The REAL Women Writers of Horror #REALWomenWriters

by Emerian Rich

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Sarah Gribble
Genres: Horror, Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Favorite story you’ve written and why. “Red Alert.” It’s about an old rebel woman who’s sticking it to the man in a dystopian society. I love that she’s older and still has that rebel spirit, despite being scared out of her mind. I also love the dystopian atmosphere and technology that runs through the story and the warning of what’s to come if our society continues down this path.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? My favorite character is Death in my soon-to-be-published novel SURVIVING DEATH. He’s not the main character, but does have some chapters written from his POV. I had a lot of fun getting into his head and making him sympathetic and three-dimensional.
What is one thing everyone thinks about you that isn’t true? Everyone thinks I’m some sort of badass, which is an image I don’t mind having. In truth, I’m not really. I don’t take pain well, I’m not actually mean, and deep down I still like to believe in the good of humans.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? How long it takes for books or stories to come out. It’s a long, long waiting process after something’s been accepted.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? Romantic scenes. I’m not a romantic at heart, and it’s hard to write any romance without sounding completely cheesy.
Did you go to college? What was your major? Yep. I have a History B.A. and a Masters in City and Regional Planning.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” Other than my fantasy of being a rock star (though I can’t sing) or an actor (though I hate people looking at me), a writer or a librarian. Mostly a librarian. Ended up being a writer.
What is the best event you’ve ever been to? I was a panelist on a publishing panel for a The Write Practice retreat.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? I’ve yet to have anything hurtful happen at any writing event, that I can think of anyway.
How did you recover from experiencing this hurtful thing? N/A
What is something hurtful you’ve witness another #REALWomenWriter experience? (No names please.) I don’t know if this is considered ‘hurtful’, but it’s stupid. I know a ton of female writers in the horror/crime/thriller, etc. genres (aka the ‘man’ genres) who have to use their initials instead of their name so they can actually sell books. People won’t buy books in those ‘man’ genres if a woman has written it. Using initials was something I thought about for a while as well, and then decided everyone can just deal with Sarah and get over it.
If you could give that woman or any other #REALWomenWriter a pep talk, what would you say? Do it anyway. Women are constantly being told what we can and cannot do, no matter what career path we’ve chosen. Ignore the naysayers and do what you want.
What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I just started an Instagram account after years of refusing. I’m kind of in love with it. It’s so much nicer than Twitter and Facebook. I have all three though:

Twitter: @sarahstypos
Facebook: sarahgribbleauthor

What is the biggest challenge of social media? Getting attention. But the right kind of attention, not creeps sneaking into my DMs.
Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? I don’t think I’ve ever been shamed, though it’s possible I just ignored it.

I have experienced what would be considered abuse. The reason I loathe Twitter is the amount of creeps I get DM-ing me saying nasty things or asking when we can meet up or (heaven forbid) sending pics.

I deal with it by blocking them and not really looking at my DMs. Blocking on any social media platform is the best thing invented.

Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? I don’t think so. The creepy messages from guys is universal, but that’s more abuse than shame. There’s not much to help with there than to let her know she’s not the only one and where to find the block button.
What should readers know about your social media presence? I try to stay away from posting anything about politics or current hot topics.
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? Horror traditionally points to problems in our society, and I hope my work does that (as well as scare the pants off my readers).

Thank you for joining us for #REALWomenWriters!

Check in next time when Stephanie Ellis will tell us about her journey.