From time to time, I take a break from my fictional pursuits to type out little essays and non-fiction pieces. Today, a personal favorite of mine–an essay on modern psychological horror–went live at Crystal Lake Publishing’s website. Feel free to check it out and share if you like. I’ll include a lead-in below.
All my best,
Horror is a very prismatic genre; there are many subgenres, and each is colored by the tastes of the audience. Whether we’re talking realistic, supernatural, steampunk, splatterpunk, or whatever else tickles your fancy, there’s a subset that perhaps sheds much more insight to both character and reader: Psychological Horror.
This oft mentioned but usually ill-defined subgenre deals exclusively with the mind. It is the type of fiction that plays on expectation and rationality, and can often be applied to works that the author(s) don’t necessarily intend to be under this category. Such is the nature of the industry, though. Some say we don’t truly know what genre we write until the critics have finished deciding; Dean Koontz maintains he’s not a horror writer, but many people, myself included, say otherwise.