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
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