Women in Horror Month

Equal and yet DifferentWelcome to Women in Horror Recognition Month!

When Diane Dooley approached me about guesting on her blog, I initially jumped on the idea. I am a huge fan of Mary Shelley and love any opportunity to talk about her time period. Essentially to flaunt the knowledge I gleaned doing all that research. Sue me, I’m a big ham.

I then paused as the weight of the request sank in. Women actually have a hard time getting recognized in the horror genre? They are advised by agents and publishers to put only their initials on their books? Diane, herself, has run into this. I was shocked.

I’m ashamed to say I was totally oblivious to this. I had no idea women had such a hard time breaking into the horror market. As a reader I’ve always chosen my books based on the cover and the blurb on the back. Word of mouth also plays a big part.

I always assumed that great writers like Anne Rice, Ann McCaffrey, J.K. Rowling etc, were on par with Stephen King, David Eddings, Piers Anthony etc.

I have never once looked at a horror book, or sci-fi or fantasy, and decided against buying it because a woman wrote it. As far as I’m concerned, the literary industry is a level playing field. There is no advantage given to either gender. Sure some genres lend themselves better to the pen of a woman, or even a man, but ultimately if the author has the chops and does their research, regardless of their gender, they will succeed.

Head on over to Diane’s site for The Long Reach of Mary Shelley: A Guest Post by Dale Long. I hope that I have helped raise awareness and make you look at books differently. I encourage you to follow my lead.

-Read the books recommended to you by your friends.

-Let a book cover, of an unknown author, catch your eye. Pick that book up and turn it over.

-Let the back-cover copy lure you in. If it interests you, buy it because of those reasons and those reasons alone.

This world is made up of many different voices. That is our harmony and our discord. But if we were all one voice, harmony by some standards, what would we lose? Would we have made it this far if one of our ancestors hadn’t decided that the water just wasn’t our cup of tea, wanted to try out the land for awhile even though the others said it was a bad idea. They went against the common grain and as a result of many such against the grain decisions, here we are, for better or for worse.

I don’t know about you, but I like being human better than being a protozoa. The food is better. And books, we have books!

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About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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4 Responses to Women in Horror Month

  1. Lisa Mae says:

    I’m as gobsmacked as you are. I had no idea women had a more difficult time getting into the horror genre. Laurell K. Hamilton is one of my favourite authors. And, as you know, Mary Shelley was one of the pioneers of the genre.

    A woman author never puts me off reading a book, but then I guess it wouldn’t. 😉

  2. Don’t these antiquated ideas left over from our near or distant past just amaze you? One thing I’ve learned about all of us here on the planet is that we are capable of change, of learning, of evolving, and when I hear a story like yours, I wonder why people don’t embrace change. Why don’t we all just jump up and over the sides of the box, tripping maybe, but moving on? There is such joy to be found from learning new things, whatever they are. At night before I go to sleep I lie in bed and think of 5 good things that have happened during the day. Most of them, I’m delighted to say, have to do with moving ahead, learning new things, meeting new people, loving the old ones a little more or for a different reason. Your post shows you are that person, too, Dale. With all of these words, I am saying I am horrified by the horrible horror news you’ve mentioned. 🙂 Let’s move on, folks!

    • Dale Long says:

      A writer is a genderless name on a cover, it’s the story inside the cover that is important. At least I think so.
      That is a good exercise to do each night and I think I’m going to try it now. Thanks Elaine!

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