March is Women in History month. It’s also the month that Ladies of Horror Fiction celebrate Women in Horror. Before I started reading horror I had the same prejudices about it that I think a lot of people have- that it’s violent, morbid, and would give me nightmares for days. It can be that, of course, but I’ve found that the genre is much more nuanced than that. There are lots of subgenres and many of them are more mild, bordering on the atmospherically frightening- but not horrifying. It’s now one of my favorite genres! Here are some of my favorite Women Horror Writers and the novels I’ve loved…
Erin C. Craig
In 2020 I read House of Salt & Sorrows which details the curse of a family living in a great manor by the sea. A 12 Dancing Princesses retelling, the families 12 daughters begin to go missing one by one. It was dark, romantic, and terrifying. It was such a thrilling debut that I knew I’d be checking out Craig’s second novel, Small Favors, when it came out. I’ll report that it didn’t disappoint with its details of devilish and creepy forest creatures, townsfolk paranoia, and a touch of romance. Craig has become an author to watch for.
I first read Anna Dressed in Blood in 2013 and followed up with Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) the following year. It has taken me a while to truly understand the depth of Blake’s horror. It different than anything I’ve ever read. It’s tends to be quite bloody but I never found it gruesome. Blake is also found of leaving quite a bit to the imagination and not fully explaining everything in the end. So if full closure is what you need from your books, you might not like her writing. Last year I read All These Bodies and couldn’t put it down. It’s a small town murder mystery set in the 50s where the victims are completely drained of their blood- as if a vampire had done the killings. It’s very much a psychological horror and it will leave you still puzzling things out in your head up to the last page.
Last year I read my first novel by Tudor, The Burning Girls. It’s actually Tudors’ 4th novel but it got quite amount of buzz. Many readers mentioned that Tudor had vamped up the horror aspect in that one. I found it to be a compelling murder mystery with a strong but not gross amount of horror. It was perfect for my reading tastes. It follows a female pastor and her journey to uncover some sinister secrets in the small, centuries old country village she just moved to. I have plans to read The Chalk Man eventually, which was Tudors’ debut novel.
Do you read horror?