GUEST BLOG: The Gender Gap Overcorrection

I did a guest post over on Jack Wallen‘s blog for Women in Horror Month. Here’s a small preview, head on over there to read the rest.


I’ve been a horror writer for nearly fifteen years. First as part of the film industry, in a screenwriting capacity, and about four years ago transitioning to fiction. In that time I’ve made some great decisions, and some not so great decisions,(I’m not the craziest about this sentence…not smooth to read) and I’ve busted my butt to continually improve upon my craft and get where I am today.

If you told me that you didn’t want to read my work based my gender, I’d tell you to get the fuck out of town, and I would be right for saying that. I may only have been a writer for one and a half decades, but I’ve been a female my entire life. I’ve had that type of blatant sexism directed toward me more times than I can count, but that’s not what I’ve really come here to discuss.


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I wrote and published this blog post for Mash Stories. 
See the original post here.


HandsYou’ve worked hard on your manuscript and, like a juicy red apple you’re about to leave on your favourite teacher’s desk, you want it to be polished to perfection. Now that it’s time to relinquish the fruits of your labour to a professional editor, how do you avoid getting ripped off? How do you know the editor you’re about to rely on closely is sufficiently qualified?
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You can win an electronic copy of Dormaine’s book Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess Vol 1 two ways.

Way one: Tweet your love for Dormaine. Use #DormaineG – One lucky winner will be chosen to win a free eBook from the tweets.

Way two: Get the free CRYPT APP and comment on Dormaine’s post! – One lucky winner will be chosen to win a free eBook from the comments.
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Rena Mason Bio Picevo (hi-res) coverFear the Reaper

Rena is the author of the Bram Stoker Award winning novel The Evolutionist, and Bram Stoker Award nominated East End Girls. She lives in Sin City, AKA Las Vegas, Nevada, and everything she writes has a horror element to it.

For your chance to win a copy of one of these books you need the free CRYPT APP!

Q: Tell us a little about the projects you have going right now.

A: I recently finished up four short story projects, have two more in the works, am supposed to be rewriting a novel, beginning an outline for another novel I plan to write in November, and I might also have to start pitching a screenplay I co-wrote depending on whether or not it’s going to get “shopped around” by a third party.


Q: Is your writing based on people you know, or events in your own life?

A: My writing in one way or another does usually end up being based on people I know, and/or events that have occurred in my life, good, bad or otherwise. But it’s in bits and pieces that I change around. I find writing about them cathartic, even if it’s sometimes done on a subconscious level.


Q: What inspired you to get into the horror genre?

A: I don’t think any one thing inspired me to get into the horror genre. It’s just always where my mind went when I chose entertainment, so it was also how I expressed myself in art.


Q: Have you always been interested in horror?

A: Yes. Horror has always interested me. As soon as I learned how to read, it was the monster and creepy, scary fairy tales I enjoyed the most.


Q: What do you love most about writing horror?

What I love most about writing horror is being able to put dark and sometimes twisted thoughts and ideas from my head into words that tell a story I can read back, or even better, someone else reads it back and tells me it’s good. That’s a damn cool feeling. Also, there’s the horror writing community, which I’ve grown to love. Since I became a member of the Horror Writers Association I’ve made lots of friends who are an awesome support system in and outside of my writing. The conventions are always great fun, too.


Q: Can you share your experience as a female writer in a male-dominated genre?

A: As far as my experiences go as a female writer in a male-dominated genre, thanks to many women who have lead the way before me, I haven’t felt it as much as I’ve seen it, but I do realize it’s there and am working hard to change it the only way I know how, which is to keep writing, not give up, and encourage more female authors to write horror if they think they’ve got something.


Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging when writing for horror fans?

A: Not particularly, no. Everybody likes something different, and I learned early on that horror is varied for us all. I try to keep true to myself no matter what I write, and there’s always that dark element/horror in my work that I hope will appeal to at least one or more of the categories of fans.


Q: Where do you stand on the gore factor?

A: Gore doesn’t bother me. I think in part it’s because I’ve been an R.N. for uh…a little while, and worked in the operating for over twelve years. I like to watch the movies for the special effects. It’s amazing to me how real the sounds and anatomy are these days. That’s usually how I rate the movies – on whether or not I think they’re accurate in their depiction. As far as reading gore it doesn’t bother me either. I find it a challenge to read something that actually grosses me out. Only one thing I’ve ever read has ever made me slightly nauseated. (I’ll write what it is in my next blog post.)


Q: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

A: I’ve been in love with Shirley Jackson’s work since I was a pre-teen. Besides the fact that she’s a brilliant author, I could really relate to her stories, because there were times in my life that seemed to correlate with works of hers that I’d read. Sort of like I had questions and found the answers in her stories, so she’s always been magical to me for that.


Q: What books and movies have influenced your life most?

A: I tend to be more influenced by people then books or movies, but if there was one book that made me really question things it was Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods. It sparked my imagination that there could be other answers out there than what they taught traditionally. The only movie that’s ever influenced me to “do” something was Luc Besson’s THE BIG BLUE. I took SCUBA diving lessons after seeing that movie and did some extreme diving, which I’ll never regret because of the memories of the unique and sometimes rare experiences I had.


Q: What book are you reading now?

A: I’m one of those people that likes to read 2-3 books at a time. The Dark Country, a collection by Dennis Etchison, and an advanced copy of The Amazing Mr. Howard by Kenneth W. Harmon.


Q: What movie do you most want to watch in your Netflix queue?

A: Ha! THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE is a movie that’s been in my Netflix queue since I signed up for the service. Something always comes up when I’m ready to watch it, and I’ve yet to see it.


Q: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Give the readers a taste for blood?

A: My novel rewrite is about a former Goth who grew up but never lost that yearning for the dark side, until it finds her. (I was never Goth by the way.) Here’s an excerpt of my WIP (work in progress):

The beast sunk its vicious maw into the woman’s neck. She groaned and writhed in its grasp. With eyes fixed on Sara, it peeled back the victim’s flesh. Red mist sprayed out like a rind of citrus pulling away from its fruit.

Streams of crimson flowed down and curved to the right, her upper torso a macabre maypole. A stray line of blood rolled down the opposite side onto her chest, stopping in a droplet that clung to the tip of her nipple. A thin black tongue slithered out of the beast’s mouth and wound around the breast. Forked ends flickered and tasted the air then lashed out at the drop and took it.


Q: Do you have any advice for other horror writers?

A: My advice to other horror writers would be just to keep writing. As much as I like to write, I also love to read, and collect authors’ works I enjoy.


Q: Where can fans reach you and buy your books?

A: All my books are available on Amazon, some at Barnes & Noble. I can be found in most of the social network places and I also have a blog site, as well as a website:

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