My American Nightmare:
Women in Horror Anthology
American Horror Story, Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Danielle Vega
female authors come together in this collection of creepy tales and
psychological horror stories to bring you chills and disturbing
images that won’t leave you long after you’re done reading. From
zombies to rural small towns, to the foggy New England to the glamour
of Hollywood, each story focuses on a diverse aspect of living in
America and the horror found in bullying, being the “new girl,”
starting your first job, and navigating the murky waters of
adolescence and all the terrifying changes that come with it. Bold
and haunting, My American Nightmare encompasses daring stories from
new voices in the horror genre. This collection will unsettle your
nerves and linger in your mind, demonstrating that women can show you
a nuance of horror that isn’t always evident from the male perspective.
Born in Catania, Sicily, Azzurra Nox has led a nomadic life since birth.
She has lived in various European cities and Cuba, and currently
resides in the Los Angeles area. Always an avid reader and writer
from a young age, she loved entertaining her friends with ghost
stories. She loves horror movies, cats, and a good rock show. She
dislikes Mondays and chick-flicks. CUT HERE, her debut paranormal
urban fantasy was inspired by a nightmare the writer had a few years
ago. Some of her favourite authors include Anne Rice, Oscar Wilde,
Chuck Palahniuk, and Isabella Santacroce.
The faces in the flowers were more pronounced than usual that night. Big eyes, gaping and expectant,
seemed to blink back at her. Lizzie dismissed the idea immediately. Paper did not blink. Nothing could
move in the room, except her. But the yellow faces had a more human quality the more she looked. They
were women’s faces. Lizzie found something feminine in the shape, warped as it may be. The heads in
the wallpaper appeared to tilt to the side, violently, like their necks had been snapped.Excerpt from “Perle”
A muscle flickered in that clean-shaven jaw. “Step out of the vehicle.”
I hesitated. Another bang.
“I said step out of the vehicle.” Singer popped the snap on his holster. “I’m not gonna ask you again.”
Dog whimpers urged me to comply.
My shoulders slumped. I released the latch and fought open the stiff door. It protested with a loud, long
“Now what is in the back of this truck?”
Still I hesitated, puckering my lips in a coy attempt at innocence.
“My stepdad.”Excerpt from “Whatever Happened to Peyton Rose?”
“Jesus,” she whispered, not sure if anyone could hear her. The dolls made her feel unsettled as they stared
back at her with vacant eyes. Peering down, a scream escaped her throat when she realized that their
plucked eyes were scattered on the bed. She pushed the comforter off of her. The eyes fell down, making
a sound similar to marbles crashing to the floor as she ran for the door.
Frantic, she opened the door and stood upon the landing. She looked to and fro, not knowing what
direction to run to next.
Don’t panic! She told herself. And yet, her hands were shaking.
Azzurra Nox, “Whatever Happened to Peyton Rose?”
Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
I find inspiration in a plethora of venues, especially in films and music. But a lot of my scarier
moments in books have been taken directly from my nightmares. For “Whatever Happened to
Peyton Rose?” I was inspired by a nightmare where every time I came in and out of a
bedroom all the furniture was rearranged in the room and the only thing in the room was a
What’s one of your favorite books and/or short stories?
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I first read it when I was nine and just found the
notion of an aging painting very terrifying and the lengths one would go to to preserve their
youth. As far as short stories go, I love Joyce Carol Oates’ Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque
collection. She has a way of creating a sensation of dread and uneasiness in the reader that’s
unlike any other author I’ve ever read.
What food/beverage would be a good pairing with your short story?
Something decadent and yet (somewhat) innocent, so I’d go with a Shirley Temple combined
with a Sundae, garnished perhaps with a bloody, severed tongue.
If your short story could have a theme song what song would you choose?
Lost In Hollywood by System of a Down.
One of your favorite literary quotes?
“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees
the dawn before the rest of the world.” – Oscar Wilde
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