Ginger Nuts of Horror
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
“The Bloody Chamber” by Angela Charter made me want to write but I’ve chosen Jeanette Winterson for this, as she’s someone who’s had a huge influence on how I’d like to write.
All good stories contain truths. You know they’re there, even if you’re not sure where they are exactly. It’s well known that “Oranges are Not the Only Fruit”, the story of an adopted girl growing up with a fearsome evangelical mother in Lancashire, is semi-autobiographical. When I read it in my late teens it seemed remarkable to me for the direct writing style and frankness about difficult family dynamics, sexuality, coming of age and love, all topped off with a dose of the Bible and magical realism. It stinks of truth. And it taught me there’s no such thing as gay or straight fiction, just well and badly written books.
I love Winterson because she’s never shackled by genre rules or linear narratives. “Sexing the Cherry” features orphaned Jordan, who’s taken in by the larger-than-life Dog Woman. It riffs on fairy tales. It time shifts. “Written on the Body” is a story of love and grief, but our protagonist isn’t identified as male or female. In “Weight” she deconstructs the myth of Atlas to explore our own histories and how we can reinvent them.
I was curious to see what she’d do for her novel “The Daylight Gate” for Hammer, about the Pendle Witch Trials. She doesn’t redress the terrible crimes against these men and women but does what she does best. Telling stories. She reinvents Alice Nutter as a rich widow who rides a horse like a man, whose face never ages and who has both male and female lovers, in a heady mix that includes Dr Dee, Shakespeare, the Gun Powder Plot and fiercely Protestant England intent on routing Catholics (“Witchery popery popery witchery. What’s the difference?”). Winterson’s language is pared down, which makes the inability of human flesh to withstand hot pokers and the trauma of rape even more sickening. The supernatural is made real. And love, there’s love there too, and astonishment at the world.
Her work as a body explores the concepts of time and space within stories and life, but I feel she’s telling her own truths, be they of orphaned children and their parents, of loving, of trying to find your place in the world, and it’s this that raises trickery to art. It’s because of Jeanette Winterson that when I write I try to ensure there’s blood on the page. Normally it’s my own.
The baby was the best thing he’d ever found. And she was such a good girl—quiet and still. Mikkel had taken a few minutes to hold her in the warmth beside the incinerator, cuddling her close and listening to the gobble and clack of her strange yellow beak.
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