During the month of June, I’ve been putting the final touches on edits to my upcoming horror novel, “The Taste of Women.” This is the full story of my novella, “Dying To Meat You.”
Last year, I took a class on how to write horror from AutoCrit. It was a fun class that had us break down character bios, beat sheets, and finalize one full scene. I started with this, as the characters I created just seemed to evolve in this direction. I had not originally planned on writing a cannibal. My thoughts going into the horror class were to learn how to write Gothic horror, something similar to “Mexican Gothic” or even “Rebecca.” But as I delved into the class, the idea of writing a Sapphic serial killer seemed to spark my imagination.
My writing, I feel, tends to lean to the extremes. With stories about addiction, unsafe BDSM relationships, even rapists, I tend to push the boundaries a little with my writing. Diving into some pretty graphic horror didn’t seem all that far-fetched to me.
During the class, the original idea came out to be a novella that started out being called “A Killer Story,” a narrative about a ghostwriter who takes a job with a horror novelist and ultimately writes her own death sequence. Keeping the voice strongly in a very narrow third person, I knew nothing about the killer other than what lies she told the victim. And at the end, I struggled to decide if she would be killed or there would be a happily ever after for her. At the end of the book, I still didn’t know.
Throughout the writing of the novella, I never really felt that the cannibal and the ghostwriter were inherently lesbians, other than stating they were. It was during the second draft, because the first one was utterly shit and didn’t make a lot of sense, that I said to myself if these characters were lesbians, they needed to get it on. Like I said earlier, I take everything to the extremes. Not only did they have sex, but this horror novel, which was supposed to be Gothic horror, turned so far in the opposite direction, it turned erotic. I mean, come on… you have a lesbian cannibal that likes to eat women. I think we all can see the tongue-in-cheek here.
After the second draft, I sent this out to some unbiased beta readers, who picked it apart and found the humor in it all, because I didn’t really take the story seriously. It was at that point I changed the name of it to “Dying To Meat You,” with “meat” being the play on words. Again, you can’t take this seriously.
Before I released it as a reader magnet and a $1.00 read on Amazon, I came up with the idea of a longer version of the story, this time from the killer’s perspective. It was no longer about the victim, but about the killer and why she kills. Now, my killer had a voice and a conscience. Wow… could she really be human? Not only did I humanize our cannibal, but I also came up with the idea of writing the backstory, which might one day come out as another book.
It’s been a fun journey to venture into horror that isn’t the norm for Sapphic literature. Most horror in the Sapphic community seems to have supernatural elements or leans towards witches, vampires, and shifters. Horror encompasses a wide range of genres, from hauntings to splatterpunk, an intense horror with no limits. While I don’t think I’m hitting the splatterpunk genre, which is described as a literary genre characterized by graphically described scenes of an extremely gory nature, I might be close. The scenes in “The Taste of Women” are pretty intense, graphic, and erotic, so be warned. If you plan on reading it, read the warnings.