By admin on in Fiction, Writing with No Comments
Some of you longtime readers might remember I wrote an entry awhile back about writing horror stories and what I think is the most effective kind of “horror” as far as I am concerned (check out the entry here, if you missed it before). Well, as it turns out, I sent all of those stories to an editor friend of mine, and after several long months of polishing (and no small amount of blood sweat and tears), those stories emerged as my first collection of short stories, Madness & Monsters.
Since writing that entry last year, I’ve come across quite a few people who share my feelings towards horror being more personal rather than just plain startling for the sake of shock. In fact, quite a number of people I’ve talked to say that they find most horror movies, especially those made during the ’80s, to be funny, which, barring some notable exceptions, was never the intent of the filmmakers. For these kinds of movie watchers to see a horror movie or read a story that doesn’t strike them as unintentionally humorous, a film or story needs to touch certain very personal nerves. Since everyone has different emotional triggers or believes in different things, for something to be truly horrific across the board, one needs to find deep and primal triggers that apply to people everywhere, regardless of who they are. That’s a hard thing to do, which is why so many films stoop to making things jump out of shadowy corners rather than having them slink out … slowly … scratching the cement floor as they come for you.
I touch on this idea in my introduction to Madness & Monsters, as the notion provided the genesis for the anthology.
A big shout-out goes to Bill Bicknell, who edited the collection for me, and to Michael Martin and layout guru Matt Heerdt (of BattleTech, Shadowrun, and Cosmic Patrol fame) for putting together a fantastic cover for me: