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The Frankenstein Monster or His Bride?
Gender Bias in Horror

Carson Buckingham

Gender bias in the horror genre? I honestly don’t think so—not in present times, at any rate. Women are stepping right up and competing… though I don’t even know if ‘competing’ is the correct word. I don’t think the writing of horror, or anything else, for that matter, has anything to do with what’s between a person’s legs. Folks reading the submissions at publishing houses are only looking for a well-told tale… period. They don’t care if you’re Joe Schmo, or Josephine Schmo. They want to sell books. Send them an extraordinary story and they will buy it.

Someone once brought up the fact that my name could be used to hide my gender, which is female; though Carson McCullers, a fabulous author, is female, as well. Couldn’t be further from the truth. Though my real name is much more obviously feminine, I chose the pseudonym ‘Carson Buckingham’ as an ongoing tribute to both my Russian- and Lithuanian-born grandparents and my Aunt Mary, Uncle Lee, and cousin Lois. They resided on Carson Avenue, which was off Buckingham Street—therefore, Carson Buckingham. So my name is really an address, not an attempt at camouflage. Those five people were there for me and treated me with kindness and love, which allowed me to cope, to a better degree, with my childhood and the living nightmares who were my mother, stepfather, and half-brother. They were all alive when my work began to be picked up by publishers, but I never told them about it, because they wouldn’t have cared, anyway, and I didn’t believe in setting myself up for yet another disappointment where they were concerned.

For the most part, I believe that claiming gender bias is little more than an excuse to make oneself a victim. And self-made victims rarely pick themselves up by the bootstraps and make the diligent effort required to improve their work. Just my opinion, however. I refused to declare myself a victim as a child, when I had every reason and right to do so, and I refuse to make myself a victim as an adult. The torturous time I lived through made me the strong, self-validating person I am today, so perhaps a little good did come from it, after all.

Gothic Revival
by Carson Buckingham

CarsonBuckingham_GothicRevival_coverPromoAlex and Leo Renfield are a husband and wife contractor team who’ve recently moved to the village of Woodhaven, Connecticut to escape the chaos of life in New York. Pretty close to broke, they meet Theodora Hamilton, a somewhat unsavory and odd individual, who offers them an astronomical amount of money to repaint the first floor of her family home.

But along with the huge paycheck comes a set of unsettling rules that must be followed explicitly if they are to accept the offer; one of which is they must reside on the property having no direct contact with the outside world until the job is complete.

Is Theodora Hamilton just an eccentric woman with a peculiar way of doing things, or is there a more sinister agenda that Alex and Leo are unaware of? What exactly does she have in store for this down-on-their-luck couple who have no choice but to accept the offer and the strange requirements that come along with it?

Gothic Revival can be found online at major retailers including:

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CarsonBuckingham_PhotoCarson Buckingham knew from childhood that she wanted to be a writer, and began, at age six, by writing books of her own, hand-drawing covers, and selling them to any family member who would pay (usually a gum ball) for what she referred to as “classic literature.” When she ran out of relatives, she came to the conclusion that there was no real money to be made in self-publishing, so she studied writing and read voraciously for the next eighteen years, while simultaneously collecting enough rejection slips to re-paper her living room… twice.

When her landlord chucked her out for, in his words, “making the apartment into one hell of a downer,” she redoubled her efforts and collected four times the rejection slips in half the time, single-handedly causing the first paper shortage in U.S. history.

But she persevered, improved greatly over the years, and here we are.

Carson Buckingham has been a professional proofreader, editor, newspaper reporter, copywriter, technical writer, comedy writer, humorist, and fiction author. Besides writing, she loves to read and work in her vegetable garden. She lives in the United States in the state of Arizona.

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