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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola

Women in Horror Spotlight: Somer Canon

In our third Spotlight, we have the lovely Somer Canon, author of YOU'RE MINE.

Somer is incredibly talented, fun to talk to and hugely supportive of indie authors. She also loves werewolves.



What defines “horror” for you?

For me, horror is existential. It's an emotion that is so human, so experiential of our existence. When people dismiss horror lovers as weirdos with a gore fetish, I take extreme umbrage to that because, while some of us certainly have that side to us (ME!), it's not all that draws us to the genre. Horror, because it's such a familiar bedfellow of life itself, keeps us cognizant of what it means to be a terrestrial being, bound to a rock shooting through a space so vast that only our most limber imaginations can begin to grasp it.

Horror sits with us, quietly breathing in our ear, as we do our best to navigate this existence that sometimes feels both too big and completely useless. Despite certain prejudices against the genre, to me, horror reminds us to smile at those we love, to throw a little seed at the colorful birds in our yards, and to make this life combat the horrors.

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

There are too many horror movies out there for me to pick a favorite! And I'm too easy to entertain, I think, because I love even the awful ones. One "kind" of horror story that I probably love the most is the haunted house tale. There are a lot of movies that whiff this concept and fail at what makes the haunted house so disturbing, but there is a wealth of books and short stories that nail the concept.

As a homebody, the concept of having my safe place, my haven, intruded upon by forces I can neither control nor fully understand thoroughly disturbs me. Where can you go to escape a home that is not safe? What can you do when confronted, at your most vulnerable and relaxed, with supernatural horrors? And here I am, loving all of it.

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

Honestly? Meeting other female creators in the horror industry is my favorite thing. I felt alone as a female horror fan for so long and finding other women who are not only also fans, but highly impressive creators just warms my cockles like you wouldn't believe.

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?

The female perspective has not been ignored in horror. It's just been written by men. Some of those men were insightful and wrote women who felt very real, some men gave it a good try, and some men were cartoonishly bad at it. But women, as characters, have long been present in horror. Having women write about women and their inner lives brings with it a richness of narrative that would not, perhaps, have been wholly absent without female creators, but it would have been slim pickings.

The importance of representation for all creators is that of lived experience and what that translates to in creative works. A great writer can imagine a lot, but that doesn't hold a candle to the lived experience and the confidence to speak on that. There's also the important distinction of allowing for other points of view, other life priorities, and other foundations to be represented in storytelling. There are a lot of areas where men and women really aren't so different, especially in today's society. But there's an inverse to that, where men can imagine, but cannot tell of the lived experience of certain life events. Women's voices are needed for that. There's room at the table for all of us.

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? Oh, I have a small list of challenges that I've had to deal with in my time as a working horror author. Most of them did not come from my peers, thankfully. There are amazing men in this industry who are happy to pull us into the light with them. It's been a lot of little things that build up. In standard interviews, I've been asked how I manage to write while raising kids, a question that wasn't asked of male guests.

I've been pulled aside at a show and scolded on my choice to wear a pink blouse because horror fans, apparently, expect us "horror girlies" to have a specific aesthetic, which I'm still not clear on, but to hell with that. I've done many, many, many shows where I've shared a table with a male writer and fans assumed that I was my male peer's wife or flat out ignored me. The trick to overcoming all of this is not allowing it to keep me down. To persevere. My friend and author Mary SanGiovanni is fond of saying that if we want to continue in an industry that can be so very taxing on us emotionally, we have to not quit. And in the ten years I've been doing this, I've learned that it is both that simple and that teeth-gnashingly hard. Just don't quit.

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

Be authentically you and keep at it. Look to your fellow female peers for advice. We've got tons.


Somer's Bio:

Somer Canon is the Imadjinn Award winning and Splatterpunk Award nominated author of works such as Killer Chronicles, The Hag Witch of Tripp Creek, and You’re Mine.  When she’s not wreaking havoc in her minivan, she’s avoiding her neighbors and consuming all things horror. She has two sons and more cats than her husband agreed to have.

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