Skip to main content

Colors in Darkness: Diversity in Horror, Paranormal & Dark Fantasy

By Mya Lairis (@MyaBlackkoda)

Some time ago in a writers group far, far away, writers, Dahlia DeWinters, Kenya Moss-Dyme, Eden Royce and Mya Lairis joined together and reveled in a mutual love of scares, thrills and ominous lit. Stories were shared and beta read, and much discussion was to be had. One reoccurring tale was of how difficult it was to find diverse works in dark lit at conventions, at the book stores and even online. Considered to be fringe at best and given worrisome looks at the worst, the decision to band together was an easy one.

The first Colors in Darkness event was planned for October 2015. The call went out seeking writers of diverse horror, paranormal and dark fantasy for the Facebook bash which covered Halloween’s Eve through to the Day of the Dead. Some of the authors chiming in to participate I knew, but many others I did not. Folk came out of the woodwork and so too did a few sponsors. It was a magical time with prizes, games, free reads and trivia. I was both surprised and pleased by the participation of the attendees and the graciousness of the contributing participants. My TBR (To Be Read) pile grew even larger during that party.

At the end of the event, the announcement of a Facebook group was made and a place was created for not only authors but artists and fans to continue the fun. For both men and women who have multi-cultural works of terror, mysticism and foreboding, the group delves into a little bit of everything from theme months, to recommendations, promo to craft talk. Inspirational art and open calls are also shared and there is often a monthly giveaway.

It wasn’t until March 2016 that the Colors in Darkness (CiD) website went live, but it truly was the pinnacle of the dream. A showcase of various offerings from southern gothic to urban Horror, from ghost stories and zombies to paranormal tales, all on display for potential shoppers!

As there really are few resources for diverse dark tales, Colors in Darkness aims to show the reading world that authors of color who write darker fare and authors who write diverse characters into their stories, exist and thrive. We may be rarities at conventions, we may not be big names yet, but our voices are growing stronger daily and things are a changing.

For those who are interested in joining the Facebook group, you can find it here.

Interested in shopping or having your work displayed or simply want to chime in with content, come and check out the site:

A Beta wolf from a Matriarchal clan, Mya Lairis has been writing and drawing for as long as she can remember. It may have had something to do with her upbringing. She's an avid fan of Godzilla, Werewolves, Dragons, Gargoyles, and Giant Mech Robots! She loves to travel, international and domestic. She's even lived in Russia for a year and speaks Russian. She currently resides in the Washington Metropolitan Area even though my second home is St. Martin! She lives with her 2 furry children, a Calico diva named Zoe and my skittish, orange tabby momma's boy Cougar! Follow her on Twitter (@MyaBlackkoda)

Popular posts from this blog

28 Black Women Horror Filmmakers

1. Zandashé Brown, Blood Runs Down (2018) 2. Raeshelle Cooke, Last Words (2015) 3. Tamara S. Hall, A Night At The Table (2019) 4. R. Shanea Williams, Paralysis (2015) 5. Monica Moore-Suriyage, Black In Red Out (2016)

The Horror Noire Education Guide

Myself and executive producers Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman and Tananarive Due present a digital, living document we hope will guide further inquiry into what was covered in Horror Noire and beyond. This is just the beginning of what will be developed as we create a fluid discourse on Black horror from here on.

How MIDSOMMAR Utilizes and Subverts Horror Movie Tropes of People of Color

By Mary Kay McBrayer ( @mkmcbrayer ) For a film that could have been easily white-washed, Ari Aster’s Midsommar does have an inclusive cast. Before our characters are even taken to Sweden where most of the film's dread fueled action takes place, we meet them in their college town. Dani (Florence Pugh) stresses about her sister’s scary email while her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor) drinks at a bar with his buddies, only one of whom is black named Josh ( The Good Place 's William Jackson Harper). I have watched enough horror movies to know—and I’ve been brown enough long enough to know—that this setting does not bode well for a person of color. The token minority, say it with me, tends to die first. Because of this ratio, I expected a few other established tropes of the horror genre in Josh’s character, too, and I have to admit, I was delighted and surprised that nothing played out the way I expected.