February is Women in Horror Recognition Month! So my posts this month are going to highlight this topic in some way.
First, I would be remiss not to mention that the anthology The Grotesquerie from Mocha Memoirs Press, which contains my story “The River”, was released specifically in honor of WiHM and features only women authors. I’m thrilled to be a part of this anthology, so please buy a paperback or Kindle copy and support WiHM. Or, if your finances are tight this month (I totally understand!), at least check out some of my fellow authors’ websites to learn more about them! They’re all awesome and impressive.
Second, on top of being WiHM, February is also Black History Month. I fully admit that my knowledge of women of color who write horror is sorely lacking, but luckily I found a couple great lists to get me started. I encourage you to check them out as well!
The post is off to a good start with all those links, but here’s where it comes to a halt. I have to admit something embarrassing. Originally, I wanted this first post for WiHM to also include my recommendations of more well-known/mainstream women horror writers I enjoy. So I looked at my bookshelves…and kept looking…and kept looking. And realized I don’t have that many horror books written by women.
That’s embarrassing but not surprising to me. Up until a few years ago, I never really paid attention to how many books by men vs. books by women I was reading. But as I started to learn more about the bias of publishing and literary awards toward men (especially white men)—even in genres like romance, that are notoriously populated by women writers—I began to examine my choices more closely and made a decision to read more books by women.
It’s an ongoing process, of course, but it means that right now my library is lacking women authors in this most beloved genre! But I’m not completely at a loss; I have read books by Anne Rice, Poppy Z. Brite, Kelly Link, and Daphne du Maurier.
Still, that list isn’t very long, and I haven’t read a lot of books by any one of the authors mentioned above. So I think I’ll use this month and the rest of the year to make up for my negligence. If you have some favorite women horror writers, leave me a link or tell me about them in a comment. Or, if like me your reading in this area has been lacking, maybe pick something by one of the women I’ve mentioned in this post or one from these lists to get started!