Thursday, October 13, 2022

Shelf Edition: Laurel Hightower

Shelf Edition: Laurel Hightower

Today we welcome Laurel Hightower to Horror Spotlight to share her shelfies!

Do you have any recent favorite Horror Spotlight books?                                                 

Almost too many to list! Right now I’m reading HELL HATH NO SORROW LIKE A WOMAN HAUNTED by RJ Joseph, and it’s a fantastic collection, very atmospheric and haunting. I recently read CROM CRUACH by Valkyrie Loughcrewe, and I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops—it’s written in verse, essentially, but in a way that’s very accessible. Totally enthralling and disturbing, I almost felt like it was one of those books that casts a spell on you, so you’re not the same reader on the other side. And THIS IS WHERE WE TALK THINGS OUT by Caitlin Marceau—holy hell. Psychological horror to the nth degree—I’m usually more of a fan of supernatural, but that little book left me utterly horrified. 

Which Horror Spotlight books do you currently have on your TBR?

Now that’s definitely too many to list, but I’m excited for NO GODS FOR DROWNING by Hailey Piper, FULL IMMERSION by Gemma Amor, and ALIEN: VASQUEZ by V. Castro. Mona Kabbini’s new one, FOR YOU, looks amazing, and Kelly Barnhill’s WHEN WOMEN WERE DRAGONS is on my wishlist. I’m also delighted to have saved a collection of S.H. Cooper’s to savor during the Halloween season—CORPSE GARDEN is the only one of hers I haven’t read, and I love her short fiction. I’m also hoping to get to GHOST SUMMER by Tananrive Due—I loved THE GOOD HOUSE and having been itching for more of her work.

Where do you find recommendations? Are there any Horror Spotlight books that have been recommended to you that you loved?

At this point a lot of them come simply from knowing the authors themselves. Any time Hailey Piper or Samantha Kolesnik or Eve Harms or a number of others come out with a new one, it’s an auto buy. I discovered Hailey’s work through Ladies of Horror Fiction—I picked up THE POSSESSION OF NATALIE GLASGOW based on a list they provided, and was just enthralled. There’s something so delightful about having a ream of authors you can trust will always provide a great read. Beyond that, I pay attention to when reviewers, especially Horror Spotlight, promote diverse voices I may not have heard of. Reading diversely can take a bit of effort, solely because it’s often not what’s most readily available on a bookstore shelf, but it’s infinitely worth it. We know each other best by our stories, and I’ve uncovered all new terrors I never knew existed. 

Where do you prefer to shop for books?

A lot of what I want to read isn’t carried in my local bookstores, so if I can’t find them at Joseph Beth (Lexington’s big indie bookshop) I like to order from or Thrift Books. I’m also definitely guilty of ordering from The Zon, but I usually check a few other avenues first, especially direct from the publisher’s site or the author themselves. I’m excited to get to visit some of the amazing bookstores who’ve been tirelessly promoting indie horror, as well—Little Ghosts, Bucket of Blood, several of the Barnes & Nobles in other cities, and this fall we’ll be getting Butcher Cabin Books in Louisville—I can’t wait to give them all my money, lol.

Are there any upcoming Horror Spotlight releases you're excited about?

So many! BOUND FEET by Kelsea Yu just released this week, and as soon as I get paid I’m grabbing a copy. THE SPITE HOUSE by Johnny Compton looks amazing, as does THE SHOEMAKER’S MAGICIAN, Cina Pelayo’s follow up to the marvelous CHILDREN OF CHICAGO. And I have been dying to read Donyae Cole’s upcoming Gothic novella, MIDNIGHT ROOMS.

In regards to your own work, tell our readers a little bit about what’s new and/or coming up for you.

My Mothman novella BELOW was released in March of this year through Ghoulish Books, and that’s been a fun ride so far. I’ll have a collection entitled EVERY WOMAN KNOWS THIS coming out first quarter of 2023 through Red Lagoe’s new imprint, DEATH KNELL PRESS, and my second novel, SILENT KEY, is slated for release next fall through Flame Tree. On top of that, I’ve got a couple novellas in the works I’m hoping to put out next year, as well as two collabs, and a project with two additional authors that’s going to be lots of fun.

Where can people find you on social media and/or find your work?

I’m almost always on Twitter (in fact, come tell me to log off if you see me on there) and my handle is @hightowerlaurel . I’m also recently on TikTok, @laurelhightower, and sometimes lurk on Instagram, though not as much. My work is available through the publisher websites, of course, as well as, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and a number of brick and mortar retailers.


If you would like to be featured on a future Shelf Edition please leave a note in the comments. We'd love to see your shelves!

Teresa creates the Shelf Edition posts and is a contributing reviewer at Horror Spotlight. You can find Teresa on Goodreads, on Twitter and at Divination Hollow.

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