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Posts Tagged ‘horror’

I don’t usually read really long books. But there are a few authors whose longer books are so intense, and I get into them so deeply, that I never want them to end. One of those authors is Stephen King. He’s a master at character development and story telling. I was just listening to his long “author’s note” at the beginning of his short story collection, “The Bazaar of Bad Dreams”, where he talks about the difference between long novels and short stories. He called a novel an “immersive experience”. That’s exactly what it is. I’ve been trying to figure out what to call how I feel when reading his longer work, and that’s it. There are VERY few authors who give me an immersive experience. That’s why I usually read shorter novels and novellas. Yes, I’m entertained. But I’m not immersed. King said when you’re immersed like that, it’s not like having an affair, it’s like being married. You never want the book to end. In most books, I can’t wait until I’m done so I can start on the next one, then the next one, etc. But with King and a few others, I want it to go on and on.

He also said short stories were hard to write. He said it takes a lot of work to write something that short and make it work. I find that to be SO true. Most short stories leave me unsatisfied. It’s like they come to an abrupt end, and I’m like “what just happened?”. King is as good at short stories as he is with those LONG novels. I’ve written a couple of short stories, and I’ve always tried to make sure they have a satisfying ending. That’s what I want from a short story.

Another thing he said was that he was still learning his craft. The KING of horror said he’s still learning. That should give all authors the determination to keep learning, keep perfecting, keep writing.

Honestly, I don’t think I have the talent to ever write a story like Stephen King does. But I want to strive for that. This is the biggest reason I want to quit my day job…so I can spend time working on my craft. It takes time. It takes dedication. It even takes courage, I think.

So I’ve been thinking about my genre lately. I have a sequel to Soul of a Vampire coming out in 2016, which is paranormal romance. Most of my paranormal romances are pretty dark, so I lean a little toward horror in those. I have a possible science fiction romance I want to write. But I’m wondering if I ought to do some more horror. The Gnome and Hearts of Evil were really fun to write. The Gnome was most definitely horror, and I would categorize Hearts of Evil as at least light horror. Horror has always been my first love in my reading genre. Something to think about.

What about you? What author gives you an immersive experience? If you’re an author, what author would you strive to be most like? Do you like to read long or short works? What’s your favorite genre?

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I see a lot of people talk about a lot of books. But I usually see people talk about the same kinds of books most of the time. Paranormal romance authors and readers talk about paranormal romance books. Same with Historical Romance, Horror, etc. So am I just weird? I’ve been chatting with my friend Rose Gordon, and Stephen King was mentioned (by me). That got me thinking, do other people read so many different genres like I do? Is this weird? I honestly get bored reading the same kinds of books over and over. I have to have variety. I read paranormal romance, historical romance (especially regency), a LITTLE contemporary romance, horror, mystery, suspense. I don’t read non-fiction, usually, except for the Bible. I don’t usually read erotica unless a friend writes it, and then sometimes I will. I don’t mind a little erotic romance, but that’s different from straight erotica. I actually like the build-up, the sexual tension, the growing love more than the sex. Then the sex actually means something. But I digress. I can’t tell you exactly what my favorite genre is. Most of the books I’ve written have been paranormal romance. I have one that’s a fantasy romance (it has wizards, elves, fairies, etc.). I wrote one horror book (The Gnome), and the book I’m writing now is either going to be horror or suspense. I’ll have to see what category my beta readers think it needs to go in. I would like to do a cozy mystery at some point. Because if I read so many different genres, why wouldn’t I want to write them? Why not get out of my comfort zone and try new things?

Here’s my question to you. Do you read in multiple genres or stick to the same one (or one similar)? If you’re a writer, do you write in multiple genres (or want to eventually)? If you have a favorite author who has written something outside their normal genre, will you read it just because it was written by them? I want to know!

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I’ve been a fan of horror ever since my high school librarian first introduced me to Stephen King. She suggested I read “Carrie”, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Stephen King is the master. The KING. No one has ever been able to touch me quite like he has. He has a way of making you feel like you’re right there in the story and that you know all the characters intimately. King’s characters are his strongest point.

But then there’s the horror. The scary stuff, the stuff that gives you the chills. What is it that makes us want to read this? Why do we want to be scared? I’ve found, the older I get, the harder it is for me to watch scary movies, especially alone. But I LOVE reading the books. The horror fascinates me. I’m not as crazy about the slasher stuff, even though that’s sometimes part of it. It’s the supernatural, eerie, ghostly stuff I love. Or sometimes the horror isn’t supernatural, but the horror of the human psyche. There are some sick people in some of the horror books.

I’ve sometimes wondered if there was something wrong with me because I like horror. Is there something twisted in my mind? And what about the people who actually WRITE this stuff? They have to be kind of twisted, right? But, honestly, the horror writers I’ve met on the internet have been normal, well-adjusted husbands and dads or wives and mothers. Horror writers are usually just ordinary folks. So I may never know the WHY of it all. Maybe someone can give me some ideas of why we like horror.

That brings me to my writing. The first novel I ever wrote and published, A Rocky Path, was a ghost story/love story. I don’t know why I was compelled to write paranormal romance. My second novel, Starfane, was a fantasy romance with wizards, elves, etc. in a land the heroine stepped into from a mural. I then did three novellas, one ghost story and two vampire stories. But even in paranormal romance, there is an element of horror sometimes. My ghost story novella, See Me, was criticized by a fellow author because I had mixed humor and violence in the same story. See Me is kind of snarky, with some funny things that happen, but there is a pretty violent scene in it. I don’t see anything wrong with mixing humor and violence. Even in this story, I had a tiny bit of horror. Then along came The Gnome. It was my first attempt at an actual horror story. I wasn’t sure how I would do with the fight scenes, but one of my beta readers said I nailed it, so that was a relief. Two readers told me that the story creeped them out and one of them actually dreamed of a giggling gnome. Good. That means I did my job. The story stayed with them.

So, after saying all that, I’m wondering if I’m going to end up writing horror instead of paranormal romance. My last book, Soul of a Vampire, actually was paranormal romance, but there was a little element of horror, I think. And, now, my current WIP is looking like it’s going to be horror. This one, honestly, was supposed to be a paranormal romance about a ghost. Now the ghost is kind of secondary in the story, and there’s a truly horrible thing happening in the town. This story just took a different turn than I originally imagined. There is going to be a supernatural element to the horror. So I’m wondering if my whole genre is going to change. Or am I going to dabble in more than one genre? Am I really going to end up being a horror writer? Or are The Gnome and my current WIP just me veering off my normal path for awhile? And do I have to really know the answer right now? Or can I just enjoy the journey and see where everything goes? That’s part of the fun, right?

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Many of you who follow my blog know that I struggled with the writing of The Gnome. My struggles were mainly about whether it was going to be good enough, and whether or not I could write decent action scenes. I had only written paranormal romance up to that point, but I love to read horror, so I wanted to give it a try. And the kind of “light” horror I wrote wasn’t that far from paranormal romance. There was some romance in The Gnome, but that wasn’t the focus. I feel like The Gnome ended up being one of my better books. I worried about the action, but one of my beta readers told me that’s the area where I “shone” in the book. So where do I go from here? Do I stick with paranormal romance, or should I write more horror? And then there’s the book my husband has an outline for that I need to write, and it seems to fall somewhere in between. Although, since I’m the one writing it, I might put romance in it whether he likes it or not. LOL

How many of you cross genres in your writing? How comfortable do you feel writing something out of your normal genre? I would love to know!

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the genre I write it, which is paranormal romance. I’ve written 2 novellas, one about a vampire and one about a ghost. I’ve written two novels, one about an elf and a wizard, and one about a ghost. I’m currently working on another novella about a vampire. And I do really like paranormal romance. But it’s not my first love. Since I discovered Stephen King in high school, I’ve been a fan of horror. That’s my favorite genre. Mysteries and paranormal romance compete for my second favorite.

So why didn’t I start out writing horror? Mostly because I had this love story about a ghost in my head. And it went from there. But I’ve been questioning myself a lot lately about whether or not I want to continue to write solely in this genre. I don’t want to abandon it altogether. But I want to spread my wings a little.

Another consideration. If I do pursue horror as a writing subject, should I write under a separate pen name? My gut feeling is yes. I don’t want to confuse readers when they’re used to me writing under a certain genre. And I’ve developed relationships with other authors in the paranormal romance genre. And another thing I’ve thought about. No matter how much we want to deny it, this is still a man’s world. It’s getting better, but we aren’t there yet. So would it be better to write under a pen name with just initials so no one would know my gender? Female horror writers aren’t very common and probably not very well accepted. Just some thoughts. What do you think?

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