Friday, February 8, 2019


Good morning, folks:

I hope #WiHM is treating you well and that you're making your way through some wonderful books by fantastically talented women. If you're still looking for someone to read, here are some options (with links to their work): Christa Carmen, Gwendolyn Kiste, Kristi DeMeester, Damien Angelica Walters, Zoje Stage, Caroline Kepnes, Seanan McGuire, Helen Marshall, Linda Addison, and Mercedes Murdock Yardley. I'll continue to give more recommendations throughout the month, but this should be enough to get you started...

This week in the Madhouse, we're chatting with book reviewer Emily Reed for the second installment of my Women in Horror Month blog series.  For months now, I've been following her beautiful #bookstagram photos on social media and anxiously awaiting her reading list recaps so I can keep tabs on my own ever-growing TBR pile.

But before we get started, head on over to Twitter and follow Emily at @BookHappy08 and on Instagram at @book.happy, and if you're interested in checking out last week's installment with Sadie Hartmann, you can do so here.

With graveyard dirt and coffin nails,
Stephanie M. Wytovich

What (or who!) got you into horror?

I wasn't really allowed to read/watch horror-related things when I was younger, so I think the thrill of accessing something forbidden really sold me on it. Mainly I remember grabbing Goosebumps books when I could, and trying to sneak Are You Afraid of the Dark & Buffy.

How do you, as a reader, define horror? And what is your favorite kind of horror to read?

I define horror as dark storytelling that can cause a variety of emotions (to include fear, but many others as well) in the consumer. My favorite kinds of horror tend to be haunted house and slasher stories, but I'm open to trying different things.

How did you get into reviewing? Was it always something that you wanted to do?

I found GoodReads in 2012, but I didn't start writing full reviews until 2016. I started reviewing because I realized other bookstagrammers were reviewing. I think it was something I always wanted to do, even if it took me a while to realize it. I loved book reports when I was growing up, and I studied literature in college... technically I've always been writing “reviews” for school, just in a high-pressure format & not always getting to say what I wanted to say.

What venues/websites do you review for and what can someone expect from you when you read their work?

I share all my reviews on my GoodReads, Instagram, and Twitter, and then I also have some reviews for Ladies of Horror Fiction & Ink Heist. The main thing that people can expect in my reviews is honesty. I'm not afraid of a negative review when necessary, and I believe that the purpose of reviews is to share your feelings with other readers. I will also do my best to showcase their work with photos when I receive it, when I'm reading it, and when I post my review.

I love following your social media accounts because not only are you constantly reading and talking about great stuff in the horror industry, but your #bookstagram posts are beautiful! How did you get involved in the #bookstagram community, and then where do you get your ideas from, visually, to create such great bookish content?

Thank you! I guess I was looking up some books on Instagram in 2015 & I noticed that people have full book accounts. At first, I spent all my time staring at them & wondering how I didn't think of this. I finally created my own & it was a great decision. I hung out on the edges for about a year & was a little too shy to chat with people. I eventually became friends with Sadie, Mindi, and Ashley (@mother.horror, @gowsy33 & @bookishmommy), and they helped me open up & start talking to people. I get inspired by different things in my house that I can photograph a book with. I also get inspired by other bookish accounts, but change up the backdrops, angles, props, etc. to be my own. Sometimes I match things to a specific book & utilize the plot or colors of the cover to create the picture.

I know I certainly have my own habits when it comes to reading, but I’m curious what yours are?

I mainly read at night, and I don't have a ton of other hobbies. I like being on my couch or bed, and with my three dogs. Sometimes I drink wine; sometimes I don't. I have a book in my bag whenever I leave the house & I'll read anywhere. If I'm waiting on anything, I most likely have a book out.

What are a few books sitting in your TBR pile?

Since it's Women in Horror Month, I'm choosing my reads accordingly. Some of my next few are The Bone Weaver's Orchard by Sarah Read, The Between by Tananarive Due, City of Ash & Red by Hye-young Pyun, Without Condition by Sonora Taylor, How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend by Linda Addison, and Daymares by Kenya Moss-Dyme.

I try to read 100+ books a year, and I know you read 270 books in 2018, so for all the people out there who are constantly telling me that they don’t have time to read, can you share how you fit reading into your schedule?

I do want to say upfront that quite a few of my reads are novellas, poetry books, or graphic novels - these are pretty slim books, so that's part of why I read so much. I do not have children, and I'm also dating a reader, so I have additional free time. I just want to point these out because we all have different lives & amounts of free time, and you just have to fit it into your schedule as best as you can. Like I said in another question above, carry a book with you everywhere & pull it out instead of messing on your phone. Another option - I hate going to the grocery store, so I get mine delivered. A lot of stores also do curbside pick-up now, and this is a practical way to find more time for reading since grocery shopping is so time-consuming. If you really can't find any time, listen to audiobooks while driving, cleaning, etc.

What books are you looking forward to reading most this year?

Some of my most anticipated reads are The Worst is Yet to Come by SP Miskowski, Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk, Second Lives by PD Cacek, The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz, Little Darlings by Melanie Golding, and The Toll by Cherie Priest.

If you could sit down to dinner with any author (dead or alive), who would it be and what would you ask him/her/them?

This is probably a weird answer, but Sylvia Plath & I would want to know if she's at peace now. But I would be disturbing her potential peace by asking her that, so I wouldn't ask. I made this more difficult than it should have been.

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