Women in Horror Spotlight #6

Women in Horror Spotlight #5 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.

Lesley Conner, Author

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

My definition of horror has definitely changed over the years. When I was younger I wanted the monster/villain to root against, I wanted the splash of blood, the chase that left me out of breath even though I was reading it or watching it, and not actually running. I wanted something in your face, something that made you jump, something that ripped a scream from your throat. It was exciting and exhilarating. It was fun.

And it still is. A good slasher flick still makes me jump and I still love them, but as I get older my definition of horror has broadened.

Lately, I find myself defining books that are more internal and emotional as horror just as readily as I do the traditional monster stories. A perfect example is “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson. This novel lacks the ghost story that so many people find compelling in Jackson’s other novel “The Haunting of Hill House,” but in my personal opinion it is much more terrifying. The social stigma.The mob mentality that allows people to justify absolutely horrid acts against other people. It’s horrifying.

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

I have a hard time with sub-genres and defining them and definitely staying within them. My debut novel “The Weight of Chains” is an alternate history horror novel. That’s pretty straight forward. It’s a horror novel, but it’s set in 15th century France and it skews the lives of real historical people, blending fact within my fiction.

The novel that I’m currently working on isn’t as easy to define. It’s a near future sci-fi, but it’s also a supernatural thriller. Throw in a healthy influence from 1920s New York speakeasy scene and I’m not sure what you call it, but I can tell you that it’s a lot of fun to write.

The Weight of Chains final cover

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

My favorite part – both in writing and reading – is the emotional connection the reader creates with the characters. One of the main characters in “The Weight of Chains”  is an eleven-year-old peasant girl, and I can’t lie, things do not look good for her in my novel. As the writer, there were times when I had a hard time pushing through certain scenes and I’ve seen that reaction in my friends and family as they’ve read the book. I actually had a friend call me when she was 7% away from the end and demand that I tell her Jeanetta’s fate. She couldn’t handle the turmoil I was inflicting on the character. Obviously I didn’t want to spoil the end for her, but the writer part of me was happy dancing for creating such an intense bond.

Lesley Conner, Biography

Lesley Conner is a writer/editor, managing editor of Apex Publications and Apex Magazine, and a Girl Scout leader. When she isn’t handling her editorial or Girl Scout leader responsibilities, she’s researching fascinating historical figures, rare demons, and new ways to dispose of bodies, interweaving the three into strange and horrifying tales. Her short fiction can be found in “Mountain Dead,” “Dark Tales of Terror,” “A Hacked-Up Holiday Massacre,” as well as other places. Her first novel “The Weight of Chains” was published by Sinister Grin Press in September, 2015. “Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1” marks her debut experience in anthology editing. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and is currently working on a new novel. To find out all her secrets, you can follow her on Twitter at @LesleyConner or find her at www.LesleyConner.com.

Purchase The Weight of Chains


Christie Stratos headshot_outdoors

Christie Stratos, Author

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

So many things can be scary, but I think psychological terror is one of the most impactful kinds. “The Ring” is a movie that really scared me – the American version is visually frightening (in my opinion), but the original Japanese version has that psychological edge that made me afraid of the evil within people – even more so the evils they aren’t aware of. When evil doesn’t know it’s evil…oh boy.

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

It’s always dark fiction – very rarely do I step outside of that – but I like to write psychological fiction and historical fiction best, usually combining them. Sometimes I’ll write something funny (always a short story, never anything longer), but much of my work also relies heavily on introspection and self-realization, no matter what sub-genre it falls into.

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

In writing horror, the thrill that comes with creating that scary or creepy feeling from nothing. One minute you’re looking at a blank page, the next you’ve got an idea down, and the next you’ve got something that can evoke chills. It’s really amazing.

In reading horror…well, I can only read some horror because so much of it scares me so deeply! But when I do read it, my favorite part is that feeling of dread as I wait for the boom to be lowered. The wait is half the fun. Maybe even three-quarters of it.

Christie Stratos Biography

Christie Stratos is an editor and award-winning writer who has a degree in English Literature. An avid reader of all genres and world literature, Christie reads everything from bestsellers to classics to indies and is an audiobook reviewer at AudioBookReviewer.com. She is also a writer of published short stories, poetry, and novels. She dabbles in all genres.

Links to Contact Christie

Author website

Amazon author page





Darkened Heart

Anatomy of a Darkened Heart links



Barnes and Noble


VampireAuthorImage Darker

Andrea Zuvich, Author

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

Horror, for me, is when someone is presented with a ghastly situation, which usually involves one or more of the following: psychological horror, gore, macabre, life or death situations, and leads to the reader feeling fear, anxiety, and well, horror.

I blame my husband 100% for drawing me into horror. I wasn’t allowed to watch any horror films when I was growing up and then I moved in with him and I saw many all at once. And, yes, I do scream when something scares me in a film!

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

I’ve only written one horror story thus far, and it is a combination of historical horror, historical fiction, and alternative fiction.

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

The quickening of my heartbeat, the feeling of mounting suspense and fright.

Andrea Zuvich Biography

Andrea Zuvich (aka The Seventeenth Century Lady) is a seventeenth-century historian specialising in the Late Stuarts, historical advisor, and historical fiction authoress. She has degrees in History and one in Anthropology. Zuvich has been on television and radio discussing the Stuarts and gives lectures on them throughout the UK. She was one of the original developers of and leaders on The Garden History Tours at Kensington Palace. Zuvich lives in Windsor, England.

Stuart Vampire

Zuvich is the author of The Stuarts in 100 FactsHis Last MistressThe Stuart Vampire, The ChambermaidA Year in the Life of Stuart Britain. She is currently writing William & Mary: A Novel. Find her on Twitter: @17thCenturyLady or  online at The Seventeenth Century Lady.


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