The need for more mainstream, diverse horror in all mediums is what inspires me to continue creating the most. I’d also like to see more BIPOC and LGBTQ horror with women at the helm either writing or directing or both. Over the years, I’ve learned that they’re out there, it’s just that sometimes I’d have to seek them out or “stumble” upon them. A few I’ve discovered from their films and follow are: Madhuri Shekar Evil Eye, Karyn Kusama—The Invitation, Issa López—Tigers are Not Afraid, Mattie Do—Chanthaly and Dearest Sister, and Karen Lam—Evangeline. There are too many horror/dark fiction authors and poets to list, and I know that with my recent undertaking of co-editing an anthology of diverse fiction and voices, I’ve found many more. Ellen Datlow, who I’ve been reading since she was an editor for OMNI magazine, has an amazing talent for discovering and publishing new and diverse voices with excellent stories to tell. You can read those stories in her anthologies and at Tor.com, a publisher with a history of producing great work by authors from a multitude of backgrounds.
In my opinion, diverse horror from diverse authors has improved and become somewhat more mainstream in the last decade, but I’ll always want more. I’d love the names of the writers behind those stories to be more known and their work discussed to a greater extent.
Although the majority of my stories have Asian main characters, the evolution of my delving deeper into my own heritage was brought about after discussions borne from the promotion for Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women edited by Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn. In the virtual “green room” before panels, we would all discuss our works in progress, and future ideas, and how our stories inspired one another to venture into other aspects of our varied cultures. It has been an amazing experience and journey, and I love that it continues to grow with more work and the inclusion of more authors. We’ve always raised each other up, and now we’ve become a chorus. Our voices continue to rise, and we will not be kept silent.
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