Interview with Horror Author Rachel Simmons [Women in Horror Month 2021]

Post-WiHM Coverage

Please, introduce yourself.
Hello, I am Rachel Simmons. I love writing horror stories. My love for horror includes writing stories, drawing illustrations, watching horror movies, and playing horror board games. I first became infatuated with horror in high school. I enjoy all things bizarre from skulls to organs to mummification.

What is it that attracts you the horror genre for your chosen field of creative work?
It’s a very liberating genre that allows you to be open with all sorts of peculiar tastes. It’s thought-provoking in an unsettling manner. I enjoy watching my readers become disturbed by my writing. The horror realm is open to interpretation because you can go any sort of route with it, such as horror romance, horror-comedy, paranormal horror, and so on.

Who inspires you in your work and in life?
Most of my inspiration is drawn from music. Artists such as Creature Feature, In This Moment, and Motionless in White. From 80’s horror films to more modern films such as the Saw franchise have all been huge inspirations.

Women in horror have made great strides, but it’s clear that a lot of work is still needed to make it a most inclusive genre. To you, what is the importance of a movement like Women in Horror Month?
Women deserve to be seen as more than just the victim in horror movies. Women aren’t seen as important roles in many horror films and can easily be forgotten or replaced. It’s important to have this movement to bring women more towards the forefront of the scene. A woman could easily be placed as a great killer or mastermind when represented properly.

What would you tell an up-and-coming creative in the world of horror who sees that being a woman/identifying as a women as something that makes it so much more difficult at times?
I’d tell them that regardless it’ll always be a struggle but that’s what makes it so important. It’s much more rewarding to see something difficult be accomplished than something common in the field. I’d tell them they should want to set an example so that people in the future can also encourage female representation.

What are your favorite bits of helpful advice that you have received about your work or your field?
Critiques are just suggestions and should not be something to overwhelm you. Everyone will have a different opinion on how something should be written and it’s impossible to please everyone. Also, never feel bad about self-promotion because no one will get you out there except for yourself.

In honor of celebrating Women in Horror Month, who do you believe viewers should keep an eye on in terms of the creative ladies in horror?
I believe they should go to any horror writers group, horror art group, or any horror creative group and find women that you would enjoy promoting because they’re trying their best to get themselves out there.

What do you have coming soon that you can talk to us about?
I post short horror stories several times a week. They’re great for a quick read that gives the chills.

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