by Chuck Wendig
I grew up on horror fiction. Used to eat it up with a spoon. These days, not so much, but only I suspect because the horror releases just aren’t coming as fast and furious as they once did.
But really, the novels I have coming out so far are all, in their own way, horror novels. DOUBLE DEAD takes place in a zombie-fucked America with its protagonist being a genuinely monstrous vampire. BLACKBIRDS and MOCKINGBIRD feature a girl who can touch you and see how and when you’re going to die and then presents her with very few ways to do anything about it. Both are occasionally grisly and each puts to task a certain existential fear that horror does particularly well, asking who the hell are we, exactly?
by Mika Yamamoto for Fiction Advocate
Brian Evenson’s new novella, The Warren, opens with a declaration of documentation:
I shall begin this written record by reporting the substance of our last conversation—which was not only the last conversation I had with Horak but the last I had with anyone or ever expect to have.
by Josh Jones for OpenCulture
Though the term “weird fiction” came into being in the 19th century—originally used by Irish gothic writer Sheridan Le Fanu—it was picked up by H.P. Lovecraft in the 20th century as a way, primarily, of describing his own work. Lovecraft produced copious amounts of the stuff, as you can see from our post highlighting online collections of nearly his entire corpus. He also wrote in depth about writing itself. He did so in generally prescriptive ways, as in his 1920 essay “Literary Composition,” and in ways specific to his chosen mode—as in the 1927 “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” in which he defined weird fiction very differently than Le Fanu or modern authors like China Miéville.
by Paula Guran
Don't expect to find a definition of horror here. The closest I get to even attempting that is in an essay, The Meaning of the "H" Word. And you can re-read Doug Winter's words on the site entry. These will remind you that horror isn't a genre at all. Once you have that firmly in mind, then you can ponder the irony of the following -- horror sub-genres and related terms. Not that these can be considered definitive. Horrorists disagree about such things; academics debate them. Some that have complex meaning are treated simplistically and with great brevity.
by Michale David Wilson for LitReactor
How do you scare your reader? Perhaps the ultimate question for the horror writer, and a question that has intrigued me for a long time. The dictionary definition of ‘scare’ is [to] ‘cause great fear or nervousness’. Fear is an evolutionary survival tactic that originates from our fight or flight response. Fear induces a biochemical physical reaction that can include sweating, heart palpitations, and a surge of adrenaline. The reaction can be so strong it’s even thought, as per Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, you can quite literally be scared to death.
by Gretchen McNeil for Adventures in YA Publishing
Here's the thing about writing horror: it's all about the set up.
We're all scared of different things.
For some people, the idea of a giant spider lurking under the bed, is enough to paralyze them with fear. For others, it's the idea of being buried alive in a close, black coffin, utterly sightless in the dark. Still others fear the darkness. Or heights. Or being abandoned in the middle of nowhere.
by Cris Freese
The horror genre is something that I’ve always been fascinated with. Luckily, I don’t think I’m the only one. People like to be frightened. If they didn’t, Stephen King wouldn’t have a thousand novels and you wouldn’t find every horror film ever made running on AMC at this time, every year. Seriously. Click over to AMC, I can almost guarantee Halloween, or one of its sequels, is on right now.
by Michael Marano
Those twelve year olds who read Goosebumps six years ago are now part of that juicy 18-25 year-old marketing demographic. The success of Scream and Buffy the Vampire Slayer supports this. Before you dismiss Scream and Buffy as product that doesn't relate to the book business, think a moment. The kids who bought Goosebumps and other such books did so with savvy consumer awareness--they knew that what they wanted was written by Stine, Pike, or Coville. Now, Kevin Willamson (writer of Scream) and Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy) are hot commodities--their names as writers are used to sell movies and TV shows to that juicy 18-25 year old age group. Kids know what they're looking for, and they find it in association with the names of certain writers. The kids are looking for new product. Now is the time to sell Horror. I'm ready to make my move. Are you?
by Paula Guran
The word horror (in a literary sense) has had so many meanings and connotations over the years it's easy to get confused. Recently, the "H" word has been downright abused, twisted into a salable product, then abandoned as not commercial. It's become as much an epitaph as a description. It's been both disavowed and vaunted by its creators, fans, and publishers, but seldom have most readers considered what horror is.
by JG Faherty for Voya
There is a revolution happening in reading.
No, I’m not talking about the e-book revolution, although it does play a part in this. The revolution I’m referring to is being led by our children, and it’s one we should all be getting behind. For years, people – experts and laymen alike – have been bemoaning that today’s youth is reading fewer books than ever, and that the levels of literacy among our children and teens is in a dangerous decline. Over the past couple of years, new studies have shown that this information is, in fact, decidedly wrong. Since 2009, young adult readership has actually been increasing in double digits every year.