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.
photo credit Erin Shaw
CM: Oh, lifelong horror fan here, starting with watching the old Universal and Hammer flicks on TV during Saturday night creature features … started reading Stephen King at age 10, always been my favorite genre. When I got started as a writer, because I also played Dungeons and Dragons, I tried to go with fantasy at first. But, even then, things sometimes tended to get dark. I’d go to the conventions and really feel like the odd duck out because everyone would be talking about books and authors I may have heard of but hadn’t much read. Moving over to horror was a rightness and a relief in so many ways … I was happier writing it, I felt much more at home among my fellow readers and writers and fans … it’s where I belong.
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’?”
CM: Y’know, it’s funny how most of the time I see someone posting or saying that, it’s a straight white guy and nearly all the entertainment he consumes is exactly what caters to straight white guys. That’s their normal. It’s the majority of what they see. They’re comfortable with it, and that’s how they DEFINE what’s a good story. Something that doesn’t cater to them, that doesn’t make them feel comfortable, they’re much more likely to therefore dismiss as NOT a good story, no matter how it’s written. So, basically, I think it’s a weaksauce excuse along the lines of saying “I don’t see race!” because they don’t want to confront the possibility of having to maybe look at their own biases. I do have mixed feelings about Women in Horror Month, because on the one hand we’ve been here all along, but on the other, it still seems like we need to keep bringing attention to it.
Who are some Women In Horror (or other women) who have influenced your work, and why?
CM: Monica J. O’Rourke all the way. Every time someone trots out the whole “girls can’t write / don’t like horror,” especially extreme horror, I want to sit their butts down and make them read her stuff, and then try to tell me that. I greatly admire Damien Angelica Walters, who unfailingly writes some of the most artful, skilled prose I’ve seen. Mary “The Professor” SanGiovanni, who is not only a fantastic writer but has so much great stuff to say about the genre and these issues. To name just a few!
2020 will probably be remembered as a TERRIBLE year for many of us; tell me something GOOD that happened in the past 12 months.
CM: Given I spent the three years PRIOR to 2020 dealing with having cancer in my face, which involved multiple surgeries and hospitalizations and radiation treatment and monstrous medical bills … honestly, for me, 2020 hasn’t been SO bad by comparison. I’m relatively healthy now, all things considered … my real-world job’s “essential” enough that I haven’t been as financially affected … I never had much of a social life anyway. All that, and Lakehouse Infernal won the Splatterpunk Award for best novel, my splatter western has gotten all kinds of good attention, I have several new books coming out, and the current work in progress (Warlock Infernal) is going well.
What have you got planned for Women in Horror Month, and the coming months of 2021?
CM: Several venues (blogs, sites, podcasts) have approached me for interviews and such, which has been both gratifying and a little intimidating. I don’t have any particular other big plans for the month (or indeed the year) myself except to keep writing, reading, reviewing, taking on the occasional edit gig, tinkering with my weird baking and crafts, paying attention to my kitties, and hoping we get this whole damn pandemic thing sorted out soon, because, even reclusive and isolated as I am, I do miss being able to get together with people.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers? Thanks for participating in Women in Horror Month!
CM: I’ll go ahead and do some shameless plugs for what’s coming up … my hard-to-categorize book Birthright should be out later this month from Bloodshot Books; my second collection of Viking themed tales, The Wolf’s Feast, is due in late spring from Word Horde; and my deep-sea chompy, Trench Mouth, will be ready in time for summer vacation reading from Madness Heart Press. People might get sick of me before the year’s out, but they are all fairly different in terms of story and style, so, here’s hoping that won’t be the case.
Bio: Christine Morgan has been dubbed a “Queen of Splatterpunk” and “the Martha Stewart of
extreme horror.” Author of the award-winning Lakehouse Infernal and many other novels and
short stories, she also writes, reviews, edits, does weird crafts and baking, mortifies her daughter,
and gets bossed around by cats.
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Selene MacLeod is a night operator and sometime writing hobbyist. She holds a BA in Communications from Wilfrid Laurier University and resides in Kitchener, Ontario. Her work has appeared in several horror and crime fiction anthologies, most recently Shotgun Honey, Drag Noir (Fox Spirit Books); and the upcoming Freakshow: Freakishly Fascinating Tales of Mystery and Suspense (Copper Pen Press), and Tragedy Queens (Clash Media).She’s most excited about editing a charity anthology for Nocturnicorn Books called Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, due out late 2017.