Interview With Yours Truly

Women in Horror Spotlight: Morgan Sylvia

Even though October is over, I will still be highlighting the work of Women in Horror and introducing some new people to their work. I will be writing about authors, filmmakers, podcasters and other aspects of horror-related creative endeavors; I ask each of them several questions and share their answers with you in this series of articles. Remember – Halloween can be observed year round if you keep the spirit of the season in your heart. October may be over, but the work of women in horror lives on all year!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work…

Well, I live in Maine and am a full-time freelance writer. I grew up an only child with a librarian mom in a somewhat remote spot, so I became a bookworm at a pretty young age. I’ve been writing since I was a little kid, though I only started publishing a few years ago. My first novel, ABODE, was released this past summer by Bloodshot Books. It’s about the aftermath of a terrible haunting that destroyed a family who moved to a piece of land that had been inhabited by witches—and something much darker—for hundreds of years. As far as things I’ve published, in addition to ABODE, I’ve sold several poems and short stories. I also released a horror poetry collection, Whispers From The Apocalypse, back in 2014. I’m told the fact that I’m a poet shows in my work. I guess I fall somewhere between literary and atmospheric on the horror chart. I’m currently working on several things at once. The next story I have coming out is called The Thin Place, and it will be in an anthology by the New England Horror Writers. I’m also working on a piece called The Bone Road, which is supposed to be a novella but may grow into a novel.

What’s your earliest memory of horror influencing you?

It’s really hard to pick a specific moment. I can think of a few possibilities. One was a trip to Disney when I was five or so. I remember going through the Haunted House, and being quite taken by the whole thing: the atmosphere, the dancing ghosts, everything. I also remember reading a library book about Dracula while I was pretty young. There were photos of stills from some of the early Bela Lugosi films, and they were just so striking, they sort of struck a chord, I guess. There was also a kid I went to school with who was very much into horror, who would tell me about things like The Amityville Horror and whatnot, in kindergarten, even. But really, there’s not just one thing. I guess I’ve always been aware of it, to some extent. I mean, even the cartoons we watched back then had horror elements, like witches and mad scientists and whatnot.

What drove you to the horror genre?

I started out writing fantasy, but even the fantasy I wrote incorporated a lot of horror elements. It was just a natural progression. My work has a very dark feel. I guess as my tastes in music darkened, so did my taste in literature . . . and so did my own work. To me, if I’m going to write horror, I want to actually scare people. So I’m delving into all sorts of fears and creepy elements in my work.

As you started delving deeper into the horror genre, how did your influences change? What I mean is, there was something that drew you in, and eventually you branched out and started becoming interested in other aspects. What drove you to the other branches of horror maybe from slasher flicks to zombies, or to psychological horror?

Each subgenre of horror has its strengths and weaknesses. I never cared too much for gore that is done just for shock value, but aside from that, I like all the genres. I do particularly like psychological horror and things that are atmospheric, but at the end of the day, the story itself needs to be good, no matter what genre or subgenre it’s in. As far as writing, though, I tend to delve into paranormal/occult topics. I just find them more interesting to read and write about.

When you settle in to write something, what do you watch or listen to in order to help get your creative juices flowing?

I’m all over the place, really. I love metal, but I’m really quite eclectic and listen to whatever suits the story. Some of the bands that have made my writing soundtrack include Emperor, Acid Bath, Tiamat, Enslaved, Tool, Dead Can Dance, The Moon and The Nightspirit, Beherit, Saturnalia Temple, Black Sabbath, Behemoth, Iron Maiden, WASP, Perfect Circle, Death, Johnny Cash, Anathema, Halou, Air, Portishead …. I’m really all over the place. I choose my soundtrack scene-by-scene and try to find something that fits the mood I’m looking for. If I find a perfect fit, I’ll just put a song on repeat, and listen to it over and over.

As a woman in the horror genre, what are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced in the pursuit of your art?

I think personally my biggest challenge has been—and to some extent still is—learning how to read to an audience. In part that’s because there are quite a lot of words that I’ve only seen written but never heard spoken aloud, words I can spell perfectly but completely mispronounce, so I’m always worried that I’ll mangle a word without realizing it. I’m also just not really one for being in the spotlight. The whole reason I enjoy writing is that it happens offstage, so to speak. I’ve gotten better at it, but I’m definitely not there yet. I also find marketing and promotion difficult, but that’s just par for the course. I’m sure I’m not the only writer who just wants to write and leave the sales to others, but it just doesn’t work that way.

What other things influence you, aside from horror?

History, music, art, and nature are all major influences on me. I may see a picture of a certain landscape, and think of a story that would match it. Or I’ll hear a lyric snippet, and think of a story that would lead to it. I’ve also gotten ideas or inspiration from various historical figures or specific eras. I also love walking in the woods. That always gets my creative juices flowing. I’m very big on opening yourself up to things that could influence you. I soak up documentaries, books, music: my brain takes these things, spins them around, mashes them together, and spits them out as stories. I think you have to feed your head in order in order to create.

Is there a specific person in horror that you try to emulate?

Not at all. It’s always better to be yourself than to try and emulate others.

Who is your favorite horror villain?

Hmmmm. I think I’d have to go with Pinhead for that one. He’s so well-written, and really has a lot of depth for a villain. He’s capable of completely tormenting people, but there’s still that tiny flicker of humanity in him.

Tell us about another woman in horror whose work you think the folks reading this should check out.

I’ve got to go with two – Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, who write together as the Sisters of Slaughter. Check out their books Mayan Blue and Those Who Follow.
Finally, what’s the one Halloween-specific movie that makes its way into your regular rotation throughout the year? Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. I never tire of watching that movie. It’s just so beautifully shot. But I am also quite obsessed with As Above So Below, which I found utterly terrifying. That one’s not as Halloween-specific, however.




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One thing that has really got me excited this week is the fact that Abode was reviewed–and recommended–in the Library Journal. I’m so honored to be included in this! Below are screenshots of the actual magazine. Stoker Award winner Tom Deady, author of Haven, also got recommended.

These were part of a Halloween series about horror. They also coincided with blog posts from several Bloodshot Books authors about the genre. You can also read my article online at Becky Spratford’s blog here. Check the others out too!

Also, Abode (e-book) is $0.99 cents this week … click here for the link.


The New England Horror Writers present their newest anthology: Wicked Haunted. This includes my story, The Thin Place
Buy now on Amazon!
Featuring fiction and poetry from Matt Bechtel, Tom Deady, GD Dearborn, Barry Lee Dejasu, Peter Dudar, Jeremy Flagg, Dan Foley, doungjai gam, Emma J. Gibbon, Larissa Glasser, Patricia Gomes, Curtis M. Lawson, Bracken MacLeod, Nick Manzolillo, Paul McMahon, Paul R. McNamee, James A. Moore, R.C. Mulhare, Rob Smales, Morgan Sylvia, Dan Szczesny, KH Vaughan, and Trisha Wooldridge. Interior artwork by Ogmios, Judi Calhoun and Kali Moulton. Cover art by Mikio Murakami.
Edited by Scott Goudsward, David Price, and Daniel G. Keohane


Abode is on sale for $0.99 cents this week in the US, and $0.99P in the UK.

The Abode e-book is on sale this week for $0.99 in the US and $0.99P in the UK. The Library Journal called it “Violent and Haunting” this week 🙂

If you’ve been wanting to pick up a copy but holding off because it’s 2017 and everyone is broke as fuck, this is a great time to get the e-book!

Also, if you’re in New England, I’ll be reading and signing at Annie’s in Worchester Sunday. Come on out!


Why I Love Horror

I did a guest post for Becky Spratford on Why I Love Horror. This is part of a spotlight series highlighting Bloodshot Books’ authors. It posted today.

For those of us in the world of horror, autumn is a busy time of year. Fall and horror go hand in hand, and with good reason. They are both associated with death: the passing of summer and the approach of the cold dark months certainly mirrors the lifespan of a human being. Autumn is also a great time for telling—and reading—scary stories. The long, dark nights remind us of all the things that could be waiting in the shadows.
Humans tell stories because that is how we learn to understand the world around us. Many of the tales we hear as children have elements of horror: witches and goblins and dark magic certainly permeate quite a bit of children’s fiction. But why do we enjoy horror so much? Why do we watch movies that give us nightmares, or read books that make us squirm? Why on earth would we want to delve into the darkest corners of the universe? Isn’t it much more pleasant in the sunshine?
Because of fear.
A good scary book or movie has the power to invoke true fear, on a very visceral level. When horror does it right, we get goosebumps, we shiver, we get queasy, we jump. We get that sick feeling in the pit of our stomachs. Fear may not be the most pleasant emotion, but it is both powerful and necessary. Our strongest survival instincts are drenched in fear: fear of pain, fear of death, fear of loss. Horror allows us to experience those fears, and can terrify us on a level that most of us will—hopefully—never experience in reality, without exposing us to any danger.


Click for more


Here is the back cover copy of Abode.


This is the place where the harrowed ghosts of a dozen generations whisper in the shadows of their ancestral home, where one family’s dreams of a new beginning turned into a nightmare that ended in tragedy.


This is the place where a line of witches bound themselves—in blood—to a primeval entity. Here, nightmare and reality meet beneath frozen skies, and even time and space fall under the power of the demonic being that rules this remote northern wood.


This is the place where the path of a tormented survivor meets that of an unknowing innocent. Past and present collide, and secrets long buried crawl back into the pallid light of day as the shadow of the Beast falls over them both. But even the bloodiest dreams of that demonic being may pale in comparison to what lies buried within the human heart.
This is the place where evil dwells …


Review of Abode


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Here is an early review of my novel Abode from Unnerving Magazine.

“Well worth picking up.”

I’ll take that 🙂

Q&A With Author EJ Stevens



What are your favorite books?

My favorite authors include Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Philip K. Dick, Faith Hunter, and Patricia Briggs.

What is the best piece of advice you ever got on writing?

“Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.” —Alfred Hitchcock

Which one of your books do you love the most?

That’s a difficult question.  I love all of my 18 books.

Birthright has won the most awards, but research on Hunting in Bruges brought me to Belgium.  Can I pick my top 2?

If you could live in any place/era, what would it be and why?

I’ve done extensive research into the Victorian era.  My upcoming series, the Whitechapel Paranormal Society, is set in Victorian London.  But as enchanting as that time period is for fictional stories, I prefer living with today’s modern conveniences.

What is your current writing soundtrack?

I need absolute silence when I write, but a playlist inspired by the Ivy Granger series can be found on the Ivy Granger FAQ page.

Author Bio:

E.J. Stevens is the bestselling, award-winning author of the IVY GRANGER, PSYCHIC DETECTIVE urban fantasy series, the SPIRIT GUIDE young adult series, the HUNTERS’ GUILD urban fantasy series, and the WHITECHAPEL PARANORMAL SOCIETY Victorian Gothic horror series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines. Her novels are available worldwide in multiple languages.

BTS Red Carpet Award winner for Best Novel, SYAE finalist for Best Paranormal Series, Best Novella, and Best Horror, winner of the PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy Novel, Best Young Adult Paranormal Series, Best Urban Fantasy Novel, and finalist for Best Young Adult Paranormal Novel and Best Urban Fantasy Series.

When E.J. isn’t at her writing desk, she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

Connect with E.J. on Twitter @EJStevensAuthor. For more, including a list of her books, freebies, and upcoming events visit

Upcoming Book Release:

Tales from Harborsmouth (Ivy Granger Psychic Detective #0.5, #1.5, #2.5, #5.5) by E.J. Stevens.

In Tales from Harborsmouth, readers get to delve deeper into the award-winning world of Ivy Granger.

Ivy Granger is a psychic detective with ties to Harborsmouth’s paranormal underworld. Too bad those ties tend to ensnare Ivy and her friend Jinx in the Machiavellian schemes of the city’s teeming population of bloodsucking vampires and psychotic faeries.

Tales from Harborsmouth is the first time the Ivy Granger novellas are together in one collection and features two exclusive short stories the series prequel Frostbite and the newest Ivy Granger tale Thrill on Joysen Hill.

Featured in this collection:
• FROSTBITE (Ivy Granger #0.5)
• BLOOD AND MISTLETOE (Ivy Granger #1.5)
• CLUB NEXUS (Ivy Granger #2.5)
• THRILL ON JOYSEN HILL (Ivy Granger #5.5)

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Mystery, Supernatural Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes
Goodreads: Tales from Harborsmouth | Ivy Granger World Complete

E.J. Stevens
Author . Blogger
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter


That First Review

Unnerving Magazine’s third issue features a review of my novel, ABODE, and an interview with my publisher, Pete Kahle (Bloodshot Books). Lots of other cool stuff as well!

I told myself I wasn’t going to read reviews, as I felt that if they were positive I’d get overconfident, and if they were negative I’d be crushed. But I can’t help it.

Happy to say that this one was positive!

George Little is a Marine combat vet, originally from Waterville. (We went to high school together.) Dodge is his service dog, and basically his best friend. Dodge now needs emergency surgery. If you have ever had a dog leave pawprints on your heart, please help and/or share this GoFundMe.