Women Horror Writers Need Love Too: Part 1

Are there any women authors on your list of favourite horror writers?

If not, why the hell not?

Perhaps it didn’t occur to you to notice. Because here’s the thing, two years ago I decided to make a list of all the books I picked up and read henceforth, thinking it would be cool to have a record (along with my thoughts on each book) by the end of each year. But by the end of that first year, as I glanced over my list, I was absolutely stunned, and horrified (!), to see that around 90% of the books I’d read were written by men.

90%!

It wasn’t a proud moment as I let that figure sink in. How could I have been so blinkered to my reading habits? And how long had this frustratingly unfair habit been left unchallenged?

Needless to say the following year, I changed my ways. Now I read a book by a female writer, followed by a book by a male writer EVERY time (because, like I said, I want to make it fair, and we aren’t bashing male writers here because their voices in horror are awesome and important too, we just don’t want to forget about or overlook the ladies!)

This is the second year I’ve been using this reading method, and my reading experience has completely transformed and become so much more enriched. I would urge you to try doing similar if you don’t already. I cringe at how many wonderful books and authors I’ve missed out on in the past because I didn’t dig deeper and seek and support my fellow female writers. But the important thing is, I’m rectifying this now.

Incidentally, my 2020 reading list comprised 26 books. You guessed it, 13 by women and 13 by men. Would it surprise you to know that in my top 10 reads of those books, 8 were by women? It’s crazy to think that if I hadn’t changed my reading habit, I might have missed out on discovering those absolute gems!

I’ll discuss some of my favourite books next week, but for now, here are some of the ladies (in alphabetical order) whose work I’ve been reading. Please check them out if you haven’t already.

  • Ania Ahlborn
  • Gemma Amor
  • Catherine Cavendish
  • Katherine Clements
  • Sarah Denzil
  • Sara Gran
  • Susan Hill
  • Shirley Jackson
  • Jac Jemc
  • Alma Katsu
  • Beverley Lee
  • Sarah Lotz
  • Sarah Moss
  • Sylvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Michelle Paver
  • Laura Purcell
  • Anne Rivers Siddons
  • Shani Struthers
  • Francine Toon
  • C. J. Tudor
  • Sarah Waters

My list should be way more extensive than that, I realise (and I’m actually embarrassed about the fact that it’s not), but I’m playing catch up and will keep building on it. In fact, in Part 3 of Women Horror Writers Need Love Too, I’ll list all the female authors I have on my ‘TBR list’ and hopefully persuade you to check them out too.

Till next time, pick up a book by a woman writer and spread the love. I guarantee she’ll be eternally grateful.

Also, let me know about your favourite female authors. If they aren’t on my radar yet, I’ll be sure to add their work to my ever growing ‘TBR list’.

Stay safe,

Rachael

R. H. Dixon is a horror enthusiast who, when not escaping into the fantastical realms of fiction, lives in the northeast of England with her husband and two whippets. She is an active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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