Bell being based in Richmond and the cities appreciation of history and folklore?
Richmond is a history and folklore hotspot. That’s one of the reasons I adore the city so much. As far as United States history goes, Richmond is ancient. It has also been the site for so many critical events in America’s story. People get tired of hearing about Richmond and the Civil War; it’s not as if Richmond didn’t exist before 1860. Richmond has many ghosts from many different centuries. They’re not all Confederate soldiers. This is also a city with a deep tradition of storytelling, one of the many elements of folklore. There are plenty of people in RVA whose families have been for generations. Sit down with an old-time Richmonder and you’re bound to learn something. Richmond has been a weird place for a long time. That’s why Quail Bell—whose interests range from the quirky to the bizarre—is so at home here.
For more information on Quail Bell Express Issue 2 and how to support, visit their Indie-Go-Go campaign.