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Wrap-Up: Women in Horror Month

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women in horror month logo

This year for Women in Horror Month, I decided to feature some notable ladies writing some seriously dark fiction whose works are incredible and who I think deserve more of a spotlight for their work. But I didn’t want to do lengthy interviews. I didn’t want to do the “trading card” type of spotlight posts that I’ve done in the past. This time, I wanted to do something that showcased a fun, more playful side because this time of year tends to be very serious with weighty posts.

Many question why there needs to be a Women in Horror month. One of the female authors I interviewed, Mercedes M. Yardley, unequivocally demonstrated exactly why there is still a need for a Women in Horror month. Read her post if you haven’t already.

Now, those so-called weightier, more substantive posts are just as important. I mentioned at the very start of my Women in Horror month coverage that I think looking at Women in Horror month through a serious lens is vital. The research some people have devoted themselves to is absolutely vital to the genre. It’s important for people to recognize how many women write horror. It’s also important for publishers, both big and small, to notice that their lists are woefully void of women–and to do something about it without resorting to tokenism.

But here’s the thing–I think there’s something to be said for taking a break from the seriousness and having a type of feature that is fun both for the writer being profiled and for readers to discover a different side of the writers. I wanted to offer people something different, something beyond the standard “buy this because…reasons” or “read this because…reasons.” Many readers don’t even realize that they’re not reading as many female authors as they could be, and don’t know where to start.

To remedy this, I started a Pinterest board called Women in Horror. I’ve been curating it and adding titles by female authors of dark fiction that are intended to give people a jumping point if they want to diversify their reading palettes.

For a complete listing of all the posts I did, visit this page.

To cap things off, I want to borrow a post from Lisa Morton on Women in Horror Month this year as she encapsulated in this quote what I have been saying for years:

I’m glad it’s February again. I’m glad it’s Women in Horror Month again. I’m glad so many fine writers are getting the recognition they’ve earned. But…I look forward to the day when we can transform February into Celebrate Great Horror Writers Regardless of Gender Month.

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Women in Horror Month Feature: Sara Brooke

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sara brooke authorAbout the Author:

Sara Brooke is a horror and suspense novelist living in South Florida. A lifelong avid reader of all things scary, Sara’s childhood dream was to write horror books that force readers to sleep with their lights on. Her first novel, Still Lake, was released Spring 2012. Sara’s influences and favorite authors include Bentley Little, John Saul, William Blackstone, and Joe McKinney.

 

As part of a neat little twist to my Women in Horror Month coverage this year, I’m going to feature fun little interviews with a few women horror writers and I think readers will get a kick out of them.

The next feature is for Sara Brooke, author of such books as Still LakeGhost Swim, and Kransen House, among others.

Check out our fun interview!

1. First scary movie you watched

SB: I can’t remember the name of it, but it was a movie from the seventies about a family that moves into a haunted house and all sorts of bad things happen (people fall from the roof, a child drowns, and the grandmother refuses to leave the attic). If you can remember the name of it, please do let me know! I would love to watch it again with a glass of wine.

(Note: Even though we couldn’t quite figure out which movie Sara is referring to, a staple of the genre in the “haunted house” category is, of course, The Amityville Horror (1979). Let’s just say there’s a reason it’s on several “scariest horror movies of all time” lists)

amityville horror poster 1979

2. First scary book you read

SB: The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. It was a picture book that I read once and then hid away because it scared me so much. The idea of a dead sister in the house…all cold and gray was too much for my eight-year-old mind to take. To this day, that story terrifies me.

fall of the house of usher

3. First scary Halloween costume you wore

SB: My mother dressed me up as Cyndi Lauper for Halloween when I was in grade school. Trust me…it was scary. It took weeks to wash out the hairspray.

cyndi lauper

4. First scary thing you wrote

SB: “The Plaza.” It never got published and remains one of my first short stories about a haunted condominium where the residents sacrificed new tenants to a beast that lived in the supply closet.

5. First scary character you had a crush on

SB: Michael Jackson. Ha!  Just kidding (though I did have a HUGE crush on him). I’ve always been a fan of Dracula. He can fly, has cool black hair, and a sexy voice.

gary oldman dracula

 


Awakening Sara BrookeSara’s latest release is The Awakening, which came out in November 2014.

Here’s a description:
Everything she knows . . .
Renda Bloodmane is a quiet librarian, who lives a quiet life, in a small quiet town in Florida. Her days consist of going to work (which she loves) and watching old Hollywood movies with her dog Jane (which she also loves). Her life is just fine, if a tad on the dull side. So, when her best friend from college, Bobbie Trillo, invites her to visit her family in Georgia, Renda decides a vacation is in order. Bobbie has moved back in with her mother and brother after her parents’ divorce. Things aren’t going well for her mother, and Bobbie needs Renda’s friendship and support.
Everything she believes . . .
Renda soon discovers that there is a lot more going on in the Trillo household than meets the eye. The moment she sets foot in the Trillo home, Renda starts seeing ghosts everywhere she turns. But one very unique ghost stands out from the rest. A sinfully attractive man named Cole, who died more than one hundred years ago, begins to haunt Renda’s every thought. He warns her there is evil in the house and it’s attacking Bobbie’s mother. Only Renda can stop the demon from taking over and destroying the entire family.
Will never be the same . . .
Renda can’t believe she’s seeing dead people. She can’t believe she’s attracted to a dead man. And most of all, she can’t believe that she’s the chosen one who has to fight a centuries-old powerful demon. But there is more to Renda Bloodmane than even she realizes. Her quiet, ordered life is about to change and there’s nothing she can do to stop it.

Further Reading:
Here are a few interviews Sara has done that you can read through:

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this chat with Sara. If you’ve never had occasion to read her work before, I hope you’ll give it a try and if you’ve been a longtime fan, then I hope you enjoyed our little exchange 🙂

Women in Horror Month Feature: Maria Alexander

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maria alexanderAbout the Author:

Maria Alexander writes pretty much every damned thing and gets paid to do it. She’s a produced screenwriter and playwright, published games writer, virtual world designer, award-winning copywriter, interactive theatre designer, prolific fiction writer, snarkiologist and poet. Her stories have appeared in publications such as Chiaroscuro Magazine, Gothic.net and Paradox, as well as in acclaimed anthologies alongside legends such as David Morrell and Heather Graham.

Her second poetry collection – At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned and the Absinthe-Minded – was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award. And she was a winner of the 2004 AOL Time-Warner “Time to Rhyme” poetry contest.

When she’s not wielding a katana at her local shinkendo dojo, she’s being outrageously spooky or writing Doctor Who filk. She lives in Los Angeles with two ungrateful cats, a pervasive sense of doom, and a purse called Trog.

As part of a neat little twist to my Women in Horror Month coverage this year, I’m going to feature fun little interviews with a few women horror writers and I think readers will get a kick out of them.

The next feature is for Maria Alexander, author of Mr. Wicker, released by Raw Dog Screaming Press last year, which was just officially announced as a finalist in the category of Superior Achievement in a First Novel for the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards®! The entire category is stellar, but I’ve got my fingers crossed for Maria to take home the haunted house statuette.

Check out our fun interview below!

1. First scary movie you watched

MA: The Fly. I was three years old.

the fly movie poster

2. First scary book you read

MA: The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. The old fairy stories were incredibly disturbing to very-young-me.

Red Fairy Book

3. First scary Halloween costume you wore

MA: A boxed, plastic-mask witch costume when I was six years old. My parents had a momentary lapse in their insane rules against celebrating Halloween and other “pagan” holidays. I went full bore in the roleplaying and cackling, scaring my baby sister to tears.

4. First scary thing you wrote

MA: When I was home with chickenpox during third grade, I wrote a story about the son of a pilgrim minister who discovered his girlfriend was a witch one night when he followed her into the woods. He nearly got caught and killed watching her celebrate the Sabbath. I thought the story was so terrible that I tore it up in embarrassment.

5. First scary character you had a crush on

MA: Darth Vader, no question. Check out my essay, “Dogma, Darth Vader and My Sexual Awakening.”

darth vader

 


Mr WickerMaria released a novel called Mr. Wicker in September 2014, which was released by Raw Dog Screaming Press.

Here’s a description:
Alicia Baum is missing a deadly childhood memory. Located beyond life, The Library of Lost Childhood Memories holds the answer. The Librarian is Mr. Wicker—a seductive yet sinister creature with an unthinkable past and an agenda just as lethal. After committing suicide, Alicia finds herself before the Librarian, who informs her that her lost memory is not only the reason she took her life, but the cause of every bad thing that has happened to her.

Alicia spurns Mr. Wicker and attempts to enter the hereafter without the Book that would make her spirit whole. But instead of the oblivion she craves, she finds herself in a psychiatric hold at Bayford Hospital, where the staff is more pernicious than its patients.

Child psychiatrist Dr. James Farron is researching an unusual phenomenon: traumatized children whisper to a mysterious figure in their sleep. When they awaken, they forget both the traumatic event and the character that kept them company in their dreams—someone they call “Mr. Wicker.”

During an emergency room shift, Dr. Farron hears an unconscious Alicia talking to Mr. Wicker—the first time he’s heard of an adult speaking to the presence. Drawn to the mystery, and then to each other, they team up to find the memory before it annihilates Alicia for good. To do so they must struggle not only against Mr. Wicker’s passions, but also a powerful attraction that threatens to derail her search, ruin Dr. Farron’s career, and inflame the Librarian’s fury.

After all, Mr. Wicker wants Alicia to himself, and will destroy anyone to get what he wants. Even Alicia herself. 

Further Reading:
Here are a few interviews Maria has done that you can read through:

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this chat with Maria. If you’ve never had occasion to read her work before, I hope you’ll give it a try and if you’ve been a longtime fan, then I hope you enjoyed our little exchange 🙂

Women in Horror Month Feature: JH Moncrieff

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JH Moncrieff author

  About the Author:

Raised in the far north, amid Jack London’s world of dog sleds and dark winters, J.H. Moncrieff has been a professional writer all of her adult life.

During her years as a journalist, she tracked down snipers and canoed through crocodile-infested waters. She has published hundreds of articles in national and international magazines and newspapers.

When she’s not writing, J.H. loves to travel to exotic locations, advocate for animal rights, and muay thai kickbox. She’s an avid reader of many different genres, including thrillers, suspense, true crime, memoirs, cookbooks, women’s fiction, and horror.

As part of a neat little twist to my Women in Horror Month coverage this year, I’m going to feature fun little interviews with a few women horror writers and I think readers will get a kick out of them.

This week’s featured scribe is newcomer J.H. Moncrieff, author of the forthcoming horror novel The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave from Samhain Horror, which is slated for release in early May 2015.

Both she–and her words–pack quite a one-two punch. Here’s our interview:

1. First scary movie you watched

JHM: The first scary movie I watched was Salem’s Lot. When I watched it later, I thought it was hilarious, but as a kid, it terrified me! I had nightmares for weeks.

salems lot movie poster

2. First scary book you read

JHM: The first scary book I read was actually a series of non-fiction books entitled Monsters; Ghosts; and UFOs. I found them at the school library. Those also gave me nightmares, to the point that my mom told me not to read them anymore.

time life UFO series

3. First scary Halloween costume you wore

JHM: My first scary Halloween costume had to be Boy George. I was a little girl trying to look like the lead singer of Culture Club in my mom’s sunhat and winter gloves. Trust me—that was chilling!

Boy George 80s culture club

4. First scary thing you wrote

JHM: The first scary thing I wrote was a story about a vampire who devoured everything. I was in the fourth grade and had just learned the word “devour,” so I was very proud of it. The local paper published this story. I have no idea what they were thinking!

5. First scary character you had a crush on

JHM: The first scary character I had a crush on was Jason Patric’s vampire in The Lost Boys. He was so beautiful, and still is today.

jason patric lost boys

 


As mentioned above, J.H. Moncrieff’s forthcoming novel from Samhain Horror, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave, is slated for release in May 2015.


the bear who wouldnt leave horror book coverHere’s a description:
Sometimes evil looks like a fuzzy teddy bear.
Still grieving the untimely death of his dad, ten-year-old Josh Leary is reluctant to accept a well-worn stuffed teddy bear from his new stepfather. He soon learns he was right to be wary. Edgar is no ordinary toy…and he doesn’t like being rejected. When Josh banishes him to the closet, terrible things begin to happen. Desperate to be rid of the bear, Josh engages the help of a friend. As the boys’ efforts rebound on them with horrifying results, Josh is forced to accept the truth—Edgar will always get even.

 

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here is the book trailer:

 

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this chat with J.H. Moncrieff. Be sure to check our her forthcoming title from Samhain 🙂