Happy Hispanic / Latinx Heritage Month!
Latinx Heritage in Horror Intro by two-time Bram Stoker Awards® nominated poet and author Cynthia “Cina” Pelayo
This is a wonderful time to recognize the works and accomplishments of the diverse Latinx horror authors in our community. The horror writing community includes writers with heritage from various Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and more. Some of our horror writers were born and raised in their country of origin and many were born and raised in the United States, or elsewhere. All of our writers have completely unique and important stories to tell.
Many of the Latinx horror writers in our community explore Latin American myth, legend and folklore in their writing. Others explore socio-economic issues, including education, poverty, and politics. Some of our writers explore concepts of race, gender, and identity. Sometimes Spanish features prominently throughout, and other times it may not. We find stories of family and history in these writer’s works, but sometimes we find a quiet exploration of individual determination. There are times when the paranormal seeps throughout each and every sentence in their stories and sometimes the ghosts are still, there, but silent. We have Latinx writers that write across a range of categories from middle grade to young adult to adult to non-fiction to poetry and more.
Latinx horror writers are diverse. There is diversity within the diversity based on where we were born, how we were raised, what language(s) we were raised speaking, what belief systems we were exposed to, the stories we were told, where we call home today and more, so much more. Yet, we are joined together as a Latinx family of writers who are a part of the larger Horror Writers Association community.
Following this month is a celebration of our Latinx horror writers. I want to thank the Horror Writers Association for hosting this celebration of our Latinx horror writers. This is an exciting time to be a horror writer and to be a Latinx horror writer. Our stories are important and I’m happy to see the wonderful support our works are receiving.
I invite you all to read the works of the writers who will be featured in this series, and please recommend these authors to friends and family and your greater community.
To my fellow Latinx horror writers, I am so honored to be a part of this community. I take great pride in my identity, my culture, and you, my family.
Cynthia “Cina” Pelayo is a two-time Bram Stoker Awards® nominated poet and author. She is the author of LOTERIA, SANTA MUERTE, THE MISSING, and POEMS OF MY NIGHT, all of which have been nominated for International Latino Book Awards. POEMS OF MY NIGHT was also nominated for an Elgin Award. Her recent collection of poetry, INTO THE FOREST AND ALL THE WAY THROUGH explores true crime, that of the epidemic of missing and murdered women in the United States, and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and Elgin Award. Her modern-day horror retelling of the Pied Piper fairy tale, CHILDREN OF CHICAGO was released by Agora / Polis Books in 2021.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College, a Master of Science in Marketing from Roosevelt University, a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Business Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Cina was raised in inner-city Chicago, where she lives with her husband and children.
Find her online at www.cinapelayo.com and on Twitter @cinapelayo.