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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola


To kick off Women in Horror month, I am hosting a series of Spotlight interviews here on my personal site to highlight some of my favorite female authors in the horror community. To start things off, we have L. Marie Wood, a long-standing icon in the industry.

A big thank you to Lisa for participating and I hope you all enjoy her spotlight below!



L. Marie Wood


What defines “horror” for you?  


Horror, to me, is anything unsettling.  It doesn’t need to be bold and splashed with gore to be horror, in my mind – in fact, I don’t know that I find more visceral approaches to the genre necessarily scary.  Nasty, yes, but whether or not they spark fear in me is something I’d have to consider.  Horror is the culmination of things that terrified and frightened, and possibly repulsed.  That can be loud or incredibly quiet.


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


Angel Heart is my absolute favorite horror movie.  I love the play on psychological horror, deals being made in what is “the dark”, at least to your consciousness.  The story carries with it an immense feeling of dread and unease and it is truly delicious watching the whole thing unfold.  It is gritty, it is dark, and it lingers.


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


This is a fantastic question.  There are so many things that I love about being a female author in the horror genre, but often I don’t look at it through that lens.  I love being a horror author – period.  I say that, stripping away gender and race, because to be a writer who gets the chance to impact people with the words I spun, to put together a story that stays in someone’s mind, makes them think twice about walking around the house at night without the lights on, makes them keep their hands and feet under the covers instead of out, dangling off the side of the bed – to be that person is all I ever wanted to be.  That I am female, that I am African American – these aspects of my being don’t relate to this passion.  They may relate to how my words are received, but not to why I wrote them - and if this is true, that is quite telling.


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?


Women experience realistic and existential horror in ways that men don’t.  But even more directly, consider menstrual cycles, hormones, childbirth, aging – if these are not elements that can be used in body horror, I don’t know what can!  We have the same hopes, fears, dreams, worries, and disappointments that men do, yet have had our voices restricted in a genre that is tailor-made for us.  Could it be a marked ignorance of women and what their bodies, minds, and souls—their very existences—endure on a daily basis?  Perhaps.  But it’s time to change that narrative.


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? 


Likely, but I don’t focus on that and can’t pinpoint a time.  I have heard what many of us hear – “Do women even read horror?” and “You want to write horror?” But those comments were easily silenced when I brought Anne Radcliffe and Mary Shelley into the conversation.  I share my work widely and have always been open to the conversation about what quality horror looks like, making sure to discuss not only my own work, but other female practitioners, so this approach has not ever really taken hold with me (at least, not in front of my face).  I can’t combat what I don’t see – at least not head on.  The only way to do that is to put quality work out in the world every single time.  That way when someone says, “Wait, you think you can write horror fiction?”  I can always answer, “Yes.  I know I can.”


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


My advice is the same as I have been giving for quite some time and something I alluded to in the question before.  There will always be people in the world who will try to make you think you can’t do something because of whatever reason (really, you could almost just fill in the blank – you’re female, you’re [insert race], you’re [insert sexual orientation], you’re short…”).  When someone wants to exclude you, they will find a way to do so.  But when they look to your work to use that as leverage to show that you don’t belong where you aspire to be, the onus is on you to make sure they can’t find anything to support that argument.  Write well and publish widely.  And always look for ways to keep raising the bar.



Learn more about this amazing lady at her website below and be sure to add her books to your TBR!

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