Women in Horror – Inspiration

February 26, 2014 at 1:36 am (dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , )

I didn’t start out reading horror when I was younger. My earliest inspirations when I was a child were writers of fairy tales and classical mythology. I grew up on the Grimm Brothers, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Edith Hamilton.

My first real introduction to horror was a cross-genre book offering up horror versions of fairy tales written by Tanith Lee – Red as Blood. My treasured hard cover copy still sits on the shelf (the one with the Michael Whelan cover pictured here – now a collectible.) I’ve read it cover to cover several times. That was what hooked me when it came to horror.

After reading that I went looking for more of her dark work, most of it fantasy that delved into horror, The Gorgon and Other Beastly Tales, Tales of the Flat Earth and others. I loved every bit of it.

I’ve read plenty of horror since, some of the popular writers like Stephen King and Anne Rice, lesser known greats like Frederic Brown and oodles of small press authors, but Tanith Lee was the lady who bridged that gap for me, luring me into horror along a pathway of dark fantasy. If you think my writing is edgy and merciless, at least at times, you can thank her.

I’ve even tried my hand at a couple of horror versions of fairy tales myself, one of which has been accepted for an anthology (more details to follow at a later date.) I can only hope that someday I’ll have the opportunity to share pages with her in an anthology…I had a close call once with a “maybe” that unfortunately turned into a “no.”

She remains the woman in horror who serves as my biggest writing inspiration.


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