Welcome everyone, I’m The Li-Bury-An, and today we have a spotlight on Michelle Renee Lane
There is a reason why Michelle Renee Lane is a Bram Stoker Nominated Author. Her novel, Invisible Chains (Haverhill House Publishing) not only received the nomination but has also garnered acclaim from fellow authors and book critics. Linda Addison, a Horror Writers’ Association Lifetime Achievement Award Winner praised the book, and wrote, “The human need for freedom mingled with vampires, werewolves, and witches makes this a book you need to read.”
We are proud to have such a talented author as Michelle in not one, but two of our Women of Horror Anthologies so far. In Book 2, her story, “Cicada Song” is a story about two sisters who just can’t seem to get along– in life or death. Her story for The One That Got Away, “Josephine” displays a stark contrast between the systemic racism and sexism of the entertainment industry, along with the issue of perpetuating violence against women in fiction. Not only that, but it’s a damn good, exciting and sexy vampire story. One that is sure to be both controversial as well as highly enjoyable to readers!
“Not wishing to find out if what she’d read in books was true about vampires, like inhuman strength and a lack of impulse control when it came to violence, Luna held up her hands. ‘Thank you for the offer, but my friend is a little emotional right now. He lost someone and is still grieving. He isn’t going to hurt me. Right, Nicholas?'”From “Josephine” by Michelle Renee Lane
Today, Michelle talks about how she came up with her story “Josephine” for THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY : Women of Horror Anthology Volume 3. Out now from Kandisha Press!
Can horror be sexy? Can porn be horrifying? The Inspiration for “Josephine”
by Michelle Renee Lane
My short story, “Josephine,” is a blend of horror and erotica. I’m sure many people won’t understand why these two genres fit together so neatly. However, if you stop for a moment to think about the overly sexualized way women are often depicted in horror films, you might begin to see a connection. One of the tropes of slasher movies is that if the killer catches you having sex, you will most likely be murdered. Some of my earliest memories of watching horror movies as a kid include images of scantily clad young women being stabbed or having their throats slit by a masked killer wielding a suspiciously phallic weapon. Those images, coupled with the fact that horror movies originally carried the same MPA rating of “X” as pornographic films, triggered a desire for me to explore other similarities between pornography and horror. I’m still processing these thoughts and hopefully will be able to write a non-fiction piece about the connections I see between the two genres, and how body horror meets in the middle.
While I was thinking about those connections and doing a bit of research, by which I mean watching porn, it became clear to me that women of color are often treated differently in this genre and their bodies are fetishized in ways that go beyond the typical exploitation of female bodies. They are broken down into their parts. By focusing on certain parts of their bodies, specifically large asses and full lips, the fetishization becomes racist in tone. I wanted to write a story about a Black female porn star who is very aware of the racist and sexist nature of the industry and its consumers. She has a huge fan base and enough clout that she can walk off a film set if she’s being treated poorly, and it doesn’t affect her career negatively. I wanted her to be young, smart, and sex positive. And, I wanted her to be put in a situation where she encounters an unsettling admirer with an interesting backstory. Hopefully, I’ve achieved that.
MICHELLE RENEE LANE writes dark speculative fiction about identity politics and women of color battling their inner demons while falling in love with monsters. Her work includes elements of fantasy, horror, romance, and erotica. Her short fiction appears in the anthologies Terror Politico: A Screaming World in Chaos, The Monstrous Feminine: Dark Tales of Dangerous Women, The Dystopian States of America, Graveyard Smash, Dead Awake, and Midnight & Indigo: Twenty-Two Speculative Stories by Black Women Writers. Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated debut novel, Invisible Chains (2019), is available from Haverhill House Publishing.
Follow Michelle’s blog, Girl Meets Monster, at michellerlane.com