Books, Babes, and the Business: Christine Sutton

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifChristine Sutton

Please tell us a little bit about yourself… (would you describe yourself primarily as a writer, publisher, editor, artist, radio talk show host…) Do you focus on a specific genre with your work?

I am a writer. I always have been. Even before I knew I was a writer. After that, I am a horror writer. I like to dabble in other related genres, but I love horror. Probably more than I should.

I have a real fascination with anything scary. I can read for hours about ghosts and monsters. I am macabrely interested in serial killers, wanting to know all of the whys and hows.

Do you/Would you ever write under a male pseudonym? Why or why not?

I never have, but I can see the value in it. I have not, simply because I don’t care to at this time. I want my work to be mine. I think that I would be something like Stephen King and allow that pen name to take on a life of its own. I don’t want the kind of pressure that comes with creating a whole new human being; even a fake one.

I can see why it is done, and one day, I might do it, too.

Name a few of your favorite books/authors you’ve read recently:

I do love some Anne Rice. I have recently read books by Jaime Johnesee (Bob the Valentine), Allison M. Dickson (Strings), M.L. Roos (Zippered Flesh 2) and Suzi M.(The Tower). I loved them all. I am somewhat voracious and insatiable when it comes to reading. I’ll read anything and everything, all the time.

Who has been the most influential female in your personal life and how have they shaped your work?

I have always had a lot of influential women in my life, from teachers to friends, to great artists and amazing performers. I have to say that my mom has always been a great support and influence. She always told me that I could do whatever I wanted to do. I finally believe her.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice relating to the business what would it be?

DO NOT STOP. EVER!! START EARLIER!! Ok, so that is two pieces of advice. I get carried away sometimes.

Do you have a current project or upcoming project you would like to tell us about?

I am currently finishing the last installment in the Kayla, Enchanted series. I just finished a zombie novel, co-authored with Ian Woodhead. I also have a few other novels pinging around in my brain at the moment.

Where can we find you?

You can find me in the following places…

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Sutton/e/B005NNAKAE/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ChristineSuttonAuthor?ref=hl

On the web:

http://christinesutton.webs.com

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I long for the day that I can devote myself to writing full time. Until then, I have a great day job and a fulfilling side job making art.

I have a husband of seventeen years, and a collection of fantastic books that make me very happy.

Books, Babes, and the Business: Julianne Snow

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifJulianne Snow

Women in Horror

Is the average horror reader discriminatory?

Can female authors gain the same level of respect for their work as male authors?

They are both interesting questions; ones that I have wondered about since releasing my first horror/science fiction novel.

Looking through history, the horror genre is one that has been dominated by men. I have to wonder if that is a product of how society has viewed women as the weaker, fairer sex. Women have been seen as needing protection and guidance from the men in their lives and in some cases weren’t allowed to vote or speak their minds publicly until the 19th and even the 20th centuries. Yet, despite all of these forms of societal censorship, women have managed to gain popularity in the circles of horror writers and horror readers.

Horror has had a long history in literature, mainly in part because readers enjoy being scared. Society has had a long interest in all things supernatural and it’s absolutely no wonder to me that supernatural horror was the prevalent form until the advent of Gothic horror. A lot of the gothic horror coming out of the 18th century was from women writers and it was written to appeal to a largely female fan base. Women like Ann Radcliffe, Marjorie Bowen, Elizabeth Gaskill, Regina Maria Roche and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley have entertained readers with some of the most well-known and well recognized works of literature in the horror genre.

The trend for strong women in horror literature has only continued since then. Authors such as J.M. Dillard, Susie Maloney, Anne Rice, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Gemma Files, and Sarah Pinborough along with many others have only helped to propel the female voice further in horror literature as a whole. With the advent of the self-publishing revolution, many female horror authors have stepped up to the plate and delivered astonishing reads as well.

But are horror readers reading women horror authors? I think the answer to that question is yes but there is a bigger question – are they reading female horror authors as frequently as they are reading male authors who write in the same genre? That is an infinitely harder question to answer. If I look at the books shelves of my male friends, they are filled with male authors almost to the point of excluding the women. Conversely, the bookshelves of my female friends show a definite appreciation for both genders. That is not to say that men only read male authors, it’s just that some of them have yet to discover the strong and terrifying voices of the women writing in the genre.

As a woman who has just released a novel in the horror genre, I have found that the reaction to my book has been very favorable. While I realize that it may appeal to a sub sect of horror fans, I feel like I have been warmly welcomed into the fold. I had the unique opportunity to wet my feet prior to releasing a full length book so I believe that has helped me to cull a small fan base. In that regard, I am lucky and very grateful.

Given that women appear to have strapped themselves firmly into the passenger seat of the horror genre, it only serves to note that their notoriety will expand within the next ten years. With horror set to make a huge revival in the future, women authors are primed to make a distinct mark on the genre. So pick up one of the many wonderful tomes written by a woman and prepare yourself for a stellar scare.

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Julianne Snow is the author of the Days with the Undead series and the founder of Zombieholics Anonymous. She writes within the realms of speculative fiction, has roots that go deep into horror and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. Julianne has pieces of short fiction in publications from Sirens Call Publications, Open Casket Press, 7DS Books, James Ward Kirk Publishing, Coffin Hop Press and Hazardous Press, and upcoming collections from May December Publications, 7DS Books, and Firbolg Publishing.

The Carnival 13, a collaborative round-robin novella for charity which she contributed to and helped to spearhead was released in October 2013. Her collection of zombie short fiction, Glimpses of the Undead is available online at all major retailers.

Julianne SnowSocial Media Links:

Twitter: @CdnZmbiRytr

Facebook: Julianne Snow

FB Fan Page: Julianne Snow, Author

Amazon Author Page: Julianne Snow

Blogs: Days with the Undead, The FlipSide of Julianne & Zombieholics Anonymous

Related: Sunday Spotlight at The FlipSide of Julianne: Wrapped in Red

Write Like a Girl #CWIF2014

Allison M. Dickson, Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifGuest Post: Allison M Dickson

In 1818, a young woman wrote what many consider the greatest horror novel as well as the earliest work of science-fiction. Her name was Mary Shelley, and her most famous work, FRANKENSTEIN, endures until this very day, spawning countless movie adaptations and books adhering to its central themes about the dangers of playing God or fooling with nature. The book has never even been out of print. frankenstein_book_cover_01That is a little bit of trivia I like to carry with me on my author’s journey, like a tasty snack during the long and arduous hike otherwise known as a writing career. When I start to feel like the world is against me, that I am a “woman in a man’s world,” where the bestseller lists in my genres of choice (horror and science fiction) are dominated by my male counterparts, I remind myself that it was a woman’s imagination we all have to thank for breathing life into this particular market. I also think of her bravery. Shelley wrote during a period of time when most women authors had to give themselves male pseudonyms to entice their mostly male readers. The first edition of FRANKENSTEIN was published anonymously to that end, but in 1823, they came to their senses and put her name on the cover. Overall, Shelley was taken seriously in her day as a writer. The passage of time after her death marred her memory. Her biographical writings were censored and sterilized by her own children to depict a quiet, conventional woman, the wife of her famous poet husband, a one-hit wonder with Frankenstein (and her authorship of that was even challenged a few times). Most of her other works fell out of print and the truth of Shelley’s life, both literary and political, was obscured until recently. Now she’s receiving the proper reverence as one of the Romantic greats a century and a half later, and her stance as a beacon for civil cooperation and the importance of women in the family is also well known. Mary Shelley was, overall, a seriously righteous chick who would have fit in very well with my circle of writer friends today.Mary Shelley

So if she could be considered the mother root for the genres I mainly focus on today, I feel extremely proud to be a tiny offshoot of that. I had my first horror novel, STRINGS, published in late 2013, and my first science-fiction novel, THE LAST SUPPER, is due out this April. I’ll be honest. I once worried I wouldn’t be able to compete as a woman in such male dominated genres. Those anxieties still haven’t faded among most female writers of certain genres even two centuries since the debut of FRANKENSTEIN, but I feel it’s important not to focus on that. The only thing any writer can do is focus on putting out damn good stories, because while there are still people shallow enough to evaluate a piece of work based on the gender of the author, there are even more people who just want to read a great yarn.

Besides, there are legions of female authors setting examples worth following. They are astounding talents, many of whom I aspire to meet or equal someday. Their achievements fuel me, their stories and characters have burned themselves into my brain and will never leave me.  Those names include Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. LeGuin, Anne McCaffrey and Rice, Gillian Flynn, JK Rowling, Octavia Butler, Shirley Jackson, Poppy Z. Brite, Cherie Priest, Daphne Du Maurier, and all the amazing women who will be joining us here at Sekhmet Press this month to speak of the great female accomplishments in literature. I can’t thank them enough for their inspirations and their legacies, for giving me a place to stand in this crowded room. We can’t all be legends like Mary Shelley, and if any of our works survive our own generations let alone four or five, it it’s a monumental accomplishment for any writer. But whether you’re a woman or a man, if anyone should say you “write like a girl,” you should think of all these great women and take it as a compliment.

We Can Do It! Rosie the Riveter

amd holding strings2Allison M. Dickson is a writer of dark contemporary fiction. Two of her short stories currently appear in The Endlands Volume 2 from Hobbes End Publishing, and two of her collected works are currently available on Amazon along with her indie pulp novel, COLT COLTRANE AND THE LOTUS KILLER. Her debut novel STRINGS, a psychological suspense story, released to rave reviews from Hobbes End, and the same publisher will be releasing her dystopian sci-fi book, THE LAST SUPPER, in spring of 2014. When she’s not writing, she’s co-hosting a weekly podcast, Creative Commoners. After spending several years in Olympia, Washington she returned with her husband and kids to her native Midwest and currently resides in Dayton, OH.

Her other obsessions include food, movies, cracking bad jokes with her family over dinner, and harboring secret fantasies of being a Bond girl/sword-wielding martial arts master.

Related articles: Best Horror Fiction 2013