Horror Writers Association

A Point of Pride: Interview with Paula D. Ashe

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Paula D. Ashe is a writer of dark fiction. Her debut collection, We Are Here to Hurt Each Other, was released in early 2022 from Nictitating Books. She lives in the Midwest with her family.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve been compelled to write since a very young age, I’m not sure why. I’ve always had an affinity for language, storytelling, and a big dark imagination.

What was it about the horror genre that drew you to it?

That’s the question, ain’t it? I don’t know what drew me in, but I know what keeps me is the honesty (horror is where we can let our monsters out) and the creativity and camaraderie of the community.

Do you make a conscious effort to include LGBTQ material in your writing and if so, what do you want to portray?

YES. I write what I like to read; messed up, transgressive, literary horror with diverse queer characters.

How have you seen the horror genre change over the years? And how do you think it will continue to evolve?

The drives for more inclusion and accessibility. It’s been amazing in so many ways. Do we have more work to do? Always. It’s a process and we have to keep pushing forward.

How do you feel the LGBTQ community has been represented thus far in the genre and what hopes do you have for representation in the genre going forward?

I really really love the anti-respectability politics ethos in a lot of LGBTQ+ representation in the genre.

Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ characters in horror?

Agnes and Zoe from Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca, Lizzie Borden (yes, that Lizzie Borden) from Cherie Priest’s The Borden Dispatches (Maplecroft and Chapelwood, respectively), and Spyder Baxter from Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Silk

Who are some LGBTQ horror authors you recommend our audience check out?

Zin E. Rocklyn, Eric LaRocca, Hailey Piper, Shannon Barber, Mae Murray, Joe Koch, Sumiko Saulson (I’m forgetting 8 million people and I’m sorry)

What is one piece of advice you would give horror authors today?

Write the things you want to read, no matter how outlandish, extreme, or indulgent they may seem. There’s an audience for it, trust me.

And to the LGBTQ writers out there who are just getting started, what advice would you give them?

Same as above.

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