Women in Horror Spotlight : Amber Fallon
All throughout October, I will be highlighting the work of Women in Horror and introducing some new people to their work. I will be writing about authors, filmmakers, podcasters and other aspects of horror-related creative endeavors; I ask each of them several questions and share their answers with you in this series of articles.
This article will be about author and podcaster Amber Fallon. Amber has written multiple novels and contributed to a number of anthologies. Her latest works are “The Warblers” and “The Terminal”, and both are available on Amazon. I’ve read both of them, and I find them to be well-written and gripping tales. She has a unique voice that resonates with her readers, and once you get a taste of her work, you will find yourself eagerly seeking out her next project.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
My name is Amber Fallon. I’m a techie and a foodie and some other things that end with ie. I write horror, mostly. Sometimes with a dash of weird, sometimes with a sprinkle of pulp, sometimes something entirely different. For example, my debut novella, The Terminal, is a gory, action-packed alien invasion story… my next book, The Warblers, is a quiet historical piece.
What’s your earliest memory of horror influencing you?
My mother used to read Edgar Allan Poe stories to me from the time I was born.
What drove you to the horror genre?
I’m not sure anything really drove me, per se. It’s just always felt like home. I have tried writing other genres, but they always end up horror stories, so why fight it?
As you started delving deeper into the horror genre, how did your influences change? What I mean is, there was something that drew you in, and eventually you branched out and started becoming interested in other aspects. What drove you to the other branches of horror maybe from slasher flicks to zombies, or to psychological horror?
Well, Poe was my first exposure… from there, I started reading books from both of my parents’ shelves. Mom’s gave me more Poe, Lovecraft, Shelley and Stoker, Bloch, and some Bradbury. My father’s yielded more modern voices: King, Koontz, Barker, Ketchum, Straub… on the film side of things, I’d accidentally been allowed to watch The Company of Wolves, and from there my love grew to include the Hammer horror films, anything with Vincent Price, then Night of the Living Dead and so on and so forth.
When you settle in to write something, what do you watch or listen to in order to help get your creative juices flowing?
That really depends on what I’m working on. Usually, it’s cooking shows of some sort, but once in a while I’ll be looking for a specific vibe or atmosphere and I’ll seek out music or movies to provide the right backdrop.
As a woman in the horror genre, what are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced in the pursuit of your art?
The weird idea that because I’m female, somehow I don’t know how to actually write things that are scary and/or violent. I’ve encountered a lot of people (usually men) who will insist that what I have labeled “horror” is actually “paranormal romance” or something… Since I almost never have romantic or sexual elements in my work, I might find it amusing if it weren’t so frustrating. To set the record straight (I’d like to say once and for all, but I’m far too cynical for that): I write HORROR. I know a lot of other women who do, too. Some of the most horrific, terrifying, brutal, bloody, gruesome scenes in literature were written by women. We CAN do it!
What other things influence you, aside from horror?
Food. Music. People. Places. I find inspiration all over the place.
Is there a specific person in horror that you try to emulate?
Not really. I want to be myself and let my own voice shine through… but I do have influences… J.F. Gonzalez, Brian Keene, Ruby Jean Jensen, Thomas F. Monteleone, Joe R. Lansdale, to name a few.
Who is your favorite horror villain?
Colqhoun from Ravenous.
Tell us about another woman in horror whose work you think the folks reading this should check out.
Just one? Mary SanGiovanni. She is absolutely brilliant, supremely talented, and her works span so many themes and genres that there’s something for everyone.
Finally, what’s the one Halloween-specific movie that makes its way into your regular rotation throughout the year?