Hi, everybody. I am so happy to have the wonderful Heather Herrman here today for her TLC Book tour for her fantastic debut novel Consumption. Horror is my favorite genre and I reviewed Consumption last week. I’ve often found that when I recommend such great books that just happen to be firmly rooted in the horror genre to some of my women friends and colleagues, they’re often reluctant to take the plunge and read something so fabulous but often out of their comfort zones. Heather Herrman has some fantastic reasons below for why we, as women, should read more horror. Make sure to stay tuned at the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway.
WHY WOMEN SHOULD READ MORE HORROR
Most of my best friends are women. All of them are avid readers. Only one of them consistently seeks out and reads horror.
While there are many women who DO love to read/watch/explore the horror genre, (hello www.thehorrorhoneys.com!), there are just as many out there who don’t. My friend “L” is one of these women.
“Heather,” L will say to me, “why would I want to read something so pointlessly depressing?”
And so for any of you who are like my fabulous friend and may hesitate before reading horror because it seems like a downer or a waste of time, or even for those of you who already gobble it up and just need a reminder of why reading horror is great, here are five reasons why you, as a woman, should read more horror:
1.You have exquisitely good taste:
Come on, I know you do. You’re the one whose friends are always calling you up for book recs., right? I’m going to go ahead and admit something. Genre, all genre and maybe especially horror, includes some real stinkers. Here’s the problem. When the only people reading the genre and voicing their opinion with their wallets are the dribbling idiots who want more of the same, same, same (chainsaw orgy, killer spiders from hell, etc., etc.) then the real gems—the thoughtful, creative books that smart people like you want to read—get lost and die.
2. Horror is the genre of possibility.
This may seem counterintuitive. But here’s the deal. Good horror, smart horror, helps us see the status quo in a new way and then takes it apart. It dismantles so that it can rebuild. Take Stephen King’s The Stand. In this book, the entire world is destroyed by a virus. Which, admittedly, is some sad, dark stuff. AND/BUT society is then rebuilt. The characters in that book get to reimagine our world in a newer, better way and we, as readers, get to rebuild it along with them. Or look at Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, where the misunderstood Monster is given the attention that the most vulnerable, monstrous parts of ourselves often lack.
3. You already read horror but just don’t know it:
As humans we like to label things. A lot. Labeling things makes us feel better because it gives us a sense of control. And one of the ways we label fiction is to take something like slasher-porn, which often utilizes the male gaze, and call it horror, and then take something else like gothic thrillers or paranormal romance and call it “women’s fiction.” Who draws these lines? Who makes these lists? Who benefits the most from keeping female authors in their very own special little box?
4. Horror is a whole lot of fucking fun!:
Need I say more? Where else can you grow strong enough through the eyes of a female FBI agent to first befriend and then defeat a serial killer? Band together with your childhood friends to kill an alien and save your town? Build your very own monster? Come on, you know you want to….
5. Horror has always belonged to women:
There’s a serious misconception out there that the horror genre belongs to men and always has. This simply isn’t true. As scholar and author Jessica Amanda Salmonson says in the preface to her anthology of feminist supernatural fiction What Did Miss Darrington See, “From the 1830’s to the 1920’s women were the dominant presence in British and U.S. magazines as poets, essayists, story writers, and readers….. Their supernatural stories amounted to a veritable school, yet almost no one in this century has commented on it.” Many of these women writers have been, sadly, forgotten, but their influence in the genre continues to be felt and should not be ignored.
So, the next time you’re looking for that special book to get you through a long flight, take you away from worries after work, or share with friends in a book club, I dare you to read a horror book. Better yet, read one written by a woman. And if you need a book rec., check out my blog or email me. I would be so incredibly honored to suggest a few!
To hear more from Heather Herrman or to check out her work, visit her website www.heatherherrman.com. There, you’ll find a schedule of the other stops on the CONSUMPTION blog tour along with exclusive videos exploring the topics of writing and horror.
I’m definitely checking out www.thehorrorhoneys.com! Thanks for the heads up, Heather!
For fans of Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Sarah Langan comes a thrilling new vision of American horror. In Heather Herrman’s heart-pounding debut novel, evil is ready to feed—and it’s got one hell of an appetite.
In the wake of tragedy, John and Erma Scott are heading west in search of a new life. So when car trouble strands them in sleepy Cavus, Montana, they decide to stay for a while, charmed by the friendly residents and the surrounding ambiance. Here, they hope, is the healing balm that their marriage needs.
Then John and Erma find themselves in a fight not just to save their marriage, but their very lives. For this is no ordinary town. Its quiet streets conceal a dark and bloody secret that has slumbered for centuries. Now, that secret is awake . . . and it’s hungry.
Like a slow infection, evil is spreading through Cavus. Soon John and Erma—along with the local sheriff, an undocumented immigrant, a traumatized teenage girl, and an old man with terrible secrets of his own—must join together to battle an all-consuming force that has set its sights on its prey: the entire human race.
Find Heather Herrman
About Heather Herrman
Heather’s fiction seeks to explore the relationship between body and landscape, utilizing genre as a medium. She believes that American Horror Fiction provides a lens through which we can undress and view the timeless dis/ease of our society.
Her fiction features typical American families and archetypes and explodes the space where their disillusionment and hope collide. Her characters are constantly seeking a “promised land” built around the mythos of America, only to find themselves trapped in an internal landscape that is fast fracturing and often mirrored in an external environment.
Heather holds an MFA from New Mexico State University, where she was fortunate enough to study with Antonya Nelson, Robert Boswell, and Kevin McIlvoy. Her work has appeared in various publications including the Alaska Quarterly, the South Carolina Review, and Snake Nation Review. Her fiction has also garnered the Frank Waters Prize in fiction and earned a scholarship to the Prague Writers Program.
Her first novel, Consumption, is available now from Random House imprint Hydra.
Heather is represented by Barbara Poelle from the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
$25.00 eGift Card to the eBook Retailer of the Winner’s Choice + an eBook copy of CONSUMPTION by Heather Herrman
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Heather Herrman’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Do you read horror? What books have you loved? If not, what’s stopping you from reading this genre? Let’s discuss in the comments below.