This post has two parts. The first deals with Women in Horror Month, which I'm giddily proud to say I am one. The second half of this post will deal with the other half of the equation, and an equally important part of the equation: the reader.
In case you didn't know, it's Women in Horror Month. What does that mean, exactly? It means we ladies get to step into the spotlight for a change and say loudly 'WE WRITE HORROR!'.Here's just a few of my titles available, with covers done by Jeffrey Kosh. Click here to get the full listing of my work.
What's the big deal? In a genre typically dominated by men, women tend to get put on the backburner when it comes to being taken seriously as horror writers. Yes, even in this day and age. I suspect it's very much related to sex (the noun, not the verb). On some deep level we all want to believe that a woman is a nurturer and a safe zone, a potential mother in each one of us just waiting to pop out a baby rather than a horror novel. In my case, I did both.
To the nay-sayers who think women are just incapableof being as scary as a man, you're right. We're much, much scarier. We plant a seed of fear and sit back to let it grow. We water that bad-boy while it's sprouting and you don't even realize it's there. When you've got a fullgrown Audrey II in your head, THAT is when we pull back the curtain and say 'Ta-da!'
And you didn't even know we were there. There's a reason there are mommy issues, people.
To that end, I've been told (by more than one source and by more than just my mom) that I'm pretty good at the whole writing thing. In fact, here's Blaze McRob's take on it.
And now for part 2: The Reader!!!
I'm going to plug Blaze McRob's blog again because it was 50% of the inspiration for this post (75% if you count the blog post about me :)). In this post, Blaze talks about Vix Kirkpatrick. Who's Vix Kirkpatrick you ask? She's a reader. Not just any reader, but perhaps one of the most famous readers I know - yes, I know Vix. She's awesome. She's also a reason that TW Brown came out with another zombie book in his series, I suspect she's the single reason Amazon in the UK loves us indie writers and publishers, and she's also a big reason I started to kick around the idea of a fourth book in the Immortal War Series. Oops, I let that slip, didn't I? Well, it's out there now and I've said it, so I guess I'll have to do it.
So where does the title come into play? What's with this flipping business? No, it's not selling the media after a few minor and possibly structurally dangerous tweaks. It's not a house, after all. "Flipping' is in reference to an interesting new way of teaching called 'flipping the classroom'. What that does is makes the student the teacher (with teacher guidance and facilitation). The students take the lesson plans and create their own learning from it using research, discussions, and presentations. Kind of neat.
In the writing world something similar has been developing for quite some time. The more interaction between the readers and the writers, the more we writers tend to start looking at our work not as a 'here it is, publisher' finite thing, but as an evolving and flexible medium where reader input is no longer out there in the ether but landed squarely in our inboxes and on our Facebook pages. It's a flipped medium. There are fan fiction sites all over the place and even some wildly popular published fan fiction. In Star Trek and Star Wars circles this has been going on for a bit with the series of officially approved novels based on the original characters and stories.
How does it affect our writing? Reader input can influence the story, or in both my case and in TW Brown's case, it can spawn another book.
But there's another (and in my mind the coolest) element to this flipped media: the reader as the celebrity. I know, right? So here we have Vix Kirkpatrick, the world-famous reader! How cool is that?
Welcome to 2013, where the students are part of the teaching process, fan fiction is legitimate, and readers are the celebrities! Now if we could get working on world peace and balanced budgets, that'd be great. :)