WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Scarlett R. Algee
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.
Hi! I’m Scarlett R. Algee, and I’m the managing editor of JournalStone Publishing and Trepidatio Publishing—you may know us from our releases such as Gwendolyn Kiste’s The Rust Maidens and Sarah Read’s The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, both Bram Stoker Award® winners. I’m also an executive producer and writer for the podcast The Wicked Library, and I write the odd bit of fiction in my spare time.
My interest in horror goes back a way, though I was a college student when I first started seriously reading horror fiction (I had a fairly conservative upbringing, and horror wasn’t really a part of my childhood). I have a deep fascination with the visceral and the disturbing—I was that biology student who actually enjoyed dissection!—so it’s been really nice to discover first the genre of horror, and then the community.
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 in Horror Month is important because hey, it’s the 21st century and there’s a lot of horror by female creators that’s still flying far under the radar. Our contributions need much more public recognition.
It’s easy to say “I don’t care as long as it’s a good story”—but I’ve seen that line used to justify not consuming work by female-identifying creators, as though “good story” is a standard we just can’t quite achieve, which is simply false. Yes, you should deliberately seek out female-created work. Imbibe those differing experiences and broaden your horizons.
Who are some Women In Horror (or other women) who have influenced your work, and why?
Livia Llewellyn and Sarah Read have been big influences; they’re both masterful at describing horrible things in beautiful language. Outside of horror, Emily Dickinson’s poetry has taught me a lot about brevity, though it took me a few years to appreciate that (and she gets pretty dark, too).
2020 will probably be remembered as a TERRIBLE year for many of us; tell me something GOOD that happened in the past 12 months.
Aside from getting to publish a lot of amazing books by other people, 2020 turned out to be the year I finally released a collection of my own, Bleedthrough and Other Small Horrors—I finally understand all the anxiety that surrounds a new release! Last year also saw the release of my short story “And Cast It From You” as an episode for The Wicked Library; it’s probably one of my most body-centered stories to date.
What have you got planned for Women in Horror Month, and the coming months of 2021?
Lots of reading! I’ve just finished Lisa Tuttle’s collection The Dead Hours of Night, which is excellent—these are stories that will linger long after you finish reading—and I’m about to start Alisa Kwitney’s Cadaver & Queen. I’m also helping put together a WIHM episode for The Wicked Library that will air later this month, and will introduce our listeners to some great new authors.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers? Thanks for participating in Women in Horror Month!
Keep creating and keep celebrating! We need your voices.
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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.