Teratognosea - Anthony J. Lacaria

I love a good twist ending. And as Mr. M Night has shown us, it's difficult to pull off a well written twist. You have to find a way to surprise your audience while giving them the impression that they should have known what was going on the entire time. 

Lacaria does this excellently in his short story, Teratognosea. We're presented with James, someone who seems to be not only dangerous but mentally unstable. We're told that a woman is missing -- a woman that he was the last to see. From there the story explodes into an intense ride down insanity. 

I loved every moment of it: the awkwardness between James and Allison, the bizarre hallucinations, the suspense, the subtle hints, and the grand reveal of what really happened to Allison. 

I'm anxious to read more work by Lacaria. 

Some Bio Information

Anthony Lacaria lives in North Central West Virginia with his wife and son. The next novel to be released is No Exit Here and is considered to be his magnum opus. Anthony has been working on the novel for over two years. Later this year he also hopes to release a collection of stories titled 31 Faces and another novel Nauticus is also on the cusp of being finished. For more stories and news visit


1. Where did the idea for the plot originate? 

When starting a story I really don’t concern myself with plot. I don’t know where my story will take me, and that is what I want for my audience. I try to provide a twist that is interesting, or a story that is engaging and doesn’t feel forced. I just write characters and interactions, and ultimately the plot writes itself. I want my characters to develop the plot for me. I think the author should play God when writing; construct a world and characters that live. Then give them free will and watch the story unfold.

2. Who or what inspires you? 

I am inspired by so many things. For example, the two novels I plan on releasing later this year were conceived under very different circumstances. An idea for one came to me while walking around my block. It was very late and there was this dense fog blanketing everything. I don’t want to spoil the story, so I won’t discuss the plot. Just make sure to stay updated, this story will certainly be worth reading. The other novel, No Exit Here, is a book I have been working on for over two years. The novel started off as a short-story. That short is still in the novel as a single chapter. The idea was having a character with no name get into a bar fight with one of the regulars at the establishment. That character inspired another 300 pages, and two years later is a novel.
3. Describe the perfect writing environment. 

I don’t require any specific setting to write. I am always working on something in my head, so when I sit down to actually write I can get the idea on the page immediately. I do like music when I write, and depending on my mood the music should complement the story. The only thing that matters is making sure the story is compelling; and it doesn’t matter where I do it, only that I finish.

4. What does this book say about you? 

This is a difficult question. The characters are entirely fictional, but they are also very real to me. I don’t share any qualities with the characters or even with the plot of the novella. My intentions are to write interesting people in extraordinary situations. What the book says about me, I hope, is that I can tell a good story. 

5. Can you describe your writing process?

Before I even sit down at the keyboard I already know who my characters are. I know their likes and dislikes, their desires, how they like their steak cooked. Once I have my characters fleshed out I place them in a setting and let them go out into the world. And even as the author of Teratognosea, I was just as surprised with the book as any of my readers. That is how I write — if I can’t surprise myself, how can I expect to surprise my audience? I don’t want to know where I am taking my characters, I want to see where they take me.

6. What’s your biggest pet peeve? 

I assume most writers don’t like to be interrupted while working. For myself, that is the single most disrespectful thing a person can do to a writer. I can understand if it is an emergency and it requires my immediate attention, but if it isn’t critical, it can wait until I finish at my keyboard. 

7. Who’s your favorite author? 

There are so many authors that have been influential for me. I will say that a good writer should read more than he or she writes. I adhere to that rule religiously. That said, I love reading all genre’s, but authors like Clive Barker, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, J.D. Salinger, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Philip K. Dick, Arthur Rimbaud, Stieg Larsson, Kurt Vonnegut, Tana French, and Gillian Flynn are some of my favorites.