Talking Scared

106 – Gwendolyn Kiste and the Madwomen Bite Back

August 23, 2022 Neil McRobert Episode 106
Talking Scared
106 – Gwendolyn Kiste and the Madwomen Bite Back
Show Notes

Get your bell bottoms, your peace sign, your tie dye and your … crucifix!

This week’s guest is Gwendolyn Kiste and her new novel, Reluctant Immortals, transports us to San Francisco in 1968, the summer after the Summer of Love, when the sun is setting on the hippie movement. Into this chaos comes a quarter of iconic Gothic characters, ready to fight it out all over again.

Like the book, the surface of this conversation belies its inner darkness. Yes we talk hippies. Yes we talk Haunted Hollywood. Yes we talk cheesy movies. But we also get into the horrific implications of vampires for sexual consent, the true hideous power of the patriarchy, and how women are weaponised against women.

There is substantial conversation about domestic and sexual abuse in the second half of the conversation. Just a warning in case this is a problem for you. 

It’s a tough conversation, but a good one.


Reluctant Immortals is released in North America on August 23rd by and in the UK on November 22nd by Titan.

Other books discussed in this episode include:

  • Something Borrowed, Something Blood-soaked (2018), by Christa Carmen
  • To Be Devoured (2019), by Sarah Tantlinger

  • The Rust Maidens (2018), by Gwendolyn Kiste
  • “The Eight People Who Murdered Me (Excerpt from Lucy Westenra’s Diary)”, by Gwendolyn Kiste, Nightmare Magazine, issue 86, (2019)
  • “The Woman Out of the Attic, by Gwendolyn Kiste, in Haunted House Short Stories (2019)
  • Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (1998), by Peter Biskind

Support Talking Scared on Patreon

Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to 

Support the show