Women Write Horror? Damn Right They Do!
Ensconced in a community such as this, we’re often insulated from the disbelief some others hold that we (women) write horror. But take us out of that bubble and things change. At times I don’t feel I have the luxury of discussing what it is I do for a living because the people who inhabit my everyday life simply don’t, and won’t, understand. It’s a duality I don’t really enjoy, but know that I must live—at least for the moment.
Why is that? It’s simple really, I write horror. Those dark moments many would care to forget, would love never to see; they’re fodder for my fiction. That’s not to say that I’m exploitative in any way, but true horror tends to work best when there’s an aspect of realism to it. That little grain of truth transforms it into something that will linger for quite some time and as a horror writer, that’s what I’m looking for.
Don’t get me wrong, I admit I write about things like Zombies, ghosts, and other-worldly creatures, but it’s the spaces between them that are filled with plausibility. It’s a hard chord to strike and admittedly, I fall short sometimes, but when I hit that sweet spot of authenticity it’s magic. Okay, maybe in my own mind, but that’s all that counts for me. I’m a horror writer and as such, I know my reach is limited. Horror is not yet considered mainstream, though that’s changing a little bit each and every day.
It’s limited even more by the fact I’m a woman. At least at the moment it is. I’ve noticed a trend, one that’s shifting, but a trend none the less. Readers will pick up books written by men or assigned male pseudonyms when looking for their horror fix. Now that’s not true in all cases, but it’s true in many and I think it’s something that needs to be discussed. Is there a reason for it? Perhaps.
As the ubiquitous ‘weaker’ sex, there may be a presumption that the horror of women simply isn’t strong or dark enough to satisfy the male reader. To that I say—bullshit. I have been terrified (in a good way) by many a female author. Sure, some might say it’s because I’m also a woman, but conversely, some of the generally agreed upon scariest stuff out there written by men hasn’t even made me flinch. It’s all about perspective and until you give someone the chance to scare you, you’ll never know whether they’re capable or not.
So the next time you’re scrolling through the horror section on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Kobo, or if you happen to be in a brick and mortar establishment browsing the selection of paperbacks take a moment and make the choice to pick up something written by a woman. You may be surprised at what hits you in the face when you delve into the words.
Julianne Snow is the author of the Days with the Undead series and Glimpses of the Undead. She is the founder of Zombieholics Anonymous and the Co-Owner and Publicist at Sirens Call Publications. Writing in the realms of speculative fiction, Julianne has roots that go deep into horror and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. With pieces of short fiction in various publications, Julianne always has a few surprises up her sleeves.
You can find out more about Julianne at: The FlipSide of Julianne.
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- Taking Submissions: Gathering Storm Magazine - July 13, 2018
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