An Interview with Fiona Cooke - Women in Horror Month
Fiona Cooke is a writer, blogger and editor living in the Midlands of Ireland. We discussed her work and what women in horror means to her.
How would you describe your brand of horror?
I write in a mix of gothic and contemporary horror with a touch of ghost story.
Why do you write horror?
I was brought up on a diet of Le Fanu, Stoker, Poe and Lovecraft along with the contemporaries, King, Straub and Herbert.
Who, in the horror genre, inspires you?
Any of the gothic giants – Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, Lovecraft, Poe, also newer writers such as Adam Nevill and John Connolly.
What’s the favourite comment you’ve received in a review?
That I wield my horror pen masterfully.
Which works by female film-makers and/or authors will you be reading/watching this February?
I’m looking forward to reading a little Marjorie Bowen and there’s a great book by Elizabeth Hand I can’t wait to get my teeth into.
Who is your favourite woman in horror?
Anne Rice. I was obsessed with vampires after Interview with the Vampire. She’s a legend.
Why do you think women are attracted to the horror genre?
I can’t answer for other women writers, or other women in general. In fact, I can’t answer per se, I am and have always been obsessed with the occult and horror. I devoured horror as a teen and was obsessed with Aleister Crowley. I don’t see how my sex has any bearing on my love of all things macabre and fearful.
Would you be a villain, victim or hero in a horror story?
I’d like to say the hero but as a teenager I was always interested in being on the other side of the horror boundary.
Who is your favourite female villain?
I think Gabrielle in the Anne Rice series. She can’t help her nature.
What’s your least favourite horror trope?
The helpless girl who leaves the house in her nightdress to find out what that noise was calling out every few minutes to alert the presence/murderer to her location.
Do you believe in the supernatural?
Monsters and Horror Heroes. Who would you snog, kill and marry?
Snog – The Handsome Traveller/Werewolf - a Company of Wolves
Kill – Brightwell (John Connolly, The Black Angel)
Marry – Lestat de Lioncourt (Anne Rice, Interview With the Vampire)
What apocalyptic event will you survive and how?
Zombie Apocalypse, I’m ready. Having watched every Romero and episode of Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead and anything else remotely zombie-related. I’m a mine of information.
Tell us briefly about your work in progress.
I am about to publish a short gothic novella called A Dark Covenant. I’m just working on the final edits and it should be ready to go this week.
Share the opening of one of the stories you’ve had published.
He ripped the plastic off the syringe and laid it in the metal kidney dish on the small table beside him. Tipping the ampoule with a nail he snapped off the top and after affixing a needle to the syringe carefully drew the fluid. Satisfied, he turned to the elderly woman in the high-backed armchair. Obediently, she offered her right arm.
“Now, Nora, relax. I promise you won’t feel a thing.” He deftly rolled up the sleeve to reveal an emaciated bicep, the muscle atrophied and the skin nearly translucent.
Taken from ‘You Won’t Feel a Thing’ , Death Comes Calling by F.B. Hogan.
What three pieces of advice would you offer anyone wanting to create horror?
Know your genre, read it, watch it and then write it.
Write what you want to read, I write the kind of story I would love to come across.
If you aren’t loving writing your horror, go back to the drawing board and keep going until you are. Writing horror is the best fun ever, it’s a complete buzz.
Fiona Cooke is a writer, blogger and editor living in the Midlands of Ireland. She masquerades as a functioning member of society, a mother, but at heart she is dreaming, writing and all about the horror. She secretly believes that Women in Horror Month was designated for the month of February in honour of her birthday. She has three collections of dark fiction on Amazon; Death Comes Calling and The Nightmare; collections of gothic and contemporary horror, plus a collection of mixed genre fiction, The Lights Went Out and Other Stories. She is in the process of publishing her gothic horror novella, A Dark Covenant, hoped to be ready mid-February.
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