Women in Horror Month a Peek Behind the Pages: Women Who Create Nightmares, Ellie Douglas

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I have been having such a good time with my sister nightmare makers! There is a common experience that many of us female horror writers share, it is the reaction we get when someone finds out our chosen genre and the inevitable question of why!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the multi-talented Ellie Douglas. Like me, she is mother to several children and she has a set of twins so you can guess that not much scares her! She’s here to share with us why she writes in the horror genre. Take it away Ellie!

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Hi there, 

Ellie here 🙂 

Why do I write horror? I write horror because I personally love it, I also love to scare people, the reaction I get from my books is a grand reward. I’m a bloodthirsty writer, in terms of, I write a lot of gore with exceptional characters too. So it isn’t all about guts and gore. I love the fear I create within my stories, and the fear is to evoke in my readers. Listening to them say how it gave them nightmares, or that their skin spiked and crawled is really awesome to hear. My love of horror started at a very early age and it stuck with me.

 

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Website: www.authorellie.com

Twitter: @AuthorEllie

About Ellie

Ellie Douglas, born and raised in New Zealand. A graduate of Massey, is a freelance graphic artist, spent 10 years working with Autistic Children, and has done some overseas traveling. She is a member of NZSA and SpecFicNZ.

 Ellie went into motherhood, with four children, including one set of non-identical twins. Ellie was able to dive right into her creative side. She started out as a freelance graphic artist, and to this day she still creates award-winning professional pre-made book covers.  During her designing of book covers she would write, sparking her inner desire to be an author.  Writing more and more until she finished her first novel, Zombie Dogs.

Ellie has two brothers, one younger, one older, both of whom she adores dearly. Ellie is a very warm, fun-loving, friendly, generously giving woman, she’s mysterious and enjoys keeping the suspense going.  She is hard-working, loyal and very down to earth.

 

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Women in Horror Month a Peek Behind the Pages: Women Who Create Nightmares, Jeannie Wycherley

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All during February for Women in Horror Month I’ll be highlighting my sister nightmare makers and their work! Today’s installment is the incredibly talented Jeannie Wycherley. She is going to share her thoughts on why she writes horror. Take it away Jeannie!

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Getting Under the Skin of It With Jeannie Wycherley

The reasons I write horror are a little oblique, to me at least. I’ve wanted to ‘write’ practically my whole life, but I got caught up in being an academic and having a career. When I finally listened to my soul and put pen to paper, I simply explored the things that were in my heart and in my mind. I was in a dark place, severe anxiety, depression with suicidal ideation, so those early forays were bleak and black and unhappy. In any case, people always say ‘write what you read’ and I would say a third of what I read is horror, with the rest made up of classic Victorian literature, historical drama, and murder mysteries.

I’m a writer, yes, but being a woman who writes horror puts me in a unique place because it allows me to dissect female experience based on my own inimitable experiences as a female, using scary situations. The things that terrify any of us are likely to be different in every case, so I utilise the emotions and knowledge that I’ve gained as a woman and a human, and they become my monsters. I find this process absolutely fascinating. Getting under the skin of all my characters, regardless of who they are, gives me a real thrill.

I’ve always hated the ‘woman-as-sidekick’ character, or woman-as-victim, or the female teen scream queen. We can be those characters for sure, but since I noticed I had the central role to play in my own life, I’ve always enjoyed stories where the woman is complicated and multi-dimensional. While I think it is important characters are likeable and can be identified with, I don’t mind incorporating faults and flaws.

As a result, Crone, has received high praise for the characterisation of the witch Aefre (including an Indie B.R.A.G Award). She’s not just evil for evil’s sake, she actually has her reasons, because let’s face it, when you or I make a decision that will have repercussions, we usually have a line of reasoning behind it that we find rational (even if no-one else does).

One aspect of writing that I love, even when I’ve plotted a good outline, is when the character runs away with story themselves. I found this with the character of Elizabetta in A Concerto for the Dead and Dying (my long short story written for the Mrs Dracula anthology and now available by itself). She is a vampire, but as I wrote, I became very aware of how nuanced she was, so this is a very bittersweet story.

Horror and dark fantasy are immensely satisfying to read and write. Women in HorrorMonth is fantastic because it highlights some of the wonderful writing out there, tales you may not stumble across otherwise. I recommend casting your net wide, and trying out a few new women horror writers! Enjoy!

Links

 

Crone http://mybook.to/CroneJW

A Concerto for the Dead and Dying http://mybook.to/ConcertoDead

Deadly Encounters http://mybook.to/DeadlyEncounters

Follow me: https://twitter.com/Thecushionlady

https://www.facebook.com/jeanniewycherley/

Website: https://www.jeanniewycherley.co.uk/ 

 

Jeannie Wycherley has always been blessed with a wildly overactive imagination. Her formative years were spent inhabiting the glorious worlds that other writers had created, and even now she finds it a wrench to leave Narnia and Alderley Edge behind. As a child she loved history, and visited many sites of interest, with her family, in the UK and around Europe, and was a keen – and sorrowful – observer of the evil man perpetrates. No surprise therefore that she went on to study history at University, and left – or was eventually politely turfed out – with a PhD in modern and contemporary social history.

After 16 years teaching in higher education, Jeannie hung up her mortar board and scaled down her life. She moved home to Devon with her husband and the fur-kids, three beloved dogs who are spoilt rotten. They all reside in Sidmouth, Devon, where a rocky coastline meets the glorious East Devon countryside, providing immeasurable inspiration for Jeannie’s writing.

Jeannie writes dark stories, suspense, horror … and just the plain weird. As Betty Gabriel she has written some erotica – just for fun! She has seen her short stories successfully published in the UK and the USA. Her debut novel CRONE is available from April 2017.

 

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Women in Horror Month Blog Series

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WiHM9-GrrrlLogoTall-BR-SFebruary is a terrific month! Winter is in full swing, but Spring is just around the corner, it’s my birthday month, and it’s when we celebrate Women in Horror Month!

“Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre.

WiHM celebrates these contributions to horror throughout the year via the official WiHM blog, Ax Wound, The Ax Wound Film Festival, and with the official WiHM event/project database in February. This database in conjunction with the WiHM social media fan base— actively promotes do-it-yourself annual film screenings, blogs/articles, podcasts, and any other form of creative media with the ultimate goal of helping works by and featuring women reach a wider audience.

This inclusive and positive movement is open to everyone, just as we believe the horror genre should be.”

All month long I’ll be doing my part by highlighting some sister horror authors with a blog series called Peek Behind the Pages: Women Who Create Nightmares. These talented ladies will be sharing their work, telling us why they write horror, why they believe female voices are important to the genre, what they love about horror and advice or encouragement for other writers!

Stop by and spread the word to support my fellow nightmare makers!

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I <3 Horror, Deal With It

I have a problem. Like many writers, I feel uncomfortable telling people that I write when I first meet them, let alone that I write Horror. You have to know me a little better first, or at least, buy me dinner. My neighbor of four years didn’t know until she stumbled on my Facebook profile and she told me she was shocked.

Shocked? I asked her why.

She stuttered and hemmed and hawed, but eventually she said that I just didn’t seem like the type of person who liked that kind of thing. I had to laugh. What type of person is the kind of person that likes that kind of  thing?

My dear cousin sent me this meme on Facebook because she knows. I commented that I would crack up because things just got FUN! It made me think about an experience I shared with one of my daughters, she definitely knows.12744564_660596094078920_6204107145974811045_n

It was the night after my favorite holiday, Halloween. I picked up said daughter from a late practice at her high school and we were driving home.

At that time we lived in the western suburbs of Denver, butting up to the Rocky Mountain foothills. Our streets were wide, the houses spaced nicely apart, and the street lights were of the decorative variety, pretty but not efficient in their job. That left the roads alarmingly dark at night.

The street we were driving on was the long straight backbone of the neighborhood, the other streets shot off from it like teeth on a comb. As we drove through the dark we saw a lone figure in the distance standing in the weak pool of light cast by the street light at the only stop sign.

It was slowly formulating in my mind that someone had left a Halloween decoration too close to the road. A dark lower portion made the white top appear to levitate. As we approached, I could see that it was a person. A person wearing dark coveralls and a white Micheal Myers mask.

We slowed down as we got right next to him because of the stop sign. He moved towards our car, reaching his hand out as if to grasp the passenger side door handle.

“Mom, go!”

I pulled away from the stop sign and looked in my rearview mirror. I saw him standing in the road behind us, his white face glowing red in my taillights. He stood motionless, watching us drive away. I thought he looked dejected.halloween-4-03

“Holy crap! What was that?” my daughter said.

“I don’t know, but let’s go back! That was awesome!” I said, glee overfilling my heart.

“No way!”

I looked at her sweet face. She really was freaked out.

“Come on. It’s just a Halloween prank. We’ll just drive back around one time, ok?”

“It. Is. Not. Halloween. What if they want to carjack us! Or he just killed all the neighbors and needs a get away car?”

I love her dearly, so we drove on home. She relieved, me disappointed. I was sorry to miss out on that glorious feeling of terror, that thrill that I love so much.

It took the sensible voice of my husband to keep me from getting in my truck and driving back over there by myself. The girl was right, it probably wasn’t safe. You never know about people these days. He joked that if we don’t hear about neighbors being slashed tomorrow, we would know it was a late Halloween prank.

I never told them that I looked in my mirror one last time before turning off on our street. I saw him cross the road and go in between two houses, as if headed to one or other backyard. There was still hope that Michael Myers was creeping around the neighborhood. I peered out into my own heavily wooded and dark backyard hoping for a jolt.

My heart sank a little deeper to see that no one was there.

My current neighbor would probably rethink every interaction we ever had if she knew that story about me.

There you have it. Just like a book, you can’t judge a horror fan by their cover. It could be anyone. Even the people you least expect. Take Guillermo Del Toro, R.L. Stine, or Stephen King. They all look perfectly normal. My neighbor thinks I’m a normal, upstanding, kindly, law-abiding citizen who listens to NPR. While I am all those things, I am a creator and fan of horror. Even little Mikey Myers appeared normal, at first.

My husband was right. You just never know about people these days.

Until next time, Never Turn Off the Lights!