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 Jenny Twist. Lets see what she said about being a “Woman in Horror”…
-PH: When did you first become a horror fan?
-Jenny: I have loved ghost stories for as long as I can remember and I was certainly a regular subscriber to the Pan Book of Horror series by the time I was a young teenager.
-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?
-Jenny: I think it must have happened naturally, given my love of the genre as a reader. I’ve been writing stories since I was a small child and although they cross over into many different genres, there seems to be a predominance of horror amongst the short stories.
-PH: What does having a “Women in Horror” month mean to you?
-Jenny: I must confess I had never heard of “Women in Horror” month until now. I rather wonder how many of us there are. I think I may know most of them personally.
-PH: Is there a woman in horror who you consider a role model?
-Jenny: There isn’t, I’m afraid. My role models are Stephen King and Ira Levin. It’s not that I don’t think women can write horror, it’s just that so few seem to choose to do so. Consequently men hold the field.
-PH: How do you think the role of women in horror has changed over the years?
-Jenny: I can only think of two famous women horror writers – Mary Shelley, who frankly wasn’t very good at it, and Shirley Jackson, much better, but still not in Stephen King’s league. I also believe they are both famous for just one book. Given the paucity of the subjects, it’s hard to see any pattern at all. Maybe I just don’t know enough. I haven’t done an academic study but I can’t help feeling that if there were a strong body of women horror writers I would have come across more of them.
-PH: What do you think the future holds for women in horror?
-Jenny: I think the future holds whatever we want it to hold. There’s no reason why women horror writers shouldn’t be as successful as male horror writers. Surely writing is one field in which there is complete sexual equality. People don’t read books because they are written by men or by women. They read those authors whose stories interest them. If more women chose to write horror, then we might establish a stronger presence in the genre. It’s up to us.
-PH: Being that this is PromoteHorror.com, please feel free to plug your current/next horror project.
-Jenny: My most recent horror project is Tales from the Dark Side. This is a compilation of stories I have written over the last five years or so. They vary immensely but they all tend to be spooky rather than gory. I have always believed the thing you can hear breathing behind the door is FAR more scary than the zombie lurching towards you brandishing a meat cleaver.
Here is the blurb:
A memory from babyhood comes back to haunt a sixteen year old.
A woman hears an alien voice in her head calling her.
An old lady is terrified by the dark figure that waits at the bottom of the stairs.
A crippled locksmith only goes out at night.
A young woman stays overnight with her boyfriend and his eccentric family but nobody warns her about Uncle Vernon.
An aging spinster goes to watch the Easter Parade but this year there is an unexpected participant.
A mother gets the telegram informing her that her beloved son has been killed in action and she makes a fateful wish . . .
Plus Thirteen Words – three short – very short – horror stories.
I would be very happy to give an eCopy to anyone who would be prepared to give an honest review. Just contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for having me. I really appreciate being invited to contribute to this event, and very flattered to be asked.
And we would like to thank Jenny Twist for taking the time to answer our questions, but more importantly for her contribution to horror!