Posts Tagged ‘she walks in shadows’

website-logoHi Folks!  One of today’s WiHM interviews is with the super nice Gwendolyn Kiste. Gwendolyn is primarily a short fiction writer and you’ll find her her work in places like Nightmare Magazine and Lamplight.  I’m super thrilled to have bumped into Gwendolyn recently on  Facebook and honoured to have her stop by my blog for a chat!

SONY DSC

Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

GK: My background is a bit of a mosaic. Over the last fifteen years, I produced and directed horror films, operated a Goth/punk clothing line, launched a Halloween website, worked in the nonprofit sector, and instructed acting classes for teenagers until my eyes bled. I also have a graduate degree in social psychology and taught university-level courses for a few semesters.

All the while, my love of horror was always there, in the movies I made, the clothes I wore, even the horror-centric research papers I wrote in graduate school. My parents were married on Halloween (back in the early 1980s before it was as trendy as it is now), so I always say the macabre runs in my blood.

Q. What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where something made you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?  

GK: Everyone in my life is a horror fan, so in my little slice of the world, there’s nothing strange or subversive about it. To me, horror feels like coming home. I’ve been writing weird and creepy stories since I was about five or six, and I really need to excavate my parents’ basement someday to see if I can locate those early and now-yellowed manuscripts. I can’t remember the first horror story, though I’m sure I bundled it up with a terribly hand-drawn cover and sold it to my parents for a dollar. I was always a consummate capitalist when it came to my writing.

In terms of what draws me to horror, there’s something truly transcendent about terror. When you’re watching a horror film or TV show or reading a horror story, you experience something ghastly and unnerving and distressing, but here’s the thing: you always survive. In that way, every horror experience is like a resurrection. You go in as one person, and if the story or show does its job, you come out the other side, a survivor who will never quite be the same.

Q. What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies? 

GK: There are so many good ones that it’s hard to choose. In terms of more literary horror, I love Ray Bradbury’s stories in The October Country, in particular “The Lake.” It’s a coming-of-age tale wrapped in a ghost story wrapped in the best and most horrifying nostalgia I’ve ever read.

Another of the earliest horror stories to get lodged under my skin was “The Professor’s Teddy Bear” by Theodore Sturgeon. I was around ten years old when I read it, probably a few years too young for a blood-drinking, time-bending alien-teddy-bear, but either way, it turned my mind inside out. Since then, I’ve (thankfully) never been the same.

Q. What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?

GK: All my published work has been short fiction so far, mostly horror with some fantasy and a little bit of science fiction in there as well. My personal favorites at this point are both horror: “Ten Things to Know About the Ten Questions,” published in September at Nightmare Magazine, and “The Clawfoot Requiem,” which appeared last year in LampLight. Both stories deal with devastating personal losses and issues of conformity, and the female protagonists are thorny, difficult characters who were incredibly fun to write.

Q. Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook

GK: Short stories have always been—and probably always will be—my favorite. However, I love all forms of storytelling. In particular, I’ve become a huge fan of horror podcasts. I’ve always loved radio, and growing up, I would lament how the days of great broadcasts, like the stories Orson Welles did in the 1930s, were long gone. But now with podcasts, I feel as though we’re really reclaiming that storytelling medium.

Q. What are you working on at the minute?

GK: Finishing up edits on a few short stories, and also possibly working on a novel. I say “possibly” because it’s still relatively new, so for now, I speak in only hushed tones about it, out of fear of scaring it off. Young projects can be so delicate.

Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?

GK: Shirley Jackson. My beat-up copy of We Have Always Lived in the Castle travels with me almost everywhere I go. I periodically try to analyze the prose and dissect exactly what it is I love about it, but every time, I get so swept up in the story that I forget I’m supposed to be “working.” That’s incredible to me: despite having read the story dozens of time, I can still lose myself in it. Even with the recent resurgence of her work, Shirley Jackson will always be under-appreciated, given what a true genius she was.

Q. Are there any projects involving other women that you’re looking forward to or would like to get on board with?

GK: I have a couple women-centric anthologies on my to-read list, including She Walks in Shadows. I’m also on the lookout for any publications coming out for Women in Horror Month, including the February issue of The Sirens Call, which is always a lot of fun.

On the personal side of things, I’ve been talking with two of my writer friends, Brooke Warra and Scarlett R. Algee, about launching a shared world project that would focus on a girls school that tries, and often fails, to reform adolescent witches. However, that’s down the road, and probably won’t launch until 2018 at the earliest.

Q. What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?

GK: Typhon: A Monster Anthology from Pantheon Magazine is at the top of the list right now. After that, I’ll be reading Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove. There’s so much great fiction out there, and never nearly enough time for it all.

Q. What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the challenges you have faced that are complicated by your gender?

GK: In some ways, as a writer, I live in a cocoon, which keeps me a bit inoculated. That said, I am always careful about the people I add to social media, and that’s something women are often more cognizant about than men. As in, “is this person okay? will he (or sometimes she) harass me or start leaving inflammatory comments on my page?” I don’t know that men think about those questions as often as women do, though screening potential associates is certainly a concern for everyone.

In publishing in general, there are still editors who expect all female characters to be traditionally “sympathetic,” and fit that nurturing stereotype about what a woman “should” be. It’s strange to me that male characters can be complex and complicated, but female characters are still at times expected to behave like “good girls.”

Fortunately, that expectation is changing, and overall, I’ve found the horror industry to be incredibly welcoming.

Q. Why is Women in Horror month important? 

GK: Every February, Women in Horror Month brings new female writers and artists into my orbit. Throughout the rest of the year, I try to learn as much as I can about women in the industry, but with daily spotlights and blogs through the Women in Horror Month website and interviews like the ones on this site, I always discover a few more authors, artists, and podcasters. Just yesterday, I discovered The Girls in the Back Row podcast, which spotlights different obscure and offbeat horror films each week. How could I not know that such a podcast existed? But I didn’t, and thanks to Women in Horror Month, now I do know. So that process of discovery in the month of February is such a thrilling one for me.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

GK: Keep going. Keep writing, keep submitting, keeping honing your craft, and keep networking. There will be tons of rejection. It will hurt. Some rejections will hurt worse than others, especially if you really want to crack a certain market. Just keep going. It’s worth it in the end.

Gwendolyn Kiste Links: 

Website: gwendolynkiste.com

Blog: gwendolynkiste.com/Blog

Facebook: facebook.com/gwendolynkiste

Twitter: twitter.com/GwendolynKiste

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Gwendolyn-Kiste/e/B00QXGAIUC/

Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)

http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/ten-things-to-know-about-the-ten-questions/

http://www.amazon.com/Chilling-Horror-Stories-Gothic-Fantasy/dp/1783613742/

http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Autumn-Anthology-Halloween-Tales-ebook/dp/B0158UFJRA/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8388449.Gwendolyn_Kiste

 

website-logo

Sophie Yorkston is the extremely talented and awesome editor of SQ Magazine. She took home the Australian Shadows Award for Best Edited Publication, for SQ Mag issue #14 (IFWG Publishing). She’s quite active in the speculative ficiton scene and has several short stories of her own published. I look forward to reading more of her edited and written works!  Thanks so much for dropping by, Sophie!

SYorkston
Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
SY: I’m a bit of a wanderer (my muse is too) who has lived all over the east coast of Australia. I’m also the Editor in Chief of Australian speculative fiction ezine, SQ Mag (which best of all is free!). In my day job, I’m a scientist, with a love and interest in many scientific fields, and I think that really gets into my writing.
 
Q. What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where you something mad you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?  
SY: I admit, I started out with horror as my first foray into the genre, somewhere between Christopher Pike and Goosebumps. My tastes evolved, but for me it’s a toss-up with exploring the dark side of supernatural beliefs or alternatively how easily humans cross the line with misguided morals. A story I’m writing at the moment is all about people responding violently to someone they perceive “deserves” it. 
 
Q. What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies? 
SY: That’s a very difficult question to answer. I really like the stories where there’s an element of futility, in that whatever the protagonist does, they still get caught in the mire. 
 
Q. What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?
SY: My current published works include a short suspense story titled Downpour in Subtropical Suspense (Black Beacon Books). A friend of mine said it reminded him of Alfred Hitchcock’s brand of fright, and I thought that a high compliment indeed. I also have a fun story called Manuka Mischief in a kids Christmas collection from New Zealand’s Phantom Feather Press. I’m shopping to find the right home for my favourite story I’ve written. And not to forget SQ Mag, which I edit, and whose Australiana edition won the Best Edited Work in last year’s Australian Shadows Awards. Still pretty chuffed about that.
 
Q. Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audioboo
SY: My work is largely about in short stories, but I think translating them to audio formats is a great way forward. And so many are so suitable to short film as well. One of my hobbies is photography and I think there’s a lot of scope for horror in visual mediums. Horror as a genre is a gold mine, particularly in its ease of translation to many different media types.
 
Q. What are you working on at the minute?

SY: My computer and notebooks are always littered with dozens of shorts, from scrappy notes through to polished pieces striving to find a published home. I’m also chipping away slowly at a magical realism novel that was inspired by my time living in Canada.

 

Q. You’re an editor as well as a writer. Do you have a preference? 
SY: I love to write, and I was lucky enough to fall into working with SQ Mag and with IFWG Publishing (both Australian and international imprints). Editing is mostly wonderful, apart from having to deal out rejections, because it opens you up to a lot of different stories and voices. If you’re lucky, you get to work with some of the true professionals of the business and learn something. But I have to admit, my own words on a page is still a special thrill.
 
Q. What attracts you to editing the work of others? And is there any quality or skill etc that makes a good horror editor, specifically? 
SY: I’ve always wanted to help; I’ve unofficially been editing work for decades for friends. We all get too close to our work and need the help of a little perspective. I don’t know that it’s only a horror genre issue, but I think what makes you a good editor is being able to hear your writer’s voice and not overriding that, to make their story the best it can be. It also helps to read widely to know the tropes of your chosen genre, in as much as you can (only so many hours in the day and many of us have day jobs). Lastly, I have to say, because part of it means I get to know new (at least to me) writers, and do what I love (second) best: read!
 
Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?
SY: Don’t make me choose! There’s many I love for different reasons. Anne McCaffrey, Audrey Niffenegger, Margaret Atwood, Emma Newman. Their explorations of the dark ways of human relationships and interactions are a real draw for me. 
 
Q. Are there any projects involving other women that you’re looking forward to or would like to get on board with?
SY: There’s some amazingly well run publishers (who coincidentally are run by women) in Australia producing great works and anthologies; Fablecroft and Twelfth Planet for example. I’m in awe of what they’re doing. Some of the anthologies showcasing women behind the stories and at the centre are pretty exciting, like She Walks in Shadows (Innsmouth Free Press, eds. Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles), Hear Me Roar (Ticonderoga) and the Women destroying (Lightspeed & Nightmare magazine) have been great for us as readers to know who to keep an eye out for.
Q. What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?
SY: Oh, so many! I’m trying to diversify the voices I’ve been reading: The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu; I’ve just finished and am reviewing Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. I’m also trying to support Australian and New Zealand writers and read and review as much as I can.
 
Q. What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the  challenges have you faced that are complicated by your gender?
SY: I think the greatest challenge for women in genre is that we’re silenced purely by the gender we were born into, unconsciously or otherwise. Including our experiences and our stories. Horror luckily has some excellent editors who are more egalitarian than others, who rectify that by giving equal credence on the basis of excellent writing.
 
Q. Why is Women in Horror month important? 
SY: I think it’s really important to make sure we work against a system that actively works against female writers. Particularly given we have such a wealth of talent here in Australia with internationally-recognised writers like Kaaron Warren, Angela Slatter, Margo Lanagan, and that’s just off the top of my head; there are many more excellent writers than I have named here. And for the lack of recognition of excellent writers in our own countries. 
 
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
SY: Connect up with other writers and offer to help beta read their work. You learn so much about your own work from the very first time you do it. And if you’re lucky, you end up with a great group of friends!
Plus, read, read read! (And don’t forget to review if you got any enjoyment at all!)
 
 
Website: www.sqmag.com
Book Links:

https://mail.google.com/_/scs/mail-static/_/js/k=gmail.main.en.OVq8hpf-I6w.O/m=m_i,t,it/am=PiPeSMD83_uDuM4QQLv0kQrz3n9-95FiZ889_H9vAojULwD-b_b_AP4P3pu2UA/rt=h/d=1/t=zcms/rs=AHGWq9CKi-kYNM_Rzj3abb7zTohAY_Qxkghttps://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/?ui=2&view=bsp&ver=ohhl4rw8mbn4https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/?ui=2&view=bsp&ver=ohhl4rw8mbn4

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WIHM Questions

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Simon Dewar <simon.dewar83@gmail.com>

Feb 1

to sophieyorkston

Hey,

See below … attach your approved and endorsed personal image I can post with the interveiew.  If there is anything you want me to ask or want to discuss, let me know. Now is a chance for you to have take the mic. Make my blog your bully pulpit if you like.  I might shoot back some additional questions (*if I have time) based on stuff you say.
Thanks
S.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where you something mad you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?
What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies?
What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?
(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook
What are you working on at the minute?
You’re an editor as well as a writer. Do you have a preference?
What attracts you to editing the work of others? And is there any quality or skill etc that makes a good horror editor, specifically?
Who is your favourite woman writer?
Are there any projects involving other women that you’re looking forward to or would like to get on board with?
What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?
What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the  challenges have you faced that are complicated by your gender?
Why is Women in Horror month important/important to you?
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Website:
Blog:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Lnkedin:
Pinterest:
Amazon Author Page:
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)
Goodreads:
(* Any order you like and if I’ve missed anything, just type it in.)

Sophie

AttachmentsFeb 15 (2 days ago)

to me
Hey Simon,
Sorry this has taken a little while to get to you.
Hope it’s not too late!
Sophie


Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2016 21:28:05 +1100
Subject: WIHM Questions
From: simon.dewar83@gmail.com
To: sophieyorkston@hotmail.com


Hey,

See below … attach your approved and endorsed personal image I can post with the interveiew.  If there is anything you want me to ask or want to discuss, let me know. Now is a chance for you to have take the mic. Make my blog your bully pulpit if you like.  I might shoot back some additional questions (*if I have time) based on stuff you say.
Thanks
S.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a bit of a wanderer (my muse is too) who has lived all over the east coast of Australia. I’m also the Editor in Chief of Australian speculative fiction ezine, SQ Mag (which best of all is free!). In my day job, I’m a scientist, with a love and interest in many scientific fields, and I think that really gets into my writing.
 
What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where you something mad you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?  
I admit, I started out with horror as my first foray into the genre, somewhere between Christopher Pike and Goosebumps. My tastes evolved, but for me it’s a toss-up with exploring the dark side of supernatural beliefs or alternatively how easily humans cross the line with misguided morals. A story I’m writing at the moment is all about people responding violently to someone they perceive “deserves” it. 
 
What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies? 
That’s a very difficult question to answer. I really like the stories where there’s an element of futility, in that whatever the protagonist does, they still get caught in the mire. 
 
What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?
(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
My current published work include a short suspense story titled Downpour in Subtropical Suspense (Black Beacon Books). A friend of mine said it reminded him of Alfred Hitchcock’s brand of fright, and I thought that a high compliment indeed. I also have a fun story called Manuka Mischief in a kids Christmas collection from New Zealand’s Phantom Feather Press. I’m shopping to find the right home for my favourite story I’ve written. And not to forget SQ Mag, which I edit, and whose Australiana edition won the Best Edited Work in last year’s Australian Shadows Awards. Still pretty chuffed about that.
 
Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook
My work is largely about in short stories, but I think translating them to audio formats is a great way forward. And so many are so suitable to short film as well. One of my hobbies is photography and I think there’s a lot of scope for horror in visual mediums. Horror as a genre is a gold mine, particularly in its ease of translation to many different media types.
 
What are you working on at the minute?
My computer and notebooks are always littered with dozens of shorts, from scrappy notes through to polished pieces striving to find a published home. I’m also chipping away slowly at a magical realism novel that was inspired by my time living in Canada. 
 
You’re an editor as well as a writer. Do you have a preference?
I love to write, and I was lucky enough to fall into working with SQ Mag and with IFWG Publishing (both Australian and international imprints). Editing is mostly wonderful, apart from having to deal out rejections, because it opens you up to a lot of different stories and voices. If you’re lucky, you get to work with some of the true professionals of the business and learn something. But I have to admit, my own words on a page is still a special thrill.
 
What attracts you to editing the work of others? And is there any quality or skill etc that makes a good horror editor, specifically? 
I’ve always wanted to help; I’ve unofficially been editing work for decades for friends. We all get too close to our work and need the help of a little perspective. I don’t know that it’s only a horror genre issue, but I think what makes you a good editor is being able to hear your writer’s voice and not overriding that, to make their story the best it can be. It also helps to read widely to know the tropes of your chosen genre, in as much as you can (only so many hours in the day and many of us have day jobs). Lastly, I have to say because part of it means I get to know new (at least to me) writers, and do what I love (second) best: read!
 
Who is your favourite woman writer?
Don’t make me choose! There’s many I love for different reasons. Anne McCaffrey, Audrey Niffenegger, Margaret Atwood, Emma Newman. Their explorations of the dark ways of human relationships and interactions are a real draw for me. 
 
Are there any projects involving other women that you’re looking forward to or would like to get on board with? 
There’s some amazingly-well run publishers (who coincidentally are run by women) in Australia producing great works and anthologies; Fablecroft and Twelfth Planet for example. I’m in awe of what they’re doing. Some of the anthologies showcasing women behind the stories and at the centre are pretty exciting, like She Walks in Shadows (Innsmouth Free Press, eds. Silva Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles), Hear Me Roar (Ticonderoga) and the Women destroying (Lightspeed & Nightmare magazine) have been great for us as readers to know who to keep an eye out for.
What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?
Oh, so many! I’m trying to diversify the voices I’ve been reading: The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu; I’ve just finished and am reviewing Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. I’m also trying to support Australian and New Zealand writers and read and review as much as I can.
 
What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the  challenges have you faced that are complicated by your gender?
I think the greatest challenge for women in genre is that we’re silenced purely by the gender we were born into, unconsciously or otherwise. Including our experiences and our stories. Horror luckily has some excellent editors who are more egalitarian than others, who rectify that by giving equal credence on the basis of excellent writing.
 
Why is Women in Horror month important/important to you? 
I think it’s really important to make sure we work against a system that actively works against female writers. Particularly given we have such a wealth of talent here in Australia with internationally-recognised writers like Kaaron Warren, Angela Slatter, Margo Lanagan, and that’s just off the top of my head; there are many more excellent writers than I have named here. And for the lack of recognition of excellent writers in our own countries. 
 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Connect up with other writers and offer to help beta read their work. You learn so much about your own work from the very first time you do it. And if you’re lucky, you end up with a great group of friends!
Plus, read, read read! (And don’t forget to review if you got any enjoyment at all!)
 
 
Website: 
Pinterest:
Attachments area

Sophie

12:32 PM (39 minutes ago)

to me

Hi Simon,

I was just going to email to ask if you could include a link to SQ Mag as well. http://www.sqmag.com

I also spotted some typos/mistakes in my replies–crumbs. Probably what happens if I do these things late in the evening. I’ve bolded the questions below where I made answer changes if it is at all possible to just copy paste those responses.
Thanks Simon for the opportunity. It’s been great to see all the interviews, and to see writers whose other spec fic stories I’ve enjoyed that are also horror!
Sophie

From: sophieyorkston@hotmail.com
To: simon.dewar83@gmail.com
Subject: RE: WIHM Questions
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 19:21:52 +1000

Hey Simon,
Sorry this has taken a little while to get to you.
Hope it’s not too late!
Sophie


Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2016 21:28:05 +1100
Subject: WIHM Questions
From: simon.dewar83@gmail.com
To: sophieyorkston@hotmail.com

 


Hey,

See below … attach your approved and endorsed personal image I can post with the interveiew.  If there is anything you want me to ask or want to discuss, let me know. Now is a chance for you to have take the mic. Make my blog your bully pulpit if you like.  I might shoot back some additional questions (*if I have time) based on stuff you say.
Thanks
S.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a bit of a wanderer (my muse is too) who has lived all over the east coast of Australia. I’m also the Editor in Chief of Australian speculative fiction ezine, SQ Mag (which best of all is free!). In my day job, I’m a scientist, with a love and interest in many scientific fields, and I think that really gets into my writing.
 
What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where you something mad you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?  
I admit, I started out with horror as my first foray into the genre, somewhere between Christopher Pike and Goosebumps. My tastes evolved, but for me it’s a toss-up with exploring the dark side of supernatural beliefs or alternatively how easily humans cross the line with misguided morals. A story I’m writing at the moment is all about people responding violently to someone they perceive “deserves” it. 
 
What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies? 
That’s a very difficult question to answer. I really like the stories where there’s an element of futility, in that whatever the protagonist does, they still get caught in the mire. 
 
What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?
(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
My current published work includes a short suspense story titled Downpour in Subtropical Suspense (Black Beacon Books). A friend of mine said it reminded him of Alfred Hitchcock’s brand of fright, and I thought that a high compliment indeed. I also have a fun story called Manuka Mischief in a kids Christmas collection, The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales, from New Zealand’s Phantom Feather Press. I’m shopping to find the right home for my favourite story I’ve written. And not to forget SQ Mag, which I edit, and whose Australiana edition won the Best Edited Work in last year’s Australian Shadows Awards. Still pretty chuffed about that.
 
Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook
My work is largely about in short stories, but I think translating them to audio formats is a great way forward. And so many are so suitable to short film as well. One of my hobbies is photography and I think there’s a lot of scope for horror in visual mediums. Horror as a genre is a gold mine, particularly in its ease of translation to many different media types.
 
What are you working on at the minute?
My computer and notebooks are always littered with dozens of shorts, from scrappy notes through to polished pieces striving to find a published home. I’m also chipping away slowly at a magical realism novel that was inspired by my time living in Canada. 
 
You’re an editor as well as a writer. Do you have a preference? 
I love to write, but I was also lucky enough to fall into working with SQ Mag and with IFWG Publishing (both Australian and international imprints). Editing is mostly wonderful, apart from having to deal out rejections, because it opens you up to a lot of different stories and voices. If you’re lucky, you get to work with some of the true professionals of the business and learn something. But I have to admit, my own words on a page is still a special thrill.
 
What attracts you to editing the work of others? And is there any quality or skill etc that makes a good horror editor, specifically? 
I’ve always wanted to help; I’ve unofficially been editing work for decades for friends. We all get too close to our work and need the help of a little perspective. I don’t know that it’s only a horror genre issue, but I think what makes you a good editor is being able to hear your writer’s voice and not overriding that, to make their story the best it can be. It also helps to read widely to know the tropes of your chosen genre, in as much as you can (only so many hours in the day and many of us have day jobs). Lastly, I have to say because part of it means I get to know new (at least to me) writers, and do what I love (second) best: read!
 
Who is your favourite woman writer?
Don’t make me choose! There’s many I love for different reasons. Anne McCaffrey, Audrey Niffenegger, Margaret Atwood, Emma Newman. Their explorations of the dark ways of human relationships and interactions are a real draw for me. 
 
Are there any projects involving other women that you’re looking forward to or would like to get on board with? 
There’s some amazingly-well run publishers (who coincidentally are run by women) in Australia producing great works and anthologies; Fablecroft and Twelfth Planet for example. I’m in awe of what they’re doing. Some of the anthologies showcasing women behind the stories and at the centre are pretty exciting, like She Walks in Shadows (Innsmouth Free Press, eds. Silva Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles), Hear Me Roar (Ticonderoga) and the Women destroying (Lightspeed & Nightmare magazines) have been great for us as readers to know who to keep an eye out for.
What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?
Oh, so many! I’m trying to diversify the voices I’ve been reading so I’m currently reading: The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu; I’ve just finished and am reviewing Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. I’m also trying to support Australian and New Zealand writers and read and review as much as I can.

Simon Dewar <simon.dewar83@gmail.com>

12:37 PM (34 minutes ago)

to Sophie

Cool. Got it. And thankyou 🙂  You’re coming up soon… along with Ellen Datlow, Lauren Buekes and so many women my brains is turning to mush.

Good fun though.
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Today’s interview is with wrtier and editor, Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Following on from her debut novel release, Silvia has been receiving a fantastic amount of well-deserved recognition for her work and I’m really pleased to be able to ask her a few questions.  Thanks Silvia! 

SMG


Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I have been writing since 2006, mostly short fiction. My debut novel, Signal to Noise, came out in 2015 and was named on multiple year’s best lists: B&N’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, RT, BookRiot, Buzzfeed, i09, Vice,tor.com and the Locus Recommended Reading List. My debut collection, This Strange Way of Dying, was a finalist for a Sunburst Award.

Q. What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where you something made you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?

Horror is just one way to tale a story, it’s a tool, and I use that tool as necessary. I know exactly where I’m going into when I write a short story, so there are few surprises at that higher level. Also, a lot of the short story work I’ve done in recent years was solicited stuff so obviously I knew that if The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu: New Lovecraftian Fiction was asking for a story I was going to be writing a Cthulhu story. Actually, what I wrote for that is more like Mayan fish people in 1960s Mexico, but you get the drift.


Q. What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies?

I don’t like picking favorites. With that said, Tanith Lee died last year and she is sadly not as known as I’d like to her to be. She also wrote a huge number of horror stories and novels, some very fine work there, and it’s worth a look. Some of her stuff is harder to get, but I recommend looking for her Paradys work or some of her short story collections.

Q. What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?

Everything. I write across genres and categories. I like to write short but with the market these days truly short novels, 50,000 word novels for example, don’t seem much in vogue.

Q. Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook

No, but I don’t like series. My novels are standalones and I like to switch genres. My debut novel was called a literary fantasy, the second is urban fantasy and/or noir, the third will be a romance, fourth horror, and so on.


Q. What are you working on at the minute?

I finished edits for my second novel, Certain Dark Things, which is about narco vampires in Mexico City, and I’m moving onto working on the final draft of what will be my third novel.

Q. You’re an editor as well as a writer. Do you have a preference?

Writing. I’m not interested in any editing projects in the near future.

Q. What attracts you to editing the work of others? And is there any quality or skill etc that makes a good horror editor, specifically?

I like seeing a project from beginning to end, from the concept to the final, bound volume being sold. It’s a process of discovery. When I edited Dead North, a Canadian zombie antho, the questions was what is zombie fiction? And is Canadian zombie fiction different from American zombie fiction? So it was a quest to see what the writers told me through their stories.

Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?

I don’t like picking favorites. However, there are very many women who are ignored. Many times you see lists of “horror” writers and not even Mary Shelley or Shirley Jackson make the list. To me that’s insane. People like Daphne du Maurier or Joyce Carole Oates have contributed multiple, magnificent horror stories but we often forget their work unless it’s Women in Horror Month. And even then it’s a bit of a slog. There’s also a big historical hole because women wrote for stuff like Weird Tales but a lot of them are forgotten. Anya Martin and I talked about how doing a retrospective, reprint anthology of women from the Weird era would be valuable, and I think she should edit it.


Q. Are there any projects involving other women that you’re looking forward to or would like to get on board with?

I edited She Walks in Shadows which was the first all-woman Lovecraft anthology last year, so I think it’s too soon for me to tackle anything else with a similar mandate. Right now that made it into the Locus Recommended List so I’m just going to bask in that. Someone should Anya, though, and try to put together a Women of the Weird Era book.

Q. What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?

Mostly non-fiction and non-genre stuff. Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, for example. For genre stuff: I got Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen for my iPad.

Q. What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the  challenges have you faced that are complicated by your gender?

Well, when io9 did an article on She Walks in Shadows I got some angry comments and a memorable e-mail saying we were menstruating all over Lovecraft and tainting his legacy.

Sometimes, spaces are just not women friendly. I left more than one Facebook group because it was just incredibly draining. There was one group where people kept putting pornographic images of women and some of us complained about it. We were told to stop whining. Listen, if I wanted to sign up for the Porno Image of the Day Group I would, but I thought I was in a horror group. But people tell you to shut up or tough it up. I simply left. Same thing when I commented on the cover art of something being kind of sleazy, you know, boobs and more boobs, the response was so rude.

You are just not going to get invitations to certain things because you are a woman and an afterthought to certain people. Not everyone, but I have indeed seen this happen where it’s like oh, circle of bros.

I’m fine about not breaking into certain markets or doing work with certain people. If they don’t want me, I don’t want them. After all, who wants to spend time with someone who honestly says stuff like “stop menstruating” or thinks women can’t write horror (yeah, I’ve been told this)?

In the end, I just choose my friends and associates carefully, and try to weed out the more obvious sexist pigs.

Q. Why is Women in Horror month important/important to you?

I feel sometimes it’s the only month anyone remembers women writers, to be honest. I wish it was a year round thing and that we didn’t to have an excuse to include women in the conversation, but sometimes it feels like it’s the one month a year we get to materialize in the field.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing since persistence makes the writer, but learn to be critical about your work.

Website: http://www.silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/
Twitter: @silviamg

Book Links: (http://www.amazon.com/Signal-Noise-Silvia-Moreno-Garcia/dp/1781082995/

http://www.amazon.com/Certain-Dark-Things-Silvia-Moreno-Garcia/dp/1250099080/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1454369743&sr=8-2&keywords=certain+dark+things

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user_status/book/22609306-signal-to-noise

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28220785-certain-dark-things?from_search=true&search_version=service