What was it that attracted you to the Slice Girls anthology?
The premise of a “feminazi splatter goth” horror subgenre was initially what caught my eye. I like learning about new concepts for horror. This will be the second “new” subgenre I’ll be creatively involved with (the other is a splatter western). Also, I like that Slice Girls is a charity anthology with proceeds/royalties going to a women’s shelter. Domestic Violence awareness and outreach is a cause I’m quite passionate about.
2. How did you feel writing a story about a violent woman?
I felt strangely natural while writing it mainly because my story is about a boss from hell, something many of us have had at least once in our working lives. That said, I couldn’t empathize with her whatsoever because she’s...well…she’s a sociopath.
3. Please give the readers a brief summary of the story you wrote for the collection.
“The Gentle Art of Nominication” is about an ad agency assistant who vies for the attention of her sadistic boss and will do whatever it takes, even if it’s just a suggestion, to please her boss and garner any of the promotion “perks” that come with it.
4. How do you feel about the way women are usually portrayed in horror?
I think female characters in horror have been portrayed according to how the author wants to portray them, just like any other genre, really. Female characters in horror become problematic when the author displays a pattern in his or her writing that shows the characters as the same tired stereotypes, or tropes, over and over again (e.g., the victim-turned-violent-angel-of-vengeance, the crazy sexpot who exists solely to get the hero off and push him to kill everyone in her life, the airhead who’s nothing but slasher fodder…). In other words, the author can’t imagine much beyond a stereotype. As a result, the female characters aren’t particularly engaging. There’s just nothing new there.
5. Would you call yourself a feminist; if not, how do you view the status of women?
I would definitely call myself a feminist, and frankly, I don’t understand anyone who believes in equality but refuses to acknowledge herself or himself as a feminist. You are a feminist if you believe in equality of the sexes. I keep hearing the “humanist” moniker in lieu of “feminist,” which does nothing but minimize the issue. Also, I hate how extremists have maligned the term “feminist”. The term they’re looking for is “misandrist” NOT “feminist”. Feminists don’t hate men for fuck’s sake. We simply want to be treated with the same sort of respect as our male counterparts.
6. Have any of your other stories been published? If so tell us about them and where readers can find them.
I’ve published a couple of horror stories. My latest short “Peelings” was recently published in the Grindhouse Press vacation-themed horror anthology Worst Laid Plans (edited by the incredibly multitalented Samantha Kolesnik). “Peelings” is about a wife in a toxic marriage who… finds herself… after experiencing a bad sunburn while on holiday at Disney with her family. The anthology is available on Amazon and through the Grindhouse Press website.
Bio: Kenzie Jennings is an English professor living in the sweltering tourist hub of central Florida. She is the author of the cannibal-wedding novel Reception and the upcoming splatter western Red Station (Death's Head Press). Her short horror fiction has appeared in Worst Laid Plans (Grindhouse Press), Dig Two Graves, Vol. 1 (Death’s Head Press) and Deep Fried Horror: Mother's Day Edition.