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/poet/lyricist/vocalist Donna Lynch. Lets see what she said about being a “Woman in Horror”…
-Ph: When did you first become a horror fan?
-Donna: I remember feeling very haunted as a kid. And I wanted everything to be haunted: the old house across the road, my house, the woods, the playground, Pizza Hut, etc…
And I loved reading horror. I got really into Edgar Allan Poe by the age of ten or eleven. My mom took me to readings of his work. I think Stephen King came next. I’d like to sound more sophisticated about it, but I was a pre-teen, so…
However, I was terrified of horror movies. Even the previews would keep me up at night. By middle school, I started forcing myself to watch them. It was an acquired taste that took many years to set in.
-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?
-Donna: The woman part came pretty naturally. The horror part was a result of me deciding not to hide from my own demons—whether they were experiences or emotions, or even just being afraid of things that couldn’t really hurt me. I was afraid of so many things when I was younger. Fascinated, but afraid.
-PH: What does having a “Women in Horror” month mean to you?
-Donna: I wish we didn’t have to make the distinction, but we do. It’s a lovely thought that we shouldn’t need to “see” gender, but to do so while there is still such a long way to go for [people identifying as] women and WOC in so many industries—be it in our numbers, or the way people perceive us and our contributions—impedes progress and erases the uphill battles we have fought and are still fighting. Pretending there’s no inequality doesn’t create equality.
-PH: Is there a woman in horror who you consider a role model?
-Donna: The first time I read Nicole Blackman’s work and heard her spoken word, and her work with Golden Palominos, was the first time I identified with horror in a non-traditional sense—it was all real life, physical and emotional pain, the horror of violation. It was utterly brutal, and suddenly, the path I wanted to go down was clear.
Don’t get me wrong, Shirley Jackson could frighten you with an amazing ghost story—and I do adore a good ghost story—but Blackman’s work downright eviscerates you.
-PH: How do you think the role of women in horror has changed over the years?
-Donna: Anytime you have female protagonist go from victim to survivor, leader, or any sort of force to be reckoned with, you shift the traditional role.
And from an industry standpoint, seeing more and more femme directors, writers, producers, and publishers, it’s the same kind of shift in roles.
-PH: What do you think the future holds for women in horror?
-Donna: Hopefully a greater acceptance of the complexity we are capable of in our skill sets and the work we create. Hopefully to reach a point where we don’t ever have to hear, “That was pretty creepy/ gory/ fucked up/ twisted/ etc…for a girl.”
-Being that this is PromoteHorror.com, please feel free to plug your current/next horror project.
My partner, artist Steven Archer and I have an illustrated book of poems out this month through Raw Dog Screaming Press called ‘Witches’.
You can probably guess what it’s about.
We also have a new Ego Likeness (our dark/ electro rock band) album in the works and I’m working on a new novel in between touring and giving my full attention to our demanding cat.
@GeekLioness on Twitter
We would like to thank Donna Lynch for taking the time to answer our questions, but more importantly for her contribution to horror!