Ladies of Horror Fiction Guest Post

Ladies of Horror Fiction is hosting me today with a little Halloween guest post. I truly appreciate the invitation and love the message on the site for authors they’ve mis-gendered:

“We don’t ever want to hurt you. So, if we name you inadvertently as a Lady of Horror Fiction (we’d never do it on purpose!), and you do not want to be on a list that identifies you as female, please let us know! We will respect your wishes and remove your name as soon as possible.”

Isn’t that great?

Deciding whether to identify my gender when I started sending stories out was a difficult decision. Although I’m a biological female, I feel like a dude sometimes and I don’t like the assumptions people make about me based on my appearance. I thought about writing as Joe Koch and suspected I’d have more success in horror using a male name. Then I considered J. Koch. It’s not only un-gendered, it’s more private. I’d keep my dirty little writing secret hidden from family and co-workers. I didn’t want them to be offended by the more graphic stories and I wanted the freedom to write whatever I want. In the end I decided fuck all them and fuck all that and I owned my real name.

And lo and behold, I’m a Lady of Horror.

Ladies of Horror Fiction

Published by: Joe

Joe Koch writes literary horror and surrealist trash. A Shirley Jackson Award finalist, Joe is the author of The Wingspan of Severed Hands, The Couvade, and Convulsive. Their short fiction appears in publications such as Vastarien, Southwest Review, Pseudopod, and Children of the New Flesh. He’s been a flash fiction judge for Cemetery Gates Media as well as co-editing the art horror anthology Stories of the Eye from Weirdpunk Books. Find Joe (he/they) online at and on Twitter @horrorsong.

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