Women in Horror Month

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.

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.


Women in Horror Month Feature: Naomi Clark

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naomi clarkAbout the Author:

Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she’s not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once.

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 Naomi Clark, author of such books as Demonized and Undertow.

Funny story: I know precious few other Legacy of Kain video game series fans, so I was chuffed, as they say in Naomi’s neck of the woods, to discover that she is also a fan. And we also have a cartoon villain in common that we both adore. Read on for the interview!

1. First scary movie you watched

NC: I’m pretty sure the first horror film I saw was one of the Friday the 13th films. My parents had both seen The Exorcist when it originally came out and were convinced that watching horror films would scar their kids forever, so we didn’t have any horror material in the house whilst I was growing up! I had to wait until I was in my late teens and then watch things late at night after they’d gone to bed. Then when I went to university, I finally saw The Exorcist and was highly underwhelmed. I still love Friday the 13th, though!

friday the 13th

2. First scary book you read

NC: Stephen King’s Firestarter. I borrowed from a friend and had to hide it under my bed!

firestarter cover stephen king

3. First scary Halloween costume you wore

NC: I think it was probably either a ghost or a vampire – vampire seems more likely! I have definite memories of dressing up as Dracula when I was nine or ten. Suit and tie, slicked back hair, the works.

4. First scary thing you wrote

NC: I think at sixth form (for non-UK folks, this would be roughly equivalent to Grades 11 and 12 in North America, so basically, the final year or two years of high school) I wrote a short story about a boy murdering his abusive dad for a class assignment…it didn’t really fit the assignment at all, which I think was something like “write a story about someone overcoming a challenge.” Everyone in the class really liked it, though!

5. First scary character you had a crush on

NC: Oooh…I’m really not sure! I’ve always had a soft spot for Jason Voorhees, but I don’t think it was strictly a crush. Hannibal Lecter (as portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen) definitely gets my vote for a modern crush though! And I always liked the villains in cartoons more than the heroes – Skeletor, Mummra, Cobra Commander…much more interesting to me! I love any character who falls on the morally grey scale.



undertow book coverNaomi released a new Ethan Banning private investigator novel called Undertow in August 2014 through Ragnarok Publications. Her website has more information on the series.

Here’s a description:
PI Ethan Banning is a desperate man.

He’s desperate to rid himself of the demon possessing him. He’s desperate to stop the nightmares and the evil urges it fills him with. He’s so desperate, he’s agreed to quit smoking and drinking in exchange for help. Professor Benedict Walters thinks he can exorcise Ethan with clean living and ancient history, but he won’t do it for free. Ethan’s got to track down Heather, a missing colleague of Walters in the quaint and creepy seaside town of Beacon’s Point. It should be simple…

But the locals are hostile and Heather may not want to be found. Even if Ethan can crack the case, he’s still got to deal with a trainee necromancer, his own fading self-control, and an ancient entity that terrifies Ethan’s own personal demon.

Crack the case? He may not even survive it.

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

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this chat with Naomi. 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: 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 🙂