This year we are celebrating a decade of showcasing women in horror! In honor of something so close to my heart, I am featuring ten amazing ladies in horror on my blog all month long to celebrate their incredible creativity and work in the field.
My second guest is book reviewer and podcast host Toni, whom you might know as one of the great minds behind the Ladies of Horror Fiction! I am so excited to get to know more about Toni.
Toni is the owner of the blog The Misadventures of a Read and one of the co-founders of The Ladies of Horror Fiction. She is also the host of the Ladies of Horror Fiction podcast. She lives in Arizona with a houseful of boys and dogs. She loves anything that is related to horror, dark fiction and coffee.
ST: First of all, I want to say thank you for being such an integral part of The Ladies of Horror Fiction! It continues to grow and prove itself as an invaluable tool for promoting women in the genre. What has its creation been like for you? What do you envision for its future?
Toni: Thank you! Ladies, keep writing these fantastic books that everyone needs to read! I need some more poetry Sara!!!
The creation of the LOHF has been amazing. We have discussed and mapped out each step to roll things out slowly. The awards have been in discussion since August of last year. We wanted to make sure that everything that we do is thought out and maintain the integrity of the organization.
ST: As a reader, reviewer, podcast host, and more, I’m not sure how you find time to breathe! Is The Ladies of Horror Fiction Podcast the first podcast you have been a part of? How is it different than reviewing and helping to manage the website?
Toni: LOL…breathing and sleep are completely overrated. Yes, the Ladies of Horror Fiction podcast is the first podcast that I have been a part of. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I love the platform. One of my goals last year was to start a podcast. But I didn’t know what I wanted to talk about. When we founded the LOHF it gave me a topic that I am truly passionate about.
I find that I am doing a lot more research into whatever topic I am talking about. When I write a book review, it tends to be more about my feelings or what I get out of the story or writing. Whereas, with the podcast it is more topic based. With the topic I want to ensure that I have done enough research, so I don’t sound like an idiot. LOL. But I love it so much and it has been so much fun.
ST: Do you think women reviewers, especially women who review horror, have any challenges that they have compared to other reviewers? I know as a woman who writes horror fiction, there is always the challenge, or at least the question of, “am I being taken as seriously as male authors?” So, I wondered if women reviewers face anything similar?
Toni: Yes, we do. It is the whole stereotype that girls can’t like horror and there is going to be some horror that is too extreme for our delicate sensibilities. Over the past year we have seen women reviewers get bashed for having opinions regarding some horror tropes that may not be to the reviewer’s taste. It is unfortunate, that in 2019 we still have this divide between men and women in the horror industry.
ST: Women being drawn to horror has always made perfect sense to me as a way to confront our own daily horrors, to unleash the brewing darkness in our heads, and as a way to just have fun with our creativity. What draws you personally to the horror genre?
Toni: I have always read horror. When I was younger it was about the thrill of feeling scared. As I got older, my relationship with horror has changed. It is a place where monsters are fictional instead of on the news.
ST: What is a piece of advice you’d give to women just starting in the field, or what is something you wish someone would have told you before you started getting involved with horror projects?
Toni: The one piece of advice I would give to a woman starting out in the field is not to be afraid. Fear of being successful, fear of failure can totally torpedo so many of our dreams. Just keep pushing through the fear.
Okay, so I have another piece of advice. Historically, women as we are growing up are taught not to push ourselves forward, not promote ourselves. We need to use the tools available to promote ourselves. Talk to people about our work. Use the resources that are currently out there to get the word out.
ST: I know there are thousands of incredible horror ladies out there, but who is one woman in horror who inspires you particularly? What is it about this person’s work or personality that speaks to you?
DeMeester’s work speaks to me on a familial level. It plays on my fears as a woman and parent.
Kiste’s work is beautiful and lyrical. It presents horror in this beautiful lyrical way.
Your work takes things that are horrific and make them beautiful.
ST: Aw thank you so much! I’m honored to be mentioned with Gwen and Kristi! One of the reasons I enjoy Women in Horror Month is because it gives us a chance to both reflect on how horror is evolving and reacting to societal and cultural changes, and it allows women to highlight the issues and obstacles we are still facing. What are your hopes for the future of women in horror, or just for keeping the momentum going all year long for more diversity within the genre?
Toni: My hopes are women horror writers become more main stream. There are so many amazing women horror writers that need to be shouted about from the rooftops.
Personally, diversity in horror is going to drive the genre forward and out of the shadows. When you walk into a book store there should be more than just Stephen King and Anne Rice. We should have more variety in main stream horror as it opens up different dimensions of horror.
ST: What are you working on this year or what do you have coming out? Where can we find you to keep up-to-date with your work?
Toni: This year we are working on the Ladies of Horror Fiction awards!! (Get your work in ladies!!) We are also working on getting more guest posts from woman that are in the horror industry. We have also added a new series for the podcast where I get to read and talk about the original ladies who wrote horror. Which is amazing. There are many different projects that we are working on so keep an eye on our social media accounts and our blog!!
Meet the team behind the Ladies of Horror Fiction here!
Keep up with Toni’s reviews at The Misadventures of a Reader
and on Twitter @Toni_The_Reader
ST: Thank you so much to Toni for joining us. I enjoyed learning more about the industry from a reviewer’s perspective! I am thrilled to see what all the Ladies of Horror Fiction have brewing for us!
Check back on Wednesday to read about my next guest!