Spooky Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage and Horror

Every year National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th in the U.S. With half of Hispanic Heritage Month overlapping with the spookiest month, we decided to put together a list featuring some of the best Hispanic authors who have published books of horror in English this year (in no particular order).

Mariana Enríquez

Start with: Things We Lost in the Fire

Argentinian Mariana Enríquez has had two books translated into English (both by Megan McDowell): Things We Lost in the Fire and The Dangers of Smoking in Bed. Both short story collections are phenomenal. Enríquez, who also works as a journalist, has an incredible ability to capture suffering on the page and infuse it with magic and meaning. Her stories are incredibly unsettling.

V. Castro

Start with: Switchblades and Hairspray

V. Castro is a relative newcomer, with her first book Maria the Wanted and the Legacy of the Keepers coming out in 2018. Since then, she has taken the horror scene by storm. She published Switchblades and Hairspray in February 2020 and The Queen of Cicadas and Goddess of Filth this year on top of editing the Latinx Screams anthology with Cynthia Pelayo. Castro has an incredible talent for layering nuance and fun into familiar, pulpy stories.

Cynthia Pelayo

Start with: Into the Forest and all the Way Through

Cynthia Pelayo, who shared editing duties with Castro on Latinx Screams, has a trio of advanced degrees and a boatload of Awards and Nominations. From her first book, Loteria, to this year’s Children of Chicago, Pelayo has chilled readers with stories drawing from folklore. In addition to fiction, she writes poetry—her latest collection Into the Forest and All the Way Through scored a Bram Stoker Award nomination—and edits the Gothic Blue Book Anthology series (full disclosure: she published my story “Catholic Guilt” in Gothic Blue Book V: The Cursed Edition.)

Daniel José Older

Start with: Salsa Nocturna

Daniel José Older writes across many genres. After ten years as an EMT (which he blogged about here), José Older began publishing in three series for three different age groups—the Shadowshaper Cypher for Young Adults, the Dactyl Hill Squad for Middle-Grade Readers, and the series that earned him a spot on his list: the Bone Street Rumba series for Adults. He also writes Star Wars novels and published the standalone dystopian novel Flood City this year. In addition, his books frequently celebrate the incredible diversity of New York City.

Sylvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic

Start with: Mexican Gothic

Sylvia Moreno-Garcia is a genre chameleon. Her first book, Signal to Noise, was a music-based fantasy, and Moreno-Garcia has spanned genres since then. Her most horrific and best novel, Mexican Gothic, was published last year and won Goodreads Reader Choice Award 2020 for Horror and the British Fantasy Society’s 2021 August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel. Moreno-Garcia excels at ratcheting up the tension. Her 2021 novel, Velvet was the Night, is a noir set in 1970s Mexico City.

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Ryan C. Bradley
Ryan C. Bradley

Ryan C. Bradley’s work has been featured in The Missouri Review, Dark Moon Digest, The Rumpus, and many other venues. He’s a regular contributor to Cyn’s Workshop and Wicked Horror. A writer, editor, and adjunct professor who loves horror movies, action figures, wrasslin, and pizza, he spends a quarter of his time writing and the other quarter training his dog to stop biting him.

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