You know the drill, you are alone in the middle of a foggy field and there’s no one within miles… except the person following you. There’s no one coming to help you.

Isolation is an ever-present theme in horror fiction, one that has become part of reality for many of us recently. But isolation doesn’t have to be physical, emotional isolation can be just as terrifying.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Isolated as ‘Placed or standing apart or alone; detached or separate from other things or persons; unconnected with anything else; solitary.’

Meanwhile, Aristotle said ‘He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or god.’

Is isolation always so bad though? And what do we mean by isolation when it comes to horror narratives?

Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury

We were very lucky to have the fabulous Melinda Salisbury join us in this episode’s discussion. Melinda has been twice nominated for the Carnegie medal and is the bestselling author of the Sin Eater’s Daughter series, the State of Sorrow duology, and her most recent novel, Hold Back the Tide.

Texts and authors mentioned in this episode include:

  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Not Now, Bernard by David McKee
  • Beneath the Rising by Premee Mohamed
  • Scream
  • Hot Fuzz
  • The Terminator
  • Alien
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Doctor Who
  • Phantoms: Haunting Tales from Masters of the Genre edited by Marie O’Regan
  • Eureka
  • Star Wars
  • The Dark Crystal
  • The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Cabin Fever
  • The Shining
  • Hush
  • Saw
  • The Thing
  • Mist
  • Signs

Melinda Salisbury

Melinda Salisbury is the twice Carnegie nominated and bestselling author of multiple young adult novels, including the Sin Eater’s Daughter series, the State of Sorrow duology, and Hold Back the Tide, coming in March 2020.

Her first novel, THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER was the bestselling UK YA debut novel of 2015, and collectively her books have been nominated and shortlisted for multiple national and international awards and accolades, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the YA Book Prize, the Edgar Awards Best YA in the United States, the 2016 and 2019 Carnegie medals, Eason’s YA Book of the Month, and more. 

She lives on the East Sussex coast and is a passionate vegan, (bad) mother to many plants, and likes to travel.