The Art of Advice and Support: Part 3 of Our Women in Horror 2017 Discussion

Welcome back to Part 3 of our Women in Horror 2017 Discussion! This week, these nine awesome authors and I talk about the great people in the horror industry who support women as well as their advice for those female authors just getting started in the industry. (And if you haven’t already, be sure to read the bios on my featured authors!)

So let’s get started for this penultimate installment of our Women in Horror Month celebration!

Unfortunately, there are still too many barriers for women in publishing, especially in genre fiction. However, instead of focusing on the far-too-common experiences many of us have had where someone wouldn’t give us a chance because of our gender, let’s flip it around and shine a light on those who have made publishing a better place to write: specifically, who have you met in this industry who has been supportive of your work in particular or supportive of women in horror in general? Who are those editors, authors, and publications you can count on to support female horror authors year-round, not just in the month of February?

Kristi DeMeester: S.J. Bagley and Simon Strantzas are hugely supportive as is Scott Nicolay. Ellen Datlow and Paula Guran, obviously. Sean Wallace over at The Dark. Constance Ann Fitzgerald over at Lady Box Books. Molly Tanzer. Silvia Moreno Garcia. Michael Wehunt. Shannon Peavey and Kelly Sandoval at Liminal Stories.

Miracle Austin: I must confess Sirens Call Publications, Sanitarium, Dark Eclipse, and many other anthologies allowed my voice to be heard. I’m extremely thankful for and always will be. These publications accepted some of my stories throughout the year.

K.Z Morano.: The lovely ladies at Sirens Call definitely deserve to be mentioned. I’d like to thank Gloria Bobrowicz, Nina D’Arcangela, and Julianne Snow for the support they give female horror authors, especially for opening the doors to newbie female writers in the genre. Also, there’s Fox Emm who included lots of female horror writers in the extreme horror anthology “Bad Neighborhood”. Some people think that women are incapable of writing hardcore horror. This blogger/editor proved them wrong with this kick-ass collection.

Wendy WagnerWendy Wagner: The vast majority of the people I’ve worked with are real champions of women working in horror. I probably wouldn’t work with them if they weren’t! I can’t say enough good stuff about Ellen Datlow, John Joseph Adams, and Ross Lockhart. I feel like Ross and John—who are both editors and small press owners—are working their hardest to find and promote the work of women in this field. I love working with those two!

Farah Rose Smith: There are tons of folks who are consistently supportive of women in the horror genre. So many that it would be impossible to name them all. This alone speaks to how far we’ve come towards equality, though there is still an enormous need for further improvement. Sam Cowan at Dim Shores, Michael Kelly at Undertow Publications, Justin Steele at Strange Aeons, Mike Davis at Lovecraft Ezine Press, and Ross E. Lockhart at Word Horde consistently support and publish women. Scott Nicolay is an avid supporter of diversity in weird fiction, and does so consistently on his podcast The Outer Dark. I’m immensely grateful for his presence in the community, as he was one of the biggest supporters of Mantid Magazine when it first came out of the gate, and also supports and promotes numerous other publications that aim to elevate diverse writers. There are countless writers who make a point of reading, supporting, promoting, and encouraging women and diverse writers in the community, so one need not let the voices of entrenched misogyny frighten them away. We’re always aiming to elevate women over at Mantid Magazine! I’d encourage people to keep an eye on both Lethe Press and a new magazine called Nasty Writers.

Eden RoyceEden Royce: I’ve had wonderful support from so many people. To name a few: Ashlee Blackwell at Graveyard Shift Sisters, the authors at Colors in Darkness—Mya Lairis, Dahlia De Winters, and Kenya Moss-Dyme, Sirens Call Publications, Patricia Flaherty Pagan at Spider Road Press, Linda D. Addison, Kinitra Brooks, Ph.D., Susana Morris, Ph.D., Carolyn Mauricette, Mark Taylor, Roma Gray, Lincoln Farish, Jack Wallen, Armand Rosamilla, Horror Addicts, Terror Realm, Gregory Norris, Joey Pinkney, The Wicked Library, The Horror Honeys, and FIYAH Lit Mag.

Scarlett R. Algee: Sirens Call Publications may be a “for the love” market, but they have, quite possibly, the nicest editorial team I’ve yet worked with. Among the big names, Tor is responsible for my having read a lot of female authors I otherwise wouldn’t have heard of. And of course, I have to give Sanitarium Magazine a shoutout, because that’s where I got the push that made me think “hey, I can do this”.

Julia Benally: Well, there’s Daniel Foytik from The Wicked Library. Farah Rose Smith from Mantid Magazine. Then of course there’s you.

What advice do you have for female horror authors who are just getting involved with the industry?

Kristi: Keep writing. Keep submitting. Dust yourself off when you’re rejected. Mope a little if you need to. It’s okay. Keep writing. Get better.

The Bell HouseMiracle: I will say to surround yourself with a positive circle of true supporters, usually small and that’s a good thing, because there will be so many times you want to give up because of the rejections and various disappointments you’ll endure. Those who you would expect to clap for you may not. You need positive cheerleaders to encourage you and positive affirmations to walk this industry’s twisty road.

K.Z.: This industry has a reputation for being inhospitable to females. Don’t let that intimidate you. There are more successful female horror writers than you think. Most of them are just shelved under “dark fantasy”, “gothic”, etc. If you’re a female horror writer who wants to make it in this industry, my best advice to you would be to seek out and read the works of fellow female horror authors and gain inspiration from them. Don’t pressure yourself into “writing like a man” or writing under a male-ish pseudonym. Instead, just focus on writing well and on finding your own unique voice as a writer. Write like a woman. Write like you and the rest will follow.

Mantid Issue 1Wendy: Work hard and then work harder. Don’t give up or give in. Look for reputable presses and magazines and stick with them, because they will have your back when the trolls come looking for blood.

Lori: I would say, first of all, focus on your writing. We never get to the point where we perfect it, but we can reach a point where we are able to see our mistakes and come up with better ways to fix them. When you have done all you can do for a manuscript, learn how to give it to a good editor. Someone who will not only catch grammar slip ups and anachronisms, but someone able to give you advice about the big picture. Marketing is important, but the focus has to be on the actual work first.

Farah: Unfortunately the best advice I can give doesn’t involve writing or the creative process, but how to navigate the industry and community hardships that often come with trying to pave your way in the “business” of writing. I would advise young women to weed out fake friends, not allow themselves to feel diminished by the success of other women, form sister-like bonds with women who share your personal and professional values, support diversity in your community by reading/writing/promoting works by diverse authors, don’t compromise your voice to make a sale, be exceedingly polite, and don’t make any decisions that make it hard for you to sleep at night.

Spook Lights: Southern Gothic HorrorEden: Don’t bend to what you think publishers or readers want and don’t chase what’s popular. Write what speaks to you and do you best to cultivate your own voice. Read widely—speculative fiction and literary, indie and traditionally published—it can help you learn what works for you in a story and what doesn’t. It will also expose you to various methods of storytelling you might not otherwise come across.

Julia: Horror is an art form, not a bowl of disgusting trash slapped together with every nasty element ever invented. Take the alien from Alien for example. The creature was freaky; its slime served the alien. Imagine if the director focused only on the slime?

Scarlett: Don’t let anyone tell you that women can’t write horror. (Quite a few of us live with it just by virtue of our biology, after all.) Don’t give up. You’ll get rejections, and they’ll hurt, but keep going. Your voice matters.

And that’s Part 3 of our discussion! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 from earlier this month!

Happy reading!

Favorite Authors and Least Favorite Tropes: Part 2 of Our Women in Horror 2017 Discussion

Welcome back to our Women in Horror Month celebration! For Part 2 of our Women in Horror 2017 discussion, these nine amazing authors and I discuss their favorite writers and stories as well as the female-penned stories they wish had gotten more attention in the past year. Plus, we talk about crafting female characters in horror and the tropes that sometimes go with them.

So without further adieu, take it away, ladies!

Who are your favorite female horror authors, and which of their stories in particular have resonated with you?

Kristi DeMeester: Livia Llewellyn creeps under my skin like few other writers. Her stories are unnerving and linger after having finished them. Her stories “The Engine of Desire” and “Omphalos” are things of terrifying loveliness. My God. She’s so good. Damien Angelica Walters spins tales that somehow combine the lightest touch with horror. It’s terribly difficult to select just one of her stories because I’ve read so many. Grab her collection Sing Me Your Scars or her novel Paper Tigers, and you’ll see what I mean. Priya Sharma’s “Fabulous Beasts” was one of my absolute favorite stories last year. Sarah Langan’s novels are so incredibly wonderful. Helen Marshall’s collection Gifts for the One Who Comes After is a book I can read again and again. “In the Year of Omens” encapsulates everything I love in a spooky story. Kelly Link blends strangeness into her stories that is the exact right level of disquiet. Her collections are also go-to reads.

Miracle Austin: The fantastic Shirley Jackson and Toni Morrison are two of my favorite horror authors—I have many more. “The Lottery” by Ms. Jackson and Beloved by Ms. Morrison are two that I continue to think about frequently—very powerful works!

KZ MoranoK.Z. Morano: Some of the female horror authors I admire are Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, Gertrude Atherton, Angela Carter, Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, Kelly Link, Kaaron Warren, Karen Russell, Kathe Koja, Helen Oyeyemi, Gwendolyn Kiste, and Damien Angelica Walters. I’ve always been a fan of Anne Rice’s sensual and savage portrayal of vampires. And Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was one of the first books I borrowed from the school library. One of my favorite short stories in the horror genre is Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” And then there’s Livia Llewellyn’s beautiful and brutal masterpiece, “And Love Shall Have No Dominion” which still revolts, terrifies, and enthralls me in equal measures.

Wendy Wagner: I love Tananarive Due: her novel The Good House is set in the Pacific NW (I’m a PNW native), and it was just thoughtful and creepy and a great example of the haunted house genre. I love haunted house stories. I re-read The Haunting of Hill House almost every year. (Shirley Jackson, the author of Hill House, is a huge influence on me.) I’m also a huge fan of Daphne DuMaurier. The Birds is legendary, but I think her literary thriller, Rebecca, is my favorite work by her. It’s so moody, so full of character. It’s one the greatest character studies of all time. The Hitchcock film does it very little justice.

Farah Rose SmithFarah Rose Smith: Oddly enough, my favorite female authors don’t fall within the horror genre, but perhaps use horror elements to bolster their narratives (Anya Seton and Clarice Lispector, primarily). As for horror-proper, I’ve tend to gravitate towards the weird, poetic, decadent, gothic, and surreal. I hold K.J. Bishop (THE ETCHED CITY) and Livia Llewellyn (FURNACE) in high esteem. One can never go wrong with Shirley Jackson (THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE). And one can’t really call themselves a horror person if they’ve neglected Mary Shelley (FRANKENSTEIN, duh).

Eden Royce: Daphne Du Maurier’s “The Blue Lenses”, Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle—I can see that story playing out in my hometown of Charleston. Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Voodoo Dreams series. I also love Alyssa Wong’s work; her story “Scarecrow” is fantastic.

Scarlett R. Algee: Oh gosh, the dreaded ‘favorite author’ question! Ruthanna Emrys–“The Litany of Earth” still astounds me, and I’m immensely excited that Winter Tide is coming. And Octavia Butler: she’s not thought of as a “horror” author, obviously, but “Bloodchild” scared the hell out of me and gave me nightmares.

Julia Benally: So far, I love your stories and I’m beginning to love Scarlett Algee’s stories. I absolutely adore your “The Clawfoot Requiem.” That one had me on the edge of my seat. I also loved your “The Little Girl Who Came From the Sea.” I loved reading “Tomb Wife” from Scarlett.

Related to the last question, what recent story (or stories) have you read in the last year that was written by a female horror author but didn’t get as much attention as you think it deserved?

NightscriptKristi: Carrie Laben’s “Postcards From Natalie” from The Dark. WOW. So good. Cate Gardner’s “As Cymbals Clash” also in The Dark.

Miracle: There are many, but I’ll have to say Cemetery Tours by Jacqueline E. Smith and Skin Witch: Tales of Soucouyants by Chanel Harry.

K.Z.: I think everyone should check out “When You Work for the Old Ones” by Sandra McDonald and “A Diet of Worms” by Valerie Valdes. I came across these stories in Nightmare Magazine so I suppose they reached a lot of readers. Even so, I would recommend these tales to those who haven’t read them yet. Nightmare Magazine features female horror authors a lot and that’s one of the many reasons why I support it.

Wendy: Oh, “The Low, Dark Edge of Life,” by Livia Llewellyn, no doubt. It ran in the December issue of Nightmare Magazine, and it’s just fantastic. I see it as the kind of story if Lovecraft had been born a woman—a furious, brilliant, fierce woman. It’s a burning fever dream of weird.

Pathfinder TalesFarah: Two of my stand-out favorites this year in the weird genre both came from Dim Shores. The first was SPLIT TONGUES by Kristi DeMeester. The other was GRASS by Anya Martin. Everyone I encounter raves wildly about the brilliance of ECSTATIC INFERNO by Autumn Christian. I would highly recommend picking up a copy of that as well. And there are, of course, many writers pouring into the genre from all walks of life that will undoubtedly produce memorable works in the years to come. I look forward to reading and working with them.

Eden: The Sleepless by Nuzo Onoh. Her brand of African horror resonates with me and is a refreshing change from some of the mainstream portrayals of Nigerian/Igbo culture. I absolutely love “Who will Greet You at Home” by Lesley Nneka Arimah as it shows how magical realism, fantasy, and horror intertwine. Priya Sharma’s “Fabulous Beasts” is also a wonderful read as is Vicy Cross’ Tuesday Apocalypse.

Audrey at NightScarlett: One stands out: Aliette de Bodard’s “Lullaby for a Lost World“. It’s from Tor, so I was a bit surprised that I ran across it on Amazon and hadn’t already heard of it. It’s a beautiful and horrifying story about making sacrifices for what is perceived as the greater good, and what happens when that illusion of greater good is broken.

Julia: Personally I don’t think anyone gets as much attention as they should. We all go through so much pain to write a story and then the readership is small because people don’t read as often as they used to.

When you are crafting female characters in your writing, do you consciously steer clear of the usual tropes of horror, or do you allow the individual story to take shape and see where it takes you?

Kristi: I’m not much of a planner, so I tend to just let the stories take me where they will. My favorite stories are the ones that put girls/women in strange moments where the outcome will drastically change them and then let them work themselves out. Or not.

DollK.Z.: Most of the time, I just let my characters shape themselves. Still, I’m careful not to misrepresent my own sex. There’s already too much of that going on in horror films, stories, and novels. So, each time I create a female character, I ask myself: “Would a real woman actually do/say this?”

Miracle: I usually allow the story to take shape and allow characters to take the reigns, which is the best part of writing to me. I revise, when needed, of course.

Lori: I really try not to use the tropes in obvious ways that have been done too often. The thing about tropes is they do give the reader benefit of the familiar. But with so many books out there, you really have to change things up in order to tell a story which feels different. As a reader I enjoy stories which challenge my expectations. Everyone loves a good twist! I try to surprise myself with how I can craft the story into something different.

Farah: I do make a strange point of avoiding any heavy gender, race, or orientation markers in short fiction unless they have a significant purpose or use within the narrative because I want it to be an immersive experience rather than a preachy one. I tend to write male characters at that length, only really feeling comfortable writing women in longer pieces because I think there needs to be more room to maneuver. At least with the kind of things I am trying to say. I try to approach creative ventures with intersectional feminism as a guiding light. As for tropes, I don’t normally employ them, but only because the stories I write elevate atmosphere and mood over events.

Julia Benally The Wicked LibraryEden: I don’t consciously steer away from horror tropes in my writing; I think telling the story takes precedence. Get the story written first, then you can edit it later. But having said that, I grew up around so many fascinating, yet flawed women that I tend to write characters that possess a variety of traits that make them full characters, not perfect creatures.

Scarlett: I have things I make conscious efforts to avoid. No rape (it almost never serves the plot, in my experience). No scantily clad women being chased upstairs by axe murderers. 95% of my horror protagonists are female, and they have minds of their own, so I just let them drive the story, even though they usually come to bad ends. That’s actually another reason I like horror–the general lack of “happily ever after” is quite in tune with my experiences.

Julia: My characters form themselves after the story does. And then based on how the character is, the story is edited accordingly. Whenever I consciously try to make changes to a character, they throw a fit and won’t work for me. Sometimes I feel like it’s not up to me to steer them in any one direction. They like steering themselves.

So that’s part 2 of our Women in Horror Month Discussion. If you haven’t already, please check out Part 1 from last week, as well as the bios for all these wonderful writers!

Happy reading!

In Love with Fiction: Submission Roundup for February 2017

Welcome back to another Submission Roundup! This month, there are plenty of awesome opportunities to go around, so sharpen up those proverbial pens and get to writing.

As always, I like to note that I am not a representative for any of these publications; I am only spreading the word! Please direct any questions to the editors of the anthologies and magazines.

And without further adieu, let’s get this Submission Roundup on the road!

Submission RoundupTriangulation
Payment: .02/word
Length: up to 6,000 words, though 3,000 words is ideal
Deadline: February 28th, 2017
What They Want: This annual anthology accepts speculative fiction, including science fiction, fantasy, and horror. This year’s theme is “Appetites,” which is open to a wide variety of interpretations (though any cannibalism stories would have to be highly unique to make the cut).
Find the details here.

Body Parts
Payment: $5-$20 (depending on length)
Length: up to 8,000 words
Deadline: March 1st, 2017
What They Want: This month’s theme is Killer Clowns and Freak Shows.
Find the details here.

Afrofuturism
Payment: .01/word
Length: 1,000-7,500 words
Deadline: March 3rd, 2017
What They Want: Adult science fiction stories featuring diverse settings and diverse characters. Specifically, at least one character should be of indigenous African descent.
Find the details here.

Havok
Payment: .02/word
Length: up to 1,000 words (though 700 words or less is preferred)
Deadline: February 10th, 2017
What They Want: This month’s theme is “Tyrannosaurus Reads,” which as the name suggests, will focus on prehistoric creatures.
Find the details here.

Gaslandia: A Dieselpunk Anthology
Payment: .01/word
Length: 1,001-40,000 words
Deadline: March 1st, 2017
What They Want: Nostalgic stories that have a feel of the 1920s-1950s that incorporate speculative and dieselpunk themes.
Find the details here.

Capricious
Payment: .04/word
Length: up to 7,500 words
Deadline: February 28th, 2017
What They Want: Capricious is accepting submissions for their “Gender Diverse Pronouns Issue.” Speculative fiction stories should incorporate gender neutral pronouns, including those of the author’s creation. This issue specifically is looking to expand minds and language and focus on those characters who are often marginalized.
Find the details here.

Happy Submitting!

Ladies of the Macabre: Part 1 of Our Women in Horror 2017 Discussion

A big welcome to February and the always awesome Women in Horror Month! This year, I’m celebrating in a big way! As I mentioned last week, this month is all about female horror authors, in particular these nine incredible writers whose work and work ethic I admire wholeheartedly.

So for the first installment of our Women in Horror 2017 Discussion, let’s start at the beginning. Today, I talk with our incredible female horror authors about what drew them to the genre and what this year’s auspicious Women in Horror Month means to them.  In the coming weeks, I’ll be speaking with each of them again about their inspiration and favorite authors as well as where they hope that the horror genre is headed in years to come.

So let’s get started with this celebration of some of the awesome ladies of horror!

As a writer, what attracts you to the horror genre? Also, do you remember your earliest experience with horror, either as a reader of horror literature or a viewer of horror films?

Kristi DeMeesterKristi DeMeester: The unknown and unsettling has always held a dark kind of seduction for me. That moment of breathlessness as you wait for the door to open without knowing what’s on the other side? It lets you teeter on the edge of something terrible, which is in its own right, a form of beauty. My first experience was my mother letting me watch Fright Night when I was four or five. I fell in love with Chris Sarandon. I was hooked after that.

Miracle Austin: My exposure to horror/suspense arenas occurred prior my junior high years. My mom used to listen to an AM radio station, cannot recall name, on Friday nights that aired creepy stories. I was sold instantly and couldn’t wait until the next airing. Horror/suspense just meshed with me from the start. I craved horror…

K.Z. Morano: My earliest exposure to horror was watching Filipino horror flicks as a kid. The “special” effects were horrible but the aswang and other monsters of Filipino folklore terrified me more than the vampires and werewolves in Hollywood movies. From those films, I realized that horror isn’t just about scaring the heck out of people. Horror has a way of revealing people’s truest natures. Horror brings out the best and the worst in people. Horror is honest. That, I think, is what drew me to it in the first place.

Wendy Wagner: When I was about nine, I picked up a copy of Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew. One of my sisters had gotten it from the library, and the whole family was passing it around. It creeped me out, but I loved it, too. I would read a story and then vow I wasn’t going to read another, and then I’d go looking for the book and read another one. I spent the next three or four years devouring a ton of ’80s horror. Writing horror is just fun. I like trying to spin a gory, disgusting scene. I like trying to create something that really challenges social norms. What I love best, though, is writing something that gives me that goosebumply, uncomfortable feeling. That’s the very best.

Lori TitusLori Titus: I am an inquisitive person. I love theorizing about what the world could be like. Horror offers the perfect opportunity to speak deep truths, address taboos and painful subjects, while being entertaining and not preachy about it. I was raised on horror movies and looked for scary books as soon as I was able to read, so it’s no surprise it became my favorite genre.

Farah Rose Smith: I’ve always found horror media to be a powerful platform, not only for storytelling, but for catharsis. It has a transformative power that is too often neglected by the literary community. My earliest experiences with the genre were typical of a 90s kid. Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, So Weird, MST3K, and so on. My Dad was a big fan of both horror and science fiction, so most of my interest in it came from him. I’ve always been a dedicated Vincent Price fan. In the realm of literature, Lovecraft, Poe, and Hoffmann were my anchors. Though they’ve shifted significantly in my hierarchy of admiration in favor of more obscure writers, I still hold their works in high esteem.

Eden Royce: I grew up in a family that embraced death. From a young age, I was told where my grandmother’s plot and insurance paperwork were stored. You know…just in case. My parents speculated on what would kill others and were many times, correct. I found early on that what was normal for me was off-putting or creepy to others. So I decided to write stories where the strange people were the main characters, and they handled life in the way that’s normal for them. Turns out most people considered that horror.

Scarlett R. AlgeeScarlett R. Algee: I can think of a couple of things that attract me to horror. One, it provides a sort of “safe space” to explore things you’re afraid of–fear is a powerful emotion but can also be, oddly enough, an exhilarating one. Two–and this sort of plays off the first–as a writer, horror lets you play with things that you couldn’t do in real life without consequences. Still upset at the kid who took your lunch money in third grade? Make them a character. Kill them horribly. It’s cathartic. My earliest exposure to horror was through film: namely Jaws and Orca and Alien. I was really young, but something stuck, and here we are.

Julia Benally: After some deliberation, I do believe I enjoy scaring people. And it’s so interesting. I get some seriously good villains from the horror section of my brain. My earliest, earliest that I can recall is that whenever we visited my grandparents, it never failed, my uncles had either Aliens or Predator on.

As a female horror writer, what does Women in Horror Month mean to you? How do you plan to get involved in the month’s activities?

100 NightmaresKristi: This year, I hope to see the awareness the month brings leak into all of the other months of the year. I’d love to see the request for a list of female horror writers posed later in the year include more than the (obviously fantastic) standards of Shirley Jackson, and Mary Shelley, and Joyce Carol Oates. I like to promote my fellow female writers all year, so I plan to continue doing that.

Miracle: It’s a huge honor to have a month dedicated to women in horror! I’m absolutely thrilled to have been selected for this interview with you, Ms. Kiste.  I hope to submit a story or two to Sirens Call Publications, one of my favorites, and collaborate with as many as possible during that special month, pending my writing schedule.

K.Z.: WiHM means a lot to me as a horror writer and as a fan of the genre. This annual tradition is essential in shining the spotlight on lesser known female horror writers. More than that, WiHM introduces fans to fresh, high-quality horror fiction. To celebrate Women in Horror Month 2017, I’m making a massive list on my blog featuring female horror writers. Most of these authors are in the small press and deserve more recognition than they get.

Lori: Since we don’t get equal time, it’s a good way to spotlight talent and get our stories out there. Though I will be promoting my own work as always, I am looking forward to finding a few female authors whose work I haven’t explored yet.

Farah: Women in Horror Month has played an enormous role in furthering the inclusion of women and diverse media creators within the genre. I continue to hear people say negative things about it, mostly rooted in the argument that allotting one specific month to celebrate women in the genre is not conducive to inclusion. I disagree with that sentiment. People tend to forget (especially when thinking from places of privilege) the amount of work that still has to be done to pave the way for women in media. Many are often blinded by their own success or opportunities and can’t quite comprehend that there isn’t one clear-cut way to achieving publication or “success.” If we have to pay the dues of heavy-handedness now so that our daughters won’t have to by insisting upon being seen and heard with emphasis, so be it. I plan on spending the month researching and reading contemporary works by women, particularly in the weird fiction and Bizarro genres, and attending screenings of films created by women.

Julia: After hearing of it I was pretty intrigued. Since it’s new to me, I think I’ll watch it for awhile and see what’s up.

MantidScarlett: Since I deal with a lot of health issues, I’m not entirely sure how active I’ll be (and I tend to not be an “event” person anyway). I do enjoy doing interviews (haha) and online discussions. Those are always fun. I’m glad Women in Horror Month exists, on one hand; it’s about time we got some recognition. On the other, part of me says that we shouldn’t need a month: excellent work is excellent work all the time. The horror community doesn’t quite seem to be at that place yet, though.

Eden: For me, Women in Horror is every month. I do what I can to promote my sisters in horror all year long. But Women in Horror month is when the rest of the world turns their eyes to what we do. This year, I’m releasing a second collection of Southern Gothic short stories, called Spook Lights 2. As Women in Horror month coincides with Black History Month, I’m writing a series of blog posts for Graveyard Shift Sisters that highlights black women horror writers then and now, including a giveaway of two of my favorite horror novels.

So that’s Part One of our Women in Horror 2017 Discussion. Head on back here next week as we discuss favorite authors and how these ladies craft female characters of their own.

Happy reading!

Cover Reveal and Presale for my Debut Fiction Collection!

So. You might have already heard (because sometimes, I’m a little loquacious) that I have a book coming out. In fact, I have a book that has an official release date (APRIL 14th).

I have a book with a beautiful cover (see below, because for real).

I have a book with my name on it.

Seriously. This is actually happening.

In a way, I don’t know where to begin. The whole process of putting together this collection is a bit like waiting up on Christmas Eve. It’s nerve-wracking and thrilling in equal measure. And I still have trouble believing that such an amazing press like JournalStone is publishing my work. A whole book of my work. And speaking of books—in this case, book covers—allow me to swoon and squeal from behind my keyboard as I unveil the cover for my debut collection, And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe!

And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe

That gorgeous photograph is the work of the amazing Nona Limmen. All of the covers from JournalStone are absolutely incredible, so I knew when editor Jess Landry approached me for this collection, that no part of this process would be anything less than stellar. But to feature such a breathtaking image from an extraordinary talent like Nona on my cover is completely out of this world. I’m in awe of the design every time I look at it.

But that fabulous cover isn’t the only news about the collection. As of this past weekend, And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe is available for preorder on the JournalStone website! And for the first time, here is the official table of contents for my debut collection! (Again, how is this really happening?!? *head spins*)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
“Something Borrowed, Something Blue”
“Ten Things to Know About the Ten Questions”
“The Clawfoot Requiem”
“All the Red Apples Have Withered to Gray”
“The Man in the Ambry”
“Find Me, Mommy”
“Audrey at Night”
“The Five-Day Summer Camp”
“Skin like Honey and Lace”
“By Now, I’ll Probably Be Gone”
“Through Earth and Sky”
“The Tower Princesses”
“And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe”
“The Lazarus Bride”

These fourteen tales are a combination of my stories that have previously appeared in Nightmare, Shimmer, LampLight, Interzone, Bracken, and Three-Lobed Burning Eye, among other venues. There are also five brand-new tales that are original to this collection. Of course, I’ll be talking more about the process of creating this book as well as the story behind many of these pieces, but in the meantime, I have to give another shout-out as well as tremendous thanks to my editor Jess Landry for championing these stories. Without her devotion to my work as well as her incredible attention to detail, this book would not be a reality. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have such an incredible editor like Jess, but I truly couldn’t be more grateful.

So if you’re so inclined, head on over to the JournalStone site and check out the preorder page for And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe. And keep an eye on this blog in the coming weeks for more posts, giveaways, and promotions than you can shake a horror-loving stick at!

Happy reading!

Women in Horror 2017 Discussion Coming Soon!

Women in Horror Month is finally here, and I am super thrilled that this blog will be participating in a big way this year! Throughout the month of February, I will be interviewing an illustrious group of female authors and editors who are writing some of the very best horror out there today!

And who might those fantastic writers be? Well, let me tell you all about them! Here are the nine authors who I am honored and excited to have interviewed for this forthcoming feature! Big thanks to each and every one of them for taking the time to answer my questions. I’m looking so forward to sharing their responses throughout the rest of the month!

Kristi DeMeesterKristi DeMeester is a horror author based in Atlanta. Her fiction has appeared in Apex, Shimmer, Black Static, and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, among others. Her chapbook, Split Tongues, was released last year through Dim Shores, and her debut novel, Beneath, is coming soon from Word Horde. Find her at her author website.

KZ MoranoK.Z. Morano is an author of short fiction and poetry. Her collection, 100 Nightmares, was released in 2014 to rave reviews. The collection, which blends folklore and fairy tales, features one-hundred stories told in exactly one-hundred words and includes dozens of illustrations. K.Z.’s fiction has also been featured in The Sirens Call, Vignettes from the End of the World, and Gothic Tales of Terror, among others. Find her at her author website.

Miracle AustinMiracle Austin is a novelist and short fiction author. Her stories have appeared in The Sirens Call, Sanitarium Magazine, and The Wicked Library, among other outlets. Her debut YA novel, Doll, was released in 2016, and her fiction collection, Boundless, is coming soon. Find her at her author website.

Julia BenallyJulia Benally is a short fiction author based in the Southwest. Her work has appeared in Sanitarium Magazine, The Wicked Library, Mantid Magazine, and more. She recently completed her first novel, Pariahs, a dark fantasy set within an American Indian world. Find her at her author blog.

Scarlett R. AlgeeScarlett R. Algee is an author based in Tennessee. Her work has appeared in Sanitarium Magazine, Morpheus Tales, and numerous Popcorn Press anthologies. In addition to her writing and her steampunk-inspired jewelry line, she is also an editor who has worked with numerous fiction writers as well as small presses including Woodbridge Press. Check her out online at her author site.

Eden RoyceEden Royce is an author of short and long fiction. Her novella, Containment, debuted in 2013, and her short fiction has been released through Spider Road Press, Blood Bound Books, and The Sirens Call, among others. She is also the author of the acclaimed fiction collection, Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror, as well as its sequel, Spook Lights II. Her nonfiction appears regularly at Graveyard Shift Sisters. She is the recipient of the Speculative Literature Foundations Diverse Worlds grant. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, she now resides in England. Find her online at her author website.

Wendy WagnerWendy Wagner is the editor of Nightmare and Lightspeed as well as an author of short fiction and novels. Her short stories have appeared at Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Farrago’s Wainscot, among others, and her novels, Starspawn and Skinwalkers, have been released as part of the acclaimed Pathfinder Tales series. Find her online at her author site.

Lori TitusLori Titus is a speculative fiction author and editor out of California. Her novels include The Bell House as well as books in The Marradith Ryder series, including Hunting in Closed Spaces and The Art of Shadows. She has also had multiple short stories published, and she has worked as the editor of Flashes in the Dark. Find her at her author website.

Farah Rose SmithFarah Rose Smith is the editor of the acclaimed Mantid Magazine as well as a fiction writer in her own right. Her work incorporates elements of surrealism, eroticism, and death and decay, among other themes. In addition to her writing and editing, she is also an experimental filmmaker through her company, Grimoire Pictures Studio. Find her online at her author and filmmaking site.

So these are the amazing women who will be appearing on my blog throughout February! Definitely head on back here every week for the entire month to read more about their inspiration and favorite authors as well as how they got involved with the horror genre and where they hope to see it go from here!

Happy reading, and happy Women in Horror Month!

Ashes to Ashes: Interview with Lindsey Beth Goddard

Welcome back! Today, I’m pleased to feature author Lindsey Beth Goddard. Lindsey’s work has appeared in Dark Moon Digest, The Wicked Library, and The Sirens Call, among other outlets.

Recently, Lindsey and I discussed her inspiration as a writer, her short fiction collections, and her new book, Ashes of Another Life, available now from Omnium Gatherum.

A couple icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become a writer, and who are some of your favorite authors?

Lindsey Beth GoddardI don’t think I ever decided to become an author. Ever since I can remember, I wrote. In first grade, I won the Mother’s Day poetry contest for the entire school (grades K-5), and that’s when I realized I could touch people with my words. Through poems and essays and stories, I had a voice. I’ve always been introverted – private, shy. Writing things down was a good way to think, to vent and to communicate. Much easier than expressing myself verbally. Yeah, I’d say it was love at first write.

Some of my favorite authors are Robert McCammon, Ray Bradbury, Oscar Wilde, Emily Bronte, Gary Braunbeck, Lisa Morton, Stephen King, Graham Masterton, Poppy Z. Brite, Clive Barker, Shirley Jackson, Philip K Dick, Richard Laymon, Poe, and many, many more.

Congratulations on the recent release of your book, Ashes of Another Life! What served as your primary inspiration for the book, and how long did it take you to complete the project?

Thank you. It all started when I began reading the biographies of former FLDS cult members. They are brave and enduring individuals. Literally trapped, kept under constant surveillance, and forced to marry men several decades their senior, escape was not easy for the females. And males are liable to be shunned by their families and cast out of the community for the smallest infraction. A teenage boy caught with a collection of “worldly” possessions such as CDs could be thrown, penniless, into the outside world with nowhere to go. Rebellion is met with harsh consequence, and physical and mental abuse is used to eradicate free thought. I became so obsessed with studying this cult, I had to write a story about it. The process took over a year, but I love the results.

You have several collections of your short fiction available, including The Tooth Collector and Other Tales of Terror and Quick Fix: A Taste of Terror. What was your process in selecting the stories for each collection, and do you have plans for another fiction collection in the future?

Selecting the stories was easy. I chose the best of my reprints. A lot of these stories appeared in anthologies by small-press publishers who have since disappeared, so I wanted to give them a permanent home. In my latest collection, The Tooth Collector, I included a story that had previously appeared on an episode of the Wicked Women Writers Challenge podcast. I chose that one for the same reason: to give it a permanent home in print. My stories are like my children. I must take care of them!

In about a year, I’ll have another collection available through Burning Willow Press called Secrets of the Slain. What makes this collection interesting is that it’s a mixture of poems and stories and will include two unpublished stories that have never appeared anywhere else, one of which is a novelette. So, yeah, keep your eyes peeled for Secrets of the Slain. It’s a good one.

Ashes of Another LifeYou’ve written both short stories and now a longer fiction project with Ashes of Another Life. Does your process differ from short versus long fiction? Do you find yourself drawn more to the compact arcs of short fiction or the more complex arcs of long fiction?

Oh, yes, the writing process differs between short and long fiction. You have to make every word count in a short piece, a challenge I’ve always enjoyed.

For me, writing shorts has been more of a necessity than a preference. Raising three children has left me with very little free time. Short stories have allowed me the instant gratification of being published without the endless hours of work. The story arc of a novel is preferable, though. It allows more room to explore my fictional world and all its characters. That’s definitely the direction my work is heading now.

If forced to choose, which part of the writing process is your favorite: developing characters, crafting settings, or writing dialogue?

Characters. I love developing characters.

What upcoming projects are you working on?

I’m trying to focus on a novel at the moment. I’ve had fans request a poetry book, but I’m not a prolific poet. I’m a sporadic poet at best! Haha. So I’m sure we’ll see a novel before that poetry book ever happens.

Where would you like to see your writing career in five years?

In the hands of the masses!

Big thanks to Lindsey Beth Goddard for being part of this week’s author interview series! Find her online at her official website as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Happy reading!

“Reasons I Hate My Big Sister” is on the Preliminary Bram Stoker Awards Ballot!

So January ushered in a seriously wonderful surprise: my Nightscript, Volume 2 story, “Reasons I Hate My Big Sister,” made it onto the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot!

NightscriptNow it’s important to note that appearance on the preliminary ballot is not a nomination. The official nominations will be coming in February! But even making it this far and sharing the company of such fantastic authors are truly the biggest honors I’ve had in my writing career.

If you’re an Active or Lifetime Member of Horror Writers Association and would like to read “Reasons I Hate My Big Sister,” please email me at gwendolyn@gwendolynkiste.com, and I will be thrilled to send you an electronic copy of the story!

And if you’re not an HWA member (and really, you should be!), then consider picking up a copy of Nightscript, Volume 2. The anthology “of strange and darksome tales” includes so many amazing stories from the brilliant likes of Kristi DeMeester, Michael Griffin, Rebecca J. Allred, Ralph Robert Moore, Malcolm Devlin, Matthew M. Bartlett, Jose Cruz, and many more.

Happy reading!

One-of-a-Kind: Interview with Alex J. Murd

Welcome back! For this week’s interview, I’m thrilled to present artist Alex Murd. Alex’s work has appeared in venues such as The Wicked Library and The Lift, among others.

Recently, we talked about Alex’s inspiration, process, and all those amazing upcoming projects through Crazed Pixel Comics!

A couple icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become an artist, and who are some of your favorites in your field?

Alex MurdI love icebreakers, especially when they involve a rocks glass, good bourbon, and a dash of bitters.

My pursuit of art can’t be defined by a single moment, as I always knew I wanted to do something art-related. I didn’t always know what kind of art I would be creating, but held firm to the certainty. I was supported in my endeavors, and let my artistic niche find me. I’m only a lucky fool that it ended up being such a sexy one.

Artists that I admire, and can’t hold a candle to, consist of dead-and-gone to walking-around-town: Schiele, Klimt, Stuck, Tom of Finland, Mignola, Fyodor Pavlov, Los Bros Hernandez, Seatlleites Laura Graves and Eli Tripoli, Portlander Scott Roller.

Every creator feels like they are missing people in their ‘thank you’ speech, but these are off-the-cuff entries. Each of these artists have some facet I admire and respect.

What is your process as an artist? Do you work at a certain time of day or for a certain length of time? Do you work with music playing or without? Any other habits about your working style you’d like to share?

Process, oh goodness, how much time do we have here? Not very much, I’m guessing, so I will try and be concise. The take away from this is: what process?

I am a creature of whim. I can be very taken by some kind of inspiration or a moment, and run with it. My creative bouts are fickle. Inspiration and I play games with each other. Sometimes I win, sometimes it is the victor.

It’s all about the music. Music, as a medium, has inspired more characters, scenes, feelings, drawings, and carnal acts than any other medium, for me. I enjoy being a creative hedonist and seducing myself into creating: mood music befitting the project, twilight into the night, giving myself a mental massage before I begin. I’ll create a scene for myself, before I gorge myself on the artwork. And when I’m spent, that’s it. I’m done. Tapping out.

I enjoy being ‘taken’ by something and exploring its surfaces and inner workings before sinking in. If that sounds like an innuendo, it’s because it is. It’s totally like foreplay and sex.

There, that’s a way better analogy: my process is like taking someone to bed. You set the mood, you both have fun and explore, then you get down to the dirty work until you’re so worked up into a fervor you can’t possibly take anymore, then post-coital cigarette and ‘was it good for you’s’ all around.

And then there are always those projects that are fast and dirty, just to get the itch scratched. Sometimes, even in public. Lunchtime sketches, and have to jump out of the shower to jot down that idea, I’m lookin’ at you, you naughty, naughty ideas.

You have created a number of gorgeous pieces for The Wicked Library and The Lift (your cover art for Brooke Warra’s “The Dance” seriously stopped me in my tracks). Is your process different when you’re designing art based on a specific story, and how do you pick which image or scene to depict?

I’m flattered, and thank you for that. My Lift piece for Brooke’s “The Dance,” was one of my favorites to create. I enjoyed trying to conjure a good image from that story to best show Tommy’s feeling of isolation in his handicap.

The best aspect of creating individual illustrations from these amazing stories, is the selection of what to portray. I try and let the stories tell me what image or scene will best encompass their overall feeling, and engage a reader/listener. I read it once, off the cuff jot down the first images that impacted me, then process of elimination. What one has the best combination of honesty from the text, intrigue, and most important: mystery. I want to get people hooked on these tales. From there I think of an engaging style to draw the piece in, befitting the text. For example; I didn’t draw a garish cartoon for Aaron Vlek’s disturbing tale, “The Wet Man.” That style would be inappropriate for the weight of the story.

Alex MurdI work with Dan, since he is a gateway to the authors, and see how everyone is feeling about the idea I submit. Dan is an excellent backboard and I enjoy his collaborative efforts very much. He now knows how I work well enough to give me more free reign on a piece. But, it still never hurts to submit an idea. He’s told me I disturb him. I’m still proud of that one.

Creating illustrations from such a wide variety of voices is an absolutely different process, than creating of my own volition. I very much enjoy the challenge and exercise involved, trying to help bring someones’ words to visual life. The biggest impact is hearing how the author feels about it. If they enjoy it, duty finished.

Every artist sometimes faces that awful moment when it is either difficult or altogether impossible to create something new or keep working on a given project. When this happens to you, how do you work through these creative blocks?

I’ll let you know, when I know, dear. The best I can. Switching gears and trying to make myself walk away, which is no easy feat. When this happens I latch onto any fresh wave of inspiration: music, movies, books, a conversation. I take it and run, to try and break the spell. Even if it is simply a small sketch, or jotting down some words. The first strike is the hardest. Any time you create, no matter how small, it’s worth something.

Deadlines, as we all know, can be a lifesaver. Sometimes, even at a moment of losing inspiration on a project, if someone else is counting on it, you fortify and finish the damn thing. Then collapse and go brain dead with pointless and lovely guilty pleasures.

Out of your body of work, do you have a particular favorite piece?

I’m really not the kind of fella that ‘kisses and tells’, but there are pieces that tug deep on different heartstrings.

My first collection of ‘Cinder’ comics, along with my first ‘Little Black Book’, are two works that I hold dear.

‘Cinder’, my slice-of-life comic filled with alternative characters of every sexuality, and my collection of alternative and queer porn art, ‘Little Black Book’, helped me break artistic barriers, within myself. Being queer, these works give me a chance for catharsis and experimentation. I love exploring sexuality, and figure work, so these titles have become a perfect match. They remind me to keep playing around, and stay true to what I like.

If my putting my fetishes out there for others to read gives some other strange soul solace, my job was done well. Nothing like encouraging the freaks to stay freaky.

On a more saccharine note, an illustration of my ‘Satan’ character, Jasper, reuniting with a long lost lover, is warming. A creature spending eternity watching favored souls blink in and out of its existence, running into a now very old flame, and sparking as if it were yesterday. I find it very sweet.

I may revel in drawing dirty pictures, but it is no secret I am a hopeless romantic.

What projects are you currently working on?

My selection process is as follows: take yourself out of the frying pan, and place directly in fire. Too much is what. I have such a web of reserves, I pull out depending on my mood. Rotating artworks that can be added to, until they are submitted to print before CrazedPixel Comics takes to the road for con season.

Always room for more erotic and pornographic artworks for my ‘Little Black Book’ series. Some fresh pieces for ‘Cinder’. New prints. And I have a written horror comic that is dying to get drawn. Now if only a certain artist would get off of their ass, and give it some attention before it becomes a poltergeist…

An ongoing project is a series of original artworks for charity, specifically reputable women’s or any kind of minority rights funds. In lieu of payment, I ask for proof of donation to said charities, and I mail the original artwork. Something small I can do to help combat small mindedness.

And always The Lift or The Wicked Library artwork, time permitting.

Where can we find you online?

Our main comic hub, with most of our work, is available to read at crazedpixel.com. On it you can find our social media links.

My NSFW tumblr page, Smolder Sessions, where I house my art pieces, erotic, and risqué art, is alexjmurd.tumblr.com.

Physical copies of artwork and comics available through our store https://squareup.com/store/crazedpixel-comics.

And thank you, Gwendolyn, for the interview and for keeping your awesome lady-writing-self out there, for the world to read: you better keep that in here!

Big thanks to Alex Murd for being part of this week’s artist spotlight!

Happy reading!

The Bride Wore Black: Interview with Faith Marlow

Welcome back! Today I’m pleased to spotlight author Faith Marlow. She is the prolific scribe of numerous short stories and novels, including the Being Mrs. Dracula series.

Recently, Faith and I discussed her inspiration as a writer as well as her plans for the future.

A couple icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become a writer, and who are some of your favorite authors?

Faith MarlowI fell in love with writing very young, in the fifth grade, but I didn’t pursue it until many years later. I think I started entertaining the idea of writing a full novel in around 2002, something like that. Being Mrs. Dracula didn’t come along for quite some time after that. I love to read similar stories to what I write, things that are a little on the dark side, but I will read from just about any genre. Dean Koontz and Douglas Adams are my favorite large press authors. I mostly read indie and small press authors, and I try to read as much as I can from fellow CHBB/ Vamptasy authors. Felicia Fox, Skye Knizley, Rue Volley, Lily Luchesi, just to name a few.

Released in 2013, your first novel was Being Mrs. Dracula. When did you first read Dracula, and what in particular drew you into the story of his brides?

I think the first time I read Dracula was somewhere around 2009, when I first started searching for background information on the brides. I have watched countless movies and documentaries about vampires and Dracula (the fictional character and the historical figure) because I have been fascinated with vampires since I was a child. I began to notice that in just about every movie or story, Dracula has three beautiful women at his side. They usually don’t have much to say or do, aside from being loyal followers and eye candy. I had watched the 1931 film of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi years earlier and remembered the brides were not really explained or explored. I wanted to read the book because I was certain there would be more to learn about them there. I was stunned to discover little more is revealed about them. Bram Stoker did not even give them names. I was further shocked to learn that the name of Vlad Tepes III’s (Vlad the Impaler) first wife, whom most believe had at least some influence on the character of Count Dracula, had also been lost to history. Little more was known of her than the circumstances of her death and I found very little information on his second wife, Ilona Szilagyi. Although one is fictional and the other was historical, the women in both of these stories are overlooked. I wanted to know their story and since I could not find one, I decided to write one that would intertwine the information that I did have available with my own imagination. That was the moment of conception for Being Mrs. Dracula.

You’ve written both short fiction and novels. Do you find your approach is different depending on the length of the story?

It is a bit different because in short fiction, I have to find a balance of enough detail while not getting too wordy. In a full length novel or even a short novel/ novella, there is a little more room to stretch. I can give a little more detail, paint a more precise picture as opposed to giving a general impression. I think writing both is good for me, since I try to keep a brisk pace in all of my stories. I have a short attention span and get bored pretty quick, so the last thing I want to do is drag something out for thirty pages that could have been well told in ten. The last thing I want a reader to do is get bored because the pacing was too slow to hold their attention.

If forced to choose, which is your favorite part of the writing process: drafting new concepts, crafting a first draft, or polishing an almost finished piece?

Being Mrs. DraculaI would probably say polishing an almost finished piece. Coming up with new stories is fun, but it may or may not get off the ground. I have folders full of halfway developed ideas waiting to become stories. The first draft can be stressful because I am still trying to connect all the dots and get from point A to B. When polishing that first or second draft, I can add or remove details, make sure everything is consistent and flows well, add a little dialogue if necessary. It’s when I really start feeling some pride in my story.

You are such a widely published author with stories and novels out from various presses. With so many accomplishments, what writing goals are left on your to-do list?

There are so many things that I want to do! My to-do list never stops. First on my list is finishing the third installment of the Being Mrs. Dracula series. It is my top priority. After that, my next goal is to continue The Dream Journal series and see where Anne and Maddie end up. I have a pretty good start on that. I also have a few new projects in mind that I will have to see how they develop. I know others will pop up that I have no idea about right now. Couples Therapy took me completely off guard and happened very quickly. I started writing it around the end of January or beginning of February, completed the story, my editor (EAL Editing Service) shined it up, Rue Volley created another fabulous cover for me, and it was published in September. For me, that is lightning speed. Books in the Being Mrs. Dracula series always take longer because I try to add in as much historical references and nuances as I can because I want Valeria and company to feel like they are a part of that world. It’s a lot of work, but she is worth it.

What projects are you currently working on?

My current WIP is Being Dracula’s Heir, the third installment of the Being Mrs. Dracula series. For those who have read Being Mrs. Dracula and Being Dracula’s Widow, they will recognize a few familiar faces in Valeria, Lamond, and Emil but will also be introduced to a couple new characters; particularly a young vampire named Astrid and a human with a score to settle named Tackett. Both of these new characters will be instrumental when Valeria is challenged by her newest adversaries. All of this is set against the glamour and decadence of the late 1920’s New York City, as well as the country’s devastating crash into The Great Depression. If there is one thing we know about Valeria, it’s that her past is never too far behind her, even after crossing an ocean to escape it.

Where can we find you online?

All of my work is available at Amazon.com and is available for purchase or Kindle Unlimited users can read them for free.

I am pretty active on social media, particularly Facebook. I post information about my own books as well as other titles available from my publisher, other author friends, and things that I just find fun and interesting. If you like creepy, unusual, or think bats are amazingly cute, you will probably like following me on social media. I am trying to be more active and connect better with readers, so I am always open to suggestions on things that readers want to see more of.

Big thanks to Faith Marlow for being our featured author this week! You can also find her on Twitter and Tumblr!

Happy reading!