We’ve nearly reached the end of March, which means Women in Horror Month is sadly almost over. But before this awesome annual celebration is done, let’s check in once more with our fabulous roundtable about their hopes for the future of women in horror as well as their own writing plans!
What’s your hope for the future of women in horror?
GABY TRIANA: That we will continue to kick ass. Stories by women show another side of humanity. It’s not just about having different body parts. It’s a whole alternative worldview that’s just as important as the mainstream white, male POV, and we are not all the same. My hope is also that women don’t have to fake writing in the style of men anymore to be taken seriously. They can be whoever they are—feminine, masculine, in-your-face, subtle, romantic, jarring, suggestive, intellectual, weird… whoever they happen to be—and still command the literary stage.
MELANIE R. ANDERSON: That books and stories and poems and scripts with new ideas and angles keep coming for us to enjoy (and analyze)! As an educator, I also hope we can keep sharing the stories of women in the past who got the ball rolling, so to speak, and whose names may have been forgotten.
LISA KRÖGER: I hope that women in horror find so much success that we don’t need a special month to highlight our work.
HYSOP MULERO: I kind of hope that women in the genre do some sort of crazy takeover, even if just for a season or week or a day. It would be amazing to see us collectively or even singularly transcend or kind of push horror into our overall literary landscape. In short, I want to see us create magnificent storms story by story and book by book.
EVE HARMS: I hope to see more BIPOC women in horror read and celebrated.
NICOLE GIVENS KURTZ: My hope for the future of women in horror is the inclusion of women from all demographics, especially Black and Hispanic women. I mean a full embrace and lifting up of those stories. I loved how Black Cranes won the Stoker last year. I would love to see works by Black women and trans women also find that level of recognition.
KATHRYN E. MCGEE: My hope is that women continue to do what they’re doing by creating great work in the genre. There really is an incredible wealth of brilliant art to be read and watched. I’d love to see horror by women become increasingly recognized. I’d love to see as many women in positions of leadership as possible, publishing horror books and producing, writing, and directing horror film and TV. Some of the most supportive, fascinating, and thoughtful people in my life are other women horror writers and I hope we’re all able to keep writing and achieve a broad audience. The future of women in horror feels very bright, indeed.
LEE MURRAY: What I hope, Gwendolyn, is that one day we shouldn’t need a Women in Horror month, that we won’t need to band together and scream, “Hey, we’re over here and we’re writing lovely horror” because we’ll already be visible. Because there will be a healthy coven of undead women writers who come to mind whenever the word ‘horror’ is whispered. A host of articulate women writers who are making a living writing horror and talking about horror. When, instead of being a subversive act, women writing horror becomes the norm and we are a welcome part of the horror landscape. I can’t wait for the moment when I’ll scroll to one of a myriad of horror sites on social media where the question “Who is your favourite horror writer?” is posted on a near-daily basis, and see women writers listed in the top ten comments, and not simply as an afterthought. In October 2019, Jeff VanderMeer (author of Annihilation and former co-editor of Weird Tales) wrote [this] post on social media.
Hear, hear, Jeff. I agree. Let’s have future top tens loaded with fabulous women writers of horror. How about Alma Katsu, Kaaron Warren, Gwendolyn Kiste, EV Knight, Kate Jonez, Thersa Matsura, Lee Franklin, or Kate Maruyama, for example? I could go on and on…
What’s next for you? What projects are you currently working on, and what work do you have coming out soon?
GABY TRIANA: The first part of 2022, I’ll be finishing my 5-book paranormal women’s fiction series, which I write under the name Gabrielle Keyes. After that, I have a new horror novel in the works. 1950s Havana, Cuba, haunted house on a hill, palm trees, family secrets, ghosts, a woman fighting societal expectations, a family of mobsters and sugar kings fighting for control, the Catholic church, witchcraft, those who dabble in both, history, psychological horror, and a monster or two terrorizing the island. Can’t wait to get started.
HYSOP MULERO: I’m currently going through another round of edits for a dark/horror middle grade manuscript that I’ve completed. I’m also in the process of finishing my second short story collection that will include the “This Is You” series and a few other pieces that I’m really excited about! Not to mention my thrill for “This is You on Lust” to be included in Pluto In Furs Volume 2 from Plutonian Press. I have a few other TBAs, and WIP’s for 2022! I plan on attending Necronomicon in Rhode Island this year, along with a few other cons and events. I’m active on both Instagram as @wordslinger.co, and my website www.threadedburlap.com should you want to check out my events and daily musings.
EVE HARMS: A lot of projects are in the works, but I’m trying to avoid talking about them in order to bottle up the excitement to propel me forward. I did recently have a short story published in the Monstroddities anthology by Sliced Up Press that is available on all of the major bookstores.
NICOLE GIVENS KURTZ: I’m writing the next Kingdom of Aves story. Mocha Memoirs Press is releasing two new novellas for Women in Horror Month. Sumiko Saulson’s Happiness and Other Diseases and L. Marie Wood’s The Black Hole.
MELANIE R. ANDERSON: I’m working on another project with my co-author and podcast co-host Lisa Kröger. And on the academic side, I recently finished up an essay for a forthcoming collection on Edgar Allan Poe. It’s about how contemporary women writing horror are revising Poe’s nineteenth-century take on the haunted house.
LISA KRÖGER: I’ve got another nonfiction book, called Toil and Trouble, coming out with Quirk Books in late 2022. Like Monster, She Wrote, this book is co-written with Dr. Melanie R. Anderson, who may be the best co-author around. I’m working with NYX this year to get out our second film festival, and we recently announced a partnership with Stowe Story Labs for a fellowship for women screenwriters who are writing horror and who are age 40 or over. I’m hoping to get a few other personal projects out into the world too. I’d love to do more fiction, or even write for a different audience, like Middle Grade or Young Adult.
KATHRYN E. MCGEE: I recently had a story, “Golden Hour,” accepted for publication in the forthcoming Chromophobia anthology, edited by Sara Tantlinger, which will be coming out later this year. The stories in the anthology all deal with the horror of color in different ways and are authored by women. I’m beyond thrilled to be part of this excellent group of writers. I also recently finished a draft of a haunted house novel I’ve been working on for several years that I’m hoping to publish soon. Otherwise, I’m writing a collection of horror short stories as well as a middle-grade horror-comedy novel.
LEE MURRAY: Thank you so much for asking, Gwendolyn. 2022 is looking set to be a busy year! I have a small (and hopefully helpful) workbook on Literary Goal Setting coming from Brain Jar Press, and Asian Ghost Stories (Flame Tree Press) for which I was Associate Editor will be published in February 2022; this comprehensive volume of ghost tales includes many of my favourite horror writers of Asian descent. I have stories coming in numerous anthologies, including “Thrall” a seafaring tale of supernatural and superstition in Grimdark’s The King Must Fall (edited by Adrian Collins), “Mooncake” a generational tale of cultural tension in Bad Hand Books’ The Hideous Book of Hidden Horrors, Hothouse Crush, a re-envisioning of Dracula as a demon fae in 1980’s girls’ boarding school for IFWG’s Dracula Unfanged (edited by Christopher Sequiera), and “Kupara and Tekoteko” a Kiwi retelling of Wilde’s The Happy Prince in Clan Destine Press’s Clamour and Mischief (edited by Narelle Harris). My novella “Despatches” will appear with novellas by Angela Yuriko Smith and Maxwell Ian Gold, in Someday, a volume in Crystal Lake Publishing’s Dark Tide series. The themes of Someday are war and mystery, and “Despatches” follows the observations of a war correspondent sent to Gallipoli in the Great War in a supernatural epistolatory tale. Also with Angela Yuriko Smith, I’ll be editing a collection of poetry and flash fiction by HWA members mental health and trauma for the upcoming HWA Wellness page—a rare honour which I’m looking forward to immensely. Angela and I are also excited to be editing Unquiet Spirits, a collection of essays by horror writers of Southeast Asian descent, with a focus on the influence monsters and spirits on perspectives of cultural identity. A follow up to both Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (co-edited with Geneve Flynn) and poetry collection Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken (Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray & Geneve Flynn), the line-up for Unquiet Spirits looks equally stupendous and includes a foreword by Monster She Wrote co-author Lisa Kröger. The book will be published by Black Spot Books in 2023. And I’ll also be delivering the first of three fiction collections for Silver Shamrock publishing towards the end of 2022. I’m expecting the German language translation of my supernatural military horror Into the Sounds will be released in 2022, as will the Spanish version of my middle grade adventure Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse. I also have a handful of exciting film projects on the go, which sadly I am unable to talk about yet. Aargh! In any case, it looks set to be a busy year…
Huge thanks to our eight fantastic authors for this year’s roundtable! It was so amazing talking with all of them!
Happy reading, and happy Women in Horror Month!