Greetings Friends and Fiends!
As most of you know, February is Women in Horror Month (#WiHM), and as such, I usually like to do a curated blog series celebrating women in the horror genre. This year, I want to shine light on some of the female book reviewers and artists who are working tirelessly year round to support female authors and create a community of horror-loving book worms!
First up in the series is Sadie Hartmann, more commonly known as Mother Horror. I first got in touch with Sadie last year when she kindly agreed to review my poetry collection, Brothel. After that, we've kept in touch on social media, and I love seeing what she's reading, especially because when it comes to beautifully framed #bookstagram posts, hers are some of the best!
So pull up your coffin and get comfortable, and if you want to check out more of Sadie's work, follow her on Twitter (@SadieHartmann) and on Instagram (@mother.horror). I'll also be posting giveaways of my poetry collections on Twitter (@swytovich), and doing lots more fun stuff on my blog throughout the month, so please be sure to check in and out of the madhouse as you as frequently as you'd like!
With stakes and coffin nails,
Stephanie M. Wytovich
My mother is the responsible party for my insatiable love of horror. She is a horror lover herself and had a pretty decent collection of it in the house. I read her Agatha Christie books and some other horror classics but also was intrigued by the covers on her Stephen King books. They called to me. At around thirteen years old, I swooped her copy of Salem’s Lot and read it--I was pretty scared and I felt it was pretty mature for me but the combination of fear and the excitement of it being bootlegged was too compelling. I loved the book by the end and thus began my dark descent.
You review under the persona Mother Horror, which I so love. How and why did you settle on that name?
Oh, I’m glad you love it too! My Night Worms business partner, Ashley dubbed me Mother Horror! She had referred to herself as a “baby horror fan” having just started enjoying the genre in the beginning of 2018 and during the course of many buddy reads she began calling me “Mother Horror.” The name caught on with other friends in the community and so I changed all my social media handles.
Who are your favorite horror writers, both classic and contemporary?
Classic: Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson and Edgar Allen Poe. Contemporary...oh man. A lot! Stephen King, Joe Hill, Paul Tremblay, Josh Malerman, Nick Cutter, Robert McCammon, Ania Ahlborn, Jonathan Janz, Bracken MacLeod, Ronald Malfi, Kealan Patrick Burke, Grady Hendrix, Chad Lutzke, Tim Meyer, Adam Cesare, Stephen Graham Jones, Kristi DeMeester, Damien Angelica Walters and a host of others but I’ve only read like one book from them, so I’ll wait until I’ve read some more in order to call them a true “favorite”
How did you get into reviewing? Was it always something that you wanted to do?
I want to give credit to Goodreads for that actually and also bookstagram (the instagram community dedicated to books). I signed up for Goodreads a long time ago and would give star ratings to everything. Then a year or so into it, I would put a little more effort into my feelings for the book, so I’d write a brief paragraph or so--when I created a dedicated bookstagram account, I began pimping my favorite books in my photo captions, which then turned into writing more detailed, lengthy reviews on Goodreads. I gained friends and followers on both social media sites. Last year I was approached by both Cemetery Dance and Scream Magazine to write reviews for them and everything changed after that. I never in a million years thought I would get paid to write book reviews so this is literally a dream come true for me.
What venues/websites do you review for and what can someone expect from you when you read their work?
The aforementioned Scream Magazine in their actual print publications bi-monthly (so six issues), Cemetery Dance Online, InkHeist and High Fever Books, at the moment. I also have my own blog: Mother Horror/Sadie Hartmann
Can you tell us a little about #nightworms and how you got started/involved with this project?
So Night Worms started as a reading & reviewing group of several friends. We were getting the same ARCs and kept buddy reading them together so Ashley and I decided to just form an actual posse or street gang called the Night Worms. Ha! Well, it’s way less exciting than that. But we did start a #promotehorror movement that gained a lot of traction in the horror community. Ashley and I decided to grow the brand into a horror book club that ships curated, quality horror to rabid fans in the US. They get 2-3 books handpicked by us plus some original artwork and goodies to enhance their reading experience. We put all the emphasis on reading and reviewing horror offering rewards for reviews and such. I’m happy to report that authors have come to us saying that having their books in our packages has really boosted their sales and generated new fans for them. It’s like my main goal in life to celebrate horror and shine a bright light on the industry.
I know I certainly have my own habits when it comes to reading, but I’m curious what yours are?
In daytime reading, I love a hot beverage like cocoa or coffee, a warm blanket, and quiet. I live in the PNW, so the weather here really lends itself to an introverted, reader’s lifestyle. At night, I love reading in bed and do most of my large stretches of time while everyone is sleeping. I’m a Night Worm. Wink.
What are a few books sitting in your TBR pile?
I am going to write up a review of DEAD OF WINTER by Kealan Patrick Burke. I read everything he puts out. I read the first story in an Israel Finn collection and I just loved it! That book is called, DREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS. I’m finishing COYOTE SONGS by Gabino Iglesias this weekend. I’m reviewing SAVAGE SPECIES by Jonathan Janz for Cemetery Dance so I need to get going on that. Also, CREATURES OF WANT AND RUIN was in our January package for Night Worms and I want to do a big group read of that--plus about 100 more titles that are threatening to topple over and kill me.
What small-press/indie publishers should readers be on the lookout for?
You know I love my small presses! Word Horde, Apex, Sinister Grin, Cemetery Dance, Bloodshot Books, Grindhouse, InkShares, ChiZine, SST, Deadite, Raw Dog Screaming Press, Broken River Books, Dark Moon, PS Publishing, GreyMatter Press, and so many more!
What books are you looking forward to reading most this year?
SO MANY!! I already read Josh Malerman’s INSPECTION and you can read my review of that on Goodreads as well as Paul Tremblay’s GROWING THINGS, which I also reviewed and should be out soon on Cemetery Dance. But I wrote a blog post of all my most anticipated 2019 reads if people would be interested in that? You can read that HERE.