Women in Horror Month 2013: In Their Words Part 1

Feb 10, 2013 No Comments by

Women in Horror Month was created to honor women who are, have been, or are moving into the horror genre.  While these ladies are being featured in the month of February in recent years, they are kicking ass at their projects all year long.  This means you must follow their work, as they will not disappear when February does.  That said, in this particular article, we’re honoring women who are not just fantastic at what they do but have also been supportive of others within the genre.  Each lady is unique and offers a different specialty and level of expertise, all of which can be recognized along with their admirable determination.  These lovely, talented ladies will be given the same questions, offering them a chance to explain and advertise just what they do within the horror world.  Ladies…don’t hold back…

Alice in East Washington

alice-in-east-washingtonOnline, I go by Alice in East Washington, and I run the blog The Owl’s Skull. My alter-ego and the name of my blog, together, suggest my point of view. Alice in Wonderland has been an obsession of mine since I was a little girl, and the darkness of the Alice books has stained my consciousness. The owl is wise, watchful, predatory, and nocturnal. I’m not exactly a predator, but I do go out and try to get what I want; I hate to go to bed; I’m trying to be wise. The skull symbolizes intelligence and it is dark, sinister, and a lot creepy. Smash them all together and you have the blog’s subject matter – an examination of the dark side of children’s literature.

For my day job, I teach Writing and English at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. I am currently editing an essay collection devoted to horror elements in children’s literature (due to be published in late 2013-early 2014). I am also working on a young-adult novel about a girl whose guides are ghosts; she lives in a nowhere town in an old hotel that is haunted by the ghost of her older sister, who disappeared one day and never came home.

When I was growing up, I was fascinated by my mother’s prized set of Poe. I remember these books, purchased as a set at an auction, as being completely off limits to me as a child. Wrapped in gray covers that belied their very nature, they were housed behind the glass doors of the bookshelves that butted up against the fireplace in our living room. I could look, but I couldn’t touch. On one of my birthdays, my seventh I think, my mom selected one of these books, had us corral our sleeping bags, lit a candle, and read to us from The Tell-Tale Heart.

This story, a terrifying tale if there ever was one, left blue trails on my thoughts. My child’s mind was transfixed by the old man’s blue eye, filmed over by the years, and the young man’s murderous hatred (and his inability to keep his mouth shut). The Tell-Tale Heart is not a ghost story, but a tale of human cruelty and fragility, which makes it all the more frightening – and good. When a story is complete and utter fantasy, we can turn off our imagination; say “It’s just a dream.” With a tale like The Tell-Tale Heart, fantastical as it is, there are roots in our reality that make it a little too close for comfort. Over the years, I have thought a lot more about those Poe books than any other book that settled into my mother’s lap. Most of those kids at that sleepover were probably either bored or terrified. I was thrilled.

You can find my blog at theowlskull.blogspot.com or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. As Dracula once so famously uttered, “Welcome to my house.” Pull up a chair and open my pages.

Sandy Stuhlfire

sandy-stuhlfireI’m Sandy Stuhlfire, owner and promoter of Horror Realm. We produce a spring and fall horror convention each year in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to the conventions, Horror Realm also produces horror-themed entertainment and charity events in the area.

We’ve been involved in WIHM since 2010 and our events have raised funds for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape. This year, we are saluting a different woman in horror each week in February by allowing them to spotlight their work on our Facebook page, which reaches more than 2,400 people. Our honorees are:

– Week 1 – Melanie Stone and Marlynn White of DarkWhite Arts

– Week 2 – Amy Lynn Best of Happy Cloud Pictures

– Week 3 – authors Christine M. Soltis and Kimberly Bennett

– Week 4 – artist Cheryl Adamson

We’ll also be doing a 50/50 raffle at our Bloody Valentine – A Black Tee Affair event on February 9, with the proceeds being donated to PAAR.

Horror Realm celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2013, so we are planning year round events, including:

– February – Bloody Valentine, Psycho Beach Party benefit for Shepherd Wellness and 13 Hours of Grindhouse

– March – Spring Break Massacre convention

– April and May – movie programs

– June – Zombie Luau

– July – Horror scavenger hunt

– August – Summer of Scares

– September – 5th anniversary fall convention

– October – Halloween celebration for kids

– December – Psycho Santa

The main thing that got me interested in horror was watching scary movies on TV as a kid. I’m a native Pittsburgher so I grew up watching Chiller Theater every Saturday night with my family, and Dark Shadows after school. I used to read Alfred Hitchcock books that were handed down to me by an aunt. I’ve been inspired by strong women in and outside of the horror genre, including the late actress and author Ingrid Pitt and businesswoman Anita Madden who for many years put on extravagant Kentucky Derby eve parties for charity.

You can find out more about our events and activities at:

Email – info@horrorrealmcon.com

Website – www.horrorrealmcon.com

Twitter – www.twitter.com/HorrorRealmCon

Facebook – www.facebook.com/pages/Horror-Realm-Con

Kimberly Bennett

kimberly-bennettHey everyone! Thank you, Christine, for the opportunity to participate in this Q&A.

My name is Kimberly Bennett. I grew up in Northeast Ohio and currently reside in Northwestern PA. I have published two short story anthologies, Twisted Delights and A Degree of Wickedness. Both collections are weird, dark and creepy; my favorite genre. I am wrapping up my third book, a novella, Evil, Under the Microscope: Unholy Union. I hope to release Unholy Union by the end of April.

I just finished a short, The Whore in the Mirror, for Burning Bulb Press. My story will be included in their upcoming anthology, Westward Hoes. The collection will be rooted in the bizarre fiction genre. I’m not sure of the release date but I will keep everyone posted.

I was invited to participate in Women in Horror Month 2012, hosted by Eljay’s bookstore in south-side Pittsburgh, and I am honored to be included in WIHM 2013 (I’m also thrilled to be sharing week three with you, Christine. The Dynamic Duo rides again!).

As far as future writing projects go, I have a bajillion ideas swimming around my brain right now and haven’t decided what to focus on next. I would like to start writing a third anthology that will contain stories of murder and revenge on the extreme side; lots of blood and gore. I also need to get started on the next volume for Evil, Under the Microscope.

I am in the process of scheduling book signings for this year. I will be appearing in Conneaut, Ohio at a local haunted hotel at the end of April. The hotel is hosting a psychic fair and I thought it would be fun. You never know what will work unless you try it and see for yourself. If anything, I will get to hang out with some fantastic people and maybe spot a ghost or two!

I remember watching Big Chuck and Little John and Superhost on the weekends. These two shows featured scary B-movies and I was hooked. My Mom was a fan of Vincent Price and Hammer Films, which rubbed off on me. My absolute favorite horror film of all time is The Horror of Dracula (Hammer). I really enjoy the drama, the beautiful women and the fantastic sets of the older films. The special effects in movies these days have replaced actual acting and it’s a disappointment for me.

Places on the net you can find me:

kimberlybennett@yolasite.com

amazon.com

goodreads.com

smashwords.com

My email is: authorkimberlybennett@gmail.com

Tiffany Apan

tiffany-apenThanks! I’m very honored to be featured this year.

I’m Tiffany Apan and I’m from Pennsylvania. I act (in film and theater), I’m a musician/singer/songwriter, producer, writer, blogger, and occasional model. I’ve acted in several indie films including (most recently) The Girl, Cyclical Effect, Fetish Dolls Die Laughing, Resolution: A Portrait of Amelia Earhart, and Driving Nowhere. I will add that Driving Nowhere is currently in production (almost finished) and it is the first film being produced by my production company, Poets Labyrinth Productions. It was a film I wrote, am co-directing, producing, acting in, and doing pretty much everything else necessary for it. It also stars Tyffani Richards, David Dietz, Michael Varrati, and Heidi Engel.

In music, I currently have a few releases out, including a full length album titled Poet. Everything is available at CDBaby, Amazon, iTunes, and several other retailers. I’ve also had music in films such as The Girl, The Farm, Dying 2 Meet U, Cyclical Effect, and Devilution. My production company has produced music videos for my music releases in addition to Driving Nowhere. I’m also pleased and humbled to add that we are an award-winning production company having won two awards at the International Indie Gathering: 2010 Best Music Video in the Open Music Video Category for our adaptation of Scarborough Fair (from my album Poet) and the 2012 Best Horror Short Script for Driving Nowhere. I’m also one of the many bloggers/podcasters in the internet universe with my webzine/podcast, Music’s Underworld and its sister (more family friendly) blogsite, Heaven Sounds. I also do/have done some occasional freelance writing for sites like Rogue Cinema and Horrornews.net.

As for future projects, I’m finishing and releasing Driving Nowhere, and working on another full length album. I’m also working on writing a new short that I hope to begin production on this year. I’m going to be involved in Ghost Walk’s new film, The Dawson War (starring Parrish Randall). There are also a couple other films on the horizon, but it’s too early to talk about them as of right now. And last but definitely not least, I’m writing a novel series! The working title is Bloodlines and it doesn’t have a set genre yet, but there are elements of Paranormal, Horror, Fantasy, Romance, Drama, and Erotica.

My influences depend on what I’m working on. With music, I’m influenced by the likes of Loreena McKennit, Danny Elfman, Pink Floyd, Ronnie James Dio, Sarah Brightman, Tori Amos, Rush, to only name a few!

When it comes to acting, I tend to look toward the quirkier character actresses and actors but I do like some “classic” types as well. Some of my favorites include Bette Davis (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane anyone?), Lucille Ball, Sigourney Weaver, Helena Bohnam Carter, Fairuza Balk, Groucho Marx, Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Audrey Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Emmy Rossum, Burgess Merideth, Heath Ledger, Daniel Day-Lewis, Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, and Cary Grant. I enjoy actors and actresses who can “disappear” into a role as opposed to making a career out of flouncing around in front of the camera showing off their abs. I want to see actors. I want to watch someone who can make me feel the story and scene. Those are the ones who inspire me.

With filmmaking and working behind the camera, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, John Waters, Alfred Hitchcock, John Carpenter, Lucille Ball (who doesn’t get nearly enough credit for her work behind the camera), and Darren Aronofsky are the first individuals that come to mind. A lot of those same individuals also inspire my writing along with Rod Serling, Stephen King, Anne Rice, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickenson, Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, and C.S. Lewis.

I like people who are visionaries and aren’t afraid of going against the grain. People who take chances and risks in their work and aren’t afraid of failure. You have to risk failure to have success and you have to pick yourself up from any setbacks and keep going. When you don’t do that is when you find yourself still sitting in your living room ten years later in the same situation you’re in now. I will also note that while this is Women In Horror Month, many of the influences I listed are men. And while that is NOT a bad thing by any means, as these men have been amazing contributors to the horror/sci-fi/fantasy genres, there does need to be more women in there for future generations.

I’m in the process of putting together my new website, tiffanyapan.com. But you can also find me at my News Site, Personal Facebook Page, Facebook Artist Page, Twitter, Tumblr, Reverbnation, and YouTube. My mailing list is also powered by Reverbnation. I also still have MySpace, though I only check it a couple times a month.

You can also find my work at the Poets Labyrinth Productions Website, the Driving Nowhere website, Music’s Underworld Webzine and Podcast, Heaven Sounds, and the Bloodlines Series site.  And of course, check out and show some love to my IMDB Page!

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Check back soon for Women in Horror Month 2013: In Their Words Part 2

Featured Article

About the author

Christine M. Soltis was born and raised in Washington, Pennsylvania. Her deepest passion is in fiction writing and has been for the past eight years. She has written dozens of books, many of which can be accessed via Amazon.com. In addition, she is co-writer on several film scripts and creates her own book cover photos and promotional videos. Christine is lead writer for travel sites EscapeWizard.com and WhatsCheaper.com. In the past, she has contributed to the Yahoo Network, Verdure Magazine and The Front Weekly. In 2011, she was an exhibitor at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. In addition to her writing, she made her acting debut in A Chemical Skyline, which was an Amazon best-seller for monster horror. She attended Point Park College for Broadcasting and has worked in newsradio since 2002. Currently, she is pursuing a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies. Websites: http://darkwriters.tripod.com or http://christinemsoltis.yolasite.com or http://solsticenightskyproductions.angelfire.com
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