Halloween Trick or Treat: Part Two on Speculative Lit
In honor of Halloween, let’s discuss horror fiction--or dark fantasy as it now is often euphemistically called. Why does it continue to fascinate readers? Why do readers love what terrifies them? It appears that vampires never die. Zombies can be found in movie theatres, TV shows, commercials, books, and short stories. Programs like The Living Dead have higher ratings than ever before.
When people talk about horror fiction, they might let out an involuntary shudder. However, horror fiction isn’t just about the gruesome. It’s not only about such supernatural creations as: ghosts, goblins, ghouls, gremlins, etc. No, it’s really about what we fear, what we dread most, what strikes terror into our hearts and souls. These things may be ordinary, like a pit bull off the leash running toward us, or extraordinary, like meeting a vampire in a neighborhood bar at . Our fears are both usual and unusual.
Horror fiction will not be going away any time soon because it is human nature to feel fear as an emotion. Horror fiction actually helps us handle these feelings, helps us cope with and confront our terrors, those within us and those in the environment around us. Writers like Stephen King and Dean Koontz have recognized this. They reach into their worst fears and nightmares to help us come to terms with our own. As we find ourselves in real life forced to face horrors like Ebola outbreaks and violent terrorist attacks, there is comfort in paranormal solutions.
In my co-authored novel, THE THIRD EYE: A PINE BARRENS MYSTERY, a boy and his mother, writing alternating viewpoint chapters, come to terms with their own greatest fears while solving several connected murders. The novel’s setting is real but eerie. Legends of the Jersey Devil still seem to fascinate. Fans of both mystery and horror relate to this novel.
THE DEVIL AND DANNA WEBSTER also has a paranormal, allegorical edge:
TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS:
is a sensual Regency romance with elements of both horror and mystery.
Readers of GONE GIRL may enjoy THE BAD WIFE, a mystery suspense thriller with lots of plot twists that features a psychic sleuth.
Do you read horror literature? Why or why not? Do you have favorite authors that you would recommend to fellow readers? If you are a writer, do you write horror or paranormal lit? Tell us something about your most recent work in the genre. Comments welcome!