Catharsis or Carnival?

As anyone connected to the horror genre can tell you, we get more than our fair share of questions that boil down to “why do you read/write that stuff?” along with the accompanying nervous sidelong looks and wrinkled nose gestures. And, put on the spot, I’ve always found it difficult to give a reasoned answer, settling for either the glib (“because I’m more twisted than a yoga mom wrestling with a Slinky in a pretzel machine”) or the cop-out (a bewildered shrug). So when Sue Palmer from Book Junkies did me the recent kindness of asking me a far more nuanced and generously-phrased version of that question, I snapped her hand off and wrote down some thoughts. Only, I didn’t actually snap her hand off. That’s a metaphor, thankfully. Here are those thoughts, and I think they come closest to capturing what it is about the genre that attracts me, repels me, keeps me coming back as a reader, writer and even viewer. Well, all this and the euphoric thrill of the carnival ride, too; let’s not forget that. Continue reading “Catharsis or Carnival?”

I am Sisyphus…

Question of the day: are you insane to think your writing means anything?  The question of whether you are a nut-job or not is rather easily answered.  It all depends on your expectations.  And your motivation.  And what ‘meaning’ means to you.  Do you write because you love to write or because you see it as your ticket to fame?  Do you publish because you are proud of your work and hope that maybe a handful of people will enjoy it or because you expect a royalty check that will buy you a Ferrari?  If you write because you love it, you’re all good.  If you publish because you want to share your work, great.  If you expect to be recognized for your efforts…or to profit from them…you are in for a rude awakening.

Continue reading “I am Sisyphus…”

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