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#FallIntoHorror: Ramblings of a Horror Geek by SH Roddey

Published September 29, 2015 by admin

Oh you know I had to include a post by S.H. Roddey. She’d probably mail me something weird if I didn’t, although with our friendship, we pretty much do that to each other anyway, so who knows with her…

Or maybe I’m safe. She needs me to help kill the zombies, after all….

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Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome S.H. Roddey as they share their thoughts on fall and horror.

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Ramblings of a Horror Geek

I watched Hellraiser last night. The last time I sat down and watched that movie was more than ten years ago. And it was quite a bit longer ago that I read the book. I was a lot younger and a lot more impressionable then, and the Cenobites used to scare the hell out of me. The Chatterer still freaks me out because I used to have nightmares about things that looked like him when I was a kid.

Then I dreamed about killing zombies. It seems whenever these crazy zombie dreams manifest, Selah Janel is always there. Last night she helped me cut down hundreds of zombies while trying to simultaneously rescue someone and get out of a drive-in theater park. Last time we went on an adventure in my dreams, we were looking at buying a house where the groundskeeper was using zombie labor to rebuild an old manor owned by giants.

Don’t ask…I can’t explain any of it.

So at two o’clock this morning I was lying awake in bed, trying to sort out the ramblings of my mind, and this crazy thought appeared in the forefront: I’m a writer. Why not put all these things together and actually make a book out of it? Which meant that at 2:15 this morning, I was sitting in the dark with a notebook and a pen, scribbling down ideas in a vain attempt to create a reasonable plot out of the madness in my head.

By 2:30, I was watching old Peanuts cartoons and wondering exactly where I detoured into left field. I wasn’t always this weird, warped creature. When I was a kid, I was …

Oh hell, who am I kidding? I was never normal.

After the movie last night, my husband and I had an interesting discussion about iconic movie monsters. Nine times out of ten, when I ask someone to name a slasher flick monster, one of six names comes to mind. Let’s review the list, shall we?

Chucky: Okay, so I don’t really consider Chuckie all that “monster”ish. He’s basically Pinocchio on LSD. And a pretty stupid character, in my humble opinion. HOWEVER, when it comes to creeps and chills, he’s definitely up there on the list of horror icons. He’s rude and he’s crass, and there’s not much stopping the director from firing it up with a bit o’ doll-porn in later episodes of the franchise. Not my favorite, but definitely note-worthy.

Michael Myers: He’s not a monster in the sense that the others are, but he’s still scary. When dealing with serial-killing psychos, this name seems to pop to the top quite a bit. I personally enjoy the Rob Zombie remake better than the original even though the story of the original face being a cut-up version of a William Shatner mask makes me giggle with manic glee. Except that the chase scene goes on for about half an hour too long. Plus it was a lot of fun at Fandom Fest a few years ago watching him play pool with Jack Sparrow and the Borg in the bar.

Leatherface: Again with the murderers! Mutated mass murdering psychotic monsters? Yep, you got ’em right here. The movies themselves are a light-plotted bloodbath, yet based on true events. The concept seems to appeal to the masses on a fundamental level, yet I almost find myself pitying Leatherface himself because of his sad, sadistic lot in life. Random yet related: Bob Elmore is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. It’s not every day you turn around to find a real-life movie monster (minus the mask) standing behind you. I’m not a big fan of the gore, but I gained a new respect for the character that day.

Pinhead: See above. Creepy, bizarre, and all around nasty individual. Plus his backstory as a human-turned-monster is interesting. The makeup on this guy is kickass and the character’s personality is one that leaves nothing to the imagination. He’s the ultimate hedonist, presented in a way that you can’t help but love him even as he’s turning you inside out and destroying your soul. Just another reason why I aspire to be Clive Barker when I grow up.

Jason Vorhees: Okay, so he’s one of the big ones that EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD knows and adores, but can I just say that I don’t buy it for a second? The original “Friday the 13th” was a great movie because the crazy person wasn’t Jason. However, the story in the first movie created a wholly unrealistic basis for the character that would become the icon for the franchise. JASON VORHEES DROWNED AS A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD, PEOPLE!!! HE CAN’T COME BACK AS AN ADULT MAN WITH INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF MACHETES! Regardless of what I believe, people love him, and the franchise has, in fact, made a ludicrous amount of money allowing him to run around and hack mostly-naked teenage girls to bits over and over again.

Freddy Kruger: Now we’re talking. When I was a kid, Freddy was my big one. He scared me senseless. I still to this day can’t watch Dream Warriors without a chill crawling up my spine. Yeah, the character itself has a few holes in his realism, but the scariest part of Freddy? You can’t kill what doesn’t actually exist. Which is why I have to call bullshit on Jason Vorhees winning that battle. The writer and director failed miserably on that one. But I’m also a little biased, so it’s all good. Well, at least until you hear the knocking and that creepy little voice. “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…”

So in the end what do we take from all of this? Pinhead is freaky and Freddy Kruger is the stuff of which my bad dreams are made. Now tell me, Creeps, who’s your worst nightmare?

HAUNTED

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ABOUT S.H. RODDEY

South Carolina native S.H. Roddey has been writing for fun since she was a child and still enjoys building worlds across the speculative fiction spectrum filled with mystery and intrigue. She brings to the literary world a unique blend of humor, emotion, and wild ideas filled with dark themes and strong characters. She is a voracious reader, wannabe chef, and video game addict with two full-time jobs: administrative professional and mom to human and furry children alike. She also enjoys being married to her best friend and full-time muse. Stalk her at: http://www.shroddey.com http://creepyauthorgirl.wordpress.com http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSHRoddey http://www.twitter.com/draickinphoenix


Click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway


ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

#FallIntoHorror: What Lives in the Darkness? by Tom Olbert

Published September 28, 2015 by admin

It’s baaaaaack! I’m bringing you another autumnal and potentially horrific post today, courtesy of Mocha Memoirs Press author Tom Olbert!

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome TOM OLBERTas he shares his thoughts on fall and horror.

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WHAT LIVES IN THE DARKNESS?

And fall is here. Only just, but its chill fingers can already be felt creeping up our spines. Before we know it, the leaves will turn, the days will shorten, and the shadow of the equinox will creep in silently in summer’s wake. The time of transition, when, it is said, the veil between this world and the next runs thin, and spirits walk the earth. Time for tales of horror to slip under the wire of our reason and stoke the fires of our nightmares.

Horror takes many forms, both subtle and gross. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves and ghouls. The shadows of arcane superstition that never stop haunting us, even into this digital age. The unknown touching our primal fears from the inky blackness of the dark.

But, there’s another kind of horror, too. The horror of the dark places within the human mind and the dark places buried deep in the human soul, where we fear to look, perhaps even more than we fear the darkness outside. The demons we carry within are the ones we can never escape. Such evil can take many forms. Like the shadowy figure of Jack the Ripper skulking in the shadows of dark, misty, gas lit midnight streets, transcending time and space, a seemingly eternal horror that will always be with us. Because such evil is waiting to be born in the depths of each human soul, and will never die.

In my novella “Black Goddess,” I tried to explore those dark depths we call evil. The evil of the torturer. Of the murderer. The evil of hate and revenge and unimaginable cruelty that defies all reason and devours the soul of both victim and victimizer. Such darkness has been with us from the beginning, in particularly dark chapters of history, taking on forms of evil so pure, so horrific that our darkest dreams pale in comparison.

The eternal question presents itself to a troubled young man who has seen evil up close and intimately: Is evil merely a random perversion of human emotion spawned by violence and chaos, or…is evil a primal force, like a dark infection stealing its way into the human soul, feeding on it from within like a parasite, until nothing beside remains?

The protagonist of “Black Goddess€ becomes obsessed with the nature and essence of the evil that has destroyed his life and his faith. His search for answers evolves into a dark quest that is destroying him, little by little. The closer he draws to the dark, forbidden cosmic truth at the heart of the darkness, the more he hungers for it to the exclusion of all else, like a drug addict endlessly seeking his next fix. He has given his life, and possibly his soul to a dark experiment through which he reaches closer and closer to the center of time and space. What will he find at the center of creation? God, or Satan? When he looks into the mirror of the first moment of time, will he find light or darkness at the core of his own soul?

What can any of us expect to find, when we peel back the layers of sanity we show to the world, and face the darkness we carry inside?

BLACK GODDESS

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Click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway


ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

#FallIntoHorror: The Ultimate Test by Carole Ann Moleti

Published September 26, 2015 by admin

I’m back with more Mocha Memoirs Press magnificence! Today’s post comes with an excerpt that I think you’ll find most intriguing…

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome CAROLE ANN MOLETI as she shares her thoughts on fall and horror.

The Ultimate Test was the first horror story I’ve ever written. My long term critique partner, supernatural horror writer Andrew Richardson, gave me a tremendous amount of support and encouragement. I scared myself by embracing all those dark thoughts. Since then, I’ve dabbled on the dark side with “The Dhampir’s Kiss” in Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires. And my novel in progress Boulevard of Bad Spells and Broken Dreams is a very dark urban fantasy heavily based on Santeria. “Mishmash Magick” in Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft and “Dance With the Devil” in Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance are short excerpts of Boulevard adapted to a short story format. I have a great deal of difficulty reading horror, probably because I have to escape from what I see so much of in real life. I’ve ridden ambulances and worked in the ERs of many of hospitals in The Bronx, Harlem, and Washington Heights—some of the most violent places in New York City. I’ve been out on the streets and in the botánicas both working and doing ethnographic research, immersing myself in normal, everyday activities and places to absorb the essence of the experience. I’ll leave you to figure out what’s real in my stories and what’s not. So, now it’s time for you to share your reasons for reading, or not reading horror.

The Ultimate Test

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The sweet, floral essence of magic swirled through the botánica. Candles flickered in front of a riot of statuary.

Muy buenas, mi amor.” A shriveled woman hoisted herself from a chair in the corner and hobbled over.

Hola, Señora.” Aramis handed over a list of the herbs she needed.

“¿Tu eres santera?” The woman’s gnarled finger traced down the list. Her eyes narrowed to read the tight English script.

“No. I study herbology. Las plantas.”

“One who use these do more than study, mi amor.” The lines in the crone’s face deepened with a broad smile. “Una bruja, tu estas.”

“Not only witches use herbs.” If she associated with anyone who practiced The Craft, they would all be subject to discipline. Memories of wise women being brutalized and dragged from their homes tickled her brain.

“No ten miedo, mi amor. I no tell. Las santeras help las brujas. Somos hermanas. Sisters.” She gestured Aramis into a chair and lowered herself into a seat.

Her attention focused on a bowl of cloudy water beneath the icons. She picked up Aramis’ hands rubbed the palms. “Vengeance. You seek vengeance.”

“Yes.” Aramis followed as the woman wandered around the shop collecting several packets and tiny brown bottles.

A pencil scratched as the santera totaled the order on a scrap of paper. “To aid you, burn this candle until it’s done, then return to me so I can finish it and give you further instructions. $75.00.”

Aramis took the black jar. The wax pillar inside swam in murky liquid that bubbled at her touch. She left a $100.00 bill on the counter.

The Ultimate Test Buy Link

ABOUT CAROLE ANN MOLETI

Carole Ann Moleti lives and works as a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her nonfiction focuses on health care, politics, and women’s issues. But her first love is writing science fiction and fantasy because walking through walls is less painful than running into them.

Carole’s work has appeared in a variety of literary and speculative fiction venues. Short stories set in the world of her novels are featured in several of the Ten Tales anthologies and the Toil, Trouble and Temptation Anthology at Mocha Memoirs Press. The Widow’s Walk, a Cape Cod paranormal romance, was published by Soulmate in 2014. The prequel, Breakwater Beach, is due out in early 2016.

Where you can find Carole: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleAnnMoletiAuthor Twitter: https://twitter.com/CMoleti Blog: http://caroleannmoleti.blogspot.com Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Ann-Moleti/e/B007ASNBVK


Click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize,a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway


ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

#FallIntoHorror Why Characters are so Important by Alexandra Christian

Published September 25, 2015 by admin

It’s time to kick off Mocha Memoirs Press’s Fall into Horror event! REMINDER: Tonight is also the facebook party, so drop by this evening to talk to all of us! I’m also in love with Lexxx’s post today, because it’s an issue near and dear to my heart, so let’s check it out!

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome ALEXANDRA CHRISTIAN as they share their thoughts on fall and horror.

Why Characters are So Important

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So I’m known for writing romance and I’m okay with that. Romance has given me a lot in the last several years. Even if it’s tragic, I love a good love story. Which surprises a lot of people who know me personally. I’ve been described by my family and friends as weird, morbid, and dark. My bookshelf looks like some kind of monument to Stephen King. So to the outside world, the fact that I write and read romance novels probably seems slightly off-kilter. Shouldn’t I be a horror novelist? I’ve often asked myself that same question. But truthfully—the procedures are quite similar if you think about it. Both horror and romance are fueled by the love between the characters. At least, they should be.

Take Stephen King’s The Shining. On the surface that story is about a man who is half-crazed with desperation losing his mind in a haunted hotel. That is NOT what The Shining is about. It’s about a little boy who loves his father and knowing that something terrible is happening to him. It’s about a man who loves his family so much that he’s willing to go to any length to support them. It’s about a mother who is at the end of her rope but still praying for a miracle because she loves her husband. In fact, Wendy is almost as perceptive as Danny. She knows something terrible is happening to her husband but because of her love for both him and her child, she’s trying to make the best of things. The love between those characters is what holds that story together. Without it, the whole thing would just be bland.

So many people think that horror is about scaring or hate or monsters and to an extent it is. Horror is often dealing with our deepest fears and the monsters are usually outward personifications of those dark things within ourselves that we’d like to forget. But at the center of any good horror story, there has to be a complex character(s) that the reader can care about. At least to some degree. Otherwise, what’s the point? Who cares if the monster eats Johnny’s face if Johnny is a flat character with no relationships and no personality? That’s why the climax of Dracula is Lucy’s very gruesome death. Once Dracula kills Lucy—devoted friend of Mina—the intensity of the story grows to a fever pitch, making it imperative that they slay the vampire. And then at the end of the story when Dracula is ultimately destroyed—we actually feel bad for him. Stoker spends all that time building the characters through those journal entries so that we care when bad things start to happen. And that’s what makes a good horror story.

This month I get to make my debut as an editor with the release of An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It’s a collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries that are also horror stories. There’s a wide variety of stories there. Everything from zombies to werewolves and even a vampire story, but the one thing they all have in common are great characters. Beyond the mystery, Holmes and Watson have an interesting relationship that really plays into putting them in horrific situations. Not only that, but my authors have introduced some original characters that add depth to the stories that rival Conan Doyle’s—in my humble opinion. A pair of scheming old lady novelists, a brother and sister desperate to retain their immortality, a fallen nobleman who is so frantic to regain his former glory that he’d resort to extreme measures—these are just some of the characters that you’ll encounter.

So when the autumn chill is upon us, curl up with a cup of tea and a great horror story. Mocha Memoirs Press is spotlighting their horror titles this month and I’m sure there’s something there to tickle your fancy. Vampires, aliens, werewolves, or real-world monsters—there’s a book for every taste! Happy reading!

An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes


Click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway


ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Women in Horror Interview: Ekaterina Tikhoniuk

Published March 21, 2014 by admin

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!

 grotesquerie

 Mocha Memoirs Press Store                          Kindle                     Paperback

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…

Women in Horror Interview: Eden Royce

Published March 20, 2014 by admin

First, thanks to all the authors of The Grotesquerie who participated in my interviews! I’m pleased and proud to not only be able to showcase so many different insights on my blog, but to stand with you guys in the same book.

I thought I’d wrap this up with the woman whose evil genius plan it was to bring The Grotesquerie to fruition. That’s right, today it’s my pleasure to interview author/Grotesquerie editor, Eden Royce!

SJ: Why horror? Out of all the things to write, why does this genre appeal to you?

ER: While I read and write in several genres, I always come back to horror.  There’s something so visceral, so basic about it. Not everyone loves romance. Not everyone is thrilled by adventure.  Everyone has fears. Reading and writing horror is a way to expose yourself to those basic instincts we all have, in a way that’s controllable. I mean, if it starts to be too much, you can put the book down or hide the DVD in the freezer.

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?

ER: I love gothic horror. Isolated houses on cliff tops, mad scientists, hidden rooms, and family secrets. I enjoyed the black and white movies from the 30s with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, as well as the Hitchcock classics.  Sci-fi horror is also a favorite of mine. John Carpenter’s The Thing and Alien come to mind.

When I found myself thinking, “You know what should have happened?” I knew I wanted to write my own vision of horror with my sensibilities.

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?

ER: In some works, particularly comic books, women in refrigerators are common. If you’re not familiar with the term, you can read about it here: http://lby3.com/wir/index.html and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Refrigerators

As horror progresses, it’s evolving and shaking off some of the tropes of the genre. More women are surviving horror movies. There are more Black “final girls” in movies. Publishing is releasing more stories in which women are strong, smart, and involved in the storyline; they’re not just naked and dying early in the work to fuel a male character’s vengeance.

Male readers can find female characters to resonate with them, but these female characters must be ones of substance. They need to be multi-layered, able to keep up with their male counterparts, have brains and grit.

SJ: Why do people need to know about women horror writers, film makers, etc. What makes us equal or special in this already-saturated genre?

ER: People need to know there are female horror fans out there. I think that’s sometimes overlooked. Inevitably, when a group of people is interested in something—a sport, a type of game, whatever—they want to put their fingerprint on it. The same with horror. Women love the tension of horror, the unexpected, and the unsettling creep it brings.  Many women have had a fascination with horror for years, but there are times when we’ve watched a movie and thought: No woman would ever really do that.

Women right now are underrepresented in the horror genre.  That makes us hungry to show what we can do and that’s instill fear with the best of them.

 SJ:Who are some women horror writers/film makers/etc that people definitely should know about?

In the past: Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House) and Daphne DuMaurier (The Birds –Yes, the one Alfred Hitchcock adapted into a movie.)

Current: Tananarive Due (My Soul to Take), Rebecca Besser (Hall of Twelve), Crystal Connor (The Spectrum Trilogy).  Darkeva created a list of “Women Horror Writers You Probably Haven’t Heard Of (But Should Know)” and it’s posted on the Hellnotes website.  Check it out here  Http://Hellnotes.Com/Top-25-Women-Horror-Writers-You-Probably-Havent-Heard-Of-But-Should-Know

 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?

ER: It’s a combination of all of the above. We also have to realize that there will be those that directly oppose focusing on women writers of horror or women writers in general. I’ve seen several posts that ask: “When is Men in Horror month?”

We can’t be concerned about those posts.  We as females in horror: writers, readers, film-markers, artists, need to encourage each other, share our work, and put out the best, the scariest, the most core-shaking product we can.

Then the world can’t help but listen.

 

grotesquerie

 

 Mocha Memoirs Press Store                          Kindle                     Paperback

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…

 

Women in Horror Interview: Evelyn Deshane

Published March 19, 2014 by admin

 Today I’m interviewing Evelyn Deshane about her horror influences and how she views the genre! (And huge, huge cheers for the  R.L. Stine mention and the short answer to the first question!)

SJ: Why horror? Out of all the things to write, why does this genre appeal to you?

ED: Short answer: it’s beautiful.

Longer and more in-depth answer: horror as a genre allows me to explore things to do with gender, sexuality, and other taboo subjects that I may not have been able to do in other genres I write in. Through this exploration, I can look at things that once frightened me and render them into something beautiful, yet horrifying at the same time. In that way, they become manageable and no longer as scary.

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?

ED: I grew up when R. L. Stine was huge. I loved his books though they were all carbon copies of the same story. It didn’t matter – they were great. When I got older, I realized how often he based his basic story (high school female protagonists) on the old tropes of slasher films for his Fear Street Series in particular. So I watched a bunch of slasher films and became a fan from there.

In university, I discovered the academic work of Carol J. Clover who wrote Men, Women, and Chainsaws. That was another interesting turning point, too. Clover can discuss the relationship between gender in slasher films a lot better than I can right now, but what she realized was that there was always a “final girl” who survived at the end of this. You can see this final girl image lasting and then transforming as horror has grown. Another thing Clover stated was that horror films become teenager’s versions of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They deal with unconscious hopes and desires, but they present it in a visceral, gritty way that does not try to hide reality. The best advice you can give kids is not that monsters don’t exist – it’s that kids can, like the boys and girls in fairy tales, beat those monsters at their own games and survive.

I also absolutely admire Angela Carter. She wrote speculative or weird fiction more than she wrote straight up horror. But her stories are deeply rooted in that same tradition that Carol J. Clover discusses. She uses psychoanalytic images, the final girl archetype, and typical fairy tale tropes to flesh out her worlds. She’s most well known for her short story collection The Bloody Chamber, but I love her dystopian sci-fi novel The Passion of New Eve. Utterly horrifying and mythic, but absolutely beautiful. I wish to produce the type of horror that, in the end, is as beautiful as it is terrifying.

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?

ED: Absolutely men can identify with female characters. I think that times are changing in particular. The audience is getting smarter and knows when to reject bad characters or bad plots. And I think that TV shows and movies are adapting right alongside.

SJ: Why do people need to know about women horror writers, film makers, etc. What makes us equal or special in this already-saturated genre?

ED: Unique perspective. Horror is as much about inhabiting a different POV than your own to see if what they find terrifying is also scary to you. One thing that unites us all (other than maybe love) is fear. We all know, in the most basic and visceral sense, what it is like to be afraid. Ultimately, people should want to know about women (or transgender or gay or people of colour) horror writers because it provides a unique perspective – with the hope to then unify in some way.

 SJWho are some women horror writers/film makers/etc that people definitely should know about?

ED: Angela Carter, easily! There is a film of her “wolf” stories, that all revolve around a similar Little Ride Riding Hood Motif (though I assure you, it’s not just little red riding hood and the huntsman) called The Company of Wolves. Highly recommend. I think Carol J. Clover’s scholarship is a must-read for any female horror writer, too.

Also – give the Hannibal TV show a chance. One thing that Bryan Fuller (producer, writer) did with this version is he gender swapped two of the main characters from their male counterparts in Thomas Harris’ saga. That’s a practice usually done in fan fiction to queer up the text, but Fuller’s done it right from the start! He’s also gone on record stating that he will not resort to the rape-kill trope so many other crime shows use. This show also does the type of beautiful horror that I love. Just gorgeous cinematography, fully-realized characters, great writing, everything. Go and watch. Right now.

Thanks so much, Evelyn! You can find her story, Baby Eyes, in The Grotesquerie (along with so many other awesome horror stories), and be sure to check out her Tumblr!

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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.

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