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Women in Horror Month 2024: An Interview with L.C. Son




What inspired you to start writing?

Well, I kept “borrowing” my brother’s comic books so much, I decided to start writing my own. I wasn’t too good at the comic style, but I adored fantasy, monsters, big battle scenes, and sharp teeth. I wanted to fuse Cinderella stories with Vampire Charmings and Lycan Lords. Still, it started as a hobby, until one day it wasn’t.

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

Michael Jackson’s Thriller started everything. I went from a young girl who wanted to watch Thriller because she loved to dance, to watch the extended, behind-the-scenes transformations of zombies and the wolfman, (including the An American Werewolf in London reference) to falling in love with the dark, sinister chortle of the late great Vincent Price. Plus, there was something criminally smooth (yes, pun intended) about watching Michael willfully lure his date out of the theater knowing full well it was a full moon. It was all so hypnotic that my five-year-old self knew that day I’d walk anywhere with the wolfman.

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

Yes, I make a concerted effort to incorporate female characters in my books. I grew up around strong women. Women who could handle their own, but also wanted and valued companionship. I want the women in my books to echo much of the same. I always say, the women in my books may start off as damsels in distress, but before long they can cause stress of their own. I want women to see themselves when reading my stories. Sometimes we’re cold and calculating and sometimes, cool and caring.

What has writing horror taught you about the world and yourself?

While I never gave much thought to it, it was a reader who once mentioned the recurring theme of found family in my books. As much as I value my family of origin, I never realized how impactful my found family has been in my life. People band together for so many reasons. Sometimes it’s to fight off monsters outside your house. Sometimes the ones in your house. Quite often, it’s to fight off the monsters in your mind. But however it happens, it’s those people who stand with you to face the monsters that stick with you forever.

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

I am actually happy with the state of horror right now. I feel like there’s something for everyone. With films like middle-grade horror on the rise with the likes of Five Nights at Freddy’s, to slasher gore fests like The Terrifier, to even the ever quiet, and unnerving No One Will Save You, there’s certainly enough spooky stuff to go around. When I was young, books like Goosebumps were too young for me, so I turned to Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, after watching it at the movies. I didn’t have Twilight to turn to, which would have been more age-appropriate (my mom’s brain kicking in). Hopefully, we stay the course, allowing a vast array of horror to emerge. There’s no longer a one-size-fits-all view of horror. I think this shift represents more closely the diverse world we live in. And to me, that’s perfect.

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

While we’ve certainly come far in the last twenty years, I believe we have some ways to go. There’s been a steady rise in female leads in horror fiction both in film and books. The same is true for female voices to create these characters. However, I’d also like to see more diverse representation among both female characters and the creators of those stories. It’s been a slow and steady uptick in diversity in horror, but not nearly a fraction of the genre overall.

In order to move forward we have to broaden our idea of what diverse female representation looks like in horror. We can’t simply choose one Mockingjay to tell the story of all either. There are other voices waiting to be heard and characters to be written. It’s my hope that the horror community is intentional as it relates to accepting and introducing new storytelling from females who may or may not look, act, believe, or live as we do.

Who are some of your favorite female characters in horror?

Wow, there are so many. My first memory comes from the 1978 classic, I Spit on Your Grave. While I had no business watching that movie on my dad’s Laserdisc in the 80’s, I was in awe that despite the horrific state of the main character, she stayed true to her main goal, revenge. Bloody revenge. It was exacting, cold, and vicious. More recently, I’ve come to appreciate Akasha in The Queen of the Damned by the late Anne Rice. Her character was complex and beautiful. Although she was lethal, you could sense she was searching for tranquility she only ever felt in blood and the intimacy she shared with her first king, and later, Lestat. The tale of Akasha lives rent-free in my head.

Who are some women who write horror you recommend our audience check out?

On the top of my list is Rachel Harrison. I devoured both Such Sharp Teeth and The Return so fast, I immediately did a reread because I enjoyed those stories so much. A new favorite is Lisa Springer. There’s No Way I’d Die First drew me in from the first page. Fun, engaging, and reads like a film with all my favorite horror flicks tied in. Of course, there are quite a few others, but those two stand out.

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

Enjoy your own brand of horror. I believe horror is a wide spectrum that entails everything from vampires to religious cults, to aliens, and to little old ladies wishing they could relive the glory of their sexual peaks (a nice nod to all of my X/Pearl friends out there). Write the type of story that feeds your darkest cravings and you’ll be sure others will come to dine at your table.

And to the women who write horror out there who are just getting started, what advice would you give them?

Know you’re never going to please everyone. Whether it’s pushing past the glass ceiling of the patriarchy, or aptly digging your heel in and screaming, “My fangs are bigger than yours,” to anyone who challenges your artistry, you have to be your own champion. Not just for your writing, but your characters and the world you’re trying to create. Everyone may not understand it, and that’s okay. One of my favorite characters, Chartreuse Grenoble, of Untamed (L.C. Son) stated it best, “We’re all monsters in someone’s story, better we control our own pen.”

Known for her Amazon Best Seller One Winter’s Kiss, and the gothic, dark fantasy horror, Untamed, L.C. Son is the happy wife of more than twenty years to her high school sweetheart and a loving mom of three. Growing up, she spent hours reading comic books she “borrowed” from her older brother, which inspired her love of heroes and all things fantasy and paranormal. Much like the characters she adored, she lives a duplicitous life. By day, she works tirelessly to champion the employment of persons with severe disabilities. By night, she puts on her wife-mom cape, sharing with her husband at their church and juggling their kids’ highly active schedules. Presently, she’s working on the next installment of monsters, myths, and misfits. Her list of books includes Beautiful Nightmare, Awaken, Untamed, Beta Rising, One Winter’s Kiss, Fire Kissed, Fire Born, and Vengeance Born. For more information visit: Lcsonbooks.com.

One comment on “Women in Horror Month 2024: An Interview with L.C. Son

  1. Hi L.C. Son,

    I was drawn by your beautiful picture. Then I read your interview and was pleased with what I read. I am a new to writing horror writer and found your words inspiring. I have written a few things and am in the process of looking for an agent. I’m anxious to really get my feet into the genre and am happy to see that we can be pretty and write horror too. (I’m not of the LGBT community, I just enjoy being honest and uplifting others)

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