Women in Horror Month 2017

To celebrate this year’s Women in Horror Month, I’m going to sharing some thoughts on my favourite women horror authors, so without further faff…

the-vampire-chronicles-book-coverAnne Rice

I read Interview with a Vampire when I was 17 years old. It made me fall in love with vampires. Before that, I’d worn a cross to protect myself from them (I’m not religious in any way, I’d just watched the film adaptation of Salem’s Lot and thought it was better safe than sorry!). Needless to say that after I r
ead the tale of Louis and Lestat, I took that necklace off.

It is a beautifully written book that seamlessly delves into the characters and makes someone, that could be considered as a monster, into a breathtakingly sorrowful and exciting creature of the night – a bizarre mix. I can not recommend Anne Rice’s books highly enough to those readers out there that haven’t discovered them yet.

 

Shirley Jackson6219656

Gothic horror author of highly disturbing short stories and novels, Shirley Jackson was a pioneer of the genre. Her short story The Lottery
(based on the lottery you wouldn’t want to win!) paved the way for all sorts of books, from Battle Royale to The Hunger Games.

She brought us horror that brandished social commentaries like a razor-sharp weapon, and human monsters that are more real than we would ever want to admit. Always engrossing, stunning prose that drags you into the story and doesn’t let you go, even after you’ve finished reading it. Anyone who doesn’t believe that the horror genre belongs in literary fiction needs to read her work.

51xrqewd0sl-_ac_ul320_sr212320_Nancy A Collins

Back in the 90s my older brother and I played White Wolf’s role play game, Vampire The Masquerade. I so wanted to be part of the Toreador clan; to be a beautiful vampire who only writes emotionally prose dedicated to her many victims…

It was this game brought me to Nancy A Collin’s book Sunglasses After Dark. Sonja Blue is a fantastic (had to stop myself from typing ‘fangtastic!) character that is true to her nature; something that made her feel more real and made the book far more interesting than the other vampire books that you get now. I can’t recommend this author’s work enough and, even better, she also writes amazing comics, Jason vs. Leatherface – how can you beat two slasher killers going head to head – with Michael Myers waiting in the wings to tackle the winner? Just an idea :)

Susan Hill51h6sqpzb8l-_sx309_bo1204203200_

A writer of genuinely terrifying ghost stories and true gothic fiction, this talented lady is most famous for writing, The Woman in Black and has also branched out into crime fiction. I started reading her work for an essay on isolation for my Creative Writing Degree and got hooked. The anthology, The Travelling Bag and Other Stories includes some rather disturbing shorts and is the perfect read for a stormy night when the rain beats your window like an impatient visitor, and the wind’s screams slice across the growing darkness. As England seems to be getting a lot of those kind of nights, I’d highly recommend buying this book! Susan Hill is a must for anyone with stones big enough to read a ghost story late at night.

I hoped you enjoyed this short dedication to my favourite Women in Horror. Perhaps I’ve been remiss in not putting myself in this list? I’ve had over 30 short horror stories included in anthologies with monsters ranging from: vampires, mad men, witches, unicorns (yes, you read that right) Jack the Ripper, dark faeries and much more. If you’d like to read my horror stories, pop along to my Amazon author page and take a look at the macabre selection on offer.

 

 

 

 

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Interview with author Angeline Trevena

Angeline Trevena bw

My next interview is with Angeline Trevena, who is the author of ‘No Smoke Without Fire’ which is included in the Tales of the Undead: Suffer Eternal Volume II anthology.

When did you realise you wanted to be a horror writer?

I’ve always been a big horror fan; my brother and I watching every old horror movie we could get our hands on, but when it came to reading and writing, it was all about fantasy. It was only a few years ago that I started reading horror. It all began with Stephen King’s On Writing which I received one Christmas. I read it in just a few days, unable to put it down. I went on to read Green Mile and Misery, and found I couldn’t get enough. They made me jumpy and
nervous, just like horror movies do, but they got into my bones in a way that a 90 minute movie never could. This started me writing horror, and with the publication of my first short story, a ghost story, I decided that this was where I wanted to be. I still write fantasy, and a mash-up of both genres, but I tend to class myself, first and foremost, as a horror writer.

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What was the first story you got published? Is there anything you’d change about it now?

The first story I had published was ‘The Vincent Orphanage’ which was picked for the Mirador Fantasmagoria anthology in January 2011. It’s a ghost story about a girl who is forced to confront her past when a journalist wants to tell her story.
To be honest, I’ve not read it since; I’m too scared that I would want to change all of it because my writing has developed so much over the last two years. That’s what I love about writing – you never stop learning, or honing your craft. And I think, left to our own devices, us writers would never consider any of our work completely finished. We could probably tweak it forever.

What’s your thoughts on authors and social media? Which sites do you prefer?

I’m a big social network addict. I’m active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and Blogger. Largely, I don’t think I’m reaching readers that much, I mostly interact with other writers. But this has been brilliant for me. I am a member of a fantastic little critique group on Google+, and they have helped me to polish and tighten up my work, just as I’ve helped them with theirs. I hear about calls for submissions, interview and guest blogging opportunities, and chances to promote myself as a writer. I love the amount of encouragement, support and advice that’s on offer. Everyone’s so willing to help each other, and I, in turn, love to pass on tips and help other writers out where I can.

What’s your favourite horror monster and why?

I’m very fond of vampires. I love the huge variety of guises and attitudes they’ve been given over the years; from the sophistication of Interview with the Vampire to the animalistic brutishness of 30 Days of Night. I think we’ll always be fascinated by a creature higher up the food-chain than ourselves, superior creatures, creatures that represent the one thing we, as a race, seem desperate to hold onto – the beauty of youth.

Suffer Eternal II (small)

What is the worst mistake a new writer can make? And what advice would you give them?

One of the worst mistakes is info dumping, not just back story, but generally giving far too much unnecessary information. One of the reasons readers love to read is because they have great imaginations, and they love to use them. Don’t describe and explain everything in detail; let your readers fill in the gaps. Information should be drip-fed throughout a story, not crammed into the start of it. And it should be revealed through speech and action. Don’t narrate the story; let your characters tell it themselves.

Angeline’s website              Angeline’s Twitter: