Surprise! I actually had more responses than I originally thought, and because this issue is one near and dear to me, I’m just going to keep right on going 😀
Today my guest is Ekaterina Tikhoniuk! Her story, Emily, is also in The Grotesquerie, and I can’t wait to see what she has to say about the genre.
SJ: Why horror? Out of all the things to write, why does this genre appeal to you?
ET: I suppose I have always had a fascination for the darker side of things, and I’ve loved reading horror stories since I was a child so it seemed natural that my first stories and bookswould be horror.
SJ: Who or what were your horror genre inspirations growing up? What made you realize that you wanted to explore and participate in the genre?
ET: R. L. Stine, Christopher Pike, then later Anne Rice, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Lovecraft, Stephen King. I think the R.L. Stine books were what first started my love for all things dark!
SJ: What are women’s roles as horror characters? Are we doomed to be portrayed as victims or numbers on the sexual richter scale? Is it possible for male readers to find female horror characters that resonate with them?
ET: It seems to me that mainstream horror is filled with overwhelmingly archetypal women characters, either as helpless damsel in distress or feisty heroine or evil seductress! Maybe there has to be something in between, with real women characters with depth and character development, ie. a woman character that shows both strength AND weakness throughout the story/film, as opposed to being delegated to one of the archetypes.
SJ: Where do we go from here? Is it a matter of authors reaching out to local stores and libraries during February to encourage displays or readings by women horror writers? Is this an issue that should be taken to publishers to make sure there is equal representation of female-written horror in their catalogues? Is it a marketing issue, something that just gets lost in a jam-packed market? Is it a matter of readers just not knowing or caring, of sticking with what they know?
ET: I think firstly reaching out to libraries and shops would be the best bet! As I can imagine it being extremely difficult to influence what publishers will or will not publish. As for myself, the horror writers I know of tend to be very mainstream, and mostly men, so I think it could also an issue of marketing. I believe that people tend to stick with what they know, so increased marketing/awareness of up-and-coming women authors could make a massive difference! Maybe horror publications could every year devote one issue to women writers to spread the word and momentum of Women in Horror Recognition Month.
Be sure to check out Ekaterina on Facebook!
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Twenty-two short horror stories written by women are here on display for your enjoyment or your perverse fascination. Within these pages, beauty becomes deadly, innocence kills, and karma is a harsh mistress.
The Grotesquerie is now open…