1. Who has been the biggest influence on you as a female horror writer?
Really high up there on the list are Mary Shelley, Anne Rice, and Shirley Jackson. They not only helped introduce me to the genre, but they showed me that it was okay for women to write horror, it wasn’t just a genre for men, and they left quite the impression on me, but I do have to admit my biggest influence has been Charlaine Harris. Reading the Sookie Stackhouse Series I was able to connect with her writing in a way that made me feel at ease with my own. She has a quirky charisma, a way of speaking to the reader and sucking them into her world. What I love most is that she brought classic monsters into modern day in a way that was believably terrifying, yet still fun. That’s a balance I seek to achieve when I write, I want it to be scary, but I also want to make you chuckle from time to time.
2. Do you think the style of horror differs between women and men authors? E.g. psychological vs gore?
I don’t really see that men and women are very different in this sense. There are plenty of women out there who have no trouble writing gore and there are plenty of men who have no trouble writing a psychologically driven piece. Some might argue that women in horror tend to write in more romance, which I’m not sure is the case either, because looking at male writers such as Seth Grahame-Smith (Author of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies) and Isaac Marion (Author of Warm Bodies), we see that men write romance into horror as well. Style doesn’t differ between genders, it just differs between authors. What I do find is women are often overlooked in the genre; there is still a stigma that women aren’t made to write horror. Director Guillermo del Toro addresses this in his film Crimson Peak with his character Edith Cushing, an aspiring writer and lover of scary tales told to simply write “romance.” I truly feel Edith embodies this mash-up of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley, and that, in a way, del Toro was saying…women can absolutely write both!
3. Do you have a main subject that your write about? I.e. certain bad guys or themes?
I absolutely LOVE zombies! People ask me all the time, “what is your fascination with those things?” Sometimes I’m not sure how to answer. I guess it started with Halloween, it’s still my favourite time of year. I always gravitated towards classic monsters as a child, never once asking to dress as a princess. I would watch Beetlejuice and Are You Afraid of The Dark, and read Goosebumps. Later it was Blockbuster video that was to blame, my brother and I would always flock to the horror section and pick up films like Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Leprechaun, Chucky, the list goes on, but what I always loved, without fail, were the zombie films. I guess there is something about coming back from the dead that appeals to me, it’s a curiosity that I can’t quite explain. While I don’t wish zombie-form on anyone, (it seems like a nightmare) I do tend to sympathize with the zombie in my stories, there’s something tragic about them, they were human once, there must be some humanity lingering around in there right? I wanted to explore that in my Zombie Girl Saga.
4. If you could have dinner with a famous horror writer, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would absolutely love to have dinner with Anne Rice, I just find her to be a class act and full of light. She always makes time to connect with readers and just seems so down to earth. Her name is also attached to one of the best parties of the year, so that could be fun! Perhaps I’ll get over to The Vampire Ball one of these days. I would just love to ask her questions about the industry and her writing process and her life, perhaps over tea in a gothic castle, with baroque décor…clearly I’ve thought about this far too much!
5. Favorite female horror writer? Why?
This is a really tough question to answer. I feel as though my favourite horror writers change all the time! My favourite is always based on my new obsession and right now that’s authoress Lily Luchesi and her Paranormal Detective Series. I really feel she is the future face of female horror, or as her tagline says “horror with heart,” something I can relate to heavily. I think a lot of our influences are similar, which is why her writing really speaks to me. I also really love how she brings pop culture so fully into her work, tying her worlds into our reality and breathing life into the text. The characters are terrifying, yet realistic, and as you can already sense, I also have a soft spot for vampire stories.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”