An Exclusive Dive into the World of Horror and Science with Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl

Two Decades of Friendship: From X-Files T-Shirts to Co-Authoring Thrillers


Unveiling the Horrifying Intersection

In this exclusive interview with authors Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl, the brilliant minds behind works such as Travels of Terror, The Science of Monsters, and The Science of Women in Horror, readers are invited into the captivating realm where science and horror converge. Best friends for over two decades, the duo shares the intriguing origins of their friendship sparked by a shared love for The X-Files. Exploring the creative process of co-authoring, they discuss the evolution of their collaboration and the unique balance that shapes their consistent narrative voice. With insights into their deep passion for horror, the duo delves into the emotional challenges and rewards of writing about real-life crime stories, offering an intimate look at their acclaimed works. In exclusive segments, Kelly Florence explores fascinating elements from The Science of Stephen King, while Meg Hafdahl unveils the inspirations behind her acclaimed novels and short story collections. This interview provides an intimate glimpse into the minds of two prolific authors who seamlessly weave together science and horror, leaving readers eager to explore the depths of their literary creations.

Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl, authors of Travels of Terror, The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, The Science of Witchcraft, The Science of Agatha Christie and the forthcoming The Science of Alfred Hitchcock are co-hosts of the Horror Rewind podcast, best friends, and lifelong horror fans. Their soon to be streaming Horror U, will delve into all things horror and science in a fun and approachable way. 
Kelly Florence teaches communication at Lake Superior College in Duluth, MN and is the creator of the Be a Better Communicator podcast. She received her BA in theatre from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and her MA in communicating arts from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She has directed, produced, choreographed and stage managed for dozens of productions in Minnesota including Carrie The Musical through Rubber Chicken Theatre and Treasure Island for Wise Fool Theater. She’s a member of the Minnesota Film Critics Alliance and is a programmer for the Minnesota Film Festival. She is passionate about female representation in all media and particularly the horror genre. 

Horror and suspense author Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of two popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the four novels; This World is Nothing but Evil, Daughters of Darkness, The Darkest Hunger and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. 

Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl
Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl, Masters of Horror and Science: Best friends, authors, and co-hosts of Horror Rewind podcast, Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl share a passion for unraveling the mysteries of horror and science.

Your friendship began over two decades ago when Kelly walked into the gift shop where Meg was working, wearing an X-Files tee shirt. Can you share more about that moment and how it led to a decades-long friendship and collaboration in the world of writing?

We bonded over our mutual love of our favorite TV show, The X-Files, and soon discovered we had a lot more in common! We both loved horror, romance, Stephen King, and writing so we feel like it was fate. Kelly introduced Meg to her husband and Meg introduced Kelly to hers! 20+ years later we are still best friends, married to the men we introduced each other to, and our kids are best friends. Plus, we’ve just completed our eighth book together!

Writing a book together involves a unique collaboration. Could you elaborate on how you divide the writing responsibilities and maintain a consistent voice throughout your co-authored books? Has your process evolved since your first book, “The Science of Monsters”?

When we first started writing together, we wrote and reviewed every single chapter. We soon realized that by being best friends, we basically shared a voice and a brain and by the time we began writing our second book, we split the chapters equally and edited together. We each have our own favorite topics in every book so it makes sense to split up the work according to what we’re most excited about.

Both of you share a love for the horror genre. What initially drew each of you to horror, and how do you think the genre contributes to building empathy, as you mentioned?

We both loved scary things growing up including fairy tales, books, movies and television shows. Kelly fell in love with the concept of creatures like Bigfoot, King Kong, and Frankenstein’s monster at an early age while Meg read as much as she could in the horror genre, true crime, and spooky tales.

The “Science of” series combines science with horror and mystery, exploring the behind-the-scenes aspects of favourite films, shows, and books. What inspired the creation of this non-fiction series, and how do you select the scenes and topics to analyse in each instalment?

We are natural researchers, students’ of life, really. Or nerds, if you want to call us that! So researching the true stories behind our favorite films made sense, and of course we wanted to share what we’d learned. We choose based on what we love and what fascinates us, because it’s a safe bet our fans will be interested in it, too.

Writing about real-life crime stories for your books, especially those based on true events, can be emotionally challenging. What was the hardest part of writing “The Science of Agatha Christie,” and conversely, what was the most enjoyable or rewarding aspect of working on this particular book or the series as a whole?

We try to strike a balance when writing about true crime, making sure to uplift victims and not put criminals on any sort of pedestal. The hardest part of writing The Science of Agatha Christie? Understanding all the poison chemistry! The most enjoyable? Re-reading and sometimes reading for the first time some of the Queen of Mysteries most amazing books. She really is famous for a reason!

Decades of Friendship, Two Lifelong Horror Fans: Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl, friends since the X-Files era, showcase the enduring bond that ignited their love for horror and led to eight co-authored books.

Questions to Kelly


 The review highlights the intricate discussion of the science behind Stephen King’s stories. Can you share an example from “The Science of Stephen King” that you found particularly fascinating or surprising in your exploration of King’s work?

I have always been fascinated by the JFK assassination and did a lot of research when I was in junior high to try to get to the bottom of the conspiracy theories. Stephen King’s book, 11/22/63 was a fascinating and heartfelt story exploring what would happen if someone could time travel back and prevent the events of that day. We interviewed a physicist who doesn’t believe in time machines but it didn’t prevent us from enjoying the story!

The reviews praise your work in shedding light on the female experience in horror. Can you discuss a specific aspect or story from “The Science of Women in Horror” that you believe has made a significant impact on reshaping the portrayal of women in the horror genre, either onscreen or behind the scenes?

We were thrilled to discover all the research that the Geena Davis Institute has conducted that shows how representation on screen matters. Going back to our initial meeting, The X-Files played a role in females pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). The phenomenon is called “The Scully Effect” named after Gillian Anderson’s character, Dr. Dana Scully.

Questions to Meg


As a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author with a diverse body of work, including novels and short story collections, can you share a particular story or character that holds a special place in your heart, and what inspired its creation?

My character Daphne in my novel series holds a special place in my heart because she has a lot of growing up to do, and I think we can all relate to being in our early twenties and being terrified of navigating our way into adulthood. And she has to do this with murder and monsters around her!

Your novel “Her Dark Inheritance” has been described as “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small-town intrigue.” Can you provide some insights into the inspiration behind this story and how you approached weaving together elements of betrayal, murder, and small-town life?

I’ve always found rural gothic tales intriguing, as I grew up in the city. There’s something creepy about the insular nature of small towns, in my opinion! So I created a small town with secrets, and naturally, as a horror writer, I added in some murder and a gnarly creature, too!

Your short story collection, “Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre,” promises a collection of macabre tales. Can you share a glimpse into the themes or inspirations that connect these stories, and what draws you to explore the macabre in your fiction?

I’ve always been drawn to the darker side of life. I think it helps us look at the really meaningful aspects of what we hold dear when we are  put in peril. When characters are in “sink or swim” situations we get to see what they are really made of. My Twisted Reveries series are books mostly about women who are put in these horrifying situations, and they have to find their strength. I love reading and creating these type of stories.

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