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,” and more. One of those women, who was kind enough to answer our questions, was writer Jessica Byard. Lets see what she said about being a “Woman in Horror”…
-PH: When did you first become a horror fan?
-Jessica: I’ve been a fan of horror and all things horror adjacent since I was a kid. I have distinct memories of watching Universal Monster movies when I was about 7 or 8. Growing up with Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, a grand majority of TV consumption like Courage the Cowardly Dog, Rocko’s Modern Life, and more walked a thin line between absurdist humor for kids and some gnarly themes and images.
-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?
-Jessica: I think I always wanted to be involved in the genre, I wrote and drew a lot as a kid. Writing followed me into adulthood but I didn’t think making horror was much of an option in Ohio so I gravitated writing about the genre and got involved with several websites. I ended up writing for Bloody-Disgusting for a few years and got to meet a lot of fantastic people in the horror community as well as interview a few of my favorites like Brad Dourif and Stuart Gordon.
-PH: What does having a “Women in Horror” month mean to you?
-Jessica: Growing up in Ohio, I didn’t have a lot of friends “irl” who loved the genre like I did and the ones who were moderately interested were never other women. Now, I know a ton of horror-loving ladies both in my real life and online. I would have been thrilled to meet all these women when I was a teen. Having a Women In Horror month creates a bridge from an isolated fan to a community of fans like you.
-PH: Is there a woman in horror who you consider a role model?
-Jessica: Currently? I’d say Rebekah McKendry of the Shock Waves podcast is a fucking spectacular woman. She co-hosts the most successful horror podcast around, is a god damned Doctor of horror studies, makes shorts and features and has the cutest horror family around. Seriously, she’s a star and I want to know what witch she sold her soul to, to manage everything so flawlessly.
-PH: What do you think the future holds for women in horror?
-Jessica: It holds nothing but endless possibility. With consumer technology being what it is and only getting better, women are picking up and making their own dreams happen. It’s a fantastic time to be a fan and a creator because we have access to so much more information and so many more people than we ever did. Every year I turn to indie and foreign horror because it’s where the most diverse and interesting voices are living.
-PH: If you could serve a role in horror that you’ve never done, what would it be?
-Jessica: I’d like to try my hand at directing sometime, I have several projects I’m bouncing around currently that I might take on directing for.
-PH: Who is your favorite final girl, and favorite female villain?
-Jessica: Nancy Thompson is easily my favorite final girl. Nightmare on Elm Street was the first viscerally terrifying movie I saw and it fucked me up in the best way (Final girl runners up – Ellen Ripley, Kirsty Cotton, Vanita “Stretch” Brock of TCM2)
-PH: Being that this is PromoteHorror.com, please feel free to plug your current/next horror project.
Jessica: Social media links:
We would like to thank Jessica Byard for taking the time to answer our questions, but more importantly for her contribution to horror!