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Women in horror is more than film; in the final part of our series, we introduce you to several talented ladies working in all aspects of the genre.

When I decided that I wanted to celebrate Women in Horror Month by conducting as many interviews as I could, I put out a status on Facebook requesting anyone that was interested to contact me. I was expecting maybe about six to seven people, at the most, to respond. To my surprise, I had an overwhelming response!

I could not believe the amount of talented women who wanted ME to help showcase them. From actresses, to artists, filmmakers, writers…every single one of these women is insanely gifted, and I cannot wait to showcase them each. These are some of the best in the biz, and I feel extremely grateful that they’ve all trusted me to make them shine.

Here is the third and final in the series featuring four talented women involved in various aspects of the genre — from art to horror journalism to theater to photography and beyond. Thank you to Lynne Hansen, Molly Henery, Kristina Lakey and Heather Taylor.


LYNNE HANSEN

1. Please tell us a little about yourself and your projects (past, present, future).

I’m the owner of Lynne Hansen Art, and I create horror art, primarily for book covers. My clients include Cemetery Dance, the world’s largest independent publisher of horror, New York Times bestselling authors like Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala, and even the occasional debut author. I love creating images that will draw potential readers in and make them want to buy an author’s book. I started out as a horror author myself, so I know how hard it can be to reach your audience. I want my art to help folks with that.

I’ve always been a horror girl from the time I was tiny. One of my earliest memories is watching the Acri Creature Feature with my dad on one side and my big brother on the other. They taught me that being scared could be fun, and it’s been a part of my life ever since. I even met my husband, horror author Jeff Strand, at the World Horror Convention. We’ve been married for 21 years now.

I spent some time as a horror filmmaker, but I’ve made my living as a book cover artist for the last 9 years. I’m primarily a digital painter, and most folks see my work online, or on the cover of a book. This past summer though, a friend on the convention committee for Necon gave me the opportunity to show my work there, and it changed my life. It forced me to look critically at my portfolio, and to select the 24 best images I’d ever created from hundreds of options. I made signed, numbered, limited edition archival giclee prints of my favorites, thanks to the help of Robert Lowery Imaging, an independent specialty printer in Athens, Georgia. The show allowed folks to see my work not just as a marketing tool, but as art that has a life of its own.

The demand for my work skyrocketed. It gave me the confidence to take more risks with my art, and I’m loving the results.I have so many things I’m looking forward to this year—opening a real online store, trying my hand at merchandising with goodies like enamel pins and stickers, and showing my work for the first time at StokerCon, the international professional conference for horror writers. However, I think the thing I’m most excited about is creating the art for the high-end limited edition of Jeff Strand’s Cyclops Road, coming out this fall from Haverhill House Publishing. I get to paint a cool cover and four interior illustrations, but I’m most excited about getting to create the image that will be embossed in gold on the leather cover. As a kid, I revered beautiful books. They had a special place on my shelf and in my heart. It blows me away that it’s now my job to help bring something like that into the world. I am so grateful for my life.

2. Who inspires you?

My artist friends who hustle from show to show trying to introduce as many people as possible to their art. My writer friends who slave away in thankless anonymity to put the stories they have boiling in their heads on paper and then get them out into the world so that folks can be entertained. My filmmaker friends who fight the good fight, even when the odds are so stacked against them. I am inspired by artists of all sorts who pursue their art with a passion and joy that makes other people want to create.

3. What does having a Women in Horror Month mean to you? 

We are seen. We are heard. We are significant. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the women who love the darkness, and to draw new fans into the fold for the women doing astounding work.

4. How can we help increase gender equality in the genre?

Come up with ways to get more amazing men working with more amazing women. It’s not enough to simply increase the number of women working in horror. A quota system isn’t the answer. I’ve heard men say, “I didn’t hire a woman for X job because I didn’t know any who fit the bill.” Or, “We didn’t publish more pieces by women because we didn’t get enough submissions from women.” Look harder. Try harder. Reach outside of your normal circle. Trust me, we are out there, and we rock!

5. Where can our readers find you and and your work?

My portfolio website is www.LynneHansenArt.com, and folks can find me on FB at https://www.facebook.com/LynneHansenArt/ , Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/lynnehansenart/ and Twitter at @LynneHansenArt.

Here are some of my upcoming gigs:

  • February 9th – Con-Tagion in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • February 21-24 – The Tampa Bay Publishing Conference in Tampa, Florida
  • March 6 – The Broadleaf Writers Association Self-Publishing Seminar in Atlanta, Georgia
  • March 22 – 23 – The Outer Dark Weird Fiction Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 9-12 – StokerCon in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • July 18-21 – Necon in Portsmouth, Rhode Island
  • August 2-4 – Scares That Care in Williamsburg, Virginia
  • October 12 – The Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival in Haverhill, Massachusetts

6. What’s your favorite scary movie? 

Shaun of the Dead, hands down. Meticulously written with not a spare word that doesn’t pay off. Smart, funny, and yet there are moments when you believe that these characters are in real danger. Love it!


MOLLY HENERY

1. Please tell us a little about yourself and your projects (past, present, future).

I’ve been a horror fan since I first saw A Nightmare on Elm Street when I was 4 years old. In 2015, I finally decided to take that love of horror and start my own website where I write horror film reviews. Since then, I’ve expanded and started contributing to other horror websites. My writing gave me the opportunity to be on Con panels discussing women in horror, and in 2018 I co-hosted a film screening at the Filmbar in Phoenix, AZ for Women in Horror Month. While I love writing about horror films, I want to start creating my own original horror content as well. I got my Master’s degree in professional creative writing in November 2018. With that, I’m working on a collection of short horror stories featuring dynamic, strong women and I’m also working on a screenplay.