Monday, June 19, 2023

Shelf Edition: Rae Knowles

Today Horror Spotlight welcomes author Rae Knowles to share her shelves! 

Welcome to Horror Spotlight's Shelf Edition. Do you have any recent favorite Horror Spotlight books?

Just this week I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of In The Roses of Pieria by Anna Burke and can’t get it out of my mind. It’s somewhere between dark fantasy and horror, and I’m always on a quest to find dark sapphic books that have heat, beautiful prose, and well drawn characters. This book hit the mark for me. I can’t sing its praises high enough, definitely add it to your TBR ahead of its August release and check out other books by Anna Burke!

Another recent read was Sleep Alone by J.A.W. McCarthy. This book was non-stop sex, gore, and rock-n-roll, a triumph! I appreciated the seamless integration of queer characters morally grey leads.

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

My current TBR is unmanageable (*laughs nervously*). I ordered The Briars by Stephanie Parent yesterday and am seriously looking forward to diving into her depiction of sex work, specifically in the context of a BDSM dungeon. I think sex workers deserve a lot more fleshed out, positive, representation in media, and I’m confident Stephanie will knock it out of the park. I included Marionette in my pictured books because I feel it does a great job exposing some problematic ways men can view women as it relates to sex work and evocative performances. I won’t reveal any spoilers, but if you’re unfamiliar with Antonia Rachel Ward’s novella, you should add it to your TBR, just mind the content warnings.


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

I get almost all of my book recommendations from social media. I’m a sucker for beautiful marketing pictures and almost anything with sapphic characters and dark elements is getting added to my cart. The She Wore Black podcast by Agatha Andrews is another place I love to discover new-to-me authors. I picked up House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson after listening to the episode about it and devoured (*smirk*) the book in a sitting or two. 

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

So many! I’ve mentioned a few already, but additionally, Zachary Rosenberg has multiple works forthcoming which center Jewish and queer protagonists. He’s an extremely talented writer and someone who’s been incredibly supportive of me personally and professionally. All in all a stellar human and a stand out talent. I’m so thrilled to see his rise in indie horror and looking forward to the releases of Hungers as Old as This Land and The Long Shalom.

Let’s get a little adventurous. Answer one or both: What Horror Spotlight book (or story, or movie, etc) would you like to see turned into a Muppet Movie? And/Or Who would play you in a horror movie based on your life?

The sickest part of me would like to see We Are Here to Hurt Each Other by Paula Ashe adapted into a Muppet series. It’s a stunner of a collection, one of the few reads that I actually had to put down and step away from for the intensity of the darkness within its pages (complimentary). Paula’s prose is masterful, her themes are hauntingly human, and the stories explore the depraved corners of our secret minds. I think having Muppets depict the characters would either balance out the heaviness, or highlight it. Either way, I’d tune in.

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

My debut novel The Stradivarius releases May 3rd from Brigids Gate Press and will be followed by my novella, Merciless Waters in November. The Stradivarius is a queer retelling of Gaslight from Patrick Hamilton set in modern day South Carolina and is a psychological thriller. Merciless Waters is a sapphic, folk horror set on a pirate ship with erotic elements. I’m extremely excited to release this one into the world as it’s jam packed with one of my favorite themes–feminine rage.
Merciless Waters will be part of the Sapphic Horror Series from Brigids Gate Press which will also include April Yates’s City of Snares and our co authored novel, Lies That Bind, which will release early 2024. April’s Ashthorne is pictured above and I highly recommend her work for fellow sapphic horror lovers. The last piece of the Sapphic Horror Series is an anthology co-edited by April and I called Scissor Sisters. We’re looking for stories of sapphic villains to reclaim the predatory lesbian trope. Submissions run May 1-May 30 and I cannot wait to start reading!

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

You can find me on TikTok and Twitter @_Rae_Knowles or on my website at A full list of my books is on Goodreads and you can order them from Amazon or through your local indie bookshop.

Author Bio:

Rae Knowles (she/her) is a queer woman with multiple works forthcoming from Brigids Gate Press. Her debut novel, The Stradivarius is available now, her sapphic horror novella, Merciless Waters, is due out winter ’23, and her collaboration with April Yates, Lies That Bind, in early ’24. A number of her short stories have been published or are forthcoming from publications like Dark Matter Ink, Nightmare, Seize the Press, Taco Bell Quarterly, and Nosetouch Press. Recent updates on her work can be found at and you can follow her on twitter @_Rae_Knowles

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

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