Thursday, August 6, 2020

*Book Tour & Giveaway* The Horrors Hiding In Plain Sight by Rebecca Rowland-GUEST POST

The Horrors Hiding in Plain Sight 
by Rebecca Rowland 
Genre: Psychological Horror, Transgressive Dark Fiction, Short Stories 

Three adolescent bullies discover that the vicious crime for which they were never charged will haunt them in unimaginably horrific ways; a dominatrix and a bondage fetishist befriend one another as one’s preoccupation grows to consume his life. A man persuades his wife to start a family, but her reluctant pregnancy comes with a dreadful side effect. A substitute teacher’s curiosity about a veteran teacher’s methodology provides her with a lesson she won’t soon forget. An affluent, xenophobic lawyer callously kills two immigrants with her car with seeming impunity; a childless couple plays a sadistic game with a neglected juvenile each Halloween. An abusive father, a dating site predator, a neglected concierge, and an obsessed co-worker: they are all among the residents of Rebecca Rowland’s universe, and they dwell in the everyday realm of crime and punishment tempered with fixation and madness. There are no vampires, zombies, or magical beings here; no, what lurk in this world are even more terrifying. Once you meet them, you will think twice before turning your back on that seemingly innocuous neighbor or coming to the aid of the helpless damsel in the dark parking lot. These monsters don’t lurk under your bed or in the shadows: they are the people you see every day at work, in the supermarket, and in broad daylight. They are the horrors that hide in plain sight, and they will unsettle you more than any supernatural being ever could. 

Trigger Warning: 
Contains graphic violence (though not continually) including accidental death, murder, and suicide; sexual content, and occasional graphic language. Sexual assault is implied but not described in a graphic nature. No animals are harmed. 

Rebecca Rowland is the transgressive dark fiction author of the short story collection The Horrors Hiding in Plain Sight, co-author of the novel Pieces, and curator of the horror anthologies Ghosts, Goblins, Murder, and Madness; Shadowy Natures, and the upcoming The Half That You See and Unburied. Her writing has appeared in venues such as Coffin Bell, Waxing & Waning, and the 

WiHM online collections The Ones You Don’t Bring Home to Mama and Final Girls with 20/20 Vision and has been anthologized in collections by Red Room Press, Transmundane Press, Forty-Two Books, Emerald Bay Books, Twisted Wing Productions, Thurston Howl Publications, J. Ellington Ashton Press, and Dark Ink. To surreptitiously stalk her, visit

Website * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads


Play Like a (Final) Girl: Women Who Write Horror by Rebecca Rowland

I have trouble looking at you the same way. That is what the gentlemanly and sincere co-worker said to me after reading a few of my short stories. He may have been blushing a little. I don’t know: as a painfully introverted soul myself, I could feel my own cheeks redden and I had to look away. He didn’t mean the comment in a misogynistic or patronizing way, and I truly believe he would have said the same thing to a male colleague, but it made me wonder: is this why women writers are sometimes stigmatized in dark fiction writing? All that sugar and spice can get very messy when it mixes with blood and pulp; is writing horror—gasp—unladylike?

Before you scoot closer to the fainting couch, readers of the fellow double-X chromosome, let’s get real. Men have been the primary authors of scary stories since The Ancient Greek Hesiod’s rendition of Kronos gobbling up his offspring. Truth be told, men have been the primary authors of every genre, at least for text accepted as canon. Mary Shelley may have wiped the floor with her competition that stormy night in Lake Geneva, but it was decades before readers accepted that she, and not her poet husband, was the author of Frankenstein. More recently, Shirley Jackson, Anne Rice, Octavia Butler, and Joyce Carol Oates have made significant slashes in the genre’s glass ceiling. So why is it that all but one of the initial-named writers who submitted stories to horror anthologies I edited women? I myself am guilty of the trend. When I presented my first story under my own name for publication, I listed myself as R.J., not Rebecca. You may say that’s self-hatred, my own gender bias worming its way into a self-defeating prophesy, but I say it’s realism. Half of me was afraid that male readers would not trust my storytelling; the other half was afraid of how people might judge me for my content.

As an editor, I’ve fielded stories from men. I’ve fielded stories from women. I’ve fielded stories from non-binary writers. I can tell you that when it comes to creepiness and gore, we gals hold our own, and it’s not all gothic romance, either. There’s some of that, sure, but women are emerging as powerhouses of folk horror, dark sci-fi, splatterpunk, and psychological thrillers as well. Alma Katsu’s novel The Hunger and Julia Ducournau’s film Raw are stomach-churning funfests, and the feminist vampire creep flick A Girl Walks Home at Night by Ana Lily Amirpour and not-for-arachnophobics novel Silk by Caitlin Kiernan will keep you on guard long after the story has finished.

I changed my submission name back to Rebecca after a publisher accepted the query for my first short story collection, but even then, I had my doubts. Would readers trust that I could play like the boys? And furthermore, what would my day job colleagues think of me if they read the content? The turning point came when I was halfway through writing “Bent,” a tale of a rigger, a man who achieves sexual pleasure through tying his partners up, who becomes consumed by his obsession. In the middle of doing research about the stages of body decomposition, I texted my publisher. I can never show this story to anyone, I wrote. You can’t worry about what other people are going to think, he replied. I trusted him, and it became the best reviewed piece in the collection.

As far as those people who will have trouble looking at me the same way after they read my fiction? Now-a-days, I take it as a compliment, and I encourage other women to do the same. It’s a formidable thing, to be able to manufacture terror with just your mind. When poet Audre Lorde warned, “Women are powerful and dangerous,” I don’t know if she was thinking specifically of other women who write, but I can only imagine what she’d say about women who write horror. We are powerful and dangerous, and that’s ladylike in the best way possible.

$50 Amazon gift card 

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