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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola

03/28/2024 Women in Horror Spotlight: Marie LeStrange




For today's Spotlight, we have the lovely Marie LeStrange, who is an absolute delight! I was lucky enough to meet this wonderful lady at StokerCon last year and she is just incredible to be around, her energy alone lights up a room!


Read on for more from the marvelous Marie!


 

What defines “horror” for you?  

To me, Horror is a rollercoaster of emotions through the darkest corners of the human psyche, where fascination and fear intertwine to elicit powerful emotions that linger long after we turn the final page, escape the haunted house, or the credits roll. For some, Horror is defined as an exorcision of past traumas and haunting inner demons, and for others, it is a controlled (and thrilling!) escape from reality. For me, Horror is a gateway to authenticity as the genre that accepts and allows me to be who I truly am, surrounding me with so many Mistresses (and Misters) of the macabre. One big spooky family.



What is your personal favorite horror movie or story and why?

I’m going to say that the ending scene in Cabin in the Woods seals the deal for me! I wish I could watch that movie and experience the shocking twists on tropes again for the first time…and especially when that demon fist appeared. Ahhhh. Such a fun movie! 



What is your favorite thing about being a female author in the horror industry?

The community! I sound like a broken record because I talk about this on my podcast all the time, but the horror community is typically the most supportive and awesome gathering of folks there is. I appreciate a group where the majority of members are focused on uplifting each other and devouring deliciously dark books written by female authors. I will ride for my “Ghoulfriends” in the Horror industry all day, every day! I also like breaking expectations when people first meet me (bubbly, sweet, pink hair, girly) and then are shocked/horrified when they read my work.

 


What differences do you believe women bring to the table within the horror industry, and why are those differences impactful and important, in your opinion?

I personally believe that women bring their ability to portray complex emotions and experiences in an authentic way, demonstrating female characters with strong agency and depth. This creates a much more immersive experience for the reader than, “she breastily breasted down the staircase as her breasts were bouncing towards my face.” Women bring new themes and storylines to horror, such as accurate depictions of the horrors in pregnancy, body autonomy, loss, childbirth, periods, the list goes on and on! I believe that women in the horror genre challenge societal norms and expectations regarding gender roles. Young girls are empowered when they see women in roles of power, resilience, and survival–instead of the oft portrayed “damsel in distress” or sex object. All I’m sayin’ is there’s a reason it’s the final GIRL. :P


 

Have you faced any challenges as a woman in the mostly male-dominated world of horror? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them? 

 As with many of my sinister sisters…the presumption that we are just too sweet and pretty and gentle and blah blah blah to be able to write “real horror.” Insert the biggest eyeroll I can muster here, as I refer you to dive into any number of FANTASTICALLY horrid works from women in Horror. 



What advice do you have for the next generation of female horror authors? 

Embrace your authenticity! Don’t let societal hoohah or expectations keep you from unleashing the dark mistress of the macabre within you! For too many years I sheltered my weirdness, and can truly say that writing Horror has opened so many wonderful opportunities for me to make friends and share my interests with the most awesome group of people there is…Horror Authors and Readers!


Marie's Bio:

Author of the Crimson Cobblestones, Dr. Marie Lestrange is an artist, musician, special educator, and scaredy cat with a particular interest in Historical Horror. She draws outrageous ABC books for adults, T is for Torture and S is for Serial Killers, and interviews Indie Horror authors on her Moths to the Flame podcast every Tuesday night. She’s afraid of most things, but chickens are the worst!



 


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