Over the last century, traditional publishing has brought us the most famous horror stories ever told. Big names such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz thrust horror’s tendrils into the minds of millions of Americans, popularizing the genre.
Fast forward to 2019, where small presses and indie publishing are now bringing us the lion’s share of horror fiction—including what I believe to be some of the best stuff ever written, in what many are calling a horror renaissance.
The reason is simple: Small presses have more freedom to publish unique and diverse voices, acquired tastes that might not appeal to a mainstream palate. While these conduits can sometimes be hit or miss, more often than not, they’re where you’ll find the most artful—and dangerous—writing out there. Giving free rein to authors is how a literary genre evolves.
Which is why I’m all shivers to announce that, this fall, Denver Horror Collective (of which I’m a founding member) will be publishing a horror fiction anthology of its own!
What do vampire bedbugs, desert parasites, and zombie deer have in common? They’ve all had starring roles in my horror fiction!
Though I rarely lack for dark inspiration, for years I’ve struggled to define the specific subgenre of horror in which I write. For a while I was calling it “microbial horror,” as a lot of my work focuses on viruses and bacteria, though not all.
For instance, the novel I’m currently pitching, Alpha Syndrome, has to do with deer ticks, but I’m sure as hell not calling my stuff “tick-lit.” And then I wrote “Handgina,” and while some tried to label it “body horror,” to me that brings up images of guts and gore, which I tend to shy away from (in my writing, my reading, and life in general).
Over time, I pondered my (world’s largest?) collection of “nature-based horror” books: dark, clever, and often absurd tomes about killer sea birds, deadly snails, and murderous bodies of standing water. But while many of my stories do take place in or involve nature, that didn’t quite feel right either.
Horror authors Stephen Graham Jones, DeAnna Knippling, Chris Phillips, Effie Rose, Thomas C. Mavroudis, Linnea Linton, and Josh Schlossberg unveil their psyches, recount the battles they’ve waged against their own personal demons, and share the stories these clashes inspired!
Presented by Josh Schlossberg and Atlas Obscura Society Denver
Filmed at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, Colorado on October 25, 2018
Video by Jeamus Wilkes
Video editing by Josh Schlossberg
On the Panic Room Radio show on Thursday at 7:30 pm PT / 8:30 MT / 9:30 CT / 10:30 ET. Call in! (516) 387-1942
What horror writer hasn’t been influenced by H.P. Lovecraft?