"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 who 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! I liked her quote above from last years Woman In Horror post so much that I decided to use it again. Monica tells it like it is! I would take her advice, if I were you, and "get busy reading" these great authors she is talking about.
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.
Notice how many anthologies she is in with the likes of Jack Ketchum. It takes extreme talent to share the pages of a book with Jack, but 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!
I have chosen to spotlight a book of hers that is not only recently published, but showcases her talent alone. No other authors are here. I believe as good as her short stories are in the anthologies she's in that this is her best work to date.
What Happens In The Darkness
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 www.facebook.com/MonicaJORourke in the meantime.
Monica J. O'Rourke is a Woman In Horror!
Piercing the Darkness: A Charity Horror Anthology for the Children's Literacy Initiative by Joe R. Lansdale, Jonathan Maberry, Brian Keene and Jack Ketchum (Feb 12, 2014)
Necro Files: Two Decades of Extreme Horror by George R.R. Martin, Bentley Little, Edward Lee and Joe R. Lansdale (Dec 9, 2013)
Eulogies II: Tales from the Cellar by Tom Piccirilli, Gary Braunbeck, Lucy Snyder and James A. Moore (Aug 2, 2013)
Horror For Good - A Charitable Anthology by Jack Ketchum, F. Paul Wilson, Ray Garton and Ramsey Campbell (May 17, 2012)
Bloodshed Fred by Monica J. O'Rourke (Feb 28, 2013)
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