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Hey everyone.  One of today’s WiHM7 interviews is with Dr. Angela Slatter.  Angela is a British Fantasy Award and World Fantasy Award winning author; a Dr of Creative Writing; an incredibly kind and generous person who has been especially welcoming of n00bs like myself, ever since I stumbled into the world of writing, editing and genre fiction. Probably one my ginuwine favourite interwebz people, although legend has it she also exists on the corporeal plane… the stupendously talented Angela Slatter:


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

AS: I’ve always been a voracious reader and I’ve always scribbled, but I only made the decision to start writing seriously about twelve years ago. I didn’t want to get to the end of my life and think “Jeeez, I wish I’d given that a go.” So I threw in a high-paying job in Sydney, moved back to Queensland and started learning the writing craft from scratch. I did a Grad Dip in Creative Writing and was lucky it was a good practical program, then started an MA and produced a collection of rewritten fairy tales, all of which were published before I submitted my finished project for marking − my first sale was to Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and the second was to Shimmer. I started a PhD, which I eventually finished, and have been consistently publishing since 2006. I’ve had six short story collections published (two with Lisa L. Hannett), there’s a seventh coming out in October 2016, and last year I signed a three-book deal with Jo Fletcher Books for an urban fantasy series − the first book, Vigil, comes out in July 2016.

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!”?  

AS: I think it probably crept up on me … I read a lot of horror as a teen, a mix of Richard Laymon, Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, and anthologies edited by Stephen Jones which brought together the likes of Kim Newman, Steve Rasnic Tem, et al. I sought out female horror writers like Tanith Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Marghanita Laski, Barbara Baynton, Mary Shelley, because I often found them more subtle and more chilling (not all the time). One of the first stories I remember writing was about a woman obsessed with books who killed someone in order to get a book that she’d been denied. Probably my first dark detour! Writing for me has been a lot of trying out different genres and styles, as well as reading a lot before I found my own voice.

When I write a fairy tale influenced piece, I’m always drawing on the old horror of the original tales. When I write a modern horror story, I’m still drawing on some inflections of horrific elements in old fairy and folk tales. I think the horror stories that I’ve written that creep me out the most are “Finnegan’s Field”, “Winter Children” and “Cuckoo” … I think they all cut very close to the bone of women’s lives.

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

AS: I’m not precisely sure what ‘jimmies’ are … if you mean scared the bejesus outta me, then there have been a few for different reasons:

I’ve said a lot of times that Marghanita Laski’s “The Tower” was the first horror story I read that I just adored coz it’s so atmospheric and filled with dread. Then there’s Barbara Baynton’s “The Chosen Vessel”, which I realise I read much earlier than the Laski, when we lived out at Longreach − I was still in primary school and the story is about the murder of an isolated woman, the wife of a drover and her child left on a property while her husband goes off shearing … I think because the story echoed the landscape I was living in it was extra disturbing. Then there’s anything by M.R. James. but particularly “Oh, Whistle, And I’ll Come To You, My Lad”. There’s Saki’s “Gabriel Ernest” and “Sredni Vashtar”. The “Wendigo’s Child” by Thomas F. Montelone gave me nightmares as a kid.

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

AS: Seven short story collections, two novellas, one novel, and over 150 short stories. All are listed here, but the ones that are of most interest:

  1. Sourdough and Other Stories (Tartarus Press, 2010) − shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award and Aurealis Award for Best Collection
  2. The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales (Ticonderoga Publications, 2010) − won the Aurealis Award for Best Collection
  3. Midnight and Moonshine (with Lisa L. Hannett; Ticonderoga Publications 2012) − shortlisted for the Aurealis Award for Best Collection
  4. The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings (Tartarus Press, 2014) − won the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection, shortlised for the Aurealis Award for Best Collection.
  5. Black-Winged Angels (Ticonderoga Publications, 2014) − shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards for Best Collection.
  6. The Female Factory (with Lisa L. Hannett; Twelfth Planet Press 2014) − won the Aurealis Award for Best Collection.
  7. Of Sorrow and Such ( novella series, 2015).
  8. Ripper (novella in Stephen Jones’ Horrorology: The Lexicon of Fear, Jo Fletcher Books 2015)
  9. A Feast of Sorrows: Stories isn’t out yet but will be out in October 2016 via Prime Books in the US, which will be my first collection specifically released in the US. It’s mostly a reprint collection, with two new novellas in it.
  10. Vigil: Book 1 of the Verity Fassbinder Series, out in July 2016, from Jo Fletcher Books in the UK and Hachette in Australia.

General points of interest:

  1. I’m the first Australian to win a British Fantasy Award (for “The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter” in Stephen Jones’ A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books).
  2. In 2014, I had three collections out and in the 2015 Aurealis Awards all three were shortlisted in Best Collection − Lisa and I won with The Female Factory.
  3. In the 2015 Aurealis Awards Shortlists, I had two entries in Best Fantasy Short Story (won with “St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls), and one in the Best Horror Short Story (which I won with “Home and Hearth”).
  4. The Female Factory got an Honourable Mention in the Norma K. Hemming Awards.

Also: I cannot pick a favourite child. Don’t Sophie’s Choice me, dude.

Q. What are you working on at the minute?

AS: At the moment I am being squeezed mercilessly by March deadlines. I’m editing the last novella (Darker Angels) to go into the Prime collection A Feast of Sorrows: Stories (mostly reprints but with two new 20k novellas); I’m finishing the novel Corpselight, which is the sequel to Vigil; I’m working on a weird noir story for Joe Pulver, called “Dahlia Blues”; I’ve just agreed to write something else for someone else; I’ve got about four secret anthology projects that I’ve got to write stories for … and there’s a novella called The Briar Book of the Dead that either needs editing or turning into a novel … and when I finish Corpselight, I have to start writing Restoration, which is the final Verity book in the trilogy … then I have to start looking for a new three-book deal! AND I’m also doing a book of film criticism for Neil Snowdon and Electric Dreamhouse Press (an imprint of PS Publishing) this year focusing on the Karnstein Trilogy of films made by Hammer Horror.

Q. You do the odd spell of freelance editing and you certainly have the talented and skill to go down that path if you ever felt like it. Do you ever see yourself editing an anthology or other forms as a career or creative choice? 

AS: Every so often I think “Yeah, I could edit a really interesting fairy tale, mosaic world anthology” … then I go and have a lie down until the feeling passes, because I remember precisely what’s involved. Not just the sourcing stories (managing whinging from writers you didn’t contact or whose stories you didn’t accept), gladhanding and ego-massaging the writers whose stories you need to edit, dealing with contracts, printing, finding a publishing house you can rely on, getting typesetting done, commissioning cover art that doesn’t just look like a stock photo with bad font over the top, then ensuring everyone’s paid … then marketing the damned book, finding reviewers, eventually (if you’re lucky) then having to dole out royalties to authors … and all that time and stress is time and stress I could be usefully applying to my own work. So if I ever say “I’m editing an anthology” you’ll know I’ve been kidnapped and am trying to give a signal or I’ve gone mad.

Similarly, occasionally I think about writing a film script: “Hey, 90 pages, how hard could it be?” It’s fucking hard!!! That’s an art form all on its own and I am not a master of it. A mate of mine did something like four scripts (commissioned) in two months − hats off to him, the mad sod, but he did it, and he did it because it’s his field and he’s an expert at it. So, I’ll stick to what I know!

Q. Is there any quality or skill etc that makes a good horror editor, specifically? s

  • Knowledge of grammar, spelling and sentence structure. The general skills any good editor in any genre should have as well as contacts in the industry rather than just a whim/fancy to be an editor.
  • The ability to help the writer tease out the story’s best shape, NOT t he desire to make the story into the one they would have written if they’d had a chance.
  • Open-mindedness about the various forms horror can come in, so it’s not all just “Saw”, but rather things that are more subtle, a mix of light and dark, not just body horror.

Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?

AS:  Argh! How can you choose? Why would you ask me that? Why?

I love the particular subtlety a lot of female horror writers bring to their work, even though it’s that very subtlety that often causes them to be dismissed as horror writers. “There’s not one chainsaw, NOT ONE in this work, how can you call her a horror writer??” But the more subtle and insidious the tales are, the more I like them. So, I will make a list that cannot possibly be complete and some will say “They ain’t horror authors”, to which I reply “You ain’t reading them right.” Tanith Lee, Thana Niveau, Alison Littlewood, Nalo Hopkinson, Tananarive Due, Lisa L. Hannett, Nnedi Okorafor Kirstyn McDermott, Kaaron Warren, Kelly Link, Gemma Files, Damien Angelica Walters, Lisa Tuttle, Caitlín R. Kiernan,Shirley Jackson, Sarah Langan, Molly Tanzer, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Lynda Rucker, K. Tempest Bradford, Maura McHugh, Margo Lanagan, Anna Tambour, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro …

All are women who’ll lead you in quite gently then unsettle you and then slap you in the face with some terrible thing that isn’t simply about body horror, but the actual destruction of a soul, of happiness, of love. Examples? Nalo Hopkinson’s “Greedy Choke Puppy”, Lisa Hannett’s “Forever, Miss Tapekwa County”, Tanith Lee’s “La Dame”, Damien Angelica Walters’ “Sing Me Your Scars”. And I must add Kelly Robson’s “The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill” as I just read it the other day and it blew me away − extremely visceral, haunting body horror very skilfully done.

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

AS: The TBR pile is presenting a danger to all and sundry, but these are the ones I’ll pick out: Will Lawson’s When Cobb & Co Was King, the Audrey Niffenegger anthology Ghostly, Mary Norris’ Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, Delia Sherman’s The Porcelain Dove, C.S.E. Cooney’s  Bone Swans, and I’m re-reading John Connolly’s Nocturnes collection as well as Dark Hollow.

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?

AS: I’ve been relatively lucky, but the main ones are either dismissal on the grounds of having a lack of white penis (or indeed any penis at all) − “She can’t write horror for she has no wang!” − or reviews that smack of hurt male feels − “She’s written about awful men doing awful things to women! She must hate all men! Also: waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!”

Both of these things are childish and tiring.

Q. Why is Women in Horror month important? 

AS: I admit to feeling conflicted about it. It annoys me that we need it, like some kind of remedial training to remind certain readers we’re here. It feels a bit like we’re Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny: mythical creatures that people remember once a year. Remember folks: a female horror author isn’t just for Christmas, she’ll scare the crap out of you all year round.

But on the other hand I’m happy to see my fellow female horror writers highlighted and for readers to get to know work they might not naturally seek out.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

  • Keep writing.
  • Learn your craft and never ever think you know it all.
  • Develop a thick skin, but realise that story criticism is aimed at making the story better, not at making you feel bad about yourself.
  • It’s better to have someone find problems with a story before you send it out into the world.
  • Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships with other writers and publishers, not just about you getting what you can.
  • Don’t send Facebook friend requests to other writers and then ask them to like your page and buy your book: (a) it’s just rude and (b) other writers are not generally your audience.


Angela Slatter Links:



Twitter: @AngelaSlatter

Amazon Author Page:







Welcome back folks. Ellen Datlow doesn’t need much of an introduction. Master Editor and anthologist she’s turns out some of the best specfic books each year. When she’s not editing fiction submissions for, or making ghastly hybrid Kong dolls, she’s working on any number of short fiction anthologies, including her perennially anticipated ‘Year’s Best Horror’ anthology.  A big thanks to Ellen for stopping by my blog to answer a few questions.

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

ED: I grew up the Bronx and then Yonkers, NY. Moved to Manhattan in 1973 and stayed. I’ve always been an avid reader of many different kinds of fiction, although
now I mostly read sf/f/h-and crime novels, for fun.
I’ve been editing short stories since around 1980 when I started work at OMNI Magazine. Before that I worked in mainstream book publishing for a few years.

Q. What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where you decided to get into fiction editing or was it a more organic process?

ED: I’ve always been interested in horror since I was a child, reading story collections from my parents’ library —Bullfinch’s Mythology, stories by Guy de Maupassant, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. I loved fairy tales and my mother read me Oscar Wilde’s sad sad stories under a tree in front of the Bronx apartment in which we lived.

This taste for the weird and fantastic developed, and further immersed me in what I refer to as “edgier” fiction, since my late teens. This doesn’t only include horror, but also science fiction, some contemporary fantasy, crime fiction.  But for horror specifically, the tone of unease can make the most mundane setting deeply disturbing and I like that.

As soon as I came to understand that there were jobs in the publishing world editing fiction, I jumped into that profession. But it took me several years to move from mainstream trade publishing (which at the time meant the companies publishing mainstream fiction and non fiction hardcovers and trade paperbacks) to actually working with short fiction at OMNI.

OMNI was my first magazine job and that was the one that started me on the rest of my career trajectory. I moved from editing mostly science fiction and fantasy at OMNI to also editing horror with my first non-OMNI anthology, Blood is Not Enough. From then on, while continuing as Fiction Editor at OMNI (and adding horror to the fiction mix) I started choosing the horror half of Terri Windling and my The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror in the late 80s and editing more fantasy and horror anthologies than science fiction. I’m just getting back into sf by acquiring it for (in addition to fantasy and horror).

 Q. Do you ever write any of your own fiction?

ED: No

 Q. What is your favourite horror story (if you can name a single one!) and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies?

ED: I have too many to name, but I’ve reprinted several of my favorites over the years and I occasionally pick up new favorites.

 Q. You’re a well known anthologist, so is the short story your favourite form of fiction? What about the short form do you like so much?

ED: In sf/f/h yes. Especially in horror. I think supernatural horror fiction works best at lengths shorter than the novel. It’s extremely difficult to maintain the “suspension of disbelief” required for readers who do not believe in the supernatural. Short fiction can have more immediate impact than a novel.  Novel editors and I kid each other. I say novels are bloated short stories. They say short stories are truncated novels.

As far as editing short fiction, up through novella length (I have edited several novels), shorter fiction is less unwieldy than a novel. I don’t feel as competent editing novels, although if I did it more often I’d probably get better at it.

 Q. What are you working on at the minute?

Editing the stories I’ve acquired for Black Feathers, a mostly all-original anthology of bird horror coming out next year from Pegasus Books

Editing the stories for Children of Lovecraft, an original Lovecraftian anthology,  coming from Dark Horse this fall (I think).

Finishing my introduction to Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror -all reprint-Tachyon, out this fall. Follow -up to Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror.

Finishing my summary of the Year in Horror 2015 for The Best Horror of the Year Volume 8-Nightshade,  out this summer.

Editing the stories I’ve acquired for in the last few months.
Catching up on my submissions (and no, it’s not an open market).

Switching back and forth among all the above tasks. (and in between, answering these interview questions)

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

ED: I love seeing stories by favorite authors before anyone else does (when having commissioned them for an original anthology or looking at them for and I love working with writers to make their stories the best they can be.

I work with dozens of writers at any given time on multiple projects. It helps to be “open” to possibilities. Reading all year round for a Best Horror –or Best anything
one is exposed to all different kinds of writing ranging from light fantasy, to science fiction, to the darkest horror. So I’m constantly discovering new writers who I can tap for
the other anthologies or magazine/webzine projects on which I’m working.

Being able to work with a writer closely and not imposing one’s own taste on the work at-hand is crucial. It is not my story, it’s the writer’s. I think this might be more
difficult for writer-editors. I am not a writer, have no interest in being one, and so I believe I sometimes have a clearer eye to what a story needs.

On the other hand, not being a writer-I sometimes cannot help the author “fix” their story. There are very few “story doctors” in the field of the fantastic, but those writer-editors who are, are invaluable to some writers.

Editing can not be taught. It’s not something that can be learned if one don’t have an innate talent for it, but it can be honed.

Editing has two major components: first, an eye for what’s great or could be great-that’s the acquisition part of being an editor. You need to learn to trust your own taste. And you need to be able to say no. This story doesn’t work for me. It’s very difficult turning down stories by friends and/or by well-known writers whose names you know would help sell your anthology or an issue of your magazine.
There’s always the possibility that the writer will never submit another story to you again. Or if it’s a friend, that they’ll never speak to you again. (this latter never happened to me with friends, but it did happen to Robert Sheckley, who was Fiction Editor of OMNI for 1 1/2 years before I was promoted (and was my boss).

As I read a new story submission I’ll be judging it subconsciously. I may take notes if I like the story but have questions during that first read. Sometimes if I’m not sure what’s going on within the story, I’ll ask the writer to tell me in her own words. Then I can figure out if some of that explanation needs to be in the text on the page. If the writer is being intentionally oblique I may go along with that-or not.  If we can’t agree on what the story needs, I’ll suggest they try it elsewhere.

The second part takes place after I commit to buying the story. It’s the actual sitting down and getting down and dirty with the words on the page.
The story will probably get two almost separate edits-the substantive edit during which I ask questions and make suggestions about the overall arc of the story, including character/intent/or if there are aspects that don’t quite work. And a closer edit that entails some line editing.

Finally, a few months later I prepare the ms for production, where it will be copy edited and proofread. My preparation requires one last line edit, which is just what it sounds like. I go over the story line by line and ask more questions/make suggestions about repetition of words or phrases, and checking that the author is actually saying what she intends.

Some stories need a lot more revision than others. Some only need a light edit. Whether a story needs a lot of work or a little is not necessarily related to the author’s experience.

Being a good editor requires sensitivity, kindness, and honesty. To paraphrase something Ben Bova told me when I was starting out at OMNI, no one sets out intending to write a bad story.  Writers work to the best of their ability at any given time. I try to keep that in mind when I’m reading really bad fiction, but don’t always succeed.

Writers can be extraordinarily sensitive to criticism of their work, so I make it a point of being gentle when editing someone for the first time. But once I’ve worked with someone a lot, I’m a often more blunt, figuring they know by now that if I didn’t like the story, I wouldn’t be working with them on it.

 Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?

ED: I have no one favorite writer, male or female. Just as I have no one favorite story of all time.

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

ED: I’m very much looking forward to reading Livia Llewellyn’s new collection Furnace (I have the arc).

Elizabeth Hand’s new Cass Neary novel, Hard Light, out this April. Great crime fiction with a wonderfully unlikable protagonist, with touches of the supernatural thrown in. I read it in manuscript and loved it.

Other than that, I’ve no idea what’s coming out in 2016. I’m still immersed in 2015
for a few more weeks.

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

ED: I’ll be starting to read for the Best Horror #9 in a few weeks so will be deep into short fiction then. But of the few novels I’ve recently received in the mail: I’m in  the middle ofStiletto by Daniel O’Malley, follow-up to his wonder novel The Rook. TBR: Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt, Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey, The Mark of Cain by Lindsey Barraclough (I like her first novel Long Lankin a lot)

 Q. Are there any 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?

ED: In my early years in book publishing I encountered “class” discrimination more than gender discrimination. Not being a “Yalie” I was not given the opportunities a younger female Yalie was in the publishing house I worked at for 3 years.

After that, only in the typical wishy washy bias that if I’ve included more than three or four women in an anthology, that means the anthology is “all women” -so not to me personally but basic to the whole “women in publishing” problem.

I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve been in a position of some power for many years (since OMNI). Although when I was first promoted to Fiction Editor at OMNI, I had beer sprayed at me by a drunken malcontent at a publishing party, who thought he should have gotten the position of Fiction Editor. And a few years later, a writer took a couple of verbal potshots at me at a party while he was drunk. He blamed me for something my male boss was forced to do (by our publisher at the time). Year’s later (once he sobered up for good), he apologized–although I don’t think he even remembered what he’d said. Did those things happen because I was female? Probably. Because a male would have likely punched the assholes out they knew it :-).

 Q. Why is Women in Horror month important/not important to you?

ED: Every month should be “women in horror” month. When that happens we won’t need a specific month to point out our accomplishments.

 Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers or editors?

ED: For writers, make it easy for people to contact you. There are many times I’ve tried to track a writer down and if I have to work too hard at it,
I’ll give up. Use a dedicated email address for professional contacts-CHECK your email regularly. Don’t make contact forms hard to manipulate.
Don’t ever private message an editor asking them to look at your page, your work, or anything else like that. It’s unprofessional and really annoying.
Cannibalize cannibalize cannibalize. If you finally give up trying to fix a specific story/novel. Don’t toss it out, use pieces of it for something else some day.

Read someone’s slush pile. This is for aspiring editors and writers. It will put things in perspective. Read widely, fiction and nonfiction.

For Editors: Be kind to writers who submit work to you.
If you seriously want to write, don’t be an editor. It will sap your energy. Being a good editor is hard work.

Ellen Datlow Links:


Twitter: @EllenDatlow



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! 


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, 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.

Twitter: @silviamg

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