WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Lori Michelle

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. 

Thank you for having me! My name is Lori Michelle. I am the co-owner of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and the Editor-in-Chief of Dark Moon Digest. In addition, I am the formatter for several small horror presses, so chances are, you have seen my work.

Not sure when my actual interest in horror began. I always thought Halloween was a great time of year (I like dressing up), and the Haunted Mansion was always one of my favorite spots at Disneyland, but I wasn’t the type to go after horror movies. I think horror became more important to me when my son was diagnosed with Leukemia. I was in the hospital and started reading short horror fiction. Maybe because I could escape the horror of reality by reading a horror that I knew didn’t exist?

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’?” 

Women seem to get the short end of the stick in everything. We get less wages, less promotions, and more work. Even today, women writers still have to fight to get noticed. We need to help promote the strong women who help the horror community move forward. Not to shut out the guys, but to show the world there are others. Plus, I think a woman can actually capture the nuance of some horrors better than a guy can. Most of us experience severe pain once a month (along with some lovely hormone swings) and several of us have experienced life. I know that no guy will ever capture the fear I have of something happening to the child I carried for 9 months. So when someone says something like that, I let them know they need to look for nuances in writing from women, from minorities, from other voices. They will get a perspective they may not have thought of before.

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


V.C. Andrews is my goddess. I loved her books growing up as a teenager and I was devastated when she passed away. No one can capture the grotesqueness of a dysfunctional family like she can. I know some of her stuff is a bit melodramatic, but Flowers in the Attic really resonated with me. I even wrote a term paper comparing it to Wuthering Heights. Considering I never actually read Wuthering Heights (I know I know) I felt pretty damn good getting an A.

2020 will probably be remembered as a TERRIBLE year for many of us; tell me something GOOD that happened in the past 12 months.


I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t lose my job, and still got paid even when everything was closed. So thankfully, I didn’t have to worry too much about making ends meet. And our business grew some this year. People want to buy books, so it helps us. Once a week, I trudge to the post office to mail out books. I like it.

What have you got planned for Women in Horror Month, and the coming months of 2021? 

I don’t have anything specific planned for WIH month. I probably should. Mostly I try to help promote those women who still actually write, while reminding people that there are others of us who lurk in the background. While Max Booth III (my partner in crime and in life) is more outspoken than I am and is creatively responsible for most of our books and stories, I am the one who does all the tedious back work. It takes both of us. I am sure there are many other women in a similar situation. As for the year, survival? I am a dance instructor, we went back into the studio in September and our recital is happening in May (with COVID precautions, I promise), so make it through that while still formatting, editing, making covers, taxes, ad paraphernalia, and teaching a kid who is doing school at home. What, who said “crazy”?

Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?


Independent Presses are run by hard working individuals. We don’t typically work as fast as the Big 5. We are not Amazon and can’t get you a book in 2 days. We are doing the best we can, most of the time on a tiny shoestring, while we juggle home responsibilities, full-tome jobs, and just generally living. Find us, friend us, support us. It means everything to us to have support.

Lori Michelle is the co-owner of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and the editor-in-chief of Dark Moon Digest magazine. She formats books for several publishers and freelancers. In the evening, she is Ms. Lori, dance teacher extraordinaire. She lives in Cibolo with her life partner, daughter, son, and two dogs. www.theauthorsalley.com

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