Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why do I write Horror...

This is probably the question I'm asked the most often. I've answered it a few times in the past but I think it's time to expand on it a bit. Nowadays, when I say I'm a writer, people light up and ask, "Oh! You're a writer! What do you write?" And when I reply, "Horror," their enthusiasm vanishes and they look at me like I'm some kind of psycho or as if there were something wrong with me. I've had that reaction so many times over the last five years that I lost count. Ask any horror writer, they'll tell you they've had the same response time and time again. Why? Because people fear what they don't know. It's a natural thing and a normal response.

Plus the Horror genre gets no respect (it's nothing new as it never did). It doesn't help that what the general public views as horror these days is what Hollywood dishes out; movies like the Saw franchise, The Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave remakes; all excessively violent and gory movies. That's not what I write. That's not what I read, watch or love about horror. To understand why I fell in love with this genre, you have to go back to simpler times. My main inspiration comes from movies, especially the ones I grew up on. Gothic horror from Roger Corman adapting Edgar Allan Poe stories starring Vincent Price. The good old Hammer Horror classics with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Slasher flicks from the golden age of Horror in the '70s and '80s from Halloween to the Friday the 13th franchise.

I'm into the supernatural aspect of it. I'm a big fan of witches and werewolves and ghosts and goblins. From a literary standpoint, H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu mythos are my biggest influence and you will find it in everything I write in small doses. Montague Rhodes James's ghost stories, Richard Laymon's entire catalog, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, vintage Stephen King from the '70s and '80s, Dean Koontz's horror books, and the classic EC Horror Comics like Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror.

That's what got me into horror and that's why I still write it. But most of all, it's the atmosphere of a horror story I love the most. The foggy surroundings, the monsters lurking, imminent danger, a protagonist in harm's way, a sexy damsel in distress, and the threat of a creepy evil antagonist.

So the next time you hear a writer say he writes horror, before you let your preconceived notions take over, hear what he has to say and pick up something he's written; you might just surprise yourself and really enjoy the stories they have weaved! Stay tuned; in my next blog I will be talking about my upcoming novel and the mini book tour I will embark on this summer. Till then, stay scared!!!

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