If people show any interest in my career as a writer, the one question they always ask is why I write horror.
For the record, I don’t only write horror. Yes, a majority of my short stories do fall in the horror category, but I’ve written a few that weren’t horror. And my longer works, though I’ve tried to write straight horror, I can’t do it. In my eyes, they end up more dull than anything else. I joke that it’s because I can’t keep a straight face for that long. I mixed comedy and fantasy with my horror and that’s how I got The Outskirts.
But, yeah, the short stories I’ve had published, the short stories I self-published, the stories that are going to be published, are all horror fiction. So the question about why I write horror is valid.
The answer? I don’t know.
Horror has always been a genre I’ve been drawn to, whether it be movies or books. I can remember looking at the covers of the horror movie videos at the video store, fascinated by them, knowing that they would give me nightmares if I watched them. But that fear didn’t keep me from looking at Fangoria magazine in Radio Shack or watching Creepshow through my fingers in my best friend’s basement or picking Jaws to my the first adult book to read. I’ve had nightmares about Michael Myers since I was six, long before I’d ever seen Halloween, which is now my favorite horror film.
I can’t really explain it. I’ve always been drawn to the terrible and horrible.
I didn’t always write horror. I wrote my first letters and words at three. I wrote my first story at six. I’d literally been writing nearly twenty years before I tried my hand at horror. Something in me clicked. Answering a “what if” question with a horror answer just seemed to come more naturally to me. Since then, I’ve played to that as my strength.
I’m sure this doesn’t satisfy everyone’s curiosity. I’m sure they were hoping for some buried trauma that warped my brain. When you write warped things, it makes people question why you would want to, particularly if they don’t care for or haven’t really explored the genre. I can understand that.
I feel the same way about romance novels.