Women in Horror – Mistresses of the Macabre

February 19, 2014 at 2:21 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

It’s funny how often you’ll hear people say that aside from reading Anne Rice or Shirley Jackson, they’ve never seen much in the way of women horror works out there. That’s why all-female horror anthologies like The Grotesquerie are a great way of introducing readers to several women in horror at once. And it’s not alone.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to list several similar anthologies out there that allow horror readers to explore many female horror writers at once, especially since the ebook version of one such anthology, Mistresses of the Macabre, from Dark Moon Books, is being offered at a special price of $1.99 in honour of Women in Horror Month. Here are a few others:

Do you like zombies? A couple of all female options include the Hell Hath no Fury anthology from May December Publications and Darlings of Decay, the collaborative effort of 32 female horror writers.

Want something a little more classic – how about the Women of Darkness and Women of Darkness II anthologies. Or check out an expanded list of older collections in Jessica Amanda Salmonson’s post, Two Centuries of Women’s Supernatural Stories. Since these are older they’re harder to come by.

Lastly, while the stories in the Deep Cuts are not written only by women, the anthology is a celebration of women horror writers and plays tribute to the ladies who inspired the writers within.

Want to support a future all-female horror anthology? Check out the crowdfunding efforts for She Walks in Shadows, an all-female Lovecraftian anthology. They have 23 days left to raise the more than $5,000 needed to meet their goal.

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Love and Hawthorne – Where to Start

February 2, 2013 at 12:24 am (fantasy, The Snowy Barrens trilogy, writing) (, , , , , )

February is the month of love, so I’m dedicating my blog posts for the month to the notion and emotion. I’m also starting my new effort to improve my writing by researching and analysing some of my favourite classic writers. I’m going to start with Nathaniel Hawthorne because he wrote across multiple genres and I was surprised by just how much I loved his work when I first started reading it. I’ve read his classic novels, The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables, and collections like Twice-Told Tales and Tanglewood Tales, but I discovered, with his work being in the public domain, that there are oodles of free novels, essays and short stories available for my Kindle that I have yet to read – legitimately free, not pirated. Since it ties in with my theme, I’m going to start with his Love Letters and move on from there.

I also plan on posting excerpts from my own work that matches the theme, excerpts with elements of love and romance. I figured I’d begin with this one, from The Blood Is Strong. It is a good example of young budding love, the kind that comes with the approach of adulthood:

As Alder crested the hill by Ice River, he caught sight of Willow, sitting on a log amongst the reeds. The strawberry-blonde was fishing, and singing to herself. She had a sweet voice, but not very powerful, and was too shy to sing in front of others. It was accidentally coming upon Willow one day, carelessly trilling away with the mistaken impression that she was all alone, that had first captured Alder’s attention.

Of course, he was also drawn to the fact that Willow had a sylph-like quality to her, unlike her little troll of a friend, Clover. The taller slender girl was warm, receptive and brimming with positive energy, also nothing like the cranky little she-bear she spent the majority of her time with. He had chastised Clover for leaving Willow alone, and while he was serious about worrying over the blond girl’s safety, he was pleased at having the opportunity to spend some time with Willow without Clover present. He had been working at winning the sweet girl over to his point of view, and he believed that he was succeeding, slowly but surely.

    He considered approaching her, but decided that he wanted to wait and just watch her for a little while. Observing the girl brought the kind of thoughts to Alder that were supposed to be reserved for adults. It was the only rule he had seriously considered breaking, his own instinct winning over his logic. He had already convinced himself that Willow would be his mate someday, so it didn’t really matter if they chose to break that rule. She would be the perfect chieftain’s mate, loving and supportive, yet still wielding a will of her own. With less than a week to the Rites of Passage, perhaps he could convince her to surrender to this notion too.

    Alder gazed upon her for a few moments longer, not wanting to disturb her obvious reverie. She seemed pleasantly lost in thought, casually bobbing her line in the river and dangling her toes in its cold water. That’s when Alder caught sight of some movement on the far bank. The person who crept there, well camouflaged in greens and browns, could not be seen by Willow, completely hidden by the tall reeds. But from his perspective, perched near the top of the hill, Alder could see the black haired man easily. He thought for a moment that his heart would stop beating. He recognized all too well the tattoos that marked the prowler as one of the Black Talon Tribe. The man began to stand, so he could see over the top of the reeds well enough to aim his blowpipe at Willow. Without another moment’s hesitation, Alder threw himself down the hill.

Ah – young love…anyway, I’m looking forward to a month lost on thoughts of love and Hawthorne. I’ll also be settling on what to work on for my next novel before I start my vacation on the 11th. Until next time J

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