Uncomfortably Dark Presents: Women in Horror Month

Celebrating all women of horror!

Women in Horror Month is also being celebrated in March, so this page will remain up in honor of all of the great ladies of horror!  More interviews are also in the Interview Archive. Just click on the menu button. 

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Uncomfortably Dark Celebrates Women in Horror

A Tribute to Women in Horror

As many of you already know, the horror industry has long been a male dominated field. The women were mostly found on display in cheesy films, running barefoot through the woods while their bare breasts bounced around in a ripped T-shirt, screaming for their lives before inevitably tripping over that damn branch on the ground and being skewered through the chest by an axe, a chainsaw, a spear, a machete, or whatever weapon the villain might have had. 

Black and white horror films are classics and I love them as much as anyone but again, many featured women as damsels in distress, fainting dead away at the sight of a monster, a ghost or a vampire or being ravished by said vampire as they screamed and clutched at their heaving bosoms barely contained in tight dresses.  I am speaking in general terms only, for what the genre has most heavily embraced in its female depictions in its early years. Of course, there are great roles that have been played by women in horror that are truly unforgettable and continue to be admire today, such as Janet Leigh in “Psycho” or Tippi Hedren in “The Birds”.

Times are ever-changing and over the years, more women than ever have branched out to infuse their essence into all types of horror, across all industry and areas. Writers, directors, actresses, producers, voice actresses, artists, special effects make-up artists are just a few of the roles that talented women now hold.

Just to name a few, Karyn Kusama directed the 2009 dark horror comedy, “Jennifer’s Body” which is now a cult classic.  She later went on to direct “The Invitation” in 2015 and” XX” in 2017. Coralie Fargeat directed a movie called “Revenge” in 2017, where the main character goes on the warpath seeking out the men that raped her. (Variety.com/Oct.18,2018)

Jodie Foster is best known for her acting roles but has proven herself to be quite the director as well, including work on “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards.” Last but certainly not least on this least, we have Mary Harron who not only directed but co-wrote “American Psycho” in 2000.  (Variety.com/Oct.18,2018) This list just names a few of the many female directors and producers in the industry today. I could go on for days and barely scratch the surface of the many talented women that are currently working in horror, in any number of roles.

In my tribute for this month, you will find new features every Saturday night in honor of some of the best female talent currently working in horror today. I have two amazing voice actresses from “The No Sleep” podcast, which is a fantastic horror podcast that everyone should be listening to. I have a whole host of horror authors that write everything from splatter westerns to gore filled romps through murder and mayhem, including Christine Morgan, Kenzie Jennings, Lee Franklin, Ruthann Jagge, Nikki Noir, Dawn Shea and Tara Losacano just to name a few.

I will be showcasing the very talented horror artist and author, Pam McMillan. 


Interviews with the publishing team of Cassie Angler and Eleanor Merry, that make up Macabre Ladies publishing will also be featured!

To ladies of horror everywhere, I applaud you, I honor you, I'm one of you!

 

Meet RuthAnn Jagge

Horror Author

What made you want to become a writer?

I've loved reading since I was young. To be able to create characters and tell a story is a kind of superpower to me. If you can dream it, you can make it a reality with words.


When did you first begin writing?

Besides jotting down thoughts over the years, I wrote my first story in January 2020, when I entered a professional writing contest. I was clueless and inexperienced and didn't realize how competitive they are. I didn't win, but I did receive some very positive professional feedback, so I kept writing.


Why did you choose to write horror?

I think humans love to laugh and to be scared. It's my favorite genre to read, and I'm fascinated by the darker side of life and imagination. Things that happen and live in the shadows are more interesting to me. 


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre's?

Mostly horror/dark speculative fiction, which included the supernatural and fantasy. I'm currently working on a couple of stories that fall into the dark fantasy realm, but horror is what I enjoy writing the most.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

I grew up near an old cemetery we'd ghost-hunt, despite warnings, and  I like to remember finding a few. I watched every "scary movie" I could, and "Phantasm" in particular, terrified me and, I had many nightmares about the Tall Man. My early Catholic school education constantly reinforced the presence of "evil," but I was much more interested in devils than saints.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

I've met some fascinating and intelligent folks from all walks of life and made some great connections. It's always creative and very inclusive. I'm amazed when a noted author replies in a writing group and, they frequently do.


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

Interesting. I'd say to have my work understood regardless of gender, especially if I'm describing and writing with a more "feminine" view based on personal experience.

I've had only positive and accepting relationships so far, and males are among my mentors and friends. They offer some great feedback and remind me to push my limits rather than hold back.


What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors/ artists in the industry?

Do your own thing, your way. There's a lot out there, and it's natural to compare but try to avoid it. The stories or art you create is unique, which will allow you to stand out.


Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

I'm proud of a story included in an anthology releasing in February from D&T Publishing titled "It's All Fun and Games Until Somebody Dies" It's a unique premise in the horror-genre, and writing my story, "The Contract," was a challenge. I'm currently working on several short stories and novella submissions for 2021 and beyond, as well as my first solo novel.

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Meet Dawn Shea

Horror Author and Publisher

What made you want to become a writer?

I have always wanted to be a writer, to some extent. I always thought how wonderful it was to be able to pour your thoughts out on paper.


When did you first begin writing?  

I started writing in elementary school. Then in the sixth grade, I had a spelling/reading teacher, Mrs. Leanne Pannell. She encouraged us to write and read, to the utmost extent. I actually started writing stories in seventh grade, and her daughter would make covers for them. A very closed-minded teacher found them, and I was suspended from school. Put a bad taste in my mouth for a while about writing.


Why did you choose to write horror?

I have been a horror head since I was old enough to walk. My father was a huge lover of horror and in turn, so was I. It has always felt like the most natural thing to write.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre’s?

I only write horror. I stick with what I know.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare? My earliest experience with horror, that I can remember, is watching Creepshow 2 from behind my daddy’s back.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

I feel like we are not judged for the things we write. The more horrific, the better.


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

I do not feel we are taken as seriously as men in the world of horror. It is hard to establish a name for yourself.

  

What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors/ artists in the industry?

If someone needs help, advice, or just general knowledge, don’t be an ass! Help them.


Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

We have our newest anthology, It’s All Fun and Games Until Somebody Dies, coming out February 26th. We also have Mark Towse’s novella, Nana, coming out in March. Summer Feaker’s first book in her Haven Manor trilogy, will be released soon, as well.


Dawn's Bio:

Dawn Shea was born and raised in Ripley, Mississippi and now lives with her husband and children in Corinth, Mississippi. She is an RN by trade and is half of the publishing team at D&T Publishing. She has been writing since an early age and is a contributing author in all of D&T’s publications. 


You can find D&T on the web at:


https://dandtpublishing20.wixsite.com/dtpublishing - website

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1609525809233780/ - FB group

www.facebook.com/d&tpublishing - Facebook 

Instagram.com/dandtpublishing – IG

@Dandtpublishing - Twitter

Dawn Shea - Amazon author profile 

dandtpublishing20@gmail.com - email

 
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Meet Tara Losacano

Horror Author

What made you want to become a writer?

I've always loved to write, and it's always been a hobby of mine. The process of writing and of being creative is what made me love writing and essentially what made me want to become a writer. It wasn't until about a year ago that I started taking it seriously. A horror book group that I'm in sent out a submission call inviting all writers, beginners and non-published as well, to send in their horror stories. I was terrified of rejection and almost gave up but a kick in the butt from one of my friends reminded me of all the support I have so I gave it my best and sent my story in. To my surprise and delight, my messed up little story was accepted published and since then I've been more inspired than ever to be the writer that I've always felt I am.


 When did you first begin writing?  

I began writing at a very young age. I would spend hours and hours in my bedroom filling up notebooks full of stories. I'd make up stories about anything and everything and I loved them all so much. Most of them went unread by anyone but me but it wasn't always about having them read, it was just about the writing. I just really enjoyed it. 


Why did you choose to write horror?

I choose to write horror because horror has always been a huge passion of mine. My whole life I've been obsessed with all things horror, whether it's movies, books, artwork, ect. It's what I know and love so it's what I write.

  

Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre’s?

I like to write what I like to read, and I am a horror reader through and through. So, at the moment I am 100% a horror writer.

What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

My earliest experience with horror was probably when I watched the movie, “The Gate” (1987), as a young kid. That movie scared me shitless but at the same time I knew I was safe at home. It was thrilling to feel so scared while also knowing there was no real risk to myself. After that I watched all the horror movies, I could get my little hands on and of course eventually came the “Goosebumps” books. I had the entire collection, and it was rare to find me without one in my hand. So, I guess I blame “The Gate” and “Goosebumps” for my initial obsession with horror movies and books. That obsession just grew into what it is today.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

My favorite thing about being in the horror industry is definitely the people. Since joining the horror community I have met some of the most genuine, caring people I've ever known. It's funny, we love blood and guts and books about horrendous killers yet most of us wouldn't hurt a fly. I can honestly say I've met friends for life and people who support me no matter what in this industry and I'll be forever grateful for that.

  

What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

To be completely honest I personally haven't faced any real challenges as a woman in the mostly male world of horror. My challenges have been struggles that all new writers face, like fear of rejection and self-doubt. I've fortunately been treated equally in a male dominated industry. I believe the horror community is one of the few that really tries to embrace woman writers in this genre and fully support us.

  

What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors/ artists in the industry?

One piece of advice I'd give other female writers in the horror industry is to believe in yourself and your talent. If you have a passion for writing, go for it and don't let the pressure get the best of you. Having a strong support system is very important and I know I wouldn't be where I am today without mine.

  

Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

 I'm currently working on vol. 3 of ABC's of Terror with D&T Publishing. I was apart of the first two volumes and I hope to be included in their future projects. I'm also looking forward to submitting a couple stories for Macabre Ladies, including the upcoming Dark Carnival, as I have enjoyed working with them on other anthologies.

  

Tara's Bio:

I was born and raised a New England girl and currently live in Massachusetts with my husband and two children. I am an avid reader and love all things horror. I have been published in numerous horror anthologies including Books of Horror Community Anthology vol. 1 and vol. 2, ABC's of Terror vol. 1 and vol. 2, Macabre Ladies presents Dark Solstice, Drabbles of Dread, Extreme Drabbles of Dread, and the soon to be released Supernatural Drabbles of Dread.

 

Macabre Ladies Publishing

Dynamic Duo of Eleanor Merry & Cassie Angler

How was Macabre Ladies publishing created? And what was the driving force behind its creation?

Macabre Ladies began when the Christmas book we wanted didn’t exist. In November 2019, we decided to make our own and a month later, our first collection, Dark X-Mas was released. Almost immediately, all the authors and readers asked us what was next. Two months later, Dark Valentine came to be, and the rest is history.


How long have you been in the publishing business?

Since 2019 (and many more to come!)


What made horror the main choice of genre and do you plan on branching out into other genres?

We both adore all types of darkness, whether pure horror or entirely different genres with dark themes. With Dark X-Mas being such a success, it was a no-brainer for us to continue the holiday horror collection. We do have some ideas of other genres, but all will have dark tones. We are the ‘macabre’ ladies, afterall.


What does it mean to you to be one of the up-and-coming publishers in horror?

Honestly, it means everything. One of the main reasons we love to do this is because we love sharing words, giving new authors a chance to be seen and just generally being a part of the indie-horror community. To be looked up to and respected at all, much less be seen as an ‘up and comer’ is beyond words.


What was the idea behind putting your latest collection together?

We put out a collection called Drabbles of Dread last year with most basic of themes, horror. We had a blast and the variety of stories was out of this world, but we decided that Drabbles of Dread needed a bit more direction and decided to do themed drabbles of dread. Extreme Drabbles of Dread came out in December 2020, and Supernatural is coming in February 2021. We expect 4-5 books in the drabbles of dread collection, all with varying sub-themes of horror.


How do you select stories or novels to publish, whether for a collection or for novels?

Both of us have our own things, but the thing we can agree on always is that it should invoke emotion, whether that’s dread, sadness or something else. I want to feel something when I read a story.


What is your best advice for a new female writer?

Write every day, even if its only a hundred words, and don’t be afraid to reach out and make friends. The sense of community in the indie community is one of the things that makes it great, so don’t miss out on it.


What’s next on the agenda for the Macabre Ladies?

Longer collections, beginning with Dark Carnival, a circus themed horror anthology. We’re also in the early talks of branching out to other dark genres as well as looking at picking up individual authors and full length novels.


Bio for Cassie Angler:
Cassandra Angler is a lifelong resident of the buckeye state (Ohio) and mother of four. When she isn't corralling her four minions of darkness, she is busy conjuring nightmares in literary form, reading and overall trying to better the world. Cassandra has always been a fan of all things horror and macabre.

Bio for Eleanor Merry:
Eleanor Merry was born and raised in beautiful Vancouver, BC and still lives there with her tiny human. The offspring of a fairy queen and an undead warlord, she was brought up with an appetite for terror and beauty.

When she isn't writing, she is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes which tends to lean towards horror and the twisted, however, she also writes dark romances under a pen name. In all genres, nothing is off-limits and she looks forward to sharing more of her own twisted and strange thoughts with the world.

 
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Meet Eleanor Merry

What made you want to become a writer?

My brain didn’t give me the option. Idea’s simmered for years until they couldn’t be contained and one day, I sat down and decided to start writing one of them. Eight months later, I published my first book "Dead Aware: A Zombie Journey."


When did you first begin writing?  

As an emo-goth teen. That was some angsty stuff but got me on the right path. I stopped for about a decade before picking it up again with a vengeance.


Why did you choose to write horror?

I’ve always been fascinated by horror and darkness. The idea of pushing people to their limits, making them uncomfortable and invoking a strong emotion like fear…. Well, it appeals to my little dark heart.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre’s?

I write dark across various genres. As Eleanor Merry, I write horror and post-apocalyptic. As Ella Burns, I write dark (and I mean DARK) romance.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

I’ve been watching scary movies with my dad since I was about seven. I remember watching Jaw’s and thinking it was the funniest thing and making my dad rewind it a bunch of times. Then, of course, Goosebumps and all of that goodness got me through those child years until I was old enough to pick up some real horror.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

The community. Despite appearances and topics, horror people are some of the loveliest people I know.


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

I don’t find many challenges, if I’m being honest. I find most male readers don’t have any problem picking up a horror novel written by a woman, and the male horror authors I know are some of the best people around. Maybe there is a bias there I’m not seeing, but I’ve never felt it anyway.

  

 What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors in the industry?

Don’t be afraid to push the limits and always keep writing.


Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

This year I’ll be doing a lot of focus on projects under my small publishing press, Macabre Ladies, as well as working on a re-branding of my debut series, Dead Aware (which I adore, but needs a bit of life breathed into it) I expect to put out five or six titles under Macabre Ladies, five under my pen name Ella Burns and the series rebranding, so a busy year ahead!

 

Meet Cassie Angler

What made you want to become a writer?

Growing up, reading was my safe haven. When all else failed, I could turn to books for comfort. I wanted to provide that same comfort and joy for someone else. 


When did you first begin writing?  

When I was ten I started writing books in my notebooks with pencil and continued to write off and on since. 


Why did you choose to write horror?

It delights my dark little soul. 


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre’s? 

I have tried my hand at other genres but have never felt as comfortable with them as I am with horror. 


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

I watched The Exorcist with my grandmother when I was six and have been hooked ever since. 


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

The people. The horror industry is full of the kindest and most selfless people you'll ever meet. 


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

I think the biggest challenge is visibility. Women in horror are often underestimated or overlooked. 

   

What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors in the industry?

It doesn't make you any less of an author if you have to take a step back and take a break from your work. Be kind to yourself, always. 


Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

At the moment, no personal projects. I am taking a break to get some life things figured out. Though, Macabre Ladies has some amazing things coming. Dark Carnival, our first full length anthology will be coming out later this year. 

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Meet Jessica McEvoy

Voice Actress for The NoSleep Podcast

How did you get into Voice Acting?

One day I saw an ad for ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) and it mentioned that all you needed to do to start narrating audiobooks was get a microphone and some editing software. So I ordered a cheap mic and downloaded some free software and decided to give it a try. I’m as surprised as anybody that it actually worked out.


Do you mainly do horror narrations, or do you branch out as needed into other areas?

Mostly, yep! I’ve narrated some audiobooks in other genres, but being on The NoSleep Podcast means people associate me with horror so those are the jobs creators typically approach me with.


What do you love most about being a voice actress?

Being able to just let loose emotionally in the booth is so cathartic, and it’s so fun to be able to voice strange characters with big personalities.


When did you become part of The NoSleep podcast?

Oh jeez, the first episode I appeared in was Season 3 Episode 21, which was back in April 2014. Holy smokes, it’s been nearly seven years.


What is your favorite thing about working with this podcast?  Other than the really phenomenal stories. Yes, I’m a huge fan.

We’ve had so many people reach out to us, through social media or while on tour, to tell us that the podcast helped them through difficult periods in their lives. I’m so grateful to be able to be a part of something that helps people get through their days in some small way.


Do you do any writing of your own?  If so, what kind of story do you typically write?

Would you believe I write short horror stories in my spare time? I hope to someday write something good enough to go on the show.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

Me and my sisters grew up watching horror movies. My mom would rent seasons of Tales from the Crypt on Netflix, back when they sent DVDs in those bright envelopes in the mail. That plus a steady stream of Goosebumps and Scary Stories to Read in the Dark from my elementary school library pretty much cemented me as a horror nerd.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

It’s so welcoming. Sure, you’ve got a few bad eggs, but for the most part you’ve got people coming from all walks of life joining together for the love of all that is creepy. Having been on tour all over the United States, we’ve meet people coming to shows rocking a full goth vibe, folks coming off of work in scrubs or office attire, suburban parents and their kids – all of them so kind and enthusiastic.


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

Professionally, I haven’t experienced any sort of gatekeeping myself, though I know that’s not true for every lady in the field. Mostly any problems I get come from fans thinking it’s appropriate to comment on my appearance or trying to slide into my DMs to be a creep. It’s not behavior I tolerate particularly well and not the kind of community I aim to create.  


 What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors/ artists in the industry?

Keep up the excellent work! We’ve had no shortage of fantastic stories written by female authors on the podcast, see incredible covers from our female artists, and get amazing performances from our voice actresses. The ladies of the horror world are absolutely killing it, as they always have, as they always will.


Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

Recently, I’ve been working with TKMV Studio to create short horror animations; they should be coming out really soon! And I’ll be starting narration work on several spooky audiobooks in the near future (*dramatic wink*).


Bio for Jessica:

Jessica McEvoy is a desert-dwelling Arizonian transplanted to the snowy hills of South Dakota. Though she is best known for her work on The NoSleep Podcast, Jessica can also be heard on The Wicked Library, Creepy, Sirenicide, Victoria's Lift, Let’s Not Meet, and others, as well as a variety of audiobooks. Her days are spent being inordinately proud of her three cats for merely existing and praying for winter to end. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @jnmcevoy for pictures of aforementioned cats, books, and copious amounts of food, or on Twitch at twitch.tv/jessicamcevoy where she fails to solve basic puzzles in children's games.

 
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Meet P. L. McMillan

Horror Artist & Author

What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always loved reading and that naturally became a desire to contribute to the world of fiction. My first efforts were to emulate R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series in elementary school, and I wrote several short stories about haunted houses and killers, illustrating them as well (A lot of red pencil crayons died in the making of those little booklets). There was something about horror fiction that drew me in, I loved the mystery, suspense, and the delicious thrill of fear.


When did you first begin writing? 

I began writing early, in elementary. I wrote quite a few of those  “Ode to Fear Street” style booklets – enough that a teacher once called my mom in concern over the subject matter of my stories. My mom told the teacher she should be supporting my writing rather than discouraging it, which I still appreciate to this day. Of course, she also asked me to keep the horror at home and write something else at school.


Why did you choose to write horror?

As I mentioned earlier, horror has all the right ingredients to get my spine tingling. It also has a lot of capacity for creativity -- romance and fantasy follow a lot of tropes, sci-fi can be restrictive regarding the realism of its science and tech, while horror can be anything. Horror readers, in my opinion, are the most accepting of readers – ready to suspend belief to an absurd degree.

It wasn’t until I read my first Stephen King novel (in junior high) that I fixated heavily on horror – before that I was writing a lot of fantasy as well. What got me were King’s flawed characters. It was hard for me – a kid who had a hard fitting in – to relate to the heroes and heroines of fantasy. They were always perfect, discovering secret powers, true love, and they had friends who were always by their side, who had their backs – while I struggled to even make one or two.

When I read Everything's Eventual, I discovered his characters – all flawed, sometimes weak, and sometimes friendless. Yet, they always kept trying, fighting against whatever was the Big Bad in their stories. That hit me pretty hard, I think. After that, those perfect fantasy heroes never sat right with me. I craved the flawed protagonist, which populates the horror genre pretty heavily.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genres?

I either write horror or horror hybrids like horror sci-fi, cosmic horror, etc. If I were to ever cross-over, it would likely be to sci-fi.


I understand that you are also an artist. Did the art come first or was it writing and then the art?

Probably the writing and writing has always been my priority. In college, I did produce a zine with illustrations and a graphic novel. Then my art fell off a bit and I mainly focused on writing, until two years ago when I was given an art tablet to work with.


Do you only draw for yourself or do you create commissioned pieces for other authors/publications?

I was drawing for myself until I got a few requests from friends. I don’t ask for payment currently, I mainly do them for fun.


Where has your art been featured?

I have my art on my own website (plmcmillan.com) as well as the Howl Society website at howlsociety.com. I did the background and currently design the illustrations for their monthly reading schedules.


Which craft do you find the most rewarding?  The art pieces or the writing?

Art has the distinct advantage of coming to life in front of your eyes and takes less time (in my experience) than writing. However, writing is by far more rewarding for me. It probably helps that I feel like I am better at writing than I am at art.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

My parents didn’t exactly censor anything on the TV or doublecheck what I was reading so I was exposed pretty early. I mean, my dad let me watch Child’s Play when I was only 6 or 7. Other than that, probably the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series as well as R.L. Stine’s works.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

The community is super creative and supportive. Maybe it’s a side effect of being people often giving us the side-eye for our fashion/writing/art, but the horror industry tends to be really inclusive – it’s really lovely!


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

I don’t know if I have experienced many challenges, maybe I’ve been lucky. The most off-putting experience I had was at the HWA’s Bloody Valentine event I participated in early in 2020, when things like that were still happening. The event itself was lovely, so were the other readers, the hosts, and most of the guests. But I had one male attendee ask me if “he should be worried”. Confused, I asked him to clarify and he explained that female writers “always kill the male characters”. That was really bizarre and I think it speaks to how a lot of men might be negatively viewing female writers. Needless to say, I kill all my characters equally – regardless of gender.

  

 What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors/ artists in the industry?

I think female writers / artists are already really supportive of each other and that’s most important thing. By promoting each other and helping each other succeed, we all win really.


Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

I just finished a lot of custom art for the Howl Society anthology – their very first one, which has a foreword by Grady Hendrix and also features my sci-fi horror: “Manufactured God”. The art I did for that anthology (which includes the cover) is some of my best.

In regards to my writing, I am working on a novella and a short story right now.


P. L.'s Bio:

P.L. McMillan is an accomplished horror writer whose stories have appeared in a wide array of anthologies and magazines. To her, every shadow is an entry way to a deeper look into the black heart of the world and every night she rides with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night-wind, bringing back dark stories to share with those brave enough to read them.

“Someone suggested to me that McMillan might be one of the next great cosmic horror writers and if this story is a good indication of her talent and imagination, I’d say they could well be correct.” – The Miskatonic Review

You can follow her on Twitter at @AuthorPLM and check out her website at plmcmillan.com.

 
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Meet Nichole Goodnight

Voice Actress for "The NoSleep" podcast.

How did you get into Voice Acting?

Growing up, I used to sing with my mom and she always encouraged me to do more things with my voice. One day in about 2012, I was browsing the internet for small projects to try to join and I ended up finding one. From this, my love of the craft grew stronger, which is what led me to finding NoSleep in 2014. I always wonder if she'd be proud, and I really hope she would be.


Do you mainly do horror narrations, or do you branch out as needed into other areas?

The majority of the projects that I work on are horror or horror adjacent, though I would love to eventually branch out and do more things as well! I have narrated a few children's books and helped with some friends' side projects that also were not horror related!


What do you love most about being a voice actress?

There's something really special about getting to do something that I love to do for people that love to listen - it's a really special feeling that can't be beat.


When did you become part of The NoSleep podcast?

I joined in 2014! I always love to tell the story of how I almost did not join, though! I had heard the podcast in the background of a friend's art stream and immediately fell in love. When I looked it up, there was a section for volunteer submissions. I looked at the information and then closed the page, assuming I could never do it. A few months later I decided to give it a go and here we are today!


What is your favorite thing about working with this podcast?  Other than the really phenomenal stories. Yes, I’m a huge fan.

Haha, I'm glad you love it!! Honestly, the people. Every single person that I've interacted with on NoSleep has been absolutely amazing. I love each and every one of them, and they all bring something unique to the table. I honestly could not ask for a better group of people to work with, and they mean so much to me.


Do you do any writing of your own?  If so, what kind of story do you typically write?

I haven't written in a while, but I did used to write! I wrote mainly suspense and horror. A lot of thrill of the hunt kind of stuff. Thinking about writing makes me really want to get back into it though!


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

When I was growing up I would visit my dad's house occasionally and he had a TON of books by Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I would read them while I was there. I fell absolutely in love with them and would read as many as I could. I will say though that I accidentally saw some of IT at a VERY young age and now, at what I believe to be no coincidence, am absolutely petrified of clowns.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

I really enjoy all of the wonderful people I've gotten to meet. In addition to my own team being amazing, every team I've had the honor of working with has also been fantastic! The other thing is the amazing feeling of being in an industry that's such a comfort to some people. I know that may sound silly, but I've met a lot of people through the years that draw comfort through horror, and knowing that I've had even a tiny part in helping them feel better makes me feel very happy.


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

I have been very lucky in the sense that I have not really ran into anything that I would call a challenge. I've only ever done voicework though and am unsure if maybe that's experienced more in production and creation. I'm grateful for the people that I've gotten to work with, and everyone I've crossed paths with that have made this such an amazing field.

  

 What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors/ artists in the industry?

I know it sounds incredibly cliche, but my big advice is to go for it. It's so hard to believe in yourself sometimes and that can cause a lot of hesitation and doubt. The industry is incredibly welcoming, and I believe in you!


Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

I do actually have a very exciting project in the works! I don't think I can say too much about it, but it will be a 10 episode mini-series. I've had a really great time working on it so far. I wish I had a time frame to give, but I don't right now!


Nichole's Bio:

Nichole Goodnight is a voice actress that was born in Baltimore, Maryland and now currently resides in Rochester, NY. Her work can be found in Podcasts such as The NoSleep Podcast, The SCP Arcives, and more. She can primarly be found on her Twitch (NicholeGoodnight) and Twitter (NRGoodnight).

 

Meet Nikki Noir

Horror Author and Reviewer

What made you want to become a writer? When did you first begin writing?  

I’ve always had an interest in reading and writing. I even took a few courses in reviewing books, years before I had the idea of Redrum Reviews. However, I didn’t really start writing anything that I ever thought would see print until 2017.

Why did you choose to write horror?

I’ve become very curious about the extreme horror sub-genre. Somewhat repulsed, too, but still very fascinated. There seems to be a lot of freedom in horror to explore strange topics, and it’s fun to be able to go over the top and play with taboo subjects that might not fly in other genres.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genres?

I primarily write horror, but I just crossed into the realm of dark science fiction in December 2020.

I co-authored Algorithm of the Gods with S.C. Mendes. It’s a sci-fi thriller that sucks you into a dark world of online celebrities, virtual reality, and a black-market conspiracy with ties to high levels of government officials – LINK:  https://amzn.to/2YnVeRL

I’d also like to take a stab at a longer piece of horror comedy. Jeff Strand has been an influence on me and I already have some short stories which I think are hilarious.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

My grandma had a scary clown in her sewing room. I know what you’re thinking, everybody has a scary clown story. But that thing really stuck with me. Other than that, I stay pretty vanilla with horror movies. Currently, my favorite horror movies are Insidious and Paranormal Activity.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

My favorite thing is that I can write about this crazy, silly stuff and people can just enjoy it. Horror doesn’t always have to have some deep, literary message. It can just be fun.

Case in point, I just had a story published about a magical margarita spiked with…well, maybe it’s better if you don’t know the special ingredient in “Magick Brew” featured in CHEW ON THIS! Link: https://amzn.to/39Tc2VK


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

There are plenty of challenges to being an author in the world of horror, but I don’t see any challenges specific to being a woman. Well, maybe too many spammy FB messages from guys. But that may be more of a creepy FB issue than a horror industry one.


What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors in the industry?

Write what you want. I’m starting to realize that no matter what your write, there is always going to be someone who dislikes it. Or is offended. Don’t dwell on bad reviews and negative comments. Find your audience, and be as supportive as you can to other women in the industry.


Do you have other projects in the works that you would like to mention?

Through writing Corpsepaint & Rabbithole as well as my work on Algorithm of the Gods, I’ve become fascinated by the world of YouTubers and Influencers. My next novel is going to center on that lifestyle. I’m not spilling the beans on the plot just yet, but readers can expect something outside the scope of my normal sex magick tales. Don’t worry, they’ll still be plenty of salacious scenes, but no altars of sacrifice. And of course, I will be working on book 5 of Black Planet, my occult horror series full of sex, murder, and glue.


Nikki's Bio:

When I’m not writing and taking care of my family, I review horror novels, and interview authors on my website: https://www.redrumreviews.com/

Get a FREE copy of CorpsePaint & Rabbithole at OriginStory(Link: https://bit.ly/3iKEjBS)  or these book retail stores(Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/bareRv).

 

Meet Christine Morgan

Award Winning Horror Author

What made you want to become a writer?

CM: I guess it was just inevitable. As a kid, I was always the storyteller of our neighborhood group, the one coming up with ideas of what to play, spinning these big, complicated narratives for our toys (my Barbies led some interesting lives!). I was also an obnoxiously precocious reader, quick and ahead of my age group, so books were a huge part of my life from the beginning and would go on to play a major role throughout.


When did you first begin writing? 

CM: The first I remember, for actual fiction writing at least, must’ve been around third grade when we were assigned to write journal entries every day in school, but I decided that was too boring so started making up stories about my invisible kitten, or foxes living in a burrow in the woods, that kind of thing. In later years, especially after also getting into roleplaying games, my tales started to take a darker turn. I remember one English teacher suggesting I maybe try writing about something besides ghosts, vampires, or a Girl Scout Troop who become cultish killers.


Why did you choose to write horror?

CM: It chose me, though I can blame part of it on my maternal grandfather. He kept this shelf of paperbacks out in the garage, because Grandma didn’t want them in the house. Lots of nature-run-amok stuff, packs of dogs eating people, James Herbert’s THE RATS, one about an infestation of rattlesnakes at a resort, that kind of thing. I’d spend hours sitting out there in that hot musty garage. A particularly pivotal moment struck when I was ten, and I found one with a shiny silvery foil cover, by some guy named Stephen King. My aunt told my parents it’d warp my brain, and I’m happy to say, she was right.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre’s?

CM: Oh, I will dabble in just about any genre, if the right idea comes along. I love themed anthology calls for that reason; they can provide a fun challenge to get me thinking of things I otherwise might not have. When I did set out to try and do it professionally, though, I wasn’t confident enough to go for horror, and started off doing novelizations of our fantasy roleplaying game campaigns. I love historical fiction too, and I’ve written plenty of smut, thrillers, humor, what-have-you. I particularly enjoy genre-blending, such as horror/splatter westerns, myth-meets-Mythos, and various mashups or crossovers. Hard sci-fi, modern military, and police procedurals, though, are way out of my wheelhouse.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

CM: For that, gotta go movies, watching late-night weekend creature features and popcorn schlock with my dad. The classic Universal monsters, Hammer horror, grainy black-and-white or tacky technicolor, giant bugs stomping through desert towns, etc. The one I most remember scaring the hell out of me, as in literal nightmares, was Invaders From Mars, with the whirlpool sinkhole things in the sand and the people with alien control implants like staples in the backs of their necks. Messed me up for years, even more than Invasion of the Body Snatchers.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

CM: Finally feeling like I belong! Early on, into playing Dungeons and Dragons and writing fantasy stuff, I didn’t really read much of it. Tolkien, of course. The Dragonlance novels. Xanth, for a while, before it got creepy. But I’d go to conventions, attend or be on panels, and there’d be writers I didn’t know discussing authors whose work I hadn’t read, and I always felt like the odd duck out. Meeting my people, finding my tribe, my extended family who understood and embraced the same darker, sicker things I did, has been and continues to be utterly wonderful.


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

CM: For a while, it was that tired old “girls can’t do horror / girls only like romance novels” dribble, which is patently ridiculous. Girls, if you look back -- and I don’t mean just Mary Shelley and Shirley Jackson -- basically invented horror stories. Our oldest fairy tales were horror stories, created and told by women. These days, at least in the circles I frequent, that sentiment has largely died out, and any yo-yo who comes along spouting it gets quickly put to rights. There’s still a little “well okay girls only do quiet horror” crap now and then, but I think those of us doing the extreme stuff can shut them down too.

  

 What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors/ artists in the industry?

CM: Same as I’d give to any other female anyone ... you don’t have to be nice, you don’t have to be pretty, you don’t owe the world a specific role or appearance or set of behaviors, you don’t have to be quiet, you don’t have to coddle male egos and take on extra emotional labor, you don’t have to downplay your talent or play modest, you don’t have to meet someone else’s standards of what counts or let them tell you what you can or can’t do with your body/mind/career/life. As for the other aspect, same as I’d give to any author/artist regardless of gender identity ... create what makes you happy, what stirs your imagination and creativity, what lights a fire in your soul, have fun with it, play; find and follow your passion, and worry about honing your skills along the way.


Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

CM: Several, which still stuns and gratifies me beyond belief. People may well get sick of me in the next couple of years, I’ve got so many books coming out! First up will be BIRTHRIGHT, a rather-hard-to-categorize novel about a widow who takes her kids to visit the medieval-living-history-obsessed grandfather they never knew and uncovers a sinister secret; that’s due sometime in February from Bloodshot Books.

Then, late April or so, THE WOLF’S FEAST, my second collection of Viking-themed stories, will be released by Word Horde, along with a new edition of THE RAVEN’S TABLE, so they’ll have beautiful matching covers.


Right in time for summer vacation reading, from Madness Heart Press, I’ll have a mad science deep-sea chompy thriller-horror-adventure called TRENCH MOUTH. Plus a few other projects I need to chase down some updates on. I’m currently about 1/3 of the way into WARLOCK INFERNAL, a direct sequel to LAKEHOUSE INFERNAL, which not only won a Splatterpunk Award but had its recent limited-edition hardcover run from Thunderstorm Books sold out in two and a half hours. Beyond delighted about all that, and so hugely honored the great Edward Lee lets me play with his toys!


Christine's Bio:

Christine Morgan grew up in the high desert of Southern California and fled for the cooler rainier climes of the Pacific Northwest as soon as she was of age. She graduated from Humboldt State University with a psychology degree and has worked in the field of residential psychiatric care ever since (usually on the overnight shift, because it often means she can write on the company clock).

Twice-divorced, and twice a cancer survivor, she currently lives in Portland Oregon, bossed around by three demanding cats as well as the porch-critters she’s taken to feeding. Dubbed “the Martha Stewart of extreme horror” for her disturbing baked goods and craft projects as well as her stories, she has one now-adult long-suffering daughter who usually wins whenever her friends compete to see who has the weirdest parents.


Her books include: LAKEHOUSE INFERNAL, WHITE DEATH, THE NIGHT SILVER RIVER RUN RED, SPERMJACKERS FROM HELL, THE RAVEN’S TABLE, MURDER GIRLS, HIS BLOOD, THE HORNED ONES: CORNUCOPIA, DAWN OF THE LIVING-IMPAIRED AND OTHER MESSED-UP ZOMBIE STORIES, VISCERAL (with Patrick C. Harrison III), HIS BLOOD, and more. Over a hundred of her short stories have appeared in various anthologies, magazines, and online venues.

She also reviews, takes on edit and proofreading gigs, and can be found online on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christinemorganauthor) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CMorganAuthor).

 
Kenzie photo.JPG
 

Meet Kenzie Jennings

Horror Author/Splatterpunk Award Nominee

What made you want to become a writer?

Basically, I suppose it was fanfiction in a way that made me want to be a writer. I was a kid who was so sick of not seeing what was going on in my head up on the big screen and in books, so I turned to writing screenplays, basically horribly written sequels to movies I’d loved.


When did you first begin writing? 

That was back when I was eleven. I’d been sketching stories out when I was 8 or 9 though.


Why did you choose to write horror?

I’ve found horror therapeutic. It’s gotten me through some difficult times. I started seriously writing horror, in fact, just after my mother passed away. After that, it just became…natural.


Do you only write horror stories or do you cross-over into other genre’s?

I’d always written in other genres. In fact, my debut novel Reception, a horror novel, wasn’t supposed to be my debut. I’d a chick-lit superhero novel that centered around a rocky friendship that was supposed to have been published, but the publisher went on a long hiatus due to financial woes. By then, I was working on Reception, so it didn’t matter to me much anymore. One day, I’ll see if I can do anything with it. Until then though, horror is my jam.


What was your earliest experience with horror? Movie, book, a real-life moment or nightmare?

I’d had the worst nightmares during my early childhood years probably due to living with a perpetually angry father. I think my interest in the genre became fully realized when my father came home one night, absolutely terrified, after having seen An American Werewolf in London. I just wanted to know what it was that had scared him since I’d never once considered him scared of anything…and obviously, he was a pretty scary man himself.


What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?

The horror community is just wonderful. Everyone I’ve met is genuinely supportive and helpful towards each other. I’ve made a lot of new friends. It’s been so great to find my tribe with them.


What is your main challenge as a woman in the mostly male world of horror?

I haven’t experienced any challenges due to being a woman in general in this industry, but sometimes, I’ve felt out of the loop, even somewhat rejected, and I always wonder if my age, along with my gender, has something to do with it. It seems that the younger you are when you start, the more likely you are to be noticed because we’re so naturally inclined to lean towards a youth-centered culture. It’s the young women who will bring in fresh experiences and voices and new trends. Middle aged and older women, not so much. Although, I call total bullshit on that issue due to our experiences. We’re just as interesting as a result.

  

 What one piece of advice would you give to other female authors in the industry?

Don’t let the prospect of middle age scare you into quitting. Also, find your voice (it’s there!), and use it. Write whatever the hell you want.


Do you have projects in the works that you would like to mention?

I am working on a couple of short stories—one of them is about a cult, and the other is kind of an origin story about Clyde Northway from Red Station. I also have to finish the first draft of my new novel, a Florida-set pulpy psychosexual horror thriller tentatively titled Nice Girl. I hope I can be completely done with it and then get revisions underway by July. That’s the goal anyway!


Note: You can find our review of Kenzie's Splatter Western "Red Station" on our Book Review page. 

Kenzie's Bio:

A Chicago-born military brat (and military ex-wfe) who’s lived around the world, Kenzie Jennings is, somehow, currently residing in the sweltering, central Florida tourist hub of Winter Haven, home to LEGOland, orange groves, and alligators. She is the author of the Splatterpunk-nominated cannibal wedding novel Reception and the splatter western novella Red Station (Death’s Head Press). Her short horror fiction has appeared in Worst Laid Plans: An Anthology of Vacation Horror, Dig Two Graves, Vol. 1 and Deep Fried Horror: Mother's Day Edition.

Website: kenziejennings.com

Facebook: Kenzie Jennings

Twitter: @kenzieblyjay

Instagram: kenziejennings2