For our seventeenth entry of Beneath the Needle, we discuss Peach, Love & Harmony (Ali Seay's short fiction feature included in The Needle Drops... Volume One) alongside Ali's latest novellas -- Go Down Hard and To Offer Her Pleasure, before exploring horror media, scream queens and pulp horror finds.

Ali Seay has written professionally under a pen name for the last 15+ years. Now she's shaken off her disguise to write as herself in the genre she loves the most.

Her debut horror novella Go Down Hard was released in 2020 by Grindhouse Press. Her short works have appeared in The Big Book of Blasphemy, Campfire Macabre, Paranormal Contact, Far From Home, and online at Dread Stone, with more coming in the near future.

Ali lives in Baltimore with her family and a very spoiled geriatric dachshund. She’s a vintage junkie, loves to hunt for 80s pulp horror, and digging through thrift stores for treasures is her favourite pastime. Her greatest desire is to own a vintage Airstream and hit the road.

So, Ali - Peach, Love & Harmony stuck with our editing team for days after reading, sparking much discussion amongst us; it truly feels original, evoking the best of body horror across horror mediums, but still standing firmly on its own individual merits. Could you share a little background on the story, and how the original concept evolved through your creative process?

At the time the idea came, I was addicted to a certain blush-colored drink from a certain famous coffee joint. I loved the fruit that floated in it and I craved one almost daily. It didn’t hurt that I wrote at said establishment so every day I got my fix.

I believe I wrote the story for a call for submissions that involved magic, conjuring, and the like. My daily drink and my brainstorming collided and I had the idea for the particularly gruesome magic the story contained.