Graveyard Shift Sister: Janet Eckford

The next installment of my interviews with Black female horror authors includes the multi-genre author Janet Eckford.

Janet is also a successful romance author as well as a horror author. Her collection of dark stories is called “Whispers in the Dark”.

WhispersInTheDark

Disclaimer: A few days before this post was to go live, I found out from Janet Eckford, the author of the collection “Whispers in the Dark”, that her contract with her publisher was over and she was removing the book from sale. Since this was after I’d read the collection and interviewed her, I was at first needless to say, surprised, then disheartened. I asked her if she’d found another publisher, but she said she didn’t have immediate plans to re-publish.

She asked if that would pose a problem. Honestly, I wasn’t sure. I wanted this series of posts on women writers in horror to be a way of recognizing what we as women of color are doing in the industry (and possibly making a book sale or two.) Also, me going on and on about a book that the readers of this blog can’t buy is a bit of a bait and switch.

After discussing it with Ashlee Blackwell, the founder of Graveyard Shift Sisters, I decided to move forward with posting this book review and interview. Partially because I want to support Janet’s work as a female writer of dark fiction, but mostly because I’d love for her to re-release this collection for all to enjoy.

While Janet pulled her book for personal reasons, I think this is a great segue into why it’s important to give authors your support. Buy their books, leave reviews, send them a message on social media to say you enjoy what you do.

It’s difficult as a writer sometimes to stay motivated. Few reviews, precious little feedback, sometimes even smaller financial compensation. Some Black women horror writers I’ve spoken with also have to contend with family and societal pressure because we write dark fiction. We come across a lot of: “Girl, what’s wrong with you?” and “You need to go to church more.”

To those people, I say, “Learn to separate the author from their work.” Writers are creators of worlds. We conceptualize, we imagine, we ask the what ifs. If there’s a murder down the road from you, more than likely your friendly neighborhood horror author isn’t the culprit. We’re hard at work with our noses to the screen writing the next big thing. But we’ll probably use it in a story somewhere down the line.

With that I’d like to extend my best wishes to Janet with placing and/or updating her collection of horror short stories. Visit the Graveyard Shift Sisters site  to read the full  post I wrote for “Whispers in the Dark” by Janet Eckford. I’ll keep you updated for when the book becomes available again.

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