Ginger Nuts of Horror continues its mission to highlight some of the finest female horror writers working in the genre today.
Today we welcome Priya Sharma to talk about the writers who she thinks we should all be paying attention to.
Priya Sharma’s fiction has appeared in Albedo One, Interzone, Black Static and on Tor.com. She’s been anthologised in several of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year series, Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series, Jonathan Strahan’s The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014, Steve Haynes’ Best British Fantasy 2014 and Johnny Main’s Best British Horror 2015. She’s been on several Locus’ Recommended Reading Lists. Her story “Fabulous Beasts” was Shirley Jackson Award nominated and won a British Fantasy Award for Short Fiction. In 2017 new work will be found in anthologies, “Black Feathers” and “Mad Hatters and March Hares”. An anthology of her own work will be published in 2018 by Undertow Publications.
You can find out more about Priya by following these two links
Priya Sharma’s Amazon Page
Motherhood of the Monstrous welcomes back Jess-O-Lantern to the fold for an indepth interview, about horror, music and life on the road.
Jess-O-Lantern is a spooky-singer-songwriter, originally from the small town of Ocala, FL and now lives in New York City. She grew up on a diet of 50's Rock n' Roll and Cabaret Showtunes, then when she was 12 years old she was given her first mixtape, introducing her to punk, hardcore, and Horror Punk. Also at the age of 12 she started playing guitar, and began writing her own songs.
So far she has had a long journey of performing solo acoustic shows (billing under her full name), fronted several different bands (from dance-pop-punk, to acoustic two-piece duos, to alternative, to horrorpunk), all before deciding to pursue "Jess-O-Lantern" as her primary focus.
With her love for all things horror and Halloween, coupled with her ten years of professional Haunted House experience, the spooky stage presence and vivid Halloween themes became an obvious choice.
E. A. Black writes unusual and frightening fiction. Her horror and dark fiction has appeared in Zippered Flesh 2, Teeming Terrors, Mirages: Tales From Authors Of The Macabre, Wicked Tales: The Journal of the New England Horror Writers, Vol, 3, and other publications. She also hosts the podcast Into The Abyss With Elizabeth Black. Past guests include Joe R. Lansdale and Jack Ketchum. Friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You may sign up for her newsletter on her web site. Find her books at her E. A. Black Amazon Author Page.
Ginger Nuts of Horror's Motherhood of the Monstrous continues its celebration of female horror writers of the past present and future. Today we welcome one of the UK's most imporrtant female horror writers V.H.Leslie. V. H. Leslie’s stories have appeared in a range of publications including, Black Static, Interzone and Shadows and Tall Trees and have been reprinted in a range of ‘Year’s Best’ anthologies. Her short story collection Skein and Bone from Undertow Books was a finalist for both the 2016 British Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards for Best Collection. Leslie was also a finalist for the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award for her novelette, ‘The Quiet Room’ and she won the 2013 International Lightship First Chapter Prize. She has also been awarded Fellowships at Hawthornden Castle and the Saari Institute in Finland, where she was researching Nordic water myths for her PhD in English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Her non-fiction has appeared in History Today, The English Review, Emag, Thresholds and This is Horror. Her debut novel, Bodies of Water was released last year from Salt Publishing.
Ginger Nuts of Horror's Motherhood of the Monstrous continues its celebration of female horror writers of the past present and future. Today we welcome the fabulous Cate Garnder to talk about the female writers that matter to her. Cate Gardner's stories have appeared in Black Static, The Dark, Shimmer and Postscripts. Her novellas Theatre of Curious Acts and The Bureau of Them are available from Amazon. You can find her on the web at www.categardner.net
Emily Bronte's tortured love affair between Cathy and Heathcliff set against the wild backdrop of the Yorkshire moors filled my teenage soul with fire and influenced the gothic aspects of my early work. Although my work has diversified over the past twenty years, and now lacks sufficient gothic torment to appear to stem from Bronte, her words still inspire me. The first time I ever marked passages in a book was when reading Wuthering Heights. I'd re-read them, and lie on my bed reciting those lines in a rather dramatic way.
We've all done that. Haven't we?
Wuthering Heights spoke to the teenager who dreamed of a wild, gothic romance, who didn't realise that Cathy and Heathcliff's desperate relationship wasn't something to yearn for. Tragedy is often important to teenage girls. Moreover, I was (and still am) fond of melodrama.
I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights.
I wasn't just in love with Cathy and Heathcliff's desperate relationship but with the craggy landscape and the loneliness of it all. I lived in a city, thankfully near the sea, but the moors of Yorkshire were an alien territory for me.
Educated at home, Emily and her siblings wrote fantastical tales set in their own worlds. Wuthering Heights was originally published under a male pseudonym Ellis Bell, because, at that time, it wasn't seemly for women to write fiction. Bronte died at the age of thirty and never knew how successful her novel or those of her sisters would be or how influential they would be to female writers a century and a half later. That her name would be remembered.
Alongside Emily Bronte, my other main literary influence as a child was Enid Blyton, and in retrospect, I should perhaps have chosen Blyton and her tales of The Magic Faraway Tree (my favourite book as a child) because the Enchanted Forest stories have lodged in the weird corners of my stories. However, I could not forget my soul…
Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.
… and I like to think my work is a mixture of both, that they are tortured oddities.
The second part of this article highlights a rising star in horror/dark fantasy fiction, writer Priya Sharma. Whereas Bronte's fiction was for me, at the time, an unknown landscape, Sharma's fiction visits streets I know such as in her Tor.com stories, Rag and Bone and the award winning Fabulous Beasts.
The Mersey is the city's blood and it runs rich.
At Eastercon last year, Sharma spoke on a panel exploring 'The Gothic'. Although her first panel, she shone and I recall the moderator later saying if she was in charge of programming she'd put Sharma on every panel. She'd researched the topic thoroughly and approached the subject with passion, much as she writes. Her stories cut into our soul, but they live within her belly, gestating into magnificence. She doesn't sit at her desk and write something on the fly (not that there's anything wrong with that - ahem!). Sharma constructs and lives with her stories, often for months at a time. I am overawed at her commitment.
Like all major-talents, she doesn't always see her worth, despite working with some of the best editors in the business.
There are times when I feel lost, even to myself, and what looks out from behind my eyes isn't even human.
I first met Sharma when Roy Gray (of Black Static magazine) introduced us at a writing event in Halton Lea Library and since then she has become a very good friend (making writing this article and referring to her as Sharma very strange indeed). The latter is not the reason I have chosen her as a writer to watch. No, it's because she is a bloody good writer (although she's also a cool human being who slaughters her opponents when playing Cards Against Humanity).
Her story Fabulous Beasts (published by Tor.com) recently won the British Fantasy Award for Short Fiction and was also nominated for a Shirley Jackson award. Her fiction has appeared in several Best of Anthologies, on Tor.com, in Black Static. Recently two of her stories have been reprinted in prestigious online horror magazines The Dark and Nightmare. Both are available to read online. Her debut story collection will be published by Undertow Publications next year.
No coward soul is hers.
"You’re not the first to talk to your dead here", the vagrant said. The living always chase after their dead until they come upon their own.
Formed from shadow and dust, ghosts inhabit the abandoned office building, angry at the world that denies them. When Katy sees her deceased boyfriend in the window of the derelict building, she finds a way in, hoping to be reunited. Instead, the dead ignore, the dead do not see; and only the monster that is Yarker Ryland has need of her there.
Ginger Nuts of Horror's The Motherhood of the Monstrous has been such a roaring success that we decided to keep this running as a permanent feature. Ginger Nuts of Horror has always been committed to promoting diversity in the genre and hope that the continuation of this column will bring focus to a lot of great writers. As always please support the writers featured here by liking, sharing and commenting on these posts, and if you are considering purchasing any of the books featured here please use the links provided.
Today we are honoured to welcome Lee Murray into the Motherhood to talk about the writers that influenced her. Lee Murray is a six-time winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Award for science fiction, fantasy and horror writing. Her fourth novel, bestselling monster thriller Into the Mist was published by Cohesion Press in 2016, and Hounds of the Underworld, the first book in her speculative crime-noir series The Path of Ra, co-authored with Dan Rabarts, will be released by Raw Dog Screaming Press in 2017.
On a recommendation from Gingernuts proprietor, Jim Mcleod, I picked up ‘Sing Me Your Scars’ by Damien Angelica Walters late last summer. I was, simply put, blown away. It was therefore an enormous honor to interview Walters about this collection, and some of the inspirations and processes behind the formation of the stories. Here is the result - a seriously in-depth interview, covering this extraordinary collection. Expect mild spoilers throughout. Enjoy.
Ginger Nuts of Horror's Motherhood of the Monstrous continues its celebration of female horror writers of the past present and future. Today we welcome Holland's most famous female horror writer Chantal Noordeloos to talk about the female writers that matter to her.
Chantal Noordeloos (born in the Hague, and not found in a cabbage as some people may suggest) lives in the Netherlands, where she spends her time with her wacky, supportive husband, and outrageously cunning daughter, who is growing up to be a supervillain. When she is not busy exploring interesting new realities, or arguing with characters (aka writing), she likes to dabble in drawing.
In 1999 she graduated from the Norwich School of Art and Design, where she focused mostly on creative writing.
Chantal likes to write for all ages, and storytelling is the element of writing that she enjoys most. “Writing should be an escape from everyday life, and I like to provide people with new places to escape to, and new people to meet.”
Chantal started her career writing short stories for various anthologies, and in 2012 she won an award for ‘Best Original Story’ for her short ‘the Deal’.
*cracks knuckles and hovers fingers over her keyboard*
*looks a little cross eyed*
Eh… right… I need to begin somewhere.
I was asked by the lovely Jim McLeod to write something about two female authors. One who has influenced my writing and the second who is publishing now, and who I feel the world should take notice of. The second question is easy (well, easy-ish); I can think of several. The first question not only made me pause… I actually googled female horror authors to see if there was anyone who fit that bill. That should tell you how much I struggled to answer this question.
Who in the horror world has influenced me? If I am going to be really honest, I only discovered female authors AFTER I started writing horror—and I had to make a conscious effort to seek them out. Only when I dipped my toe into the pool of horror did I discover gems such as Shirley Jackson and Mo Hayder, and I can’t really say that either of them have really influenced my own writing. In all fairness, most of my inspiration for the horror genre comes from movies, urban legends and role play games.
There have been female writers who have had an influence on my writing, of course. Authors like Dorothy Parker, JK Rowling, Alice Walker and Margaret Weiss have all left their mark on how I look at stories, characters or prose in general. But none of those could be considered horror writers.
So I’m going to cheat, and leave it at the people I have mentioned. *throws a match on that bridge until it burns, and runs away to the next question*
So... I have to ‘name a female author you should all take notice of’. *Californian cheerleader voice* OMG you guys, there are just so many….
All kidding aside, there are a lot of female horror authors out there that people should take notice of. In the small press/ indie published horror community more and more women are finding their voice, and their work ranges from dark gothic to extreme horror (and despite contrary belief, when the ladies write extreme horror… they go all out to terrify and even sicken their audience)
My pick is one of the best authors I have come across: Paula Ashe. The first (short) story I have read of her is called Bereft, and it utterly destroyed me. I’m talking ‘ugly crying’ when I read it. The world became a bit darker after reading that particular tale.
Paula’s work is not for the faint hearted, and it’s not the kind of horror that is ‘easy to read’. She taps into topics that make me extremely uncomfortable, and her writing haunts me. Her ‘voice’ is dark, raw and well written. I absolutely believe people should notice Paula Ashe, and I think that anyone who can handle it—trust me, not everyone could—should read Bereft. It was published in an anthology called Songs for the Raven, and I really hope Paula will release a collection of her own work one day.
So there you have it… a rambling incomplete answer to the first question, and a clear to the point answer for the second one. I think one out of two isn’t bad, considering my track record. Now, you there, reader… go read Paula’s work, and while you’re looking, go find some more female horror writers to read. It’s women in horror month after all!
A beautiful house – with a dark and deadly secret.
When Freya inherits her mother's childhood home, she sees it as an opportunity. A chance for a new life with her best friends, as they convert the crumbling mansion into an exclusive hotel.
Instead, they'll be lucky to escape with their lives.
As the first hammers tear through the bricked up entrances, a dark, terrible and ancient evil stirs beneath the house. An evil that has already laid claim to Freya and her companions' souls.
Ginger Nuts of Horror's Motherhood of the Monstrous continues its celebtarion of female horror writers of the past present and future. Today we are honoured to host an article from Thana Niveau, where she looks at the author who inspired her in the early years of her writing career, and the author who she thinks we should all be taking notice of right now! .
Thana Niveau lives in a crumbling gothic tower in Wicker Man country. She shares her life with fellow horror scribe John Llewellyn Probert, in a Victorian library filled with arcane books and curiosities.
All her life Thana has been drawn to the darker aspects of life. She was a fearful child, plagued by nightmares and anxiety. Horror saved her. Scary films gave her an outlet for all that darkness and fear became her friend. Jason and Freddy were her childhood companions. On the literary side, Poe was her first great horror love, followed swiftly by Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell. Their stories frightened her while at the same time inspiring her. She still had nightmares, but now they were more like visits from a slightly sadistic muse. Writing all the scary stuff down turned it from a curse into a blessing.
Ginger Nuts of Horror's Motherhood of the Monstrous continues its celebration of female horror writers of the past present and future. Today we welcome local author Georgina Bruce to talk about the female writers that matter to her.
Georgina Bruce is a writer and teacher based in Edinburgh. Her stories have been published in Black Static, Interzone, Strange Horizons and various other zines and anthologies. She keeps a sporadically updated journal at www.georginabruce.com and tweets as @monster_soup. She is currently working on a novel in which the concerns of Philip K Dick meet the sensibilities of the feminist gothic… on the moon.
WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH LINKS
THE WOMEN IN HORROR MIXTAPE
INTERVIEW WITH KAYLEIGH MARIE EDWARDS
THE HISTORY OF WOMEN IN HORROR 1: A MAN EXPLAINS
28 Days Of Black Women In Horror
Interview with Lee Murray
Women in Horror Month
The Monstrous Regiment of Women in Horror