It’s been a great start to Women in Horror Month, and we want to keep the love and respect going by featuring all women FearMakers this month. When we first began creating the WAIH community, we thought the indie horror scene was far from thriving. Boy were we wrong. The same goes for women in horror. At first glance women only seem to pop up in front of the camera, usually running, usually topless. As we take a genuine look around we see, yet again, that this is far from the case. From DP’s to directors, to producers, to G&E, there really are proud and phenomenal women working all throughout horror. This week’s FearMaker set out to be an actor, only to find herself behind the camera. Her name is Cindy Maples, and she loves what she does.

As most children turned horror fans start, Cindy Maples was left alone one evening in front of the TV flipping through the channels. This was when she stumbled upon Dracula’s Daughter. “I slept for a long time with the blankets pulled up tight around my neck for protection, but at the same time I loved that feeling of being afraid.” It was when she first saw The Exorcist when her appreciation turned into a deeply rooted love for all things macabre and scary.

Cindy has been performing for as long as she can remember. Her passion for acting came from a sixth-grade speech competition. She studied Mass Communications and Theatre at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale before setting out to become an actor. She managed to score the lead role in, of course, a horror film. P.J. Woodside’s 2009 short Widow to be exact. From then on Cindy has been working nonstop, with a staggering forty credits under her belt.

In 2015 Cindy Maples decided to take a giant leap by trying to work behind the camera. She began her own production company, Carriage House Productions, and wrote, directed, starred in, and produced her first short film Random.

Random is a seven-minute short film which intensely tells the story of two lovers, as seen talking while laying next to each other. It’s beautifully haunting and managed to win several awards for Maples, including Best Short and Best Actress awards from multiple festivals. She just recently wrapped on her second short film, Out Of My Mind, which will have its Florida premiere at AMC theaters at City Walk in Universal Studios during Cosmic Film Festival in mid-February.

Working in indie horror is no easy task, and Cindy Maples is highly aware of that. Whether it be budgetary restrictions or time constraints, there is no end to what she can do with her team behind her. Despite the odds and naysayers, Cindy will continue to hold her head high and make the films she wants. Maybe perhaps even delve into that feature film her fans have been patiently waiting for.