I was invited, this past month, to reflect upon my writing influences, and in so doing share insights on how horror, as a genre, has shaped elements of my storytelling. And I won’t lie, I had a fair bit of fun contemplating this.
Horror is a style of storytelling I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with. I take little thrill from the purveying of the grotesque and gory for its own sake (and yeah, I know, readers of Lost Gods and Pale Kings will disagree with this). Nonetheless I have always felt there to be something especially profound and visceral to be mined from exploring, and perhaps even scrutinising, our fears. And that horror, as a genre, has been home to some of our most gifted storytellers because of this.
And so I’ll say there’s something to this; the fact that we, as a species, have a taste for revelling in our darkest anxieties, and even seeking to be thrilled by them. Perhaps, in some ways, it’s a mark of our most abiding human quality — the desire to master things, even our fears, and in so doing discover, as Da Vinci once put it, how to master our very selves.
But anyway, if you want to read more on that then you’ll likely enjoy my recent interview with Sumiko Saulson of the Horror Writer’s Association. The conversation forms part of their Black Heritage Month series, which is well worth checking out. You can take a look by clicking right… here.