February is most notably known as the month of romance and chocolates. But there’s a lesser realized secret about the love month, one that slithers between the days, between each week. It steals a nibble here, and one there, creeping against the darkness, invading the shadows. Suspense blooms. Tensions bloat. You might even feel the need to hide beneath a pillow. Maybe mask your face behind your favorite book.
So you wait . . . and wait . . . until the pages tatter and thin, gripped in your clenching fingers, & you’re sure you can’t take anymore . . . Then . . . You guessed it.
February is also the month of horror!
Yup, and more precisely Women of Horror. It even has its own hashtag #WomenOfHorror. Very cool, I know.
In honor of Women of Horror month, I thought it would be fun to explore middle grade women horror writers.
Let’s begin with the chilling shivers of award-winning author Mary Downing Hahn. Mary is a former children’s librarian (Woot! #bookhero), who changed her course to write full-time and travel around the country sharing her love of books. She writes the gamete of genres from realistic fiction to contemporary fantasy and is known for her intriguing plot lines and magical way of gifting her characters their individual voices. Two of her books instantly come to my mind – Wait Till Helen Comes, and Deep and Dark and Dangerous.
Holly Black is also an icon for the creepy and the macabre with her eerie tale Doll Bones and her collaboration with Tony DiTerlizzi in The Spiderwick Chronicles. Holly loved writing from an early age, and that’s a good thing for us. She’s been nominated for and has won numerous writing awards as well as staking her claim on the New York Times Best Sellers list early on in her career. Basically, she’s utterly (creeptastically) brilliant.
Another fabulous woman of horror is Marina Cohen. She grew up in Canada and is a true lover of a good ghost story. Especially the real ones. To this day, she’s drawn to the fantastical and all things creepy. (A girl after my own 🖤!) For me, her middle grade novels The Inn Between and The Doll’s Eye are fabulously uncanny and spine-chilling.
These women horror authors, like many others, stir the soul and curiosity of the mind with supernatural tales that lure the reader in with the promise of intrigue, challenge, adventure, and some serious spook!
Here’s a list of a few other women horror writers. There are many, many more. Feel free to share the horror and add more middle grade woman horror writers in the comments! I’d love to expand this list.🖤
Patricia McKissack, Rebecca Promitzer, Charolette Salter, Katy Towell, Rose Cooper, Jasmine Richards, Christine Hayes, Jessica Miller, Kate Milford, Marika McCoola, Kelly Barnhill, Andrea Portes, Annette Cascone & Gina Cascone
And yes, I ended with number thirteen . . . #Mwhaaaaaaa ☠️