Monday, April 22, 2013

Reading Horror

(not my photo, let me know to take it down if it's yours!)
Lately I’ve noticed that I’m on a horror-reading kick. I shouldn’t be surprised because I grew up reading Stephen King but I had backed off the genre for a while. Having a young child to worry about sort of dampened my enthusiasm for opening my mind to wretched creatures preying on innocent people. It’s just like disaster movies. I used to love them, loved anything with earthquakes or plane crashes or disease outbreaks and now when I watch them I think about little children being caught up in it and I start to cry. So no more disaster movies. There’s no accounting for the fact that I am a huge fan of the Walking Dead,  I can manage to watch that without all the mommy hormones flooding my body.

But reading horror seems to be creeping back into my comfort zone, so to speak. Creeping like a stealthy zombie, that is. Here are a few that I have/am reading that I have enjoyed.

Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman. Oh my goodness, this was GOOOD. Very well-written, not over the top gross, and was set during the Great Depression which was unique (and commenting as a historian, the setting and period rang very true so kudos author Buehlman). A very good spin on the were-beast mythos. This is a debut book so I’ll be hoping for more from this author.

Horns by Joe Hill. Not quite done with this one yet but I am enjoying it so far.  Enough that I plan on reading more of his work. He writes this story from several POVs and despite my misgivings at being in the head of a terrible person, he handled it so well that I kept reading. I’m not sure how it’s going to end and that’s a good thing.

Juggernaut by Adam Baker. Almost done with this one too. The premise is great; Three Kings meets The Walking Dead. That’s all you need to know, if that sounds good, you’re going to like this one. More suspense than horror, at least to my mind, but there’s enough creepy gross out to satisfy. I really like this author’s choices in choosing POVs as well.

Despite my renewed interest in horror fiction, I won’t be writing any of it. My brain just can’t conjure up the necessary plots and the idea of sustaining my creativity through all the awful blood and guts is frightening. I’d hate to think what I’d be like to live with if I was trying to write horror. At least with romance there is an inherent optimism and knowledge that good things await, not matter how dire the situation I’m writing.

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