I am thrilled to introduce my next Woman Thought Leader in Horror: V. Castro. This series is meant for one thing and one thing only; to amplify the voices of women in horror.
As V. Castro puts it, "Men don’t get to set the standard for women anymore. I’m fucking sick of it."
Buckle up horror family.
1. Why horror? What fascinates you about horror and enticed you to write in the genre?
I have always loved horror. I grew up with dark folklore and urban legends. As a Mexican American we have a lot of superstitions and the supernatural is never far away.
2. What is your favorite era of horror and why?
Film wise I have to say the 80s and 90s because so many iconic characters and films were released then. Otherwise I would say now because horror is slowly becoming more inclusive. Horror has the opportunity to take on so many different dimensions right now.
3. What are some of your favorite horror films?
How much time do we have?! I love The Lost Boys, Event Horizon, Nightmare on Elm Street Halloween, Here Comes the Devil, Hereditary. So many!
4. What do you think the genre of horror brings to the world in terms of values, beliefs, impact?
I think horror lets us explore ideas we can't always explore in the open. I write creatures because they are looked as “Others”. I am an “Other”. This theme is recurring for me and I use it to show people my humanity. We can use horror to show the world there are a hell of a lot of gray areas in life. These areas should be looked at. The shadows should be looked at just as the status quo should be challenged. We can do that in horror because many times there are huge challenges, even fights to the death.
5. How do you think your writing of horror reflects you as a person or your life overall?
Horror has helped me tease apart many difficult aspects of my life experiences and how I view the world. I try to better understand myself and others through horror. There are so many questions I have, and it seems like most of the answers dwell in the dark.
6. What do you think lies ahead for the genre?
I think we will see a lot more diversity. Times are changing and the world has to change with it, including publishing.
7. Like many things, women are underrepresented in the horror genre. Why do think this is and why is it critical to have women more represented in horror?
Women are underrepresented because men have had a strangle hold over it and don’t want to let go. We also hail these men as heroes instead of branching out and celebrating lesser known horror writers, ESPECIALLY women of color. These guys set the standard and you always have all else compared to their standard.
It’s vital women are included because we are often used in the male driven standard as objects. There is way too much rape, assault and humiliation going on and this has to stop. Let women write about their body, their sexuality, their dreams and nightmares. Men don’t get to set the standard for women anymore. I’m fucking sick of it.
8. Any tips for new women writers in the horror genre?
Persevere. Get back up if you fall even if that means taking a break or reaching out to writer friends.
Don’t compare yourself to other writers and their journeys especially if you are a woman from a marginalized community. It’s more difficult for us.
Don’t be afraid to write what you want and what your truth is. Don’t write to the male standard.
9. Who are some of your favorite women horror authors to read?
There are so many out now! I would recommend Tananarive Due and Linda Addison. Both fantastic Black women in horror.
10. For readers who have never read your work, what should they start with and where can they find more information about you?
Depends on what they like!
Sed de Sangre – very short 3 erotic horror stories
Switchblades and Hairspray - Chicana Jaguar shifters
Maria The Wanted - book 1 of an epic vampire saga
www.vvcastro.com has all my books listed including the anthologies.
Twitter an IG @vlatinalondon
All women that need a boost can go to www.frightgirlsummer and get involved.
Until next Time,
This is Sterp