Lindy Ryan Women in Horror Month

In conversation with Lindy Ryan

In 2017, Black Spot Books was founded by award-winning author, editor, director Lindy Ryan. Not long after, Black Spot Books was acquired as an independent imprint of Vesuvian Media Group. I first met Lindy when she acquired two of my poems for her first foray into publishing poetry with the anthology Under Her Skin: A Women in Horror Poetry Showcase (2022), coedited with Toni Miller. Ryan followed this success up with a second volume coedited with Lee Murray, Under Her Eye: A Women in Horror Poetry Showcase (2023), with proceeds going to support The Pixel Project’s campaign to end violence against women. Ryan has also edited and published several other anthologies including Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga (2022), a finalist for Superior Achievement in an Anthology at the Bram Stoker Awards®, and Mother Knows Best: Tales of Homemade Horror (May 2024), which will be released just in time for Mother’s Day. In addition to her work as a publisher and editor, Ryan is also a professor a director, and an author in her own right. Her debut novel Bless Your Heart, scheduled for release next month, has been described as “a heartrendingly poignant tale will leave horror fans hungry for the next installment” (Booklist). With so many projects in the works, I’m looking forward to seeing what Ryan will do next! –Carina Bissett

About Lindy Ryan

About Lindy Ryan

LINDY RYAN is a Bram Stoker Awards®-nominated and Silver Falchion Award-winning editor, author, short-film director, and professor whose books have received starred reviews from Publishers WeeklyBooklist, and Library Journal

Ryan is the current author-in-residence at Rue Morgue, the world’s leading horror culture and entertainment brand and the “Chill Quill” columnist at ​BookTrib. Her guest articles and features include NPRBBC CultureIrish TimesDaily Mail, and more. In 2022, she was named one of horror’s most masterful anthology curators, alongside Ellen Datlow and Christopher Golden, and has been declared a “champion for women’s voices in horror” by Shelf Awareness (2023). Her animated short film, Trick or Treat, Alistair Gray, based on her children’s book of the same name, won the Grand Prix Award at the 2022 ANMTN Awards. 

In 2017, Ryan founded Black Spot Books, an independent press focused on amplifying underrepresented voices in horror, where she maintains her role as President after the company was acquired in 2019 as an imprint of Vesuvian Media Group. Ryan served from 2020 to 2022 on the Board of Directors for the Independent Book Publishers Association and was named a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree in 2020. 

More at and on IG @lindyryanwrites.

Interview with Lindy Ryan

BISSETT: What was your first experience with horror?

RYAN: I spent most of my elementary school years with my nose tucked inside the pages of every Goosebumps I could get my hands on, but the first “horror” book I ever remember reading was Stephen King’s short story collection, Nightmares and Dreamscapes. I don’t remember many stories in particular, but one is forever etched into my memory: “The Moving Finger.” The story is classic King, and I’ll admit I still get a chill when I hear a faucet leaking. Tap, tap, tap. I found Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire on a flea market shelf shortly thereafter, and the rest is horror history.

BISSETT: What attracts you to horror as a genre?

RYAN: I like to say that, despite all of its darkness, horror is a genre of hope. Maybe you don’t always win, but you always fight back—whether it’s against something inside your own body or mind, a masked face chasing after your, a monster at your door, or even the monstrification of some other fear. You stand face to face with your deepest, most primal fears. Having the courage not just to explore those fears, but to confront them, is the true horror, and that’s what I think I love about the genre the most 

BISSETT: Who or what terrifies you? 

RYAN: Have you been outside lately? Everything is scary.

BISSETT: What are you currently working on? 

RYAN: In addition to several upcoming anthologies and a completed standalone novel forthcoming in 2026, I’ve putting the finishing touches on the soon-to-be announced sequel to Bless Your Heart, forthcoming from Minotaur in 2025. 

About Bless Your Heart by Lindy Ryan (Minotaur Books, April 2024) 

About Bless Your Heart by Lindy Ryan (Minotaur Books, April 2024) 

A crackling mystery-horror novel with big-hearted characters and Southern charm with a bite, Bless Your Heart is a gasp-worthy delight from start to finish from debut author Lindy Ryan.

Rise and shine. The Evans women have some undead to kill.

It’s 1999 in Southeast Texas and the Evans women, owners of the only funeral parlor in town, are keeping steady with…normal business. The dead die, you bury them. End of story. That’s how Ducey Evans has done it for the last eighty years, and her progeny―Lenore the experimenter and Grace, Lenore’s soft-hearted daughter, have run Evans Funeral Parlor for the last fifteen years without drama. Ever since That Godawful Mess that left two bodies in the ground and Grace raising her infant daughter Luna, alone.

But when town gossip Mina Jean Murphy’s body is brought in for a regular burial and she rises from the dead instead, it’s clear that the Strigoi―the original vampire―are back. And the Evans women are the ones who need to fight back to protect their town.

As more folks in town turn up dead and Deputy Roger Taylor begins asking way too many questions, Ducey, Lenore, Grace, and now Luna, must take up their blades and figure out who is behind the Strigoi’s return. As the saying goes, what rises up, must go back down. But as unspoken secrets and revelations spill from the past into the present, the Evans family must face that sometimes, the dead aren’t the only things you want to keep buried.

“A gloriously gruesome, compulsively readable debut that is as grizzly as it is clever and heartfelt.” —Rachel Harrison

Carina Bissett

Women in Horror Month By Carina Bissett

Carina Bissett is a writer and poet working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and fabulism. She is the author of numerous shorts stories, which are featured in her debut collection Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations (Trepidatio Publishing, 2024), and she is the co-editor of the award-winning anthology Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas. She is currently a Bram Stoker finalist for her essay “Words Wielded by Women” (Apex Magazine, 2023), a comprehensive retrospective of women in horror. Links to her work can be found at

Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations

 Dead Girl, Driving and Other DevastationsWomen in Horror Month

In this powerful debut, Carina Bissett explores the liminal spaces between the magical and the mundane, horror and humor, fairy tales and fabulism. A young woman discovers apotheosis at the intersection of her cross-cultural heritage. A simulacrum rebels against her coding to create a new universe of her own making. A poison assassin tears the world apart in the relentless pursuit of her true love—the one person alive who can destroy her. Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations erases expectations, forging new trails on the map of contemporary fiction. Includes an introduction by Julie C. Day, author of Uncommon Miracles and The Rampant

Praise for Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations

Check out Steve Stred’s Review of Dead Girl Driving here

“Carina Bissett is one of my favorite speculative authors writing today—magic and myth, horror and revenge, wonder and hope. Her stories are original, lyrical, and haunting—Shirley Jackson mixed with Ursula LeGuin and a dash of Neil Gaiman. An amazing collection of stories.—Richard Thomas, author of Spontaneous Human Combustion, a Bram Stoker Award finalist

“Carina Bissett’s collection is a thing of wonder and beauty. It is a true representation of Carina herself: whimsical, visceral, lovely, and fierce. You can hear women’s voices screaming while roses fall from their lips. Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations is a triumph.”—Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Little Dead Red

“From fairy tale revisions to fresh takes on monstrous transitions and the absolute horrors of being female, no one knows how to write a story like Carina Bissett. Fierce yet fragile.”—Lindy Ryan, author of Bless Your Heart

“In a debut collection weaving folklore and fairy tale and told in magical, lyrical, irresistible prose, Carina Bissett inveigles readers with the breadth of her skill. A feat of woven wonder, with spells sketched in the air and strands stretched taut, Dead Girl Driving and Other Devastations is an enchanting tapestry of silken stories, the collection establishing Bissett as a world-class author of fabulism, fantasy, and horror. A must-read for lovers of Neil Gaiman, Angela Slatter, and Carmen Maria Machado.” —Lee Murray, five-time Bram Stoker Awards-winning author of Grotesque: Monster Stories

“Ravishing flights of fantasy.”—Priya Sharma, Shirley Jackson award-winning author of All the Fabulous Beasts and Ormeshadow

“Dark, often violent, Dead Girl, Driving & Other Devastations doesn’t lie to you about the nature of its stories. Between the title page and the Afterword lies a harrowing alliance of nightmare and fairytale. The pages are full of strange birds, resurrections, second chances, monstrous women, enchantments, and inventions. These stories explore a dark and permissive imagination, unafraid to disturb the monster at the back of the cave. It is a collection for the brave and forlorn, for those seeking escape, vengeance, transformation, or grace. There is wonder here, and freedom from shackles—for those fierce enough to wrench loose of them.”—C. S. E. Cooney, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Saint Death’s Daughter

“Carina’s short stories are absolutely luminous and deeply unsettling. Savour this collection like a fine blood-red wine. It’s absolute perfection and will linger long after the pages are closed.”—KT Wagner

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  • Carina Bissett

    Carina Bissett is a writer and poet working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and fabulism. She is the author of numerous shorts stories, which are featured in her debut collection Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations (Trepidatio Publishing, 2024), and she is the co-editor of the award-winning anthology Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas. She is currently a Bram Stoker finalist for her essay “Words Wielded by Women” (Apex Magazine, 2023), a comprehensive retrospective of women in horror. Links to her work can be found at

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