Women in Horror Spotlight #5

Women in Horror Spotlight #4 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 or other professional. We will feature about three women each day and hopefully have a Facebook party at some point in the future.


Rena Mason, Author

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

Horror is anything that frightens, unsettles, or disturbs me. I’ve always preferred the extreme emotional fluctuations I experience with horror versus other genres.

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

Sci-Fi, Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Supernatural, Paranormal, Speculative, Weird, pretty much all of it.

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

The escape. Following characters in settings and circumstances different from my own and seeing how they either succumb to or defeat their horror.

Find more about Rena at www.renamason.ink


nikki hopeman

Author Nikki Hopeman

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

Merriam-Webster defines it as “a very strong feeling of fear, dread, and shock.” That’s inadequate. Horror is recognizing, even celebrating the primitive instinct that kept us alive. Horror is the feeling of being watched by the animal stalking you, it’s when the hair on the back of your neck rises in anticipation. Fear is our most useful emotion and horror allows us, even in this predator-free world we’ve created, to remember what it means to live dangerously.

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

I write in several sub-genres, and also the mystery genre.My favorite sub-genre is re-envisioning folklore and myths as horror. My first published short story, “Black Bird,” retold Arabic myth of the ifrit in a modern setting. My novel, HABEAS CORPSE, is kind of a mash-up of murder mystery and zombie. I’m working on the sequel to HABEAS CORPSE.

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

Reading and writing horror offer me the same thrills. Like all other writers, I have a vivid imagination, and as I write or read, I’m in the situation and I get the adrenaline rush. It’s like a drug (good thing it’s legal…). I do prefer the writing, though, for the control it gives me over the details. I love researching (sometimes to my time management detriment) and imagining ways to use new and interesting horrors. I’m on a true crime kick at the moment and sometimes it’s tough to rein it in. Sometimes you just have to run with an idea and then rely on your beta readers to not turn you in to the authorities.

Nikki Hopeman, Biography

Nikki Hopeman still has a trunk full of spiral-bound notebooks stuffed with short stories in a child’s handwriting. While she’s graduated to using a computer for writing, she still finds files of mysterious and terrifying information saved for future writing endeavors and can even sometimes remember why she saved them. In her life before writing, she earned a BS in microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a mad scientist for UPMC.

She holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University, where she learned her trade with some of the best horror writers in the business, including Michael Arnzen, Tim Waggoner, and Scott Johnson. She lives in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, two sons, two corgis and one angry guinea pig.

Check out her novel Habeas Corpse, available from Blood Bound Books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also be sure to check out her short stories, “Black Bird,” in Dark Moon Books’ anthology Mistresses of the Macabre, and “One Man’s Garbage,” in Hazard Yet Forward, a charity compilation, also available on Amazon.


sarah dalton

Sarah Dalton, Author

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

I think horror is a genre that is designed to intentionally make the reader feel tense or frightened. I’ve always enjoyed suspense and mystery. I like quiet horror, or horror that isn’t too gory. There’s something appealing about escaping into a scary place when you’re in a safe environment.

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

I think my horror work can be classified as quiet horror, YA horror, or Gothic horror. I like to include a lot of Gothic elements, like grand settings, creepy buildings, and something supernatural. I loved Victorian Gothic novels when I was a teenager. Dracula’s castle is still one of my favourite book settings of all time.

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

I love writing dramatic scenes. One of my favourite scenes is when a character is chased onto Yorkshire moors by a supernatural being. I loved the sweeping landscape, the tension, and the multitude of possibilities. It’s really fun to get lost in the scene. But it does make me look behind me while I’m writing quite a lot!

Sarah Dalton, Biography

Sarah Dalton is a writer from Sheffield who grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader of most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.

Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a Young Adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons.

She is the YA author of the Blemished series and upcoming White Hart series. Find her online at www.sarahdaltonbooks.com, Twitter, Facebook , Blog, Goodreads or Join the Mailing List.


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