Sunday, February 24, 2013


"I was joking with a friend recently that 'women in horror' and blacks are celebrated one month a year—and we’re given the shortest month to boot. For now I’m sticking with women horror writers.

"Being told 'you write like a guy' is not a compliment, boys. Perhaps the men write like balls-to-the-wall women who aren’t prone to flowery prose and hyperbole? Perhaps we women in horror like to write about evisceration without making it sound like a colon-necklace fashion show.

"Ann Radcliffe (1764–1823) was a pioneer of the Gothic novel. At least that’s what Wikipedia called her (and what the hell is a pioneer of the Gothic novel?). Here’s a short list: Mary Shelley, Charlotte Brontë, Phyllis A. Whitney, Joan Aiken, Dorothy Eden, Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, Mary Stewart, Jill Tattersall, Eudora Welty, and Flannery O'Connor. That barely scratches the surface and doesn’t include modern women horror writers (would anyone ever accuse Poppy Z. Brite, Elizabeth Massie, or Charlee Jacob of 'writing like a guy'?). These women are the pioneers of the modern horror culture. Now get busy reading."  Monica J. O'Rourke

Monica J. O'Rourke is my woman in horror today! As you can tell by her quote above, she tells it like it is! I would take her advice, if I was you, and "get busy reading" these great authors she is talking about. Of course, I am giving you a rather superb group of Women In Horror to choose from as well. You will have plenty to read, and Monica and I know where you live!

Monica's next book will be published by Sinister Grin ( who also published Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee's book, and publishes Wrath ). The title of Monica's book is What Happens in the Darkness, and will be out in April.

Monica goes to the very edge of horror, her tales hovering on the very lip of the abyss separating sanity from insanity. Nothing is too extreme for her, and yet she is still able to write so well in the Kama Sutra, a book dealing with the deeper emotions of love and sensuality. However, she certainly shares the Dark side of love with us, going so far as to combine "brutality and artistry," as one reviewer says. I have included that review below. 

Notice how many anthologies she is in with the likes of Jack Ketchum. Let it be known that it takes extreme talent to share the pages of a book with Jack. Going a step farther, a lot of the reviews pick Monica's tales as being the best in these tomes. This certainly lends credence to what Monica says in her quote. As much as any of the ladies she mentions, she is a ground-breaker, telling the world where great horror is to be read. Thus, I say, "Women are the ground swell of horror today." I'm a man, and I write some pretty decent tales I believe, but women are moving our genre to a whole new plateau; a plateau of excellence. At the vanguard, we have Monica J. O'Rourke! Keep pushing the envelope, Monica!

P.S. Happy birthday, Monica!


This is the Amazon bio for Monica:

 Monica J. O'Rourke has published more than one hundred short stories in magazines such as Postscripts, Nasty Piece of Work, Fangoria, Flesh & Blood, Nemonymous, and Brutarian and anthologies such as Horror for Good (for charity), The Mammoth Book of the Kama Sutra, and The Best of Horrorfind. She is the author of Poisoning Eros I and II, written with Wrath James White, Suffer the Flesh, and the brand-new collection, In the End, Only Darkness. Watch for her new novel, What Happens in the Darkness, later this year from Sinister Grin Press. Monica works as a freelance editor, proofreader, and book coach. Her website is an ongoing and seemingly endless work in progress, so find her on in the meantime.

Book Description

March 1, 2012
The original Kama Sutra was designed to help lovers to explore the height of sensual and erotic pleasure. Since then numerous variations have been produced on this manual for love-making. Here, in one giant volume, is the fullest ever collection of Kama Sutra positions and its modern variants, including all the positions featured in the original text plus over 50 more. Each position is clearly explained, with specially commissioned illustrations by award-winning artist Carolyn Weltman and Louisa Minkin. Also included are little known, revelatory stories of how each position developed, plus the full, unexpurgated hstory of the Kama Sutra's own genesis. Packed with beautiful illustrations and sensual nuggets of inspiration, The Mammoth Book of the Kama Sutra is the fullest ever collection of the world's most popular lovemaking text.

Book Description

September 30, 2011
Spanning over twenty years, 20 masters and modern authors of hardcore horror share their most bad-ass stories in this special edition from Comet Press. Many hard to find and out of print, some that were banned, Necro Files covers every imaginable mode of mayhem including serial killers, necrophilia, cannibals, werewolves, zombies, sex fetishes, psychopaths, snuff, occult, and more stories that dial into the dark side of human nature.

Contains violence, gore, adult language and sex.


"Necro Files is practically perfect. Every story is an absolute hit…and why not? We’re talking John Everson, Bentley Little, Edward Lee, Joe Lansdale and George R.R. Martin, to name a few. All of the stories are dark and disturbing in their own ways, and, well, extreme. This is one anthology that horror fans, not just of the extreme variety, should have in their collections. Highly recommended." --Monster Librarian


George R.R. Martin - Meathouse Man
Joe R. Lansdale - Night They Missed the Horror Show
Ronald Kelly - Diary
Elizabeth Massie - Abed
Randy Chandler & t. Winter-Damon - I am He that Liveth and was Dead ... & Have the Keys of Hell & Death
Edward Lee - Xipe
Ray Garton - Bait
Gerard Houarner - Painfreak
Wayne Allen Sallee - Lover Doll
Charlee Jacob - The Spirit Wolves
Brian Hodge - Godflesh
John Everson - Every Last Drop
Mehitobel Wilson - Blind in the House of the Headsman
Monica J. O'Rourke - An Experiment in Human Nature
Graham Masterton - The Burgers of Calais
Nancy Kilpatrick - Ecstasy
Bentley Little - Pop Star in the Ugly Bar
Wrath James White - The Sooner They Learn
J.F. Gonzalez - Addict

Book Description

May 17, 2012
Cutting Block Press proudly presents the editing team of Mark C. Scioneaux, Robert Shane Wilson, and R.J. Cavender, bringing you an anthology representing a fine array of material that fully embodies the essence of horror, including works delving into multiple sub and crossover genres. Cooked up in this anthology is a selection of short stories from international bestselling authors as well as hot new talents.

This is a charitable anthology. All revenues, less direct costs for production, marketing and distribution (net profits of each purchase, estimated to be at least 10% to 15%) will be donated to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

Book Description

October 11, 2012
Chiral Mad is an anthology of psychological horror containing twenty-eight short stories by established authors and newcomers from around the world. All profit from sales of this anthology go directly to Down syndrome charities. Featuring the imaginations of Jack Ketchum, Gary Braunbeck, Gene O'Neill, Gary McMahon, Gord Rollo, Jeff Strand, Michael Bailey, and many others, with an introduction by Thomas F. Monteleone.

Table of Contents:
  • Introduction - Thomas F. Monteleone
  • White Pills - Ian Shoebridge
  • Lost in a Field of Paper Flowers - Gord Rollo
  • The Perfection of Symmetry - Andrew Hook
  • Some Pictures in an Album - Gary McMahon
  • Five Adjectives - Monica J. O'Rourke
  • Enchanted Combustion - Amanda Ottino
  • There are Embers - Chris Hertz
  • Brighter Her Aura Grows - David Hearn
  • Underwater - Barry Jay Kaplan
  • Experiments in an Isolation Tank - Eric J. Guignard
  • Need - Gary A. Braunbeck
  • Not the Child - Julie Stipes
  • The White Quetzal - Gene O'Neill
  • Mirror Moments - Christian A. Larsen
  • Alderway - Patrick O'Neill
  • Sigil - P. Gardner Goldsmith
  • The Persistence of Vision - Jon Michael Kelley
  • The Bad Season - A.A. Garrison
  • Storm of Lightning - Aaron J. French
  • Inevitable - Meghan Arcuri
  • Send Your End - Patrick Lacey
  • A Flawed Fantasy - Jeff Strand
  • Cubicle Farm - R.B. Payne
  • The Apologies - Erik T. Johnson
  • The Shoe Tree - Pat. R. Steiner
  • Gaia Ungaia - John Palisano
  • Amid the Walking Wounded - Jack Ketchum
  • Underwater Ferris Wheel - Michael Bailey

Book Description

April 25, 2011
"Zoey Masterson didn’t know what pain was before, but she’s learning fast. Kidnapped off the Manhattan streets and whisked away from the safe, normal world she once knew, she finds herself the victim of one reprehensible man’s vision.

"Forced to witness the depravities of the seedy underworld where lust, rape, torture, and mutilation are a way of life, stripped of clothing, pride, and spirit, Zoey must play their games, bear their torture—but for how long? Somehow she must learn to survive the daily perversions … but how can Zoey survive? How could anyone?

"Somewhere between ecstasy and pain, learn to Suffer the Flesh."

Book Description

October 31, 2006
They have a combined total of 500 million book sales, and have won every possible award in the mystery, thriller, and dark fiction genres.

Thirty original hitman stories by today's modern masters. Noir. Wise guys. Sex. Freelance assassins. Humor. Violence. Femme fatales. Amateurs. Horror. Surprise twists. Hardboiled.

Get ready for some wet work!

4.0 out of 5 stars Monica O'Rourke rules! May 22, 2009
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
Monica J. O'Rourke, Experiments in Human Nature (Two-Backed Books, 2007)

I've been a big fan of the dark and twisted world of Monica O'Rourke since I read the title story from this collection a few years back in a Medium Rare Books anthology. Then I picked up her first solo novel, Suffer the Flesh, and I couldn't remember the last book that had hit me over the head quite that hard from beginning to end. Now, finally, I get a full-length collection of O'Rourke's stories, which I've been hoping for ever since reading "An Experiment in Human Nature". And man, let me tell you. Monica O'Rourke is this pretty, vivacious-looking, unassuming lass who, if her stories are to be believed, wouldn't think twice about flaying you alive, chopping off your body parts one by one while still keeping you alive, and then making you watch as she jumps up and down on them before blending them with foie gras and truffles and making them into a terrine to serve at a White House dinner. And while there are a number of writers working in that kind of extreme-horror genre, this one can really, really write. When you get brutality and artistry in the same person, you've got a recipe for magic. There are a handful of people who pull it off on a regular basis. Add O'Rourke to the list.

How many kinds of nastiness can you think of? Most of them are here. People who are hired to torture and murder those who have done others wrong. Others who feel that the only real way to understand human nature is to perform the most hideous acts they can think of on living, breathing human begins. A woman who... I'm not even going to try and get into all the mental damage that informs "Attainable Beauty", the deeply disturbing opening story here. But this is not to say that Experiments in Human Nature is flat-out balls-to-the-wall torture porn, to borrow a phrase from filmdom. It's the times when O'Rourke gets quiet that she really shows her range. "Feeder" is a love story like you've never read before (unless you frequent certain sexual-fetish websites, but O'Rourke is a much, much better writer than anyone I know of who has ever attempted the subject matter). And "Five Adjectives About My Dad, by Nadine Specter" is an exploration of child abuse that somehow manages to entirely forego the usual message crap you'd expect from such a thing and just lays itself out there in the language of a small child. It's heartbreaking, it's minimal in the extreme, and it's about half a step away from perfect. The last horror story I remember reading with this kind of power is Richard Christian Matheson's "Red", a story I first read so long ago I can't tell you how long ago it was (but I know it's been at least fifteen years).

But then, to call O'Rourke's stories "horror" is, I think, something of a misnomer, just as calling gore movies "horror" is. There's nothing much of horror, as I think of it, to be found here; these stories slot more neatly into the drama or action genres, in the main, than they do horror. I don't think this stuff is really meant to scare you, except perhaps in the most existential of ways, but it does the things that good drama and action do to you; respectively, shed light on some things that don't normally get light shed on them and get the blood pounding and the adrenaline surging. It's also, with a few exceptions, a lot less graphic than Suffer the Flesh, so if you're not familiar with the dark and twisted world of Monica J. O'Rourke, this is an excellent place to start. Highly recommended. **** 

Book Description

December 31, 2008
12 authors of varied backgrounds band together to write metaphysical erotic romance stories set in the mystical town of Hermana!

A sculptress returns to her dead grandmother’s house—only to find love and mystery.

A librarian has to decide if she should burn a historical document—to save tortured lovers.

A man tries to dig a swimming pool and unearths a centuries old mystery—and a hot, sexy lover.

A famous actor tries to find normalcy—in the arms of a local.

A blind date might be the right date—especially if it ends in bed.

A painter discovers new inspiration—and the love of a lifetime.

A ghost hunter has the night of her life—and the sex of her life.

These are just some of the people you will meet between the pages of this erotic astrology anthology by such talented authors as:

Yvonne Navarro

N. T. Morley

Monica J. O’Rourke

Sandra Kasturi

and others.

5.0 out of 5 stars Chicken Soup for the Dark Side September 29, 2004
I have not had the pleasure of reading Wraths earlier work - I have had the pleasure of reading Monica's work, though.... and Monica has always done something to shock me! This book is no different!

This colaboration between these two extremely talented writers is like nothing I have ever read.... the detail they use literally brings you into the darkest depths with the main character, Gloria. Never before have I gotten this vivid a glimpse of Hell.... which makes me wonder if Monica or Wrath have actually been there..... hmmmmmm....

I immediately found myself sympathizing with Gloria - which must be part of the Monica/Wrath TRAP! And her Hell on Earth is nothing compared to her Hell in Hell!

Throughout this book I found myself gagging, choking, looking away, questioning my own beliefs in good and evil, and yelling (out loud, not in my head!) at certain characters (Vlad, Ryan, Angela... all come to mind!) who deserved the punishment that poor Gloria endured.....

My ONLY criticism of this book is that I feel it ended too abruptly... some extremely critical decisions were made in the last 2 or 3 pages that I felt deserved a chapter of their own.... I felt sorry for myself after I read the last page because I wanted to read more.... I wonder if a sequel or continuation is in the works.....

Hopefully Monica and Wrath will be taking another trip to Hell soon to conjure up some more sick, twisted, and wonderfully demented ideas!!!!!! 

Book Description

March 2002
Do you dream of Angels? Or are your nights filled with darker, more terrifying things? When you close your eyes, do you imagine celestial creatures flying majestically through a brightly-lit Heaven? Or do they slither and crawl through the eternal darkness of some imagined Hell? Beautiful, haunting, darkly macabre, _DREAMING OF ANGELS_ is an eclectic collection of twenty-three unique tales you won't soon forget, bringing together some of dark fiction's finest writers, donating their talents to benefit the Down Syndrome Society. FEATURING STORIES BY: Jack Ketchum * Joe Murphy * John Grant * David Whitman Peter Crowther * Khaled Hossein * Brett A. Savory * Steve Beai * Robert Swartwood * Everette Bell * Robert Devereaux * Dominick Cancilla * L.H. Maynard
Without a doubt, Monica J. O'Rourke is a Woman In Horror!

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