Women in Horror 2019: Regina Garza Mitchell

Regina Garza Mitchell has published over a dozen short stories, the most recent in Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal. She is editor (with David G. Barnett) of the forthcoming anthology Blasphemous Rumors. She has a doctorate in Eduational Leadership and has twice been a writer-in-residence at Golden Apple Art Residency.

1) what is horror?

Horror is the wind moaning at night, tapping on the windows like the fingernails of a long-dead woman come to take you home. It is the blend of fear, terror, and anticipation that exist in the space between the unknown and the known. To me, horror is grounded in not knowing or not being able to see or understand the unknown in its entirety. It is also the emotion that makes a person look when they know that they probably shouldn’t.

2) why horror?

I grew up on the border of Texas and Mexico surrounded by stories. The first stories I heard were ghost stories: stories about the devil at the disco, la llorona, and living dolls. They terrified me – but also excited me. Horror has always been a part of my life. And, really, I would much rather bury myself in horror fiction than the horrors I see and read about people inflicting on each other in real life. Reading horror provides a type of control that I often do not feel in reality.

3) where do you see horror going?

Horror is a reflection of the world at large, and it will continue to reflect reality as it changes. It  functions like a pendulum swinging from one side to the other and back again to echo the political, social, technological, and environmental issues we face. I do think globalization has led to seeing more diverse perspectives of horror in regard to nationality, culture, and gender, and I hope that will continue to shape new and different directions for horror that alters the pendulum.

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