A Statement from your new Vice President of the Horror Writers Association

From the Trenches: A Pull Toward the Unknown

So let’s get the motorcade rolling. There’s no time like yesterday to fly the dark colors of our horror flag for all to see.

In mainstream media we are seeing tremendous numbers supporting horror television shows and films. AMERICAN HORROR STORY is rivalling shows like the SOPRANOS in acting nominations and wins. THE WALKING DEAD continues to bring in hordes of viewers. Yet something is missing. Horror fiction continues to be mixed in with fiction at bookstores. There once was a time when horror had its own section at major chains. Borders kept theirs until the end. Others have done away with these separate sections, unless individual stores choose to have them.

We need to storm the gates by proving beyond any doubt that horror fiction is as viable and as urgent a genre as possible. Spend two minutes viewing a news feed and you’ll see our world is overrun with horrific things and themes. Art is supposed to reflect the world. Art helps us put things into perspective. Art allows us to vent, to heal, to hurt through it without hurting others. That is where horror speaks to so many profoundly.

Modern horror is not the simple slashers of the 1980s. It’s a rich and varied world, with equally strong voices coming from women and men of many different colors.

How does this tie into my duties as your new Vice-President?

It is through the above realizations that I’ve worked to spread the word about horror literature. This genre and its practitioners have saved me more times than I can recall. I’m not alone in that experience.

Throughout the years we’ve seen the HWA membership ebb and flow. I’ve been lucky to see the work of several excellent presidents. The present team of folks are rowing that forward, carrying the work of our predecessors, while making our own mark, and setting the table for those who will follow. Lisa Morton has come into her own as President, bringing to life many amazing initiatives, and making sure everything behind the scenes is running seamlessly. I’m honored to be the right-hand man for her and for the HWA.

At our final meeting of the year at the HWA LA Chapter, I announced that I am doing what I am for my fellow authors because I am horribly selfish. I believe there is plenty of space for the countless great works being produced, especially in the Weird, Bizarro, and alternate horror genres. The imagination is astounding and absolutely riveting. I want to share these works with everyone.

When I was twelve I spotted the rack of horror books at the local Waldenbooks (remember those?) and the neat flip cover of Stephen King’s Night Shift caught my eye … you know … the one with the eyes in the fingers? Well, I picked it up and had to have it. I read through it and was hooked. That was it. I knew, somehow, I’d have to be involved in this horror book world. I want that for the next kid who is wandering through a store. I want that pull toward the unknown to be answered. Let’s all be there to welcome them home.

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