Author: Selene MacLeod

WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Shannon Lawrence

Welcome to The Horror Tree, and thank you for participating in Women In Horror Month. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in horror.

Growing up, my grandma would sneak me into horror movies with her and try to keep it from my mom, but I loved horror, so she kept doing it. One of the first films I saw with her was “Cat People” in 1982 at the Lancaster Mall Theater in Salem, Oregon. I would have been all of five years old. I don’t know if that was the first one she took me to, but I do remember coming out afterward and my mom wanting to know what movie we’d gone to. You see, she was the manager of the theater my grandma had taken me to. Pretty sure grandma WANTED to get busted.

I used to watch horror and sci-fi with my dad. We watched “V” and “Doctor Who.” He was the one I watched “X-Files” and “Twin Peaks” with when those came on. And my parents had shelves of horror fiction, which is where I discovered Stephen King and Dean R. Koontz. So the fact that I grew to love horror more and more through the years, only to one day start writing it, isn’t much of a surprise. Plus, I’ve lived a fairly colorful life, which has given me plenty of fodder for the bloody gristmill. I love to write horror short stories and now I’ve got a true crime podcast, which has been a fun change of pace.
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WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Elaine Pascale

Welcome to The Horror Tree, and thank you for participating in Women In Horror Month. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in horror. 

I have always been a horror afficionado. I love to read horror; watch horror films; review horror books, graphic novels, movies. I find horror to be soothing. It is a safe way of releasing anxiety. In my “pay my bills life,” I have always worked in academia and have found ways of implementing horror into the curriculum I develop. It has always been a major interest of mine and a big part of who I am.

 
Why is Women In Horror Month important, and what do you say to someone who says ‘Oh, I don’t care if it’s by a man, a woman, etc., as long as it’s a good story’?” 
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WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Rie Sheridan Rose

Welcome to The Horror Tree, and thank you for participating in Women In Horror Month. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in horror.

I have been a horror fan all my life. I read every Stephen King book I could get growing up. Loved to watch Night Gallery, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits. Did a duet scene cut from Carrie in high school. It was just fun to be a little scared.

Why is Women In Horror Month important, and what do you say to someone who says ‘Oh, I don’t care if it’s by a man, a woman, etc., as long as it’s a good story’?”

Easy for people to say, but if you look at the shelves, it DOES make a difference if it was by a woman or a man. There still are disproportionate numbers of men there. Women in Horror Month is important because it helps to shine a spotlight on the fact that women can be just as scary, and there are a lot of writers you may not have heard out there creating some really spooky stuff. You never know who you might discover.
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WiHM 12: Six Quick Questions With Chantal Noordeloos

Welcome to The Horror Tree, and thank you for participating in Women In Horror Month. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in horror.

Thanks so much for having me here. It’s an honor.
So, about me, huh? This is the part where I guess everyone expects me to talk about how brave I am and how horror has been my life since an early age… except I’m a big, fat coward, and my relationship with the horror genre might be a tad masochistic.
I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was fifteen, thanks to a very cool English teacher who gave us a lot of creative writing assignments, but I was CONVINCED I would be a children’s book author. The signs that I would end up being a horror writer were there, I just never made the connection until I started writing short stories for anthologies.
I remember in college getting criticized for writing childish works (remember, I was writing children’s stories, so that critique left me a little baffled) and to retaliate I wrote a short about necrophilia from a first person point of view. My intention was to shock my teacher and fellow students, as I sat there reading this rather explicit piece of fiction, but instead I had them enthralled. It wasn’t the first dark story I had written, but it was the first time I had dared to go that far.
As for my past with horror… I have always been deeply afraid of the dark. Even now that I am old, I still have to turn all the lights on when I go wandering around the house. We all like to get a bit spooked (that’s the point of horror, right) but I would definitely have to admit I get more spooked than some. I’m that annoying person who hides behind a cushion (or her hands if there is no cushion available) during horror movies and makes other people tell me what’s happening. When people ask me where I get my inspiration from, I tell them: “From my own fears.” It doesn’t take much for me to imagine something that scares me, because EVERYTHING scares me. It really helps to get the creative juices flowing.
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WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Meihan Boey

Welcome to The Horror Tree, and thank you for participating in Women In Horror Month. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in horror.

I’m an author from Singapore! I have a science fiction novella out, The Messiah Virus, and an upcoming horror-comedy-romance, The Formidable Miss Cassidy, for which I was honoured to win the Singapore’s Epigram Books Fiction Prize.

Singapore, and Southeast Asia in general, has very strong traditions with regard to the supernatural. I grew up with tales of some horrific monsters – the Pontianak, a vampiric female monster who lives in banana groves; the Orang Minyak, and oily man who snatches up girls wandering at night; the toyol, the spirt of an aborted fetus; and so many more. As a child we had school trips literally to the depths of hell – Haw Par Villa, which boasts some briliantly-depicted dioramas of the traditional Chinese idea of hell, with lovingly-depicted images of sinners being eviscerated, minced up, eaten, dismembered,and many other wonderful sights children from other countries would never be allowed to look at.

I have been an avid Stephen King and Neil Gaiman fan since my teenage years, and a dedicated Brontemaniac from the day I first picked up Jane Eyre. My love of horror comes from these traditions – the idea of the ‘monster’ living right alongside you, hidden but waiting and watching.

Why is Women In Horror Month important, and what do you say to someone who says ‘Oh, I don’t care if it’s by a man, a woman, etc., as long as it’s a good story’?”

Horror is also a genre in which many publishers, to this day, still advise female authors to publish under a gender-neutral pen-name. It’s strange that there is some idea that women’s writing can’t be as terrifying as men’s. It’s also a genre in which, if the person on the street were asked to ‘name five female authors’, they probably couldn’t, notwithstanding the amazing work done by writers like Shirley Jackson and Joyce Carol Oates, not to mention Asian writers like Mariko Koike. We do absolutely need a Women in Horror month, to showcase these and other fantastic writers.
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WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Pamela K. Kinney

Welcome to The Horror Tree and thank you for participating in Women In Horror Month. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in horror.

 

I always enjoyed reading horror as much as fantasy and science fiction. So, it was natural for me to write what I read. I’ve always been interested in the dark side of life. 


Why is Women In Horror Month important, and what do you say to someone who says ‘Oh, I don’t care if it’s by a man, a woman, etc., as long as it’s a good story’?”

 

Because for a long time, there weren’t many women writing horror, even though we had women who wrote it as far back as the 1800s, like Mary Shelly (her novel, Frankenstein is considered hard science fiction too, so she proved women can write good sci-fi, also), Charlotte Perkins Gilman (who was not creeped out by her shirt story, “The Yellow Wallpaper?”), Ellen Glasgow (the author is from here where I live, Richmond, Virginia), and many others. I found that when people think of horror authors, many think of male ones. I believe we women write creepier than men, so they should try and read as many women horror authors as possible out there and see what I mean.  

 
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WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Nancy Kilpatrick

Welcome to The Horror Tree, and thank you for participating in Women In Horror Month. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in horror. 

 

I’ve been a full-time writer and editor for about 1/2 of my life and a dabbler before that. I started dabbling about the age of 7. Most of my work is in the horror and dark fantasy genres, but not all. Like many writers, I like to try my wordly skills at new types of writing or writing-related projects. To that end, over the years I have written: a graphic novel and a short story for a graphic antho; lots of non-fiction articles and reviews; a couple of radio plays; co-written a stage play; and even department store ad copy back in the day. I’ve also edited 15 anthologies. I’ve taught writing for a college and a university, many different courses over the years, but have now settled on one, Short Story Writing, which has two levels through George Brown College, Distance Ed.  I’ve had real jobs and if anyone reading this has time to kill, they can peruse my silly blog post about some of them: https://nancykilpatrickwriter.blogspot.com/2020/02/jobsworking-for-man-not-steve-noun.html?spref=bl

 

Why is Women In Horror Month important, and what do you say to someone who says ‘Oh, I don’t care if it’s by a man, a woman, etc., as long as it’s a good story’?” 
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WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Jo Kaplan

Welcome to The Horror Tree, and thank you for participating in Women In Horror Month. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in horror. 

I’m Jo Kaplan, author of the gothic horror novel It Will Just Be Us. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been drawn to horror. I used to scribble down my own scary stories, and I loved reading aloud the tales from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to freak out other people. These days I teach English at a local college and write horror, both novels and short stories, which have appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, Vastarien, Fireside Fiction, and in anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow, Lisa Morton, and Jonathan Maberry. I also write under the name Joanna Parypinski.

 

Why is Women In Horror Month important, and what do you say to someone who says ‘Oh, I don’t care if it’s by a man, a woman, etc., as long as it’s a good story’?” 

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with someone who doesn’t care whether the story is by a man, woman, etc., so I don’t know that I good have a response to that. Though it seems to me that sometimes the people who say that are just using it as an excuse against diversifying their reading… I’ve personally found horror helmed by women to be particularly provocative, emotional, beautiful, and potent. I also love horror by men! But because horror has for so long been a genre dominated by men—a genre which also has a history of blatant misogyny in the way women are portrayed both on screen and on the page—celebrating Women in Horror Month is a way of reminding everyone about the diverse perspectives that makes horror fresh and exciting. Reminding us that horror is not one-size-fits-all.

 

Who are some Women In Horror (or other women) who have influenced your work, and why?
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