Women in Horror? It’s not always what you think it is and we don’t always do it for what seems obvious. Today’s Canadian woman in horror is E.M. MacCallum. Women in Horror is sponsored by the Viscera Organization. www.facebook.com/WomenInHorrorMonth
My most recent publications are the short stories “Sti’yaha” in the Bigfoot Terrors Volume 1 and “Tainted” in the Return of the Dead Men (and Women) Walking anthologies. Also, I’m the author of novella, “Zombie-Killer Bill,” which is about to be re-released in March of 2013. I have been published eight times through various indie press anthologies since 2009, all of which were in the horror genre.
1. Why do you write dark fiction/horror? Some people consider it only a sensationalistic tableau. Why this genre over others or do you span the literary landscape?
There’s a thrill to horror. For centuries scary stories have been told and we love them.
In this day and age I think it’s a way to test whether I can still shock people (and myself) in our somewhat desensitized world. Also, I find there are no limits to the imagination and you’ll find horror in practically every genre, even if just for a second.
2. Do you feel horror/dark fiction is an important genre and why; what does it bring to the table or allow you to explore? Who
Like all genres, it has something different to offer. It allows me to explore what most people won’t or can’t. I was lucky to grow up in the 80’s where horror hit a type of boom. R.L. Stine was the first to make me love dark fiction. Horror brings something unexpected to the table. It’s a thrill ride and if done well, it can leave a reader/viewer breathless.
A recent study through the University of Westminister showed that horror movies burned more calories than any other genre. Who wouldn’t want that?
3. Do you feel women are under represented in any way in the speculative arena or do you think there is more focus on them than on men? (or examples of how there is a balance).
Under represented, no. The speculative arena is pretty vast. Though I’ll admit you’ll find more men in certain areas like horror, but in my mind it doesn’t reveal a bias. I’m starting to see more and more women getting into horror but I know far more who will devour a romance long before they touch a thriller or dark fiction. There’s just not as many women who love the genre. I think that’s what makes us so unique.
4. Abuse against women is worldwide: the gang rape of the Indian woman, women assaulted in various terrorist attacks or protests against regimes (Egypt, Syria, etc. throughout time), domestic violence and murder at the hands of boyfriends, fathers, families and husbands, sexist representation, being treated as second class citizens or possessions and made to dress in a particular way, etc. With all that’s going on, what do you want to say about where women are or what we can do to stem the tide?
When it comes to fiction and horror itself, I think it can offer a bit of imaginary justice or cast a light on some of the horrific things that we tend to ignore. No one wants to think about rape and the trauma that comes with it. But, in fiction, it can be brought to light and shown to readers that this type of horror is real and shouldn’t happen. It can also act as a release for some of that anger with a bit of vigilante justice in fiction. It’s not perfect, but all fiction touches on reality.