Written by: Kate Genet
If you’re a horror writer, just starting out or otherwise, then there’s no good reason not to buy this book. There are, however, around sixty great essays here, each one a reason to add the book to your virtual shelf, especially if you’re wanting to take the pulse of the horror genre, and take your place in its unholy cannon.
It’s also damned cheap. Don’t let that sway you into thinking it’s not worth good money – it’s easy on the pocket and if the price ever goes up, it’ll still be worth it. Most of the contributors are names we all recognize – from Ramsey Campbell (‘Avoiding What’s Been Done To Death’) to Ellen Datlow (‘What a Short Story Editor Does’) to relative newcomer Iain Rob Wright (‘Self-Publishing – Make Your Own Dreams’) and they all have their own nuggetty hunks of knowledge to share.
The book is divided into several sections, beginning with an overview of the genre, courtesy of guys such as Jack Ketchum and Graham Masterton, then moving on to an awesome section detailing career options. Want to write for the big screen? Thinking horror comics are where you want to make your mark? How about putting out audio versions of your books? It’s all right here, sage advice by writers who have been there and done that, and are giving you the t shirt off their backs. There’s advice on setting up an author website, writing series fiction, and even doing web serials. You can’t go wrong.
Then there’s the nitty gritty of actually living the writerly life, and not just being any writer, but our favorite night-flowering species of horror writer. It’s brilliant to be in the company of people who nod understandingly at your desire to write on the dark side and don’t just stare blankly at you before moving surreptitiously away (oh the reactions you get upon saying you write horror). But this book covers the gamut of tending your garden of ideas (‘Growing Ideas’ by Gary McMahon) to digging in and getting your hands dirty (‘Filthy Habits – Writing and Routine’ by Jasper Bark). Don’t forget too, the section on career advice, from dealing with writer’s block (by Mark West) to a fantastic piece by Steven Savile on ‘How To Be The Writer You Want To Be’.
I did a whole bunch of highlighting on my copy of this book, and bookmarked quite a few of the essays too. It’s the sort of book you’ll keep going back to – for inspiration, motivation, and practical pointers for your career as that marvellously twisted being – the horror writer.
About the author: Kate genet has loved horror since she was twelve years old and wanting to be an exorcist. The Exorcist movie cured her of that, and she decided writing was more her style anyway. She can be found at www.kategenet.com and also does professional blurb writing at www.bookblurbist.wordpress.com Connect on Twitter – @kategenet