To celebrate Women in Horror Month
I am hosting an author spotlight on Dystopian Horror writer – Angeline Trevena and her book The Bottle Stopper, Book 1 of The Paper Duchess Series.
I tend to think of myself as one of the unlikeliest horror writers you’ll ever meet. I am terrified of spiders, the dark, the sight of blood. Much of my day is spent creeping round the house investigating sounds that absolutely must be either an intruder or a ghost.
AHHHH!!! A SPIDER!!!!!
After all, I once had a nightmare after watching the Eddie Murphy film ‘Coming to America’. Yes, really.
Yet, fate found it funny to make me one of the biggest horror fans going. Ever since my brother introduced me to the classic horrors of the 70s and 80s when I was a teenager, I’ve been hooked.
Despite that, I was a late comer to the likes of Stephen King and Clive Barker, not picking up their books until my 20s. But once I did, I made a pretty quick shift from reading fantasy, to reading the kind of books that had me jumping at every bump in the night.
And that was when I started writing horror too.
I’ve actually been composing stories since before I could even write, and it’s, pretty much, my natural state. If I wasn’t a writer, I honestly don’t know what I’d do. And yes, being such a scaredy-cat, I do scare myself with my own writing. Frequently.
In fact, I would hate to meet my horror-self in a dark alley!
Because, that’s how I see it; there’s me (favourite colour yellow, watches trashy dating shows, laughs at fart jokes), and then there’s horror me (filled with an uncontrollable darkness, knows several ways to kill a person, truly sadistic). Two very separate people.
But, even when they are filled with an uncontrollable darkness, women can have a very tough time in the horror genre. Sure, we’re allowed to write about romantic vampires, but when it comes to the real horror, the gory horror, the truly terrifying, many see that as a male-only domain.
Though I’ve never experienced it myself, I do know other female horror writers who have been told that ‘women shouldn’t write horror’, or even that they ‘can’t’. This leaves many women using pen names, or gender ambiguous names, knowing that their books will simply sell better if they don’t publicise the fact that they’re female. Sadly, however, the industry will never change if women keep hiding. Not that I blame them, it’s savvy business sense after all.
And that’s where initiatives like Women in Horror Month (WiHM) come in.
Now in its 7th year, WiHM runs every February worldwide, and seeks to celebrate, promote, and support the work of women in the horror genre. It pulls together a wide variety of events, such as screenings, festivals, readings, blog hops, podcasts, and even blood drives, from all over the world.
You can get more information on WiHM on their website:
This year, as part of WiHM, I’m having a week-long sale of my latest book, The Bottle Stopper. This is the first book in The Paper Duchess series, set in a dark future dystopia where women are owned and controlled by the state.
The Bottle Stopper follows the story of Maeve, a girl left in the care of her abusive uncle after the administration took away her mother. Maeve, lives in the slums, outside of the system, but it’s an existence she’s desperate to escape from. In fact, as her uncle’s violence towards her increases, it becomes a matter of life and death.
Trouble is, to save her own life, she has to sacrifice the lives of others.
The Bottle Stopper:
“Too much trouble, and you’ll end up just like your crazy mother.”
Maeve was six when they took her mother away, and left her in the care of her Uncle Lou: a drunk, a misogynist, a fraud.
For eleven years she’s lived with him in Falside’s slums, deep in the silt of the Falwere River. She bottles his miracle medicine, stocks his apothecary shop, and endures his savage temper.
But as his violence escalates, and his lies come undone, she devises a plan to escape him forever. Even if it means people have to die.
If you like stories of oppressive governments, genetic selection, mass murder, and the fight for freedom, if you look for unlikely heroes and always root for the underdog, you’ll love The Bottle Stopper.
And for a whole week, from February 8th – 14th, you can grab the Kindle edition for just 0.99!!!
If you want to know more about Ageline and her work, please visit her website: