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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola

Women in Horror Spotlight: Cat Voleur

Today's spotlight is on the lovely Cat Voleur, author of REVENGE ARC. Cat is one of the most supportive authors that I know, and she is a delight to engage with.


She is one of those rising stars in the industry that you will want to keep an eye on. Big things are in her future and I'm here for it!



Read on for more from Cat!


 

What defines “horror” for you?  

Horror obviously means different things to different people. For me, it's all about transformation. I look for stories in the genre that can climb into my skin with me and change the way I look at myself or the world. If it adds to my paranoia and takes up space in my brain after I finish it, it's been a successful horror story.



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

I always answer favorite horror movie instead of favorite horror story, because I don't have an all-time favorite horror book. There are simply too many and it's impacted by my mood and what I've read most recently. My favorite horror movie, however, is pretty consistent. It's Ti West's X. I love that it brings together my niche loves of beautiful French horror and gritty 70's horror into this truly unique experience that holds nothing back. It also has two of my all-time favorite female characters, Pearl and Bobby-Lynn.



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

There's something just so authentic about being a woman in the horror space. When you look back at the history of the genre, I think both audiences and storytellers alike have always gravitated toward female characters. I always felt a strong connection to the final girls, and the paranoid wives, and the women left for dead who get their revenge. There's a lot of confidence that comes from knowing that when I play with those archetypes in my own fiction, my takes on them will be grounded in real, feminine experiences.


 

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?

What I try to bring is the grounded-in-reality, everyday horror that comes from living as a woman in a world that doesn't always treat us fairly. My prose is always steeped in paranoia, and I try to make my characters resilient, because those are the sort of female characters who give me hope and that I like to see.

When it comes to the women that I read in the horror genre, I find that they flinch less. I've read a lot of "unflinching" horror by men that does actually flinch at key points, and this is true across both psychological horror and the splatterpunk genres. I think most of the horror I've read that has been truly unafraid to go to the most depraved depths of humanity, has been written by women. That's the level of horror I aspire to reach some day.


 

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? 

Honestly, a lot of the challenges I've faced as a woman in horror have been self-imposed. There are always going to be individual men who don't want to see women succeed, successful women who like being the exception to the rule, and powerful people who form cliques. I've encountered a handful of them, but the thing that held me back the most was the fear that everyone was like that. And they're overwhelming not like that. The majority of the horror community is so nice and accepting and supportive. One of the hardest, best things I've ever done for myself, and my career was believing that.

It's the same with imposter syndrome. Any time I'm worried about whether I deserve to be in a project, there's the fear that I'm making women look bad or that I'm taking that space away from another, more talented woman.  But there's space for all of us if we're stubborn enough to carve it out, even when that's hard to believe.



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

Tell whatever stories you want to tell. Don't get in your head about it. You could torture yourself forever trying to figure out what people expect of you as a woman in the horror space and how you can exceed those expectations, and it's a total waste of time. You're never going to please everyone or shove it in the face of all the misogynists that you're worthy of being here. But you are worthy of it, so just write what makes you happy and don't worry about the rest of it.



Cat's Bio:

Cat Voleur is the author of Revenge Arc, cohost of Slasher Radio, and proud mother to all the rescued felines. When she's not creating or consuming morbid content, you can find her pursuing her passion for fictional languages.


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