Friday, February 19, 2016

My wonderful 'Woman in Horror' today is Rie Sheridan Rose...
One of the best stories I've read appears in an anthology Bruce and I edited.

"I love writing horror. From the time I was a kid, I’ve been a huge horror fan. As a matter of fact, my first professional sale was a poem about a vampire waiting for prey. I really enjoy writing fantasy and Steampunk, but writing horror gives you the chance to explore a completely different set of parameters. Writing horror is about exploring the visceral as opposed to the ephemeral.

Of course, there are different flavors of horror. Some of my most successful works are a series of humorous horror stories about a restaurateur named Bruce Vincent and his waitress Roxanne Rogers who battle the supernatural. They have the sort of camp aesthetic that was often found in the old comic books, like Tales from the Crypt and House of Horror which could vacillate between silly and terrifying in one issue. Of course, Bruce and Roxanne always come down on the side of silly. Their stories are available from Yard Dog Press in a new perfect bound edition called Bruce and Roxanne: From Start to Finnish.

But, much fun as writing the silly stories can be, writing something seriously scary (or at least attempting it) can be much more satisfying. There is something exciting about looking beneath the expected societal norms—and it is more politically correct to do it on paper. It is a chance to embrace all your darker impulses. The freedom to be as vicious and cruel as you want without actually hurting anyone.

I’ve written several short pieces that fall into this category. Some of these are found in the collection By Candlelight. My favorite serious horror piece to date though is Bloody Rain from Mocha Memoirs—this look at what might really have become of Jack the Ripper is something I’ve wanted to explore for a long time. It is a solution I have personally never seen before—and hope you find interesting if you choose to look into it.

To me, the key to writing horror is to take an incident and look at what can happen as a result of that incident—the most twisted, dark, possibly unnatural, but logical conclusion you can think of. For example, zombies appear in your neighborhood. What happens next? That is the basis of horror.

I am currently revising the second draft of my first full length horror novel, Skellyman. It isn’t easy to sustain the suspense for a long work. I hope to finish it sometime in the next five years…

If you are interested in trying a bit of horror on your own, I suggest reading extensively in the genre. Some authors I would recommend are Anne Rice—you still can’t beat her description; Charlee Jacob—dark is her specialty…; Tanith Lee—her dark fantasy often skirts the edges of horror; and, of course, Stephen King, is still the Grand Master—even if it Women in Horror Month. ;)

Writing horror requires a specific mindset. You have to immerse yourself in the darkness. But you must also remember it isn’t someplace you want to dwell eternally. You have to come out of the darkness and into the light when you finish."

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