Women in Horror Spotlight #1

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Welcome to the February Women in Horror Spotlight Project, co-hosted by David Spell at The Scary Reviews, and Erin Al-Mehairi, Hook of a Book Media. We will be featuring many women over a short period of time with mini-interviews in which all were asked the same three questions. We urge you to get to know them and delve further into their work, whether they are a writer or editor. We will feature about three women each day that we have a post, and hopefully, we will end the month with one big Facebook party, so stay tuned.


Chris Marrs, Author

How do you define horror and what drew you to it?

First I’d just like to say, “Thank you, Erin and David for having me participate in your Woman in Horror Month project!”

Thank you, Chris, it’s our pleasure!

To me horror is the drop of blood landing on a birthday cake as the child blows out the candles. It’s laughing noon when a co-worker trips and feeling bad for them. It’s the cold fingers on your exposed ankle while lying in bed alone in your room. It’s the police coming to your door after your son or daughter has been out all night. It’s all this, and so much more, yet there is a common element to horror, in my opinion, hope. The hope that no matter what the obstacle, monster, situation, or fear, you can overcome it. Many things drew me to horror, but I think that hope led the call.

What sub-genre(s) do you write in?

Most of the horror I’ve written tends to be very character driven, most often than not, very dark, and more psychological.

What is your personal favorite part of writing or reading horror?

My personal favorite part of reading horror is when I get to the end of the book and I’m not ready for it to end. I want the story and characters to go on speaking. This is true of reading in general for me since I read all genres. Horror just tends to be the one I enjoy the most. The hope thing. As for writing horror? Everything!

Chris Marrs Biography

Chris Marrs lives in Calgary, Alberta with her daughter, a cat, and a ferret. She has stories in A Darke Phantastique,” “The Library of the Dead,” and “Dark Discoveries” (the Femme Fatale issue). Her first novella, “Everything Leads Back to Alice” came out in 2013 and her second, “Wild Woman,” in 2015. You can follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook, or drop her a message at: hauntedmarrs(at)hotmail (at) com.


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Sharon Lawson, Editor, Grey Matter Press

How do you define horror and what drew you to it?

In my view, horror literature is meant to disturb, shock or frighten the reader by exploring the darker aspects of both the known and the unknown. I prefer horror that has elements of the supernatural, but that is just my personal taste. I have read a lot of great horror with themes based in reality too. I believe that the show “The Twilight Zone” is responsible for my lifelong fascination horror. I watched it from an inappropriately young age, and from then on I gravitated towards darker literature, TV shows and movies.

What sub-genre(s) do you edit or does the press publish?

My company, Grey Matter Press, publishes literature that falls under the umbrella of “dark fiction.” We work within such genres as horror, science fiction, dark fantasy, suspense and crime.

What is your personal favorite part of writing or reading horror?

The thing I love about horror is that it taps into emotions that we really should be trying to avoid. Fear. Death. The things that go bump in the night. But for me, that is what makes it exciting. We have received thousands of submissions for our anthology calls, and the wide variety of horrors that spring from the minds of authors never ceases to amaze me.

Find more about Sharon and Grey Matter Press online: www.greymatterpress.com



Sarah Read, Author

How do you define horror and what drew you to it?

I like the idea that horror isn’t so much a category as it is a feeling. While a book that focuses on evoking that feeling is certainly a horror book, horror can lurk just about anywhere. There are nuggets of it in every book, from treasured children’s classics, to even the most vapid modern bestsellers. I’ve always kind of zeroed in on the horror in any given book. From the haunted forest and miserable orphanages in Anne of Green Gables to the howling moors and abandoned halls in The Secret Garden. These are still some of my biggest influences. I like the contrast—the horror makes life so much brighter.

What sub-genre(s) do you write in?

I mostly write literary horror, or weird horror, or neo-noir. But I like gore, too. I prefer to leave supernatural elements ambiguous. They’re in there—but you know, maybe they aren’t. Maybe you’re just nuts.

What is your personal favorite part of writing or reading horror?

My favorite part of writing and reading horror is that it keeps me in touch with the abyss. Keeps my eyes on it. I guess I feel like it can’t get me if I watch it. Like if I turn away for too long and look back, it will have crept a little closer to my toes. But there’s joy in it, too—I’m having fun. Like a high-stakes game of freeze tag.

Sarah Read, Biography

My stories can be found in “Black Static,” “Vine Leaves Literary Journal,” where I received a Pushcart nomination, “Suspended in Dusk” (Books of the Dead Press), “Exigencies (Dark House Press), among other places. I am Editor-in-Chief at Pantheon Magazine and an affiliate member of the HWA.


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