Thursday, January 19, 2023

Shelf Edition: HV Patterson

Today we welcome writer and blogger Helen Patterson to Shelf Edition! Thank you for joining us, Helen.

Do you have any recent favorite Horror Spotlight books?

There are so many incredible books out there that I had trouble narrowing it down! I highly recommend: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, The Good House by Tananarive Due, Crime Scene by Cynthia Pelayo, Bunny by Mona Awad, Hell Hath No Sorrow Like a Woman Haunted by RJ Joseph, Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn, The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy, Queen of Teeth by Hailey Piper, Kindred by Octavia Butler, and The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones.   

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

It’s a VERY long list. I’ve had a bit of trouble with self-control this year. I want all the books! But there are a few from my endless TBR I’m determined to read next year. In novels, I’m excited for The Devourers by Indra Das, Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, Dance Among the Flames by Tori Eldridge, The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Inglesias, Reluctant Immortals by Gwendolyn Kiste, and White Horse by Erika T. Wurth (not pictured).

In addition to novels, I love short fiction. One of my New Year’s Goals is to read one short story a day in 2023, starting with the anthologies and collections on my TBR including Black Cranes: Stories of Unquiet Women edited by Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn, Your Body is Not Your Body edited by Alex Woodroe and Matt Blairstone, Moonflowers and Nightshade edited by Samanta Kolesnik, The Book of Queer Saints edited by Mae Murray, Other Terrors: An Inclusive Anthology edited by Vince A. Liaguno and Rena Mason, and Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson.

I’m also going to try to read more essays, nonfiction, and science about horror and other spooky things in 2023, starting with It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror edited by Joe Vallese.    


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

Social media has been a huge help in finding indie/diverse writers. I just got on Twitter and Instagram at the end of 2021, and it’s been such a great resource for learning about books and writers I may never have heard of otherwise. I also love reading through anthologies and online magazines and following up on authors whose stories I really enjoyed. 

Running Dreadfulesque (a site where I promote women in horror) has also been a very cool way to discover new writers! I’ve had writers and publishers reach out for review requests, and I’ve ended up really loving their work. It’s been a real pleasure to review and promote indie authors.

Out in the “real world,” Women in Horror Book Club at Whitty Books and my friends in the Tulsa community have introduced me to several amazing new writers. My mom is an avid audiobook consumer, and I’ve had a few great suggestions from her. I also love randomly picking up books at the excellent Tulsa Public Library. I think everyone should go to their local library and browse a few times a year if they can. I’ve found some real gems that way!

Books I really loved which were recommended to me this year include: Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap, Sundial by Catriona Ward, The Babysitter Lives by Stephen Graham Jones, and Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda.

Where do you prefer to shop for books?

I prefer to shop locally or, when convenient, buy directly from authors. In Tulsa, I absolutely love Whitty Books, an independent bookstore focusing on speculative fiction and books you may not find in mainstream bookstores.

Book events and conventions are a great way to find books. I went to StokerCon in 2022, and one of my favorite things about the convention was getting to buy books directly from authors and from publisher/small press tables. I’ll be going to the Ghoulish Book Festival in San Antonio this year, and I’m excited to get more amazing books from the vendors and writers there!

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

So many! I’ve just finished reading an ARC of Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror edited by Lee Murray and Angela Yuriko Smith, and it’s just a fantastic collection of essays. Sister, Maiden, Monster by Lucy A. Snyder–just look at that stunning cover art! The Haunting of Alejandra by V. Castro featuring La Llorona. I love T. Kingfisher, so I’m looking forward to A House with Good Bones. If you haven’t read Stephen Graham Jones’ My Heart is a Chainsaw, I’d recommend picking it up before the sequel Don’t Fear the Reaper comes out early 2023. Another sequel I’m looking forward to is Hailey Piper’s Even the Worm Will Turn (sequel to The Worm and His Kings). Jessica Johns has a debut novel called Bad Cree coming out soon which I just preordered. The English translation of Mariana Enriquez’s Our Share of Night is also coming out this year.

I’m also looking forward to Under Her Eye from Black Spot Books–partly because I have a poem in it!   

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


2022 was the first year I really started taking myself seriously as a writer and writing, revising, and submitting my work. It’s been a great year overall. My favorite fiction piece I’ve published recently is a dystopian story called “D.E.B” set in a future where disembodiment is mandatory. That was included in Mine: An Anthology of Body Autonomy Horror from Creature Publishing which just came out December 2022. My favorite poem I wrote in 2022, “Mother; Microbes,” originally published in the Monstroddities anthology from Sliced Up Press, was selected for Brave New Weird: The Best New Weird Horror, Vol 1, out soon from Tenebrous Press.

Upcoming, I have a poem, “My Husband’s House,” out in Under Her Black Eye from Black Spot Books next year. I also just received an exciting acceptance for my horror story, “Living Death Beneath the Waves,” about a shape-shifting monster luring an unsuspecting victim into her clutches. That will be in an anthology coming soon! 

In 2022, I did a lot of author interviews and book reviews on Dreadfulesque, but I’d like to add more movie reviews and diversify the content more in 2023. 

I’m also working on a horror/fantasy/romance novel set in the Colorado wilderness near Estes Park. The protagonist has to try to placate the ghost of a girl she accidentally killed while dealing with her developing feelings for a half-human entity and the return of an old enemy.

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

I’m on Twitter @ScaryShelley and on Instagram @hvpattersonwriter. I also have a linktree ( with links to all my work, including the site I run promoting women in horror, Dreadfulesque.

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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