The Women of Horror Literature - Calie Voorhis - The Author's Own Words

Calie Voorhis, The Horror Lurking in the Dark

"I'D RATHER BE THE HORROR LURKING IN THE DARK."

Calie Voorhis is our first featured writer for Women in Horror Month. I was introduced to her through Blood Bound Books and her work in their anthologies DOA: Extreme Horror Collection and DOA Volume II. Since then, I've run across more of her pieces in other anthologies and on her website. I really appreciate her ability to create an entirely new world in such short works of fiction, a combination of the fantastic and the type of horror that can really shock a reader. Her work is the kind that seems unbelievable when you finish it, but while you were reading it, you absolutely took every word as truth.

Calie is a life-long fanatic of the fantastic and an internationally published short story writer and poet, with work in the anthologies Anywhere But Earth, DOA: Extreme Horror Collection (Volumes I and II), Specter Spectacular, and the Urban Green Man anthology, among others. She holds a BS in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill, an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and is an Odyssey Workshop alumna. She also writes the “Changing the Map” column at SpeculativeChic.com. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and at CalieVoorhis.com.

Q1. Where does your fascination, passion, and/or love for horror come from, and what sent you on the path to become an author in the horror genre?

My name has a lot to do with it, honestly. Jason (my cousin) came into existence early in my youth; kids used to tease me about being related, and I kinda ran with that. And then there was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and kids called me “Kali Ma”. The final clincher was my dad’s fascination with The Shining and him telling me not to read it. You can guess how that worked out in elementary school. (Then, with him not knowing I’d read it, we went on a winter trip to the Stanley to see if it was as creepy in the winter, got the caretaker to let us in, and explored. Nightmares for ages from that trip.)

Q2. What type of horror is your favorite and why? Do you write a lot of it, or do you write in various subgenres, such as romantic horror, bizarro, splatterpunk, supernatural, science fiction, etc.?

I like it all! Except torture porn. I hate that shit.

Q3. What is your opinion on women in the horror genre? Do you think WiHM is necessary and helpful, or can it create a rift by singling out one type of writer?

I think recent events have amply proven the need. The horror world needs more solidarity among a bunch of groups – women, writers of color, LGTBQA, and non-European/western.

Do I wish for an ideal world where this isn’t needed?  Absolutely.

Q4. What do you think the future will be within the horror genre, both in general and specific to women? Do you think WiHM will help with that future?

I think someday we’ll all achieve parity. Highlighting and spotlighting the excellent writing of all marginalized groups will help the realization go faster – solidarity!

Q5. Are there any women in the horror entertainment area that you have looked to for guidance? Including authors, actresses, screenwriters, directors, wherever you find inspiration!

Strangely, V.C. Andrews really had an influence on me during some tough formative years. And I hugely esteem and admire Jeanne Cavelos (of the Odyssey Workshop) for her influence as a spectacular editor and teacher in the genre.

Q6. Do you have a favorite female character in the horror genre, and what about this character do you identify with?

Ellen Ripley from the Alien series, because she doesn’t take shit from anything, is smart, and is completely and utterly capable. Second runner up is Sarah Connor from Terminator, for the same reasons.

Q7. Just for fun: are you a token victim, the best friend who might dies, or a final girl?

Screw them.  I’d rather be the horror lurking in the dark.

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