Today in the #HookonWiHM series, the honcho at Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews, Curtis Freeman, interviews horror reader, blogger, and Goodreads Horror Aficionado’s Senior Moderator, Charlene Cocrane. This is the first in his three-part series on women blogging in the horror genre. I’m glad we are getting the word out about other women in horror in addition to all the amazing authors. It takes a community to make the genre shine! Char is one of the nicest ladies working and supporting the genre.
I’m taking interviews by men and women with women in horror, as well as guest articles, throughout the month of February. You can information on this at the bottom of the post. Take it away Curtis – thanks for a great interview with Char!
Q: What was the first horror book you ever read?
A: Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat or The Tell Tale Heart.
Q: What is the scariest book you ever read?
A: Salem’s Lot or The House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski.
Q: When did you become a blogger? What made you want to blog about books?
A: I’ve been blogging for about 3 years now because I wanted to help out independent authors and I like talking about books that I love.
Q: What annoys you the most with your blog?
A: It is easy for me to get bogged down with promised reviews and ARCS. If I’m not careful it turns something I love into work. When that happens I lose the joy that blogging brings.
Q: Do you think there is a gender bias in horror fiction? Explain.
A: There are certainly less women writing horror than men; Why that is, I’m not sure. As one of the moderators of Horror Aficionados, (the largest group on Goodreads dedicated to horror books, with over 13,000 members), I know there are a LOT of female horror fans. Most of my favorite horror reviewers are women also.
Q: Do you think there is a gender bias in horror book blogging? Explain.
A: I really don’t believe there is a concentrated effort to prevent women from blogging about horror, I just think that horror is not as popular among women as are other genres. Let’s face it-horror is not for everyone.
Q: How can we fix the bias?
A: See above. That said, I think that more women writing, reviewing and/or blogging about horror may bring more women into the horror fold, so to speak. All we can do is continue writing and reviewing about the genre that we love, and hope that our enthusiasm infects others.
Q: I find it sad that we still live in a world where women authors have to use initials to seem less female. What are your thoughts?
A: I think women have come a long way and using just their initials to get published is probably not as popular a practice as it used to be, especially with the advent of self-publishing. I have seen so many women build a name for themselves in the past few years, it’s amazing, and that’s both with self-publishing and with traditional. I hope that more women will be drawn to the genre by reading the work of women and becoming inspired by them.
Q: What pushes your buttons with your blog?
A: If you’re asking if there’s something that makes me angry-there are only a few things. Authors being pushy about reviews and authors commenting on negative reviews. I think authors should never make derogatory comments about a reviewer or a review, even if they are right. A reviewer spends their precious time reviewing a book and as such, I believe, they are entitled to their opinions. If I see an author engaging a reviewer or even making fun of a reviewer publicly, I will make it a point not to buy or review any of their books, lest I end up in the same position.
Q: Do you think the Horror Writers Association (HWA) should start recognizing horror book bloggers?
A: No, I don’t. I think it’s an organization created to support writers. Much as I enjoy blogging and reviewing, I don’t believe that I’m a professional writer, nor do I want to be.
Q: How has the horror community treated you since starting your blog?
A: The horror community is AWESOME. On Goodreads, on Twitter, on Facebook and in person-I have met and chatted with some people that are just beautiful human beings. I have made so many friends, on line and in person and they are supportive, intelligent and creative. Every day I feel lucky to have them in my life.
Q: What makes a good horror book?
A: Scares! When you’re all alone in a quiet house reading and you jump at every noise you hear? I love that feeling! I also have a special place in my heart for the beautiful and creative prose of writers like Shirley Jackson. Their use of words can elevate something boring and commonplace into something to be feared. For instance, from The Haunting of Hill House a perfectly chilling paragraph:
“Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
Q: What scares you?
A: Not too much. To be honest, the thing that scares me the most is dementia. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have the faculties to read and understand a book. As far as horror goes, though, I do love me a well-done haunted house story.
Q: Who’s your favorite horror author? You have to pick one or three authors, but it can’t be two.
A: Today it’s: Robert McCammon, Michael McDowell, and Stephen King.
Q: What books are you most looking forward to in 2018?
The Listener by Robert McCammon (I’ve already read it and it’s amazing!), Providence by Caroline Kepnes, and the latest John Connolly book.
About Char –
I am a happily married mother of one, (a fantastic young man), and I am a warranty claim administrator for 2 automobile dealerships which helps to pay for my book addiction.
I am one of the moderators of the Goodreads Group “Horror Aficionados” which now boasts over 13,500 horror-loving members! I am a member of the reviewing team at Horror After Dark.
When I was young my parents used to take me to the drive in movies all the time, mostly for horror flicks. That was where my love of horror was born. These days I focus on books instead of films.
And thank you to Curtis from Cedar Hollow Reviews for his wonderfully insightful interview with Char! What a great addition to the women in horror series.
About Curtis Freeman-
Curtis is a lover of horror books and films and a passionate addition to the horror genre. He reviews at his site Cedar Hollow Reviews and has just begun to interview authors via his YouTube Channel. Curtis even grilled me for over 3 hours one evening. His heartfelt excitement for the genre shows. This is the first in a series of three women horror bloggers Curtis is interviewing for my #HookonWiHM project. You can also find Curtis on Twitter.
Watch for more to come in the #HookonWiHM series….
February is Women in Horror Month! Though I agree women should be celebrated on the same level as men every day of the year, I like to partake in Women in Horror projects as a catalyst for spreading the good news and works of women in the genre in hopes that it will carry on throughout the year. It’s time to celebrate and show off what we got! For those of you reading, men AND women both, make an effort to read and watch more horror produced by women this year.
For the #HookonWiHM, or Women in Horror Month at Hook of a Book, we’ll be hosting interviews conducted by men and women with other women in horror. Watch for those spread throughout the month, and if you want in, contact me! Find more info HERE.