Women in Horror 2019: M. M. DeVoe

M.M.DeVoe has had a half dozen stories that her friends label horror published or forthcoming in anthologies and magazines including Daily Science Fiction, BuzzyMag and the Twisted Book of Shadows. Her first intentionally “horror” story was one of the winners of the International Campaign for Real Fear run by Black Static in 2014. She writes short fiction of all sorts and is the founder of the literary nonprofit, Pen Parentis. Please visit www.mmdevoe.com to learn more.

1) what is horror?

Horror is a feeling of dread, disgust, and dismay that is both unshakeable and inevitable. The fact that the feeling is based on physicality is what distinguishes horror from other emotions. These monsters/dreams/nightmares are real and corporeally affect their victims. 

2) why horror?

There is truth in it. It is important to face reality, see it for what it is, and keep going. Lovecraft literalized “we are all going to die in the end” and horror continues that tradition. Having the courage to face one’s monsters, however insurmountable or all-powerful, is a lesson well written horror teaches. You can’t win? Try to win anyway.

3) where do you see horror going?

Depends on who is writing it—I think there are two tracks. There will be the writers who “go there” simply because they can, like the special effects people who show every glistening drop of blood on a self-surgery simply because it is possible to be that realistic. I think of this as cringe-horror and I am sure there will be more and more fluids and sharp objects on grand elaborate display as we are conditioned to become jaded to them. And then there will be those writers who go for the reality of the result—instead of inflicting violence upon the reader, they will describe or possibly just hint at the actual violence and then use their writing chops to show the realistic aftermath of that violence. I foresee character-driven stories which show all the nuances—whether of the victim or the monster, or the bystanders along the way. Irony-filled, dramatic, whole stories in which descriptions of blood and gore are not the goal of the experience but livid details intending  to further the narrative, whatever that narrative may be. 

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