WiHM 12: Quick Six Questions With Trish Wilson
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.
My name is E. A. Black and I have written numerous short horror stories for various publications. I’ve also conducted interviews for The Horror Zine with my real name, Trish Wilson. I’ve loved horror since I was a child. I snuck my grandmothers Alfred Hitchcock books like “Stories That Scared Even Me” and I devoured all of them. I grew up on Creature Feature and Ghost Host on late night TV, which introduced me to Hammer Films which I love to this day. I also grew up in Baltimore, where Edgar Allan Poe lived for a few years and then mysteriously died. You can’t grow up in Baltimore and not get exposed to Poe. It’s practically a rite of passage, LOL.
I also worked as a gaffer (lighting), scenic artist, and makeup artist including FX for TV, movies, stage, and concerts. I did FX makeup for a forgettable indie horror film about a vampire. The movie was supposed to highlight local bands in Chapel Hill, NC, where it was filmed. The one band that made the big time was Squirrel Nut Zippers, which caught on during the swing craze of the 1990s. I did lighting for the movies “12 Monkeys” and “Die Hard With A Vengeance”. I was a makeup artist for the critically acclaimed TV series “Homicide: Life on the Street”. I had always wanted to work in the movies, and my degree in art gave me that opportunity.
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 have been ignored for too long. Whenever I see lists of “best of” horror books and short stories, there are usually few women on those lists. I’ve seen lists that consisted of only men. There are also people who think that women can’t write horror, much like some comedians think women aren’t funny enough to do stand-up. Then there is Jason Blum, of Blumhouse Pictures, who really thought there were not “a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror.” There are plenty of female directors who aren’t getting noticed due to beliefs such as his, which I’ll give him credit for changing his mind once women pointed out how many female directed horror movies there actually are.
While I think female horror writers should be celebrated year round, Women in Horror Month is a good start. I’ve read that the month may change from February to March so WiHM won’t interfere with Black History Month. It’s perfect for Women’s History Month, though.
Who are some Women In Horror (or other women) who have influenced your work, and why?
Shirley Jackson. I recently finished reading “Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life”. It was good to get the inside scoop on one of my favorite writers. I first saw the 1963 “The Haunting” on TV when I was ten years old. It was Thanksgiving and I was with my family at my aunt’s house for turkey dinner. That movie scared the piss out of me, but I didn’t know the title since I caught it about halfway through. I read the book years later when I saw the movie on late night TV again and learnedt the title. The book was amazing. I have always wanted to write an opening paragraph like that. It’s flawless.
Other women in horror who impressed and/or influenced me include Daphne du Maurier for her atmospheric fiction, the character Ellen Ripley from the “Alien” series since she is such a badass, Jodie Foster for her acting and directing work, and Karyn Kusama who directed “Girl Fight”, “Jennifer’s Body” and “The Invitation”. Ana Lily Amirpour, who directed the Iranian vampire flick “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” impressed me because that is such an unusual take on the vampire story.
2020 will probably be remembered as a TERRIBLE year for many of us; tell me something GOOD that happened in the past 12 months.
Thankfully, my husband and son are both considered essential workers so their jobs have not been affected. We are very fortunate, and we know it. Nor much has changed for us except that we have scorching cases of cabin fever. About a half dozen people in my family came down with Covid, but they have recovered, so that’s a very good thing.
I’m proud that “The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories” made the preliminary list for the Stoker Awards. The book won first place for best anthology at the Preditors and Editors Poll Awards (yes, it’s spelled that way on purpose). My story “The Storm” appears in that book. I also have a new story entitled “The Fetch” which appears in “Wicked Women: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers”.
Here are my latest appearances in anthologies:
Jester of Hearts – my story is Trailer Trash Zombies, a horror comedy.
Wicked Women: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers – my story is The Fetch, a supernatural tale of a bullied teenaged girl.
The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories – my story is The Storm, a revenge story with a twist.
Horror For Hire: Second Shift – my story is A Job To Die For, a story of every middle manager’s nightmare.
Fark in the Time of Covid: The 2020 Fark Fiction Anthology- my story is A Skirmish Outside Beaufort, a U. S. Civil War ghost story.
What have you got planned for Women in Horror Month, and the coming months of 2021?
I’m a guest on Marsha Casper Cook’s podcast at Blog Talk Radio as a horror writer. Here’s the link to the show. You may listen to the archive after the show airs.
I’ve been interviewed for several Women in Horror Month web sites, but I don’t have links yet. I’ve also begun a new writing job that I can’t much talk about lest I jinx it. I also signed an NDA. It’s for a game company. This new job is going to take up quite a bit of my time, and I’m delighted. I’m also setting up interviews with horror authors for the next few months.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers? Thanks for participating in Women in Horror Month!
Thank you for having me! It was a pleasure.
Here’s where to find me on the web. While I publish horror with the pen name E. A. Black, I also use Elizabeth Black for social media.
Elizabeth Black – Facebook
A. Black – Blog and Web Site
A. Black – Amazon Author Page
A. Black – GoodReads (I didn’t create this page. I’d like to thank whoever did, if I knew that person’s identity.)
Elizabeth Black – Newsletter
A. Black’s fiction has appeared in Zippered Flesh 2, Zippered Flesh 3, Midnight Movie Creature Feature 2, Teeming Terrors, The Journal for the New England Horror Writers Vol. 3, The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories, Wicked Women,and more. She won mention for her short story Invisibleon The Solstice List 2017 Best Of Horror. That story appears in Zippered Flesh 3. She lives in Lovecraft country on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and two cats. The beach calls to her every day. She has yet to run into Cthulhu and Dagon.
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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.