Welcome back to our ongoing Women in Horror Month interview series! I'm delighted to finally have today's guest on the blog as a proper (or, as they would say in the UK, "proper") guest, although of course you've seen her around before.
Sharon Stevenson is a voracious reader and reviewer of horror literature, and has reviewed all of my work, so I guess she must like it, which is good, because I like her work, too. Devan Sagliani has called her "his secret weapon" and I have to concur, so I'm glad she's on our side.
Sharon's own contributions to the genre are mind-bogglingly good and include the GALLOWS vampire hunter novels, the AFTER DEATH zombie series, and shorts in the AT HELL'S GATES anthology series. But you're not here to listen to me yammer, you're here to meet the guest and read her interview, so let's jump right in.
About Sharon Stevenson:
Sharon Stevenson is the twisted mind behind the GALLOWS novels and the AFTER DEATH series. If you want to know a bit about her, here it is: she spends too much time indoors and probably watches too many horror films. Some of her favourite things are: alone time, people who know when to shut up, having a drink, eating pizza (usually after having too much drink the night before), reading books, adult swim cartoons, bad horror and sci-fi movies, proper good TV shows like "Dexter" & "The Walking Dead," and last but not least having a laugh with her hilarious other half – this would usually include some of the above.
You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and her blog.
SK: What are your horror bona fides?
SS: My love of horror really grew from a mix of watching horror movies and reading Stephen King books. I always loved Halloween and spooky books and stories when I was a kid, but it wasn't until I was about eleven that I really got into it. I was fascinated by ghosts and the supernatural, and that's something that hasn't changed. I watched the "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Hellraiser" movies over and over again when I was a teenager. I wore out the tapes (and then bought them on DVD.) Going to a Fangoria convention in New York about 12 years ago and meeting Jeffrey Combs and David Cronenberg was amazing. I was gutted that Bruce Campbell cancelled after I booked my tickets though!
SK: Who or what terrifies you?
SS: Basically I'm terrified of death and having zero control over when it might happen. Having an overactive imagination doesn't really help. When my husband's away I get paranoid about someone getting into the house. I wake up in the middle of the night convinced some creep is going to be standing at the foot of the bed with a knife in his hand. And I hate rollercoasters. Every time I'm convinced to ride one of those damn things the goriest, most messed up imagery floods my brain. It's like "Final Destination." I'm convinced the thing is going to derail and kill everyone in a really gruesome way. Death is unpredictable and freaks me the hell out. You never know when you're gonna go.
SK: Are there unique challenges to being a woman in horror or do you feel like gender is irrelevant?
SS: I feel like gender is irrelevant in general, but not everyone feels the same way and that's what sucks. A lot of the big names in horror are male. I'd like to add more female names to that list and I wouldn't mind if I was one of them! Watch out Stephen King...
SK: Who are your favorite female horror icons?
SS: There are a ton of horror movie heroines I could list here so I'm going to keep it short. Got to say Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. And I love Sarah Paulson - she's been amazing in every season of "American Horror Story", particularly in "Asylum" which was the best season overall.
SK: What are you working on currently? Why should folks check it out?
SS: I'm working on a couple of standalone horror novels; one supernatural horror with a strong female lead, and one weird dystopian slasher with alien stuff going on. I have no idea when I'll be releasing them as they're only half-done right now. I have two existing urban fantasy series with horror elements and strong female characters, and I have entertaining horror shorts in the AT HELL'S GATES anthologies, which I urge readers to check out right now as the proceeds benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and every story in the existing volumes is pretty damn brilliant.
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