February is Women in Horror Month, which is near and dear to our hearts here at Charon Coin Press. We have the privilege of working with some really talented, creative women here not only on novel projects, but with our anthologies as well. Their stories amaze us on a regular basis. To spotlight and honor Women in Horror, we will be featuring some of the women we get to work with. Enjoy these behind-the-scenes glimpses into some truly amazing Women in Horror as we celebrate the ladies all month.
Our first featured woman in horror is Heidi Lane.
Charon Coin Press: What drew you to the horror genre?
Heidi Lane: I grew up with an avid interest in the horror genre. There was something about having a writer be able to tap into people’s fears and use that for material that really captivated me; and continues to do so. In elementary school I would check out R.L. Stine books from the school library and would watch Are You Afraid of the Dark? after school. My mom got me into Alfred Hitchcock movies at a young age, as well.
CCP: Do you have a favorite monster/horror character?
HL: I enjoy human characters who are slightly unhinged, like Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter. I find there’s nothing creepier than finding out someone who appears normal is actually quite insane. Even characters who start out sane, like Jack Torrance, and then take a turn towards insanity are both intriguing and horrifying.
CCP: Do you have any advice for other female writers who want to write horror?
HL: My advice is to not be afraid to give a try. It can be intimidating because as women we aren’t expected to like horror, let alone write it. There are a lot of big name male writers in the horror genre and it’s always refreshing to see female writers in the genre. I admit that I didn’t get into writing horror myself until recently. For some reason I thought horror was something for me to enjoy reading but not to write myself. I’m glad I gave it a try because I surprised myself by how organic it felt to be writing horror stories.
CCP: What do you look for in a good horror story?
HL: I love something unexpected in a horror story, whether it’s an idea that hasn’t been explored much before, or a twist that I wasn’t expecting. A bunch of unnecessary gory scenes can end up detracting from the story for me. I don’t need flashy; sometimes simple is best.
CCP: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
HL: I have been interested in writing since I was a small child. I remember when I was very little, I wrote a book complete with pictures about a panda who goes on an adventure through the jungle and meets friends along the way. I took a creative writing class in high school which was a great outlet for me at the time. However, I didn’t really find what I was most interested in writing about until about a year ago.
CCP: Who is your favorite horror author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
HL: I don’t have a particular favorite horror author, but one piece of work that has left a lasting impression on me recently is The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers. I read it after finishing the True Detective series. There are two stories in the book that still stick with me: “The Repairer of Reputations” and “The Yellow Sign”. I was transported to a place that left me feeling uneasy but wanting more.
CCP: What are your favorite horror films? What book would you love to see on the big screen?
HL: I have so many favorite horror films! Some of my top favorites are: The Descent (all-female led cast!), Let the Right One In (the Swedish version), The Cabin in the Woods (who doesn’t love Joss Whedon?), Psycho (the original), The Ring (creepy girl gets me every time), and Poltergeist (a classic).
CCP: What are three “Good to Know” facts about you? Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, any fun details.
HL: Three things…
- When I was little I wanted to grow up to be an elephant. I would get really upset with my mom when she would tell me that I could not grow up to be one.
- I do not have a sense of smell. I can still taste things, although I do have a hard time noticing very subtle flavors.
- I got to feed some wild macaque monkeys when my husband and I were in Thailand a few years ago.
CCP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
HL: I find it challenging to strike a balance between too much detail and too little. I want to paint a picture for the reader but I also want them to fill in the blanks and use their imagination to paint their own picture.
Thank you to our feature guest, Heidi Lane. Lane will be appearing in the upcoming, Paying the Ferryman anthology. We will be featuring more authors all week. Please come back to often to learn more about these great Women in Horror.