Hey guys! I know it’s been a while, but I’m back at it. Here is some more women who love horror. We have artists, filmmakers, authors (both published and about to be). So please check out their work and tell them how great they are in the comments!!

Barbara Rein

What we know about Barbara:

Barbara Rein debuted her first book series in fourth grade, The Adventures of Cassandra McGillicuddy in Outer Space, complete with stick figures drawings. Admonished by her teacher for doing book reports on her own books (and didn’t she have chutzpah), she put writing aside for years while stories piled up in her head. One day she opened her laptop and out they poured. She’s now an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author. She lives with her husband and dachshund, traveling with a well-packed suitcase between New York and Florida.

Barbara writes strange, fantastical, and downright weird short stories. Darkly brilliant tales that teeter on the edge of reality. Reimagined nightmares concocted from a childhood diet of macabre fairy tales and endless episodes of Twilight Zone.

She also writes chuckle-inducing personal essays inspired by the quirks and oddities that bounce her way.

The Interview:

1. How do you feel women are represented in horror? Do you think it should change?

I’ve never looked at the genre of horror in terms of gender. I know I’d first thought Mary Shelley to be a pen name for a male writer. But I’ve never shied away from a book because the author was female. In fact, to this day I envy Shirley Jackson, wishing I’d written those stories.

2. Tell us about an experience you’ve had as a writer, good or bad. Something to show new writers what the field is like. 

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of belonging to a good critique group. If you want to be a better writer, you have to put on your thick skin and hear negative comments along with the kudos. I learned to not be dismissive of the negatives. I remember knocking one critiquer (in my head) who didn’t get something in my story. He sounded like he hadn’t even read it. A few days later his comment popped into my thoughts and I realized his confusion was because of something I’d written earlier in the story. Fixing that fixed his take on it. I now listen to everything, positive and negative. 

3. was the publishing process hard?

My first foray into self-publishing was a few humorous personal essays. I had fun finding cover images, dropping my works into KDP (how you publish on Amazon), and seeing them sell (my toilet paper story went to #1 in Short Reads). When it came to my book though, I had no clue about cover design,  book dimensions, formatting, all the details that make a self-published look professional. I needed help. And that I had to pay for.

4. What is your favorite piece you have written?

The idea behind “The Last Leaves of Autumn” is something that’s frightened me since childhood. Hearing the skitter of dried leaves on a fall evening made me think they were the souls of dead children running down the street. It’s my favorite story; it’s been living with me for so long.

5. What gives you inspiration?

I grew up on the sinister fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and endless episodes of Twilight Zone. Like them, my “horror lite” short stories have that psychological, punchline twist.

6. What advice do you have for people who what to start writing?

I’ve said before and will repeat it to anyone who will listen: join a critique group. As writers, we work alone. Because of that, we are so close to our words, sometimes we don’t see them for what they are. If you’re a serious writer, join a critique group. Scary, yes. Get over it. A critique group will make your good writing better.

Links:

Barbara Rein 


Tonjia Atomic

About Tonjia Atomic, from her IMDB:

Tonjia Atomic is an award-winning filmmaker, actress, musician, and writer. Her films include Plain Devil and Walking to Linas. Her writing has been featured in several online and print magazines. She’s in the bands Duet To-It, Huh-Uh, and Filthy Issue. Her most recent film, Manos Returns, is the sequel to the 1965 cult film Manos the Hands of Fate.

The Interview:

1. How do you feel women are represented in horror? Do you think it should change?

I think the representation has grown so much, even within the past ten or so years. When I was younger women would often be the topless victim. As far as women horror directors I could have only named maybe two or three. Most master horror lists would consist of all men. I think that is actually changing now and I’m grateful for it.

2. What made you want to do film and music? 

Honestly, I don’t know except that I have always loved film and music. I suppose my love is so great that I just want to be a part of it too. 

3. What gives you inspiration? 

I get inspired by life events sometimes. I also find inspiration in fairy tales, folk tales, and dreams. Things that come from our psyches is of interest to me.

4. What is your favorite film you have made?

No contest, Manos Returns.

 What is your favorite music you have made?

That’s a tough one, but I am quite proud of Bikini Gorilla.

5. What is your favorite film someone else has made? What is your favorite film someone else has made?

The 400 Blows. It’s just such a well rounded and touching look at a boy’s life.

6. Why Horror?

Horror is the most fun. It’s scary, visceral, dangerous, and intense. It can be so many things and explore so many ideas.


Andrea Davis

Who is Andrea Davis?

Well, I’m 26 and I am a social worker in Richmond who works with kiddos in foster care. I’ve been watching horror movies and have been into oddities and what not ever since I was a kid.

The interview:

1. How do you feel women are represented in horror? Do you think it should change?

I believe woman are often shown as sexual objects in horror, hence the whole if you have sex in a horror movie you’ll more than likely going to die. On the other hand you do have those movies where women are shown as strong and able and defeat the antagonist themselves. That one is kinda hard.

2. Why horror?

I have always loved things that seemed “different ” to other people. Horror always seemed to fit in there somehow. I’ve always been big into reading and Stephen King is my favorite author so naturally it made me start watching everything he had created or had been made due to his books.

3. What is your favorite piece you’ve created?

My favorite piece I’ve made sounds selfish but is for sure my personal horror craft cup. It has ALL of my favorite horror movie characters like Sam and Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Also, it was the first piece I made so it’s sentimental to me as well.

4. What is your favorite piece of horror? It can be art, movies, books, serial killers, or whatever.

My favorite piece of horror is a tie between Trick R Treat because I love Sam and basically absolutely anything Alex Pardee creates.

5. What can you tell us about your art? And your future endeavors?

I say that my art is fun! I wish that I would have found something like this when me and my significant other had first met to do as a date. I think making it DIY gives individuals the ability to make their own creation as well. As far as my future endeavors I hope to get noticed! There are so many talented individuals out there that it’s absolutely insane.

6. What gives you inspiration? 

I would say just my overall love for horror and creepy things gives me inspiration. We have oddities spread throughout our house so sometimes I look around and I’m just like oh hey that lamprey in a jar would look cool as a sticker or oh wow I would want that pet cemetery design on a cup.

Links:

@beautifulhorrorcrafts (Instagram)

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeF2JcMs/

You can message her on either platform to get yourself an awesome decaled cup!!!


Amélia Cognet

About:

My name is Amélia (yes, with the accent on the e, it’s French!) and I live in Huntington Beach, California, with my wonderful husband and twenty-one month old daughter. I have always been passionate by horror and all things dark.

My debut novel, “Perception”, is with my editor right now and I hope to publish it sometime this year, maybe for Halloween! I also wrote a short story called “Payback” that I sent out to horror magazines, and it might just be the creepiest thing I’ve ever written. Fingers crossed! At the moment, I am working on a four book series called “Celeste” that I hope to publish next year, and this is the project that I’m the most passionate about. Aside from the four books, I started writing short novels that will be part of two “Celeste” anthologies, featuring the same characters but at different points of their lives.

The Interview:

1)What made you want to write?

I have always been an avid reader. I remember reading all the Goosebumps series and thinking, “I’ll write my own series!” I was about twelve. I tried to outline a story, make up characters and stuff, but didn’t go through with it. I think I was always a pantser at heart and outlining already wasn’t for me. I wrote my first book when I was thirteen, and the second at fifteen, although these are probably really crappy and are now lost in the depths of my parents’ attic. The goal was just to write something to entertain my friends and myself. After that I didn’t write for years. I don’t know why. I just lost sight of it. Then I moved to the U.S. (yes, those first two books were written in France, and in French), and it took me a lot of time to speak English really well. I started reading only in English, and about three years ago, at the tender age of twenty-nine, all these ideas that had accumulated in my head for so long couldn’t be contained anymore. I needed to get them out. So one day I told my husband, “I’m gonna write a book, and it’ll be in English!” I have never felt so passionate about anything in my life.

2)How do you think women are seen in horror? Should it change?

I have never thought about this but considering how much we hear about male horror writers, I guess my answer would be that we don’t really ‘see’ women at all (there are exceptions of course). At least, I haven’t really heard of them⸻ maybe I wasn’t paying attention⸻ and I had to get out of my way to look for them and read more of their works. I only recently found out there was such a thing as ‘women in horror month’, which is awesome! So, if things are changing, then we are going in the right direction, but I feel like there is a stigma about women in horror, as if we’re not capable of writing something scary. I have actually felt it myself. In all the beta readers reading my different novels and short stories, only two of them were men (one of them my husband). The other male beta readers volunteering to read my work never got back to me. I have no idea why.

3)What is your favorite work someone else has written?

Last year, while searching for female horror writers, I came upon a novel called Voices in the Snow by Darcy Coates. I had no idea it was the first novel of a four book series (the Black Winter Series, also featuring Secrets in the Dark, Whispers in the Mist, and Silence in the Shadows), and I absolutely fell in LOVE with this story, the characters, and Darcy Coates’s writing style. I always said Stephen King was my favorite writer, but after reading this series, I changed my mind. Not only these four novels might just be my favorite read of all times, but Darcy Coates became my favorite writer as well. I am obsessed, and her writing has inspired me so much. I am now on a quest to read everything she has written so far. 

4)Tell us an experience you’ve had as a new writer, good or bad.

It’s really hard to choose, I could say so many things, but I’ll stick to the biggest. Did I mention that I was writing in English even though it’s my second language? Yes, I think I did. This is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done, aside from WRITING A FREAKING BOOK. Writing in English after living so long in the U.S. felt natural. It’s just so much more fun and dynamic than French. French is my native language, English is my love language. But here’s the thing: the imposter syndrome when you’re writing in your second language is so hard to overcome at times. I know we all have it. We all doubt. We all feel like our writing is crap at times. Imagine how I felt when I started writing and stumbled on almost every sentence because I had to use vocabulary I never had to use in my life. I felt unworthy, stupid for getting myself into this, and believed that even if my ideas could be good, my writing would always be crap.

But I kept doing it, for myself. I revised, and re-wrote, and edited a million times, then showed it to beta readers. The feeling I get when someone says that my writing is great, and they didn’t guess English was my second language is amazing and worth all the efforts. But then I had to send the novel to a professional editor and thought, “It’s going to be different this time”. She told me my writing was incredible, and I felt like I was flying!

5)Can you tell us anything about your new book?

I’m not published yet, but I’ll talk about “Perception”, the standalone novel I’d like to publish this year. This is the story of a young woman named Parker, who escapes her abusive⸻ and borderline murderous⸻ boyfriend and tries to reconstruct her life the best she can. Her relative happiness is spoiled a few years later when she starts getting horrible visions about other women being assaulted and abused by their partners. After questioning her sanity, she decides to trust her instincts and tries to find these women to save them before they die.

6)What gives you inspiration?

It’s hard to say. Inspiration comes when you don’t expect it. I can be inspired by a single image in a series or a movie, a character in a book and something random someone will say. To give you an example, I recently read a novel called The Shadows by Alex North (highly recommend). In it, the main character goes back to his hometown after twenty-five years to see his dying mother. Needless to say there are MANY other things happening in this book, and I didn’t even scratched the surface, but that inspired my short story, “Payback”. I imagined a middle-aged man coming back to live with his mother because she’s sick (which does not happen in The Shadows since the mother in the novel ended up in the hospital), and the mother in question is an absolute psychopath who had to have her feet and most fingers amputated because of diabetes (which, again, absolutely does NOT happen in The Shadows). What inspired the idea was the dread the character felt at the idea of seeing his old house, and that sparked all the rest.

Another example would be a bad joke my husband made one time (he’s good at those). My daughter was only two months old, and he pointed at the baby monitor, saying, “Who’s in there with her?”

I looked at the monitor and my baby moved at the same moment, giving me the impression that someone was reaching out to her. That scared the crap out of me for half a second! I already have a future novel I want to write some day about this. A mother in postpartum depression who thinks her house is haunted (but is it really?) because she hears creepy things in her baby’s room at night and sees weirds things on the monitor. It’s all planned out in my head.

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