Monday, March 24, 2014

Why horror?

No one was more surprised than me when I wrote a Vampire trilogy.  I was aware that vampires as a trend were probably dying off.  (But then again, they never die, do they?) 

My first efforts when coming back to writing were also horror -- Cthuhlu versus Faery.  Followed up by Werewolves versus Faery. 

And of course, Led to the Slaughter, my historical western horror (to which I'm writing a sequel.)

I never thought of myself as a horror writer, and yet most of what I've written lately would be categorized as horror.  How did that happen?

I think the main thing is that horror is a very open field, unconstrained by convention.  Horror can be anywhere, anytime, anyhow.  It seems to me to be a relatively fresh field of creativity.

It's so old-fashioned, it's new again.  (And westerns, it seems to me, are fresh to most readers.  I just don't think most readers know how much they miss it..)

Fantasy, no matter how fresh you might try to make it, is constrained.  Unless you change it so much it isn't really fantasy.  Unless you make it "dark" or "urban" or...well...might as well say it, "horror."

I love science fiction, but never feel like my science is accurate enough.  I used to love fantasy, and still do when someone manages to write something fresh.  I love detective novels, but know nothing about procedures or guns or any other number of practical things.

But horror.  We all live our lives with a tinge of horror around the edges, even if it is only in our dreams. 

Maybe I should say I write Dark Fantasy, but to me that is just another name for horror. 

Horror, in other words, can escape the tropes.  Horror can be anything that deals with the dark, the battle between good and evil, and human frailties.

Horror can be just about anything you want it to be. 

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