Women in Horror Spotlight #2

spotlight 2

Women in Horror Spotlight #1 Click Here

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.

Women in Horror Spotlight #2


Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, authors

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

Horror has always been an escape for us. It gives you a chance to step into different worlds, meet new characters (although some you really wouldn’t want to know in real life) experience their emotions, tragedies, and triumphs. There’s something inside of everyone that wants to tell/ hear stories, no matter the medium, whether it’s writing, painting, photography, music, etc. people are out there expressing those stories they see in their minds. We always loved sitting around campfires and listening to our dad tell spooky stories, it was a magical feeling that we have chased our whole lives.

 What sub-genre(s) do you write in?

We write horror, gothic horror, splatterpunk, extreme horror, erotica, and dark fantasy.

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

Our favorite part about writing is getting to spend time together and get lost in our imaginations, like being kids again sitting around a campfire telling each other scary stories; getting that feeling of complete terror only walking away completely unscathed…at least physically anyway. 

Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, Biography

Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason are the Sisters of Slaughter. Their writing has been published by Sinister Grin Press, Fireside Press, JEA/WETWORKS, and Caliburn press is releasing their gothic novella ISOLATION. Follow their Facebook page!



Heather Herrman, Author

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

 Wow, youre hitting me with the hard questions first, huh? I dont think there can be any one definition of horror because it, like all genres, is constantly being reinvented by the authors and audiences who craft and read it. For me, horror is a dialogue between these two groups, and we all come to the table joined by similar interests in the darker elements of fiction, but from there, specific definitions vary wildly. One commonality, however, seems to be the desire to explore the traditionally taboo in society—and this includes topics outside of the mainstream as well as emotions, like fear or terror, that are not necessarily embraced in the status quo of day to day life. I find a lot of horror fans are willing and eager to look beyond the obvious to see whats behind the curtain, if you will. We want to know what makes things tick.

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

 I don’t consider myself as writing in any sub-genre. My fiction tends to be a throw-back to old school horror. Eighties films, gothic novels, and surrealist feminist literature are all inspirations.

 However, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, because Ive said this a few times, Im a little bit wary of labels, specifically genre labels as applied to women. Too often Ive seen or heard of women being asked to market their work as something other than “straight” horror because theres a misconception that women cant sell horror. This is based on several fallacies, namely that: 1) women authors only attract women readers, and women dont read horror, 2) men dont read women, and 3) women cant really be scary.

Because of these misconceptions women get pigeon-holed into categories like paranormal romance (because women and romance are culturally acceptable), or YA horror (again, a perfectly “safe” place in the eyes of the publishing industry for women to write). And let me be clear that I love work labeled as both of these categories. But I want women who write this work to also be recognized by the horror and publishing communities at large as horror writers.

 It would also be great to see more room for women authors being made at the table of “traditional” horror. Because, I dont know if youve read Nicole Cushing or seen anything by the Soska Sisters, but women can, in fact, scare the shit out of you. In the end, its all about expanding boundaries and working towards inclusiveness as we continue redefining what is or isnt horror. A set definition and understanding of that term and its audience or writers leads to a stale, stagnant conversation and, thus, genre. And nobody wants that.

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

 Lots of favorites, but to pinpoint one, it’s that moment of transcending the ordinary through words. All good fictions gives us that opportunity, but horror, especially, lets us ask the large-scale questions about what it means to be human.

 For instance, if you have a protagonist vs. a monster, you get to start at the basic level of wondering what differentiates the two. And in a lot of horror, you start to see that its not a whole lot, or that if it is, were having to work to maintain that separateness. And the collapsing of that “othering” instinct we have as humans is a necessary and fulfilling thing, especially when we are able to then use the experience to reframe our worldview, even if only for a second.

 We get to see that when it comes to good and evil, were the ones creating the dividing line. How we do so, and the extent to which we are willing to walk in the gray, that, to me, is horror.

Heather Herrman Biography

Heather Herrman’s stories have appeared in journals including “The Alaska Quarterly Review,” “Snake Nation Review,” and “The South Carolina Review.” Her debut horror novel, “Consumption,” is out now from Random House imprint Hydra. Heather has taught writing classes at places such as New Mexico State University, Clemson University, and The Loft Literary Center. She also worked as a literacy advocate at two Minnesota non-profits before moving to Omaha to birth her were-child and learn the trade of hunting, capturing, and skinning words alive to feed her pages.



The Devi's Due Collection

Suzi Albracht, Author

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

Horror to me, is that terror of the unknown. A fear of what might happen, a fear of what a person might do to get even, a fear of what might be hiding in the closet ready to pounce. It’s a psychological thing with me. I’m more afraid of having my mind messed with and twisted, rather than some physical attack.

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

I write horror crime thrillers, so I would probably say thrillers.

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

My all-time favorite thing to do is to surprise myself. I like to begin writing a chapter and think I know exactly where it is going. Then, out of nowhere, my character or characters do a 180 and I find myself whispering to the computer –
“What are you doing? Don’t you realize what is going to happen because of that?  Oh God, why did you do that? Damn…”

Suzi Albracht, Biography

I love to write horror thrillers with intense personal relationships between characters. I started reading earlier in life than most of my friends and spent many hours hidden in closets and under beds, sneaking in just another ten minutes of whatever book I was reading. As soon as I was old enough, my mother would send me to the library to pick up books for her. This delighted me because it opened up a whole new world of books not available in school.

I read everything I could get my hands on but was drawn to sci-fi, horror and thrillers. As I matured, I would say my main influences became Stephen King, Dean Koontz and William Faulkner. My writing definitely reflects those influences.

I can honestly say my twitter bio describes me to a T – Write, scare myself, turn all the lights on, write some more. Take a break, play pool, kick butt/get butt kicked, go write more horror, double lock door.

Check out Suzi online – www.suzialbracht.com

All three of my books are part of “The Devil’s Due Collection.” I am currently working on two new books in the collection.” Confessions of a Soul Collector” will be finished first, most likely in a few months.

My Book Trailers

Death Most Wicked
Scorn Kills
The Devil’s Lieutenant

My Book Links

Death Most Wicked

Scorn Kills

The Devil’s Lieutenant


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