As you may know, February is “Women in Horror” month. To celebrate, PromoteHorror.com asked women from different professions if they would like to answer some questions about being a “Woman in Horror.” One of the women, who was kind enough to answer our questions, was author Meg Hafdahl. Lets see what she said about being a “Woman in Horror”…
-PH: When did you first become a horror fan?
-Meg: I first became a horror fan in my local video store. There was something about the horror section that called to me. At about eight years old I’d figured out that if I rented anything with Vincent Price in it, it was going to be a good movie! I would scour the section for his name or face. Then I graduated to Dawn of the Dead and The Shining, they were magical films to me. As I got older I discovered Poe, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King.
-PH: Was there a specific moment when you realized that you wanted to go from being a fan of horror to a woman who contributes to the genre, or did it just kind of happen naturally?
-Meg: In college I wanted to be a literary fiction writer. I was studying the greats and had the ambition to write books that mattered. It took me a few years of struggle to realize that I was a natural horror writer, and that I could write horror books that were still literary, with depth of character and meaning. There is a connection I have to the genre that I could no longer ignore, it’s my authentic self!
-PH: What does having a “Women in Horror” month mean to you?
-Meg: I means a lot to me that there is a “Woman in Horror Month” because as a woman in this industry it can often feel as if you’re alone. There is an unfortunate misbelief that horror is inherently misogynistic. It can be, of course, and there are many authors and filmmakers who have made it so. But, horror is really a woman’s field. The suspenseful, gothic novel was perfected by women like the Bronte Sisters and Mary Shelley. There are themes in the genre we are naturally more skilled to explore. As a new generation of horror makers comes to be, I hope that “Women in Horror Month” is a reminder that we need to be more inclusive in our work. And not just for women, but for people of color, the LGBTQ community, and many others who are underrepresented. We all have stories to tell.
-PH: Is there a woman in horror who you consider a role model?
-Meg: I’ve have had the incredible luck to have my work be compared to some men I admire, like Stephen King, but unfortunately I’ve never been compared to a woman. This means we have a lot of work to do in shaping our views of horror literature. That being said, I’ve worked to emulate Daphne DuMaurier, whose command of setting in the novel Rebecca, changed my life. I also can’t get enough of Shirley Jackson, she is a master of psychological terror. The fact that these women were writing such wonderful suspense and horror in eras in which that was not the norm, inspires me to work all the harder.
-PH: How do you think the role of women in horror has changed over the years?
-Meg: I believe our role has fluxed, sort of going full circle. As I mentioned, when men were still focusing on poetry in the Romantic and Victorian eras, women were constructing timeless gothic novels like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Then, as the rise of horror films came about, I think unfortunately we lost our footing as the creators and became, often times, the sexualized final girls of cinema. Now, with more women behind the camera than ever before, and with more freedom for women to write in the genre they please, I believe we’re back in the driver’s seat. We are creating our own content.
-PH: What do you think the future holds for women in horror?
-Meg: I think the future is bright for women in horror. With the support of our male allies, I believe we’ll hold more and more important roles in film and literature as time goes on.
-PH: Being that this is PromoteHorror.com, please feel free to plug your current/next horror project.
-Meg: My debut novel, Her Dark Inheritance, published by Inklings Publishing, is available for Pre-Order right now and will be released March 17th in e-book and March 30th in print. It is female driven horror about Daphne Forrest, a woman who travels to the small town where her mother was accused of an axe murder, and uncovers a dark and tangled secret more terrifying than she expected. Think: Lizzie Borden meets The X-Files. You can also find my female driven short horror story series Twisted Reveries on Amazon, and the audio production of my short story “Willoughby” will air on The Wicked Library podcast on February 20th.
Find more about me at www.meghafdahl.com
I’m @MegHafdahl on Twitter and Instagram
Pre-Order Her Dark Inheritance for $2.99:
Twisted Reveries Series: https://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Reveries-Meg-Hafdahl/dp/0991021177/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1488391455&sr=8-3&keywords=meg+hafdahl
We would like to thank Meg Hafdahl for taking the time to answer our questions, but more importantly for her contribution to horror!