This is the story of Doris Ellison, who had a difficult childhood. She is moving to Thompsonville in order to find a forever home. Here she meets John III O’Rilley, and they fall in love. However, they will have to face her past and current dangers in order to be together. Thompsonville has a history as tainted as her own, and soon Doris’ idyllic restful dream is burst by Troy de Winter, and FBI agent; her boss, Principal Patricia Silverstone; Denis Nelson, who wants ancient books; and Emily, a local witch. Doris has to face issues of good and evil, right and wrong, love and hate, and the conflict between her past events, current reality and future dreams in order to survive, and find happiness.
1) As a female horror writer what do you bring to the table in terms of what of you write?
I think women read people, their characters and motivations, with more clarity then men. We pick up on mood and atmosphere faster because we are more in tune with feelings. As women we are educated from a young age to express ourselves clearly. Women are therefore, in my opinion, more able to create moods in writing with words and situations because they are descriptive writers.
Added to this is the fact that woman, from the time they are born, are told they are weaker and less than men. This sets us up for situations of danger and fear. Woman knows fear in ways that men can only dream about. Most women can tell you about personal experiences in everyday situations that horrified them. Being in an elevator with a man that is making inappropriate comments, and unsolicited advances. Having to walk to or from your car alone at night. Coming home and having the feeling that something is not what it is supposed to be, as if there is someone in the house. All women know the feeling of being watched by someone. Then I haven’t even started on all the fearful experiences that motherhood adds to our lives!
Women know fear, and they can milk their own experiences with horrible situations in creative and effective ways when they write.
2) Do you think female authors are underrepresented in the horror genre?
I don’t think they are underrepresented. Women write as much horror fiction as men. I think they are not read as much as their male counterparts. I know of several women who publish horror under male pen names, or use only their initials, not their first names.
This is not exclusive to the field of writing. Female engineers, pilots, business women, journalists, and other careers have the same problem. Just look how people used the fact that Hillary Clinton was a women against her in the campaign. There are still, unfortunately, spaces where it is frowned upon for women to work, and horror writing is only one of them.
3) Tell us about your book(s)
There is nothing as scary as moving to a new town where you don’t know anyone. It’s even scarier if you bring a terrible past with you which you don’t want anyone else to discover. Doris Ellison’s bus ride to Thompsonville, her new home, and her meeting of the ghost-like child in the dark wet street is almost enough to make her turn around. But fate has brought her here.
It does not take a genius to figure out that Thompsonville might pretend to be a beautiful and secluded haven, but beneath this façade hides an Ancient Evil. Doris has to find her way through several obstacles, including a FBI agent, a horrible boss, several dead bodies and a missing teacher. Add to this her nagging suspicion that something terrible is happening at Oak Mountain Academy, the school where she works, and you have all the makings of a classic horror novel. As if that is not enough, a witch shows up and forces Doris to make a terrible decision in order to hide her past.
Doris is a multi-layered character, showing clearly that good and evil lives side-by-side in all of us. She is surrounded by colourful characters, all with their own quirks and equally horrible backgrounds. Will Doris succeed in hiding her past? Will she be able to break the evil spell that rests on her new home town? Can she save the children of Thompsonville, whom she has fallen in love with?
4) Why is horror writing important to you?
Horror is the first genre that grabbed me by the knees and rocked my world. I read Stephan King’s IT when I was twelve years old. It was totally unacceptable reading in our home, so I did it at night, under the blankets with a flashlight.
It scared me beyond measure. And it made me love horror!
I love horror because it allows you the freedom to address issues in society. Poverty. Patriarchy. Misogyny. Social exclusion based on sex. Androcentrism. Male privilege. Good and evil. If you are good, you can work these themes into your horror writing without people even noticing that you are addressing them. In fact, most of the issues women face in the world are horrible, and belong in horror books.
5) Is the future of horror female?
I think more women will (and should) write horror in the future. I would love to think we can rock the socks off the genre, but that might take time, and commitment from all of us together.
Arise women, and write horror!
About the Author:
Lover of horror, thriller, fantasy and gothic books. Teller of 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.”