The general consensus always seems to be that horror writers are scary.
We're deviant, dangerous, socially inept recluses or something along those lines.
We're not. We're the people at the PTO, and the market, and we don't want you to flinch when we tell you what we do (because, somehow, you always ask...).
You'll get hit with those stereotypes regardless of gender, but for women, you enter into this weird dichotomy where we, seen as caregivers and nurturing figures, are unwaveringly weaving these dark tales. And people sometimes freak out about that as if you can't be a loving person and also a creator of scary things.
Horror isn't a realm for just the masculine figures. Horror isn't something that can't exist alongside caring and kindness and thoughtfulness. Scary stories have been with us all along, and many of those tellers of scary stories have indeed been women.
I'll always maintain that horror is important. Chasing down the monsters requires bravery, looking at and examining and tearing them apart even more so. And that's what dark fiction does. It can force you to look at the truth, and, like all stories, it can change lives. Women in horror are important, it's a big part of the rich tapestry of the genre that we need. We're still fighting for our places there, though things are better than in the past.
Support your female horror writers. Grab copies of books by them, and if you like them, tell all your friends. Start book clubs, look up new writers and don't be afraid to join the ranks of women in horror.
And don't freak out that we write about intergalactic space creatures that tear people apart or blood-thirsty zombies and also run the damn bake sale.
Go check out my short story, "Tailing the Perished" in The Sirens Call Magazine this month right here ;
The issue is entirely by women to celebrate Women in Horror Month and your support and readership mean the world.