Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Women in Horror Month – The Writers

Last week I celebrated the Women in Horror month by looking at movie characters.  This week I wanted to take a look at my favorite female writers in the horror genre.

Tanith Lee

The author of over 90 novels and 300 short stories, Tanith Lee has written some of the creepiest stories I’ve ever read.  Her story ‘When the Clock Strikes’ was my first introduction to her work.  That particular tale is a version of ‘Cinderella’ you’ll never read to your kids unless you like to hear them screaming from nightmares.  The Secret Books of Paradys (I-IV) were mindblowing in their ability to take the reader into a world that was as soul-chilling as any I’ve ever read.  Her many awards include the August Derleth Award, World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, and the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award.

Daphne du Maurier

Perhaps her two best known works were Rebecca and The Birds, which were made into classic films.  If you liked the movies, you will absolutely adore the writing.  The short story The Birds, which I first read in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, made my skin crawl.  Her National Book Award for her masterpiece Rebecca was well deserved.

 Mary Shelley

You can’t talk women in horror without the author of Frankenstein coming up.  And though this book is a result of Lord Byron challenging Mary Shelley to write a horror story, it reads more like science fiction.  With this being one of the most recognized tales in the  world (over 15 versions made in film and television), Shelley always merits being at the top of the list of women in horror.

Anne Rice

Edward Cullen, eat your heart out.  Despite being undead, Rice’s gorgeous vampire creation Lestat de Lioncourt breathed the last great breath into the vampire genre.  Her Vampire Chronicles have been must-reads.  The Mayfair Witches were a pretty good series too.  Anne Rice perfected the sexy monsters one would not mind dying in the arms of.

Shirley Jackson

My hands-down favorite female horror writer Shirley Jackson could play with the reader’s head like no one else.  The Lottery is wonderfully terrifying in its bucolic setting, which warns us that even the most innocent-seeming of places can host horrors beyond imagination.  We Have Always Lived in the Castle was another story that continues to mesmerize me.   The Haunting of Hill House stands in my mind as the greatest haunted house story of all time ... more because of the question of whether the house was actually haunted or if the story’s heroine was simply insane.  One of the most chilling lines I’ve ever read came from that book:  “...silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.” 

And there they are, my five favorite Women of Horror in writing.  While I do not claim to compare in any way, shape, or form to these amazing wordsmiths, I’d like to shamelessly plug my own horror books at this time.  After all, it’s my month too!  You can pick up Lilith and Lilith’s Return for your Kindle, Nook, or other reading devices at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.


Happy reading!

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