WOMEN CREATE MONSTERS TOO!
Lori R. Lopez
Hey, you! Yes, you! The one looking for something scary to read! Do you look for an author’s name when you choose a book? Do you care whether the name is a man’s or a woman’s? Can you believe that women in this day still feel compelled to mask their gender as authors of certain (or most) types of Fiction?
If you think a woman couldn’t hammer your fright bone, peel the skin off your eyeballs and wrench your guts out with her bare hands (so to speak), then you’ve got another think coming!
In case you didn’t notice, I’m a woman. In case you didn’t know, I write Horror. And, in case you didn’t hear, there has been much discussion of late on equality issues regarding male and female writers, particularly in Horror and Science Fiction. Unfortunately, what should be an archaic concept is still a very real hurdle for women who write in these genres, despite Mary Shelley’s rise to the top, serving as a resplendent example. She is largely considered the mother of Science Fiction, and one of the premiere horror authors of all time. So why the fuss? Why these preconceived notions about who writes it better? Shouldn’t we just write our best?
You might be surprised to learn that many readers (females included) still have the ridiculous idea men should write Horror and women should stick to Romance. It’s like boys playing with the cool toys and girls playing with dolls. I didn’t like dolls as a child. I traded them away for things that interested me more. My mom didn’t appreciate that, but I have never been exactly ordinary or “normal”. Have you?
In honor of Women In Horror Month, I would like to point out that I am thrilled to see big changes occurring. One is that there are far more women writing Horror now than you might realize. Another is that some of their stuff is at least as hard-edged and even gory as any guy could imagine. I write my own way. There might be shocks and edgier material, but primarily it is thoughtful and often suspenseful. That is the type of Horror I prefer. I like to give depth to my characters, to make them breathe — a lot like Mary Shelley brought Frankenstein’s Monster to life, just without all of the doojiggies and lightning. Okay, there is some lightning.
I’ve been a horror fan since I can recall. But I write Horror with a poet’s touch, and with a more traditional yet quirky flair. You could call it Elegant Horror, because I care about the wording as much as the plot. I also mix in other genres, from Dark Fantasy to Science Fiction. Maybe I won’t please everyone with everything or anything I write, but it’s my vision, my style. A lot of the ideas on how Horror should be written are merely opinions, and everybody’s got some of those. They aren’t all the same, and I’m here to tell you that the perception about there being only one way to write, one way to tell a story, one way to express a horror tale . . . that is archaic. That needs to change. It was never ever true!
Can women write solid Horror? Whatever your definition of the genre, the truth is that women can write it with the best of them. We are proving this daily, and have been proving it for centuries. And even if you don’t like the way I write it, my style can vary from tale to tale. There is no single definition for the way I write, as there is no single definition of Horror and who writes it.
Bear this in mind the next time you open a book. Be sure to open your mind as well.
Lori R. Lopez wears many hats, including as an author and artist, musician and actress. She is also an activist against abuse and cares deeply about conservation and animal rights. She has always loved books since being read to when small.
Her titles include OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ, and THE FAIRY FLY.
Stories and verse appear in anthologies such as MIRAGES: TALES FROM AUTHORS OF THE MACABRE, MASTERS OF HORROR: DAMNED IF YOU DON'T, BONES II, SPLATTERPUNK SAINTS, DARLINGS OF DECAY, I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES, SOUP OF SOULS, THIRSTY ARE THE DAMNED, and SCARE PACKAGE: 14 TALES OF TERROR.
Fifteen of Lori's poems were published for an anthology titled IN DARKNESS WE PLAY. She unapologetically takes pride in creatively bending and reshaping the rules of writing when it suits her style.
Lori writes a peculiar column called "Poetic Reflections" at Fairy Fly Entertainment, a creative website she is establishing with her talented sons: http://fairyflyentertainment.com/category/category/poetic-reflections.
Some of her latest releases:
Thank you so much for posting Lori! It is a pleasure to have you here.