Jill Girardi is a woman of horror that is near and dear to my heart (Cliché, I know, but sometimes a cliché is accurate!). She’s not just an awesome horror writer, but she fully supports and lifts up other women who have chosen to write in this historically male dominated genre. Jill was the first person to believe in me enough to give me the opportunity to transition from writer to published writer. When someone helps another person on that level, helping them believe that dreams actually can come true—well, nothing beats that. Jill Girardi is proof that one person really can make a difference.
Jill Girardi is the founder of Kandisha Press, an independent horror publisher which supports women horror writers around the world. She is also the author of multiple short stories, which feature her own brand of dark humor, beasties, and out of this world, nefarious creatures of her own design. Jill is also the best selling, award-nominated author of the Hantu Macabre series.
Jill Girardi is well known and loved among the horror community at large. She is extremely talented and a truly kind person. I am honored to have worked with her and hope to continue to do so. Her Twitter handle is @jill_girardi
So, after a long hiatus accompanied by multiple day job changes which resulted in massive life disarray, I am making my triumphant return with a review of an excellent anthology that seems to have been overlooked by the masses.
Lydia Prime edited this anthology and also has a story within its pages. The incomparable, Ramsey Campbell, introduces the stories inside with an insightful foreword.
The writers were asked to come up with stories that expressed who they are as authors. Many of them explore the true demons that haunt humanity. Alcoholism, death, lost love, and cowardice are themes that many of us have experienced first hand. Horror as a genre often utilizes monstrous beings to represent our greatest fears and weaknesses.
Some of these stories, like a great many horror stories, straddle the lines of horror/sci-fi/dark fantasy. This is one the things I love most about horror. It colors outside the lines.
There is a Stephen Kingish, leave you guessing, element to many of these tales, which is another thing I love about this genre. It encourages deeper thought after the story ends and I think many writers are drawn to it because of that. There is always more to the story, thus more that can be written.
I highly recommend this book, a five star read for sure!
This anthology was my first excursion into the wonderful and brilliant mind of Alyson Faye! I will definitely be looking for more from her! It was right up my alley, with deadly angels and ghost children and the like. I especially love ghost children!
I was reading, “All the Lost Children” (in broad daylight on my patio) and then heard children laughing outside in the distance and nearly jumped out of my skin! Horror writing at its best!!!
All the stories are awesome in this anthology and she hits the ground running with everyone’s favorite anti-Santa, Krampus.
I loved every story but shoutout to, “All the Lost Children” and “Shadow Children” because, well, ghost kids, and “Fallen Angel” because angels aren’t supposed to be nice! I also loved “Dream Catcher” and would love to see a whole novel spring from that one!
When did I begin my love of horror? Well, like a lot of people I became addicted to Stephen King books as a teenager, but it goes much farther back than that…
My earliest dream that I can remember was about a plane crashing in my back yard when I was about five years old and as I watched from the window over the sink in our kitchen, a “man” stepped out and started staggering drunkenly toward our back door. The little dog we had at the time was in the dream too; I think she was a Cockapoo? (That’s half Cocker Spaniel and half Poodle). I think her name was Ladybug. Well, Ladybug barked at the tottering man has he proceeded to open our back door. I wake up at that point in the dream because somehow I knew he was a zombie. Way too scary to stay there…
Years later, I found out I was not born with knowledge of zombies, but had snuck in the living room at night as my parents watched late night zombie movies on TV. It would have been 1970 or there abouts, so I’m guessing my first horror movie was none other than, George Romero’s classic, Night of the Living Dead (Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
My mother said that though my infiltration was discovered and I was promptly removed from said living room, that I would return in what I thought was stealth mode, only to be removed again. I think, I just really liked zombie movies!
As Time’s Arrow marched on, my love and knowledge of the genre increased as I was introduced to such greats as Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff:
Then in my early teens came the arrival of the unforgettable, Jason Voorhees (well technically a vengeful mother came first):
But one of my favorites of all time came next because this monster came to you in your dreams! So scary!
So many scary books and movies later, I am now writing my own little horror vignettes. A quote from the forward for The One That Got Away written by Gwendolyn Kiste: “Growing up, I always lamented the lack of female characters, both in horror and literature at large. While there are certainly many memorable women in books, there still weren’t nearly enough. That in large part was due to a dearth of female authors being accepted in largely insular literary communities. But times have fortunately changed for the better in this regard, and more than ever before, we’re finally seeing female characters in horror that are written by women.”
I feel both proud and humbled to join my fellow Women in Horror doing something that we’ve loved all along as much as “the boys”. I have found the Horror Family to be welcoming to all lovers of horror, regardless, of age, sex, gender, etc… It’s a place for us all to come together to share our love of the genre!