What is Horror?

Horror as defined  by Dictionary.com

noun
  1. an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking,   terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear

 https://www.dictionary.com/browse/horror

Why do we love it so much?

My personal theory – I am not going to get into the actual psychology of it, or steal others thoughts. I feel as though horror represents a deep, mysterious, unknown that draws people. At least it does for me. It’s the curiosity that drives us humans.

The “other” big unanswered questions.

Are ghosts real?

Will the dead ever rise?

What is that noise in the dark?

What makes the serial killer tick?

Why can some people be compassionate and generous, while others take pleasure in anothers suffering?

Secondary, the need to have a different emotion. To be happy, sad, angry, thrilled, and terrified, all the things that let us know we are alive.

 

How we we as authors fit into this niche?

I want to discuss the long career of none other than Dean Koontz.

WHY?

Because he is a great example of a writer pigeon-holed in the bookstores. My personal opinion of this is because it’s easier! I find few of his books to be right out horror. Many are thrillers, or suspense, and most are conspiracy theories. All of them excellent works of fluid language and characters we care about – but not horror.

The first book he published in 1968 was a Science Fiction, Star Quest. He went on to publish book after book, in various names, from Sci-fi, to suspense, to horror. His first commercial success was Whispers, under his own name, in 1980.

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This shows us writers that the struggle is real! The work is arduous and rarely is any author an over night sensation.

Anyone who reads my work are apt to say, “this is not horror,” and they would be correct. I have perhaps one – in your face – horror, Sudden Death. It’s cheesy, campy, b-movie material and I love it.  Some hate it.

My others are more creature feature suspense, paranormal (without the sappy romance), occult perhaps? The defining lines are hard navigate. Therefore I stick to the lose and unwritten bookstore rules and shelve myself along with Mr. Koontz & Mr King in horror.

My hard core horror loves are, (not in any order) Ramsey Campbell,  Richard Laymon, Clive Barker, Philip Rickman and the also straying Robert McCammon…there are more but this list can go on and on.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on why you like horror. The horror gig as a writer and share your favorites too.

Happy Horror Month!

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