Horror and Dark Fiction Author Peggy Christie [Women In Horror Month 2022]

An author on the dark side, Peggy Christie answers our Women in Horror Month questions:

Please introduce yourself:
Hello! My name is Peggy Christie and I write horror and dark fiction.

What is it that attracts you the horror genre for your chosen field of creative work?
I’ve loved horror since I was little. Growing up in the seventies, I watched Sir Graves Ghastly and Creature Feature every Saturday afternoon. Honestly, I’m not sure what spoke to me from those earlier horror films or why I enjoyed them so much. Maybe because on some level I understood they weren’t real but the imagery and the stories were so vibrant and thrilling from the safety of my living room.

Who inspires you in your work and in life?
For writing, Bentley Little and Dean Koontz are my biggest influences. I love how their minds find a story and then present it to the rest of the world. In my everyday life, my husband does a lot to inspire me. He’s always supportive and encouraging, even if I have a bad case of Imposter Syndrome (which I think all creatives suffer through from time to time). Also being surrounded by other writers and artists pushes me in new directions I’d never have found on my own. That’s always exciting!

What are your passions, cinematic or otherwise?
Aside from horror, in all its forms, I love being creative in general. I’m learning to sew and crochet, something I never thought I’d do. But COVID gave me the time so might as try do something new! I also started painting a mural on the wall of one of our spare rooms. It’s taking forever but it is so much fun to do something for which, as a kid, I’d have gotten in huge trouble! Honestly, I’m amazed my husband lets me do these things…

Considering this is 2022, why do you think we still need a movement like Women in Horror Month?
Funny you should ask this as I just reviewed the film, “Take Back the Night”, from 2021. It’s about a woman who is assaulted by a supernatural shadow creature and all the backlash she gets in the aftermath. If we’re still seeing these kinds of movies and writing these kinds of stories, it’s obvious that the societal views of women in general still need to change. Things have definitely improved for us but, whether you choose to believe it or not, women struggle in situations that men simply don’t. The fact that Women in Horror Month was even created speaks volumes to that idea.

What would you tell an up-and-coming creative in the world of horror who sees that being a woman/identifying as a woman as something that makes it so much more difficult at times?
If you go into anything with a mindset that you’re already screwed, nothing good will come of it. If you want to write, direct, act, paint, run a company, be a welder, be a ship’s captain, just fucking do it. Who gives a damn what other people might think? Everyone runs into opposition at some point but you’ll never succeed in anything with a defeatist attitude right out of the gate.

What are your favorite bits of helpful advice that you have received about your work or your field?
Don’t write what you think other people want to read. That’s a surefire way to fail, either because you won’t be passionate about the work (and it will show) or because the fickle nature of the general public will be on to the next trend before you finish that novel you hated every minute it took to write.

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 found this writer on Instagram, Gillian Church. She does a lot of writing prompts, also posts a lot of her short stories and drabbles on IG. I love her style and her stories usually give me chills. She’s also like a cheerleader for other writers – very encouraging and positive. Her handle is @gilliwrites .

What do you have coming soon that you can talk to us about?
Hopefully, my next horror anthology will be out later this year from Dragons Roost Press. It’s a collection of short stories inspired by the Genesis song, “Home by the Sea”.

What do you hope to leave behind in your legacy as an artist?
Honestly, I hope my stories stick with people. Even if they can’t remember my name, they’ll still remember what I wrote.

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