Women in Horror Q&A with Jenny Kiefer

Posted by Quirk Books Staff
Purchase your copy of This Wretched Valley, available wherever books are sold.
P.S., the dog lives.


Quirk Books: What do you love most about writing horror?

Jenny Kiefer: I love that there are few limits to what you can do in the genre. You don’t have to adhere to what can happen in the “real world”—but at the same time, it overlaps with the real world in ways that genres like sci-fi or fantasy don’t. It’s kind of like twisting the real world or adding an element to it. Horror also allows me to channel my anxiety into something productive.


Quirk Books: What sparked your interest in horror writing?

Jenny Kiefer: I don’t think there was any one specific thing. I think it was destined to happen. I’ve always loved writing—one of my earliest memories is writing my name for the first time, and growing up I would constantly start (and never finish) books. From as early as age 7, I have accumulated many writing-related accolades. Pair that with my inherent love of Halloween, horror movies, and books like Goosebumps…there was no other place I would have gone!


Quirk Books: Do you have a preference for writing in any particular horror subgenre? (Survival horror, supernatural horror, etc…)

Jenny Kiefer: So far I’ve gravitated towards survival horror. I guess I like to explore how someone would react if they find themselves trapped somewhere, be it a cursed forest or a craft store. It’s a simple premise, so it allows me free reign to be creative with other elements, like amping up a supernatural presence.


Quirk Books: What are the last three pieces of horror media you’ve consumed and loved?

Jenny Kiefer: The film Lisa Frankenstein, and the books Mary by Nat Cassidy and The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson.


Quirk Books: What do you hope readers take away from This Wretched Valley?

Jenny Kiefer: I hope they have a wild ride alongside the cast, and perhaps think through their intentions when invading the wilderness. And, above all, always trust the dog!

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