Grady Hendrix’s new novel flips script for final girl

Horror films take viewers on a whirlwind of stomach-knotting excursions. The suspense and fear breed an internal angst that forbids release until we reach that last moment and its only survivor – the last daughter. For the most part, this is where the story ends but for author Grady Hendrix, this is where the story begins.

Hendrix has gained a budding fan base with his novel “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires,” a New York Times bestseller about a women’s book club that has to wrestle with a mysterious newcomer in their little one. city. This lap, the horror fanatic designed “The Final Girl Support Group ”(Berkley Hardcover), a nostalgic tribute to the slasher films of the 80s and 90s.

Central to the story is Lynnette Tarkington and for over a decade she only left her home to meet six other final girls and their therapist for group support. The plot thickens when a woman misses a meeting and it is suspected that someone who knows the group is determined to turn their world upside down … again.

Albert Mitchell

Grady Hendrix, author of “The Final Girl Support Group”

The great thing for me was, Lynnette, the main character. [She] is exactly who i would be if i was in a slasher [film] in real life. If I was a last girl, I would never leave my house again. I would turn my life into a weapon, ”says Hendrix. “It was so much fun to be in Lynnette’s head because it’s fun to write a character who’s deeply committed to a bad point of view, and her point of view is that everyone wants to have it. . ”

Hendrix’s fascination with final girls was piqued by reading the April 1981 issue of cult and horror film magazine Fangoria. The issue detailed the start of “Friday the 13th Part 2”, where Adrienne King’s character Alice Hardy – the first final girl from the first “Friday the 13th” – was murdered by Jason while spending an evening in the House.

It always struck me how cruel it was and I always wanted to rewrite it [and] I wanted to give this woman I read in the magazine a happier ending, ”says Hendrix. “There is something heartwarming for me when someone has the worst night of their life and gets away with it, and not just because they are strong or because they have a gun, but simply because he doesn’t stop, he continues. That’s all you need sometimes.

Listen to an excerpt from “The Final Support Group” read by Adrienne King aka the first final girl from “Friday the 13th Part 1”.

Audio clip courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio of “The Final Girl Support Group” by Grady Hendrix, played by Adrienne King.

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