‘‘My book came out last year a week before the presidential elections,” says Madeline Iva, author of the fantasy romance Wicked Apprentice. “What I came away with, standing in the blasted devastation of our liberal democratic psyche, was that I’d just written a book about a woman who ends up holding all the power—and people are very nervous about it.”
The experience inspired Iva’s upcoming panel, Queens of the Damned: Women Who Write Horror, Fantasy and Paranormal Fiction, and she will lead a discussion October 28 at Barnes & Noble on how women are challenging and changing genre fiction.
“The title of this panel references that post-election moment,” Iva says. “I have to keep writing that kind of book. Young women need to see and hear about women having power, being comfortable with it, and everyone else not freaking out.” — from “Local Women Break Through In Fantasy & Horror” CVILLE WEEKLY, 10.25.17
Never before have I felt so in tune with horror/suspense/gothic novel sensibilities before. Something bad is going on. It’s out of site, (if you don’t live in Charlottesville, VA!) and it’s infecting us all dread.
It’s the American political scene, of course. The hurricanes. The mass shootings. When was the last time America was so inflicted by so much sexism, bigotry, hatred, gun violence AND the wrath of the heavens all at in one year? I feel scared. Do you feel scared?
When I’m not hunkered down in front of Netflix madly clicking for something light and comedic to watch to distract me from all this, I’m craving like a heroin addict, a hit of something gothic, something full of fantasy and vaguely brooding. It fits the atmosphere in my head, but it’s removed from the here and now at the same time.
On the other hand, never before have we had (thanks to social media, and people banding together into raving mobs) so many angry women & feminist men making their voices heard about Harvey Weinstein & the #metoo campaign. I often cringe before people rallying together swiftly to thrash someone out of line (what if they’re making a mistake? What thinking person really rejoices in mob mentality?) But sometimes, it would seem, you have to burn it all down to the ground to get the message across that this will not stand any more.
We’re full of dread, yes, but we’re also fighting back. This is what this panel is about at Barnes & Noble. Women claiming space in what was once considered a male sphere. Women writing the characters they long for. Women fighting for inclusiveness, including diversity of race, sexuality, gender, ability, and class. Women not tolerating a ‘boys will be boys’ climate. Women supporting each other in the face of others (men, but sometimes other women too) writing them off as not interesting, not serious enough, not legitimate, worthy, etc.
We’ll talk about how collaborating together makes success in publishing happen. How we’re subverting the male paradigm in terms of female SFF characters. We’ll talk about other fun stuff as well, like Halloween costumes, what we love about our favorite genres, and more!
(Turn Of The Century Suffragette anyone?)
Here’s the rest of the article with more about the other authors on this Halloween event at Barnes & Noble in Charlottesville, VA. The panel is at 12, the signing is from 1 – 3. My fellow authors Shawnee Small (USA Today Bestseller!), Mary Behre, Jodi Meadow, Tina Glasneck, and S.A. Hunter will be there too. Join us! Tell a friend.
And here’s a link to the store event page and locator.