Warning, Personal Post

So I went quiet from the horror writing world for some time. I closed down Burial Day Books. I didn’t write much new horror for about a year or two, and I just went sort of quiet and shut down.

Lindsay Hunter is a writer I respect very much. She has written some novels and articles that are fantastic. Recently, she’s been writing about motherhood and some of her posts, including this one inspired me to write about why I stopped publishing Burial Day Books and why I slowed down my fiction writing for some time.

I wrote a piece for Medium and it can be found here. In it I talk about miscarriage, infertility, and the horrible pain it brought. Note, that soon after my oldest son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. So, not only do writers have to deal with life; work, house chores, and squeezing in writing, but there are some writers that sometimes are fighting massive battles in the background with family illnesses, etc.

This is life. It’s hard, and full of sadness and suffering and sometimes, many times it can be beautiful.

I hope you read my piece in Medium and can understand why it’s taken me a bit to get back on the horror writing track. I hope to keep moving forward and producing great work. Keep sending me your positive vibes. I feel them friends.


Readings, Critique Partner, and Writer’s Conference!

A few things recently –

I participated in a poetry reading for Palabra Pura’s 13th season at La Bruqueña in Humboldt Park here in Chicago. I read a poem from my poetry collection published with Raw Dog Screaming Press, Poems of My Night which was nominated last year for both an International Latino Book Award and an Elgin Award.

The reading was absolutely wonderful, and it was great to read with fellow Boricuas (Puerto Rican) poets.

The next thing is after writing for a gagillion years, I finally decided ‘Hey, maybe someone needs to read what the hell I write before I submit it.’  So, I have a critique partner now (waves, hi critique partner). So far, it’s certainly helping find things that I need to fix in my novel – which there’s a lot to fix.

As I said previously, I’m working on a supernatural detective horror novel based here in Chicago. I’m actually in the process of rewriting it and so it’s kinda up in the air right now. However, I’m going to kill myself to get it prepped and ready for…

Writer’s Conference!

I’m going to a writer’s conference soon. I’ll post more about that later on, after the conference. I’ll be pitching to agents there who are looking for horror. So, wish me luck.

Overall, wish me luck in getting this book in shape and wish me luck at the writer’s conference, which is still not for some time.


The Horror Tree Blog!

It’s still Women in Horror Month!

I wrote a very short blog about female serial killers for The Horror Tree blog. I’ve been absolutely fascinated with female serial killers lately. Maybe there’s a story that I’ll write later on about that. Who knows?

Regardless, go visit The Horror Tree, check out the blog and some of the other great horror related content they have.

Post Mortem Press interviews me for Women In Horror Month

Post Mortem Press did a fun interview with me for Women In Horror Month on their Facebook page. The link is here and a transcript of that interview is below.

PMP: Today for #womeninhorrormonth we want to talk about Cina R Pelayo. Cina writes her (award winning) YA fiction from Chicago. Her titles with Post Mortem Press include Santa Muerte and The Missing, both described as ‘vibrant’ and ‘page-turners’. Big up for #womeninhorror! Say hi, Cina

CINA: Hi Post Mortem Press, I read a little too much horror, watch too many horror movies, and write horror at night when I’m away from the day job and my children and husband have fallen asleep.

PMP: What’re you reading at the minute?

CINA: I just finished reading The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson. I’m moving on to Sleeping Beauties by Owen & Stephen King.

PMP: Which leads us to possibly the scariest question this side of the ‘verse: Favourite book?

CINA: Favorite horror novel is without question The Exorcist. It’s the book that I wish I could write, at least something like it that makes people feel that uncomfortable and question their sanity. Favorite non-horror is The Great Gatsby.

PMP: Two very worthy choices in my humble opinion 😉 Are you working on anything at the moment?

CINA: Post Mortem Press yes! I’m wrapping up a supernatural horror novel. I’ve got a few more chapters to go before I send it off to my CP (critique partner) and developmental editor. Then, I’m leaving supernatural horror for a while and moving on to the wonderful world of serial killers.

PMP: So what you’re saying is your Google search history is looking rather shady?  Can you give us a little hint about the novel?

CINA: The FBI would find my search history intriguing. About the new novel? A detective in inner-city Chicago is being haunted by an unsolved case.

PMP: Tell us, so we don’t feel alone, have you made secret mental plans for the zombie apocalypse?

CINA: YES! I’ve decided to go north. Everyone would likely go south where it’s warm. I’ll head up north and find someplace ridiculously cold, like way north Canada, Nunavut someplace surrounded by frigid water.

PMP:  sounds like you’re as excited about it as me! More on topic, however, what unique characteristics do you think, or have you found, that women bring to horror?

CINA: I think women in horror are able to tap into what is truly frightening, people’s flawed humanity, and sometimes people’s lack of humanity. It’s quite terrifying

PMP: Finally, and then we’ll let you go write, give us a Cina R Pelayo trademark gem of wisdom…

CINA: There are good days. There are bad days, sometimes really bad days. No one can lift you out of the funk better than you, and if you are a writer, regardless of your credentials – you are a writer. So, write through the good days, the bad days, and don’t worry about what others are doing or accomplishing. You are here to tell a story, and hopefully more than one, so focus on yourself, on your writing and well…get to writing.

PMP: Love it! Cina, you’ve been a dream. PMP toasts you many bestselling books in the future

CINA: Thanks guys! It’s been fun! I’ll repost this transcript on my blog

PMP: We’ll look out for it 🙂


Lady Killers, Female Serial Killers

I spent time with Lady Killers this past weekend at Bucket o Blood Books and Records. The book was inspired by author Tori Telfer’s column “Lady Killers” that she wrote for Jezebel. I learned about her talk on a Facebook group. Don’t ask me why I’m still on Facebook. I don’t know why I’m still on Facebook. Trust me, it’s not a fun place, but sometimes it has its redeeming qualities – like introducing me to Tori Telfer (did I mention she’s from Chicago too? There are so many kickass Chicago writers as of late living in Chicago and I’m loving this).

The book Lady Killers: Lady Killers Throughout History explores 15 female serial killers from about the 1800’s up to 1950. She said she stopped there for a number of reasons, but a major takeaway she wanted us to leave the event with is that Aileen Wuornos was not the first female serial killer, as often cited. And, there are a lot of female serial killers, even during the time period she wrote, that did not make it into the book. Finally, there may be female serial killers operating today.

Now that my husband can no longer go with me everywhere (because children) I’m starting to get used to going places alone. Don’t think I’m weird because I’m saying that. My husband and I have been together for almost 20 years and he really is my best friend and usually the only other weird person in the room with me so I don’t have to be too self-conscious. But, this was a talk about lady serial killers and I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of people there to hear the author speak. There were so many people that it was a sold out event. This people is how badly people want to learn about female serial killers.

According to Telfer, female serial killers have historically been tied to their state of being a woman. For example, her sexuality and the stereotype of the black widow. Or, her looks may be highlighted, typically in an unflattering light. But female serial killers, according to Telfer are as multifaceted as Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacey. They are complicated and hard to understand.

Here are a few things I found interesting during Telfer’s talk about female serial killers.

  1. Yes, it seems as though most of them preferred poison. About 85%.
  2. These women were hustlers. Many worked many jobs. They were sneaky. They were conniving, all in the effort to get ahead in life. They were driven and tried to climb up the social ladder.
  3. They were desperate. A lot of them were desperate. It was as if they felt ground down in certain corners of society. For example, maybe they felt limited because of their husbands, children, mothers, etc. Many felt trapped in their conditions.

The book provides some in-depth research into 15 female serial killers, including Erzsébet Báthory and Mary Ann Cotton.

I haven’t read the book yet, but am excited to.