Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mocha Memoirs Celebrates Women in Horror Month-Carole Ann Moleti

Mocha Memoirs Press has long since celebrated and embraced diversity in speculative fiction. Join us as we spotlight our talented female horror authors throughout the month of February. Follow us on twitter @mochamemoirs to get daily tweets and more.

I never considered myself a horror writer, but one day found that Aramis, the main character in The Ultimate Test, had decided that she didn't want to star in an urban fantasy. She wanted to plunge deep into dark magic and take everyone else with her. As I wrote, I struggled to 
understand where were all this was coming from. 

My nonfiction themes often parallel my fiction writing--and The Ultimate Test was no exception. 

Many of the events in the story are based on real experiences. When I started to scare myself at the intensity of the story, I turned to my fellow horror writer friends for advice and support. 

Writing teacher Michaeala Roessner encouraged me to keep going, to not hold back--that to write compelling fiction an author has to push the limits or their characters won't be interesting and the story will fall flat. My longtime critique partner Andrew Richardson, who writes  supernatural horror, echoed her advice urging me to stay true to the character. Rayne Hall, an 
editor and writer, whose tag line is dark* dangerous* disturbing is an expert on making stories scarier and thus more compelling. Rayne "invites readers to think, to probe their own consciences, to ask themselves what they would have done in this situation, to explore what is right and what’s wrong. The dark corners of the human psyche are far scarier – and more interesting – than chainsaw massacres." 

The Ultimate Test took many years to find a home at Mocha Memoirs Press, likely due to the dark, disturbing, and dangerous protagonist's actions. In my work in progress, a very gritty urban fantasy, I'm finding it easier to turn off my conscience and separate myself from the character—which any writer will tell you is hard to do. Like doting parents, we may give life to them, but inevitably they must make the choices of what to do with it. Mark Cassell, a cross-genre writer like myself sums it up. " There's a darkness everywhere, and as writers we have the tools at hand to show it in its rawest form. We can scare -- indeed, we can horrify -- our readers at whatever level we choose. As long as we're honest."

Thanks to my friends for sharing their insights and their talents with me on a regular basis. Thanks to Nicole Kurtz for giving The Ultimate Test a fine home. Thanks to all of you for celebrating Women in Horror Month with Mocha Memoirs Press. I invite you to share our stories and let us know what you think.

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