by W.B. King
As a literary genre, horror fiction usually connotes blood, guts and fear. Authors who conjure dark tales of fright and flight with deliberate moxie, however, often present juxtaposed character traits than their ghoulish protagonists.
“When people look at me they are surprised that I write horror,” said Irvington resident and author Lori M. Myers. “But I’m a nice person; a peaceful person.”
While she shares her surname with famed Halloween bogeyman Michael Myers, it was Alfred Hitchcock’s quintessential thriller Psycho that entranced Myers as a young child.
“Growing up in New Jersey there was a show called Million Dollar Movie and they would show the same movie three or four times a day—like Frankenstein and Dracula,” recalled Myers. “I don’t know if it is a love of being scared, but it [horror] always has had an interest for me.”
Women in Horror
An award-winning writer, Myers’ work has been published in more than 45 national and regional publications. Her latest work is a short story collection entitled Crawlspace and other Stories of Dark Horror. Published in December 2016 by Fear Front Publishing, Myers explained that these tales are best described as literary horror.
“I feel that horror should include all the techniques of good writing,” said Myers, a part-time professor of writing at Dominican College in Orangeburg N.Y. “Using all the senses, character development and plot— to get the reader involved in the story. I don’t write gore for gore’s sake.”
While there are well-known female horror writers, such as Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles), Myers is among a small demographic of writers in this genre; however, there is a movement afoot. This February marks the eight annual Women in Horror Month, an international, grassroots initiative that encourages supporters to learn about and showcase underrepresented work of women in the horror industries.
“Anne Rice is known, and Poppy Brite is one of my favorite horror dark fiction writers,” said Myers. “We [women] are definitely underrepresented in this genre, but we are starting to make ourselves known.”
Approaching her second year living in Irvington, Myers said the rivertowns, home to famous artists and writers, including Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), provide inspiration.
“Even before I moved here, I thought of this area as a place where writers could write and create,” said Myers who is currently working on a play and a dark fiction manuscript. “I’ve met a lot of writers here. With Sleepy Hollow being nearby and The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center nearby—I feel very much at home.”