What was it that attracted you to the Slice Girls anthology?
I liked the title and thought I had a short story that might fit.
How did you feel writing a story about a violent woman?
Fine. I’ve written other stories featuring violent women. I’ve read about violent women in fiction and other sources. Violence is a part of life and human behaviour and women carrying out acts of violence has featured in fiction for hundreds of years (even if not necessarily as frequently as male violence) and should continue to do so.
Please give the readers a brief summary of the story you wrote for the collection.
As a boy Danny was forced to spend a summer with his creepy estranged Grandmother.
His Grandmother quickly realises that Danny had a secret and determined to find out what it was.
Years later as an adult, Danny reflects on that summer and the secret his Grandmother uncovered and the murderous consequences that followed.
Monsters and Ice Cream is a story of love and violence and the realisation that monsters are in fact human and some might even be on your side.
How do you feel about the way women are usually portrayed in horror?
It has improved although more frequent and more diverse representation would be better.
Do you think the way female characters are portrayed in horror reflects the way society views women?
Yes. I decided Danny's Grandmother had read De Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom, the earliest example of extreme horror I have ever read. In the part constructed book, De Sade goes out of his way to write about the most cunning, violent and despicable women imaginable. These villains are then depicted as submitting to and allowing their own torture and in some cases death at the hands of four spoilt rich men. These women are shown as doing nothing to prevent their own suffering or death, neither do they take any steps to steal the fortunes of the four libertines. I assume this is because when it was written it was assumed that all women despite personal qualities and differences were subservient and easily controlled by men. Even when it is insanely out of character and makes no apparent sense. The lack of challenge of these characters was absurd to both myself and Iris which is why Iris has the painting ‘Desgranges Hellish Passions’ commissioned. Where the cunning and murderous women rise up against the four spoilt libertines and extract there revenge.
This is an extreme example but there are many other examples of infuriating female characters in popular and some cases highly respected horror. I hated Lucy Westenra in Dracula and believe her to be one of the worst most infuriatingly written women I’ve ever read.
Have any of your other stories been published? If so tell us about them and where readers can find them.
Yes, my short story Abducted was published in Red Cape Publishings A-Z of Horror: A is for Aliens. It is about a woman who is abducted by aliens and sees herself and humanity fall from the top of the food chain to the status of the animals we castrate, eat, abuse and love.
I have also self publishing a couple of novellas The Haunting Of Hope House.
Hope House has a past so gruesome and evil, that few people dare to set foot on the property. Until out of the blue, Alice inherits Hope House. With nowhere else to go and money lenders and her own horrific past at her heels. She decides that Hope House will make a good family home. Ignoring the houses past, Alice brings her two children and her sceptical brother to the house for the weekend. Soon after their arrival, the evil within the house is released. Nasty smells, bad energy and ghostly figures haunt the corridors of Hope House. Furniture moves all by itself and something foul lives in the garden and behind the wall that partition the house in two. Something that drives Alice to her brothers throat and haunts the kids. The family soon become trapped at the house with no way out as both the evil within and the money lender descend. Can Alice and her family outsmart the money lender whose driven them to the derelict house? Is the strange old woman who knocks on their door right about Alice’s daughter Madison’s gift? Can they use it fight the evil within the house that’s still hungry? Or will they become the latest ghosts to haunt Hope House? The Haunting of Hope House is the debut supernatural ghost story from Astrid Addams.
It is available on amazon at: https://amzn.to/3ioa2rq
The Man follows Chloe's blood drenched journey. A journey through the world of unemployment, new relationships and dark graveyards where something foul lurks behind the tomb stones. Waiting for the right moment to pounce. Brutal murders follow Chloe as she tries to start a new life in a strange city, finding love and rebuilding her rocky relationship with her sister. It is a journey that leads Chloe to a hellish mental health unit. But is it the end of Chloe's journey or just the beginning. Will The Man return or did he never exist in the first place? Is she really as mad as they say? Who will be torn into sections next?
It is available at amazon at: https://amzn.to/2DIgAC6
What is your favourite short story by another author?
When people usually ask ‘What is your favourite….?’ I always say I don’t have favourites of anything. However some stories have stuck with me over the years no matter what else I’ve read. So here are the short stories and collections that have stayed with me:
Max Brooks World War Z which I’ve read repeatedly, every story is fantastic.
E. Nesbit Horror Stories, very human complete with human ugliness as well as kindness. Still relatable even though they were written a long time ago.
Stephen King Survivor Type
Mary Shelley Transformation
Stephen King Chattery Teeth, one of the few things I’ve read that made me want to congratulate the author. I tried to message him through one of his social media accounts, telling him how much I loved Chattery Teeth, he never got back to me.
Wrath James White He Who Influences Knowledge
Wrath James White Munchausen by Proxy
What can I say, I love the ‘God’ stuff White does.
David Owain Hughes Mr Crusty and the Troll
George R.R Martin Meathouse Man
Joe R. Lansdale Deadman’s Road
As you might have noticed I love zombie fiction.
Bio: Astrid Addams is a self published author, horror fan and reader who lives in the UK. The HAUNTING OF HOPE HOUSE is her first novella. THE MAN formerly called Sectioned (its an authors prerogative to change her mind) is her second novella, both are available at Amazon. Her short story Abducted is featured in Red Cape Publishings A-Z of Horror A is for Aliens.