To kick off week 3 of Women in Horror month, we spoke with horror journalist, Patti Pauley, about what it means to be a woman in horror, what it's like to write for one of the top horror sites in the genre, and who she believes has the best mustache in a horror film.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Patti! Thank you so much for speaking with us for Women in Horror Month! To start things off, for those not familiar with you, can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
Patti Pauley: Well I ramble mostly on the Interwebs haha. I'm one of a few of the Senior Writers and an Assistant Editor over at iHorror.com. So along with keeping the site polished and up to standards for our readers, I also churn out a few fun articles a week to help keep content fresh and exciting. I try not to limit myself to one area of writing, because that's what I call "the safe zone". So the articles I write vary from week to week. It can be breaking news in the horror genre one day, or a list about horror's greatest set of mustaches another day. Oh, and the answer is Tom Atkins for greatest 'stashe. I started with the site back in early 2014, when it was still in it's toddler stages, and having been able to grow along with the site these past three years has been a beautiful experience. I also manage social media for the website, and have written some stuff for Dread Central as well.
NC: What does being a woman in horror mean to you?
PP: Well, first off, I'm totally floored and honored that someone would recognize me as an asset to the community that I love so much. For so many years, this has been a male-dominated industry in all areas of the genre - from filmmaking to blogging. For me, it seems like the last few years, more women in the biz are getting more positive recognition and doing some really great things within the genre. Not just the actresses you see on the film, but the women behind the cameras, the female horror artists and authors. I'm just happy to be a small speck in this growing community of ladies that are very supportive and extremely talented. Right now, more than ever, is a great time to be a woman in this community, and it's such a blessing in my life that I'm able to be a part of it.
NC: What is it about the horror genre that you love so much and is there anything you wish you could see more of?
PP: Oh man. What isn't there to love?! Personally for me, the passion for the genre has always been a part of my life. I was brought up on horror movies from a very early age. My grandfather and father, who were/are horror nuts, would let me sit in with them watching horror films. It started with the old Universal monster movies, then shortly after I got introduced to HALLOWEEN and JAWS. This was all before the age of five. Parenting win, eh? I've just been obsessed since. As I grew older, I began to really appreciate the art behind it, and horror is just all around fun.
As for anything I'd like to see more of, as a writer for a media site on the web, I'd like to see people be more open-minded when it comes to new horror films. I see so much bashing and complaining prior to a viewing; especially if it's a remake, a certain director, or even an actor. Of course, everyone had a right to an opinion, absolutely. However, just know it hurts the genre more than you realize when you jump on that hatred bandwagon. So more positiveness, less negative attitudes.
As a horror fan, more giant monsters movies. DEFINITELY. That being said, I'm super excited about Kong: Skull Island!
NC: What inspired you to want to write about horror?
PP: As previously stated, the passion for the genre has always been there. And I've always loved to write. I saw an opportunity and went for it. I haven't looked back since.
NC: What advice would you give women that are interested in wanting to write for the horror genre?
PP: I think the best advice I could give if you want to write and be successful at it is you must be consistent, and you must be who you are. Your writing reflects you as a person. And people aren't stupid. They can smell a fake a mile away. Don't think you can scathe by on your looks or simple press releases. Be creative. Move out of your comfort zone and be as loud and bold as your male-counterpart. Write what you know best, and speak as if you're just another horror fan, not a robot. Because, that's what we are, right?! Horror fans with an outlet. This is a great industry to be a part of, but it can be tough also, so you must be thick-skinned. I've been called wretched names for simply stating my opinion haha. However, it comes with the territory. It's the Internet. And there will always be someone with something real nasty to say. You just have to brush it off and keep doing you.
NC: Out of all the interviews/articles that you've done, has there been a favorite one that you like to share with people?
PP: Well, that's a tough one. One of my absolute favorite things to write about is retro junk. Specifically the 70's and 80's horror genre. So there's been a few pieces I've done that I just beamed over getting to talk about. There was a piece I did a few months ago regarding a retrospective on Cronenberg's THE FLY for it's 30th Anniversary. Anytime I get to mention BrundleFly in all it's glory is a wonderful day. As for interviews, meeting and speaking with Cassandra Peterson and Michael Rooker at Wizard World was a very memorable experience, and one that's hard to top for sure.
NC: Last but certainly not least, where can people find you if they want to keep up to date with your writings?
PP: If people want to stay up to date on my incessant ramblings, my Twitter handle is @zombighoul and I always post anything I write there.