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.
Motherhood of the Monstrous is making a pitstop on its world tour of horror writers. The tour has been a roaring success, but it's time for a rest from the smell of ink and paper, and it is time for a refreshing pint, some hot wings, and some loud music to blow away the cobwebs.
So lets pull of the the literary highway for a moment and chill out with something a little different for Women in Horror Month.
Ginger Nuts of Horror's Motherhood of the Monstrous continues its celebration of female horror writers of the past present and future. Today's author in the spotlight is our very own Laura Mauro.
Laura started writing short stories in 2011 but never took it seriously until joining Absolute Write, where she was contacted by a member of the T-Party. Since then, she has been what you might call a ‘serious’ writer, while still working as a laboratory technician.
She has had stories published in Shadows And Tall Trees, and in Black Static. Her short story “Red Rabbit” made Ellen Datlow’s longlist for Best Horror Of The Year 2014, and “When Charlie Sleeps” was reprinted as part of the “Best British Horror 2014″ anthology, edited by Johnny Mains. Her short story “Ptichka” was published as part of “Horror Uncut: Tales Of Social Insecurity and Economic Unease” and was also nominated for best newcomer and Best Short Story in the 2015 British Fantasy Awards.
The Train Derails In Boston by Jessica McHugh is a ghost story, more accurately about a house so stuffed to the gills with bad karma and horny ghosts, well, maybe not the whole house but definitely the basement and the mahjong box. It's about a family so far gone down dysfunction road there may be no way to turn around and get back on the highway. It's about revenge and sex and alcoholism and sex and self-loathing and sex and doubt and disorders and sex. And most of all, it is brilliant. Yeah, that's my super short review for it. I dare not risk spoiling anything but detailing more. But I have more for you....keep reading:
I was fortunate enough to get the lovely Ms McHugh to volley some questions with me. Below you'll see how that turned out.
I can't deny that Anne Rice and her “Tales of the Mayfair Witches” had a large influence on my decision to take fiction seriously, but as I've fiddled with composing horror all my life, I'd like to go back even further.
I had chronic bronchitis in my youth and spent a lot of time home sick, coughing my brains out and splattering them across the novels of Mary Higgins Clark. While usually categorized as an author of mysteries, Mary Higgins Clark was my first exposure to a female writer who dared to write something as horrific as the novel “Love Music, Loves to Dance.” The villain in this story made such an impression on me that I wrote about it in my childhood diary. In the entry dated November 1994, I said the following:
“It was creepy. See, this guy kills dancing girls who make personal ads, then he freezes them and/or buries them in his yard. Sometimes he will just leave them on the street with one dancing slipper on their right foot. Then he will send the left dancing slipper and original shoe to the girl's parents. It was pretty cool.”
Even though my Mom got me into MHC, I doubt she and my dad were happy their eleven-year-old daughter thought a story about a killer who freezes and dances with dead girls was “pretty cool.” Still, I'd love to travel back in time and deliver them a six-pack of gratitude. Thanks to Mary Higgins Clark, it's always a sick day in my heart.
Stephanie M. Wytovich is my toast and jam. I haven't gotten a chance to read her first novel, The Eighth, but I'm a huge fan of her poetry collections, Mourning Jewelry, Asylum, and especially Brothel. She is immensely skilled at grotesquerie and fostering the kind of unflinching horror and sexuality that makes me want to take on the world. Her understanding of the value of language, how she makes every horrific and beautiful word count awes me time and time again. On top of that, she's an amazing human being that I'm proud to call a friend and inky sister.
Perry Samson loves drugs. He'll take what he can get, but raw atlys is his passion. Shot hard and fast into his testicles, atlys helps him forget that he lives in an abandoned Baltimore school, that his roommate exchanges lumps of flesh for drugs at the Kum Den Smokehouse, and that every day is a moldering motley of whores, cuntcutters, and disease. Unfortunately, atlys never helps Perry forget that, even though his older brother died from an atlys overdose, he will never stop being the tortured middle child. Set in 2099, The Green Kangaroos explores the disgusting world of Perry's addiction to atlys and the Samson family's addiction to his sobriety. "I write junkie fiction. I read and watch junkie fiction. Call it a lifestyle choice. I honestly didn't think I'd discover anything new under the sun when it came to the genre. I was wrong. Green Kangaroos is the freshest, most wholly original work I've come across concerning the subject of addiction. Think Requiem for a Dream meets Cabin in the Woods, only funnier, fresher, and more harrowing. Potsticking makes krokodil seem like a good time. Jessica McHugh has crafted one mindf*ck of a novel." -Joe Clifford author of Junkie Love and Lamentation
As part of our support of Women In Horror Month, Motherhood of the Monstrous brings together some of the finest genres finest writers to discuss the authors who inspired them to take up the pen, and which of the new and emerging horror authors we should all be taking notice. In the spotlight today we are proud to welcome Michelle Garza. Michelle Garza writes alongside her twin sister Melissa Lason. They have been dubbed the Sisters of Slaughter. They write all levels of horror and some dark fantasy. They have been published by Sinister Grin Press, JEA and Fireside Press.
As part of our support of Women In Horror Month, Motherhood of the Monstrous brings together some of the finest genres finest writers to discuss the authors who inspired them to take up the pen, and which of the new and emerging horror authors we should all be taking notice. In the spotlight today we are proud to welcome Catriona Ward, who was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA from the University of East Anglia. Her debut novel, Rawblood (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015) won best horror novel at the 2016 British Fantasy Awards, was shortlisted for the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award, and was selected as a Winter 2016 Fresh Talent title by WHSmith. Rawblood will be published in the US and Canada as The Girl from Rawblood (Sourcebooks, 2017). Catriona’s second novel will be published by W&N in 2018. She works for a human rights foundation and lives in London.
Representation matters. I cut my teeth on the horror of the 1970s and 1980s, and none of the big names were women. When women did write horror, they were largely overlooked: even Douglas Winter could only find a single woman to interview for his 1980s book Faces of Fear, and that was V.C. Andrews. Anthologies from those days tell a similar story, many of them featuring no women at all or at best a handful in their table of contents.
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