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Tag archive: Horror Writers Association Archives - Horror Writers Association Blog [ 23 ]

Ambiguously Ever After: Ending the Children’s Horror Story

Ambiguously Ever After: Ending the Children’s Horror Story

IMG_20160821_211336There’s much handwringing in publishing for children about what is “right” or “appropriate.” There are many controversial subjects and editorial choices, but today we’re talking about endings. Do endings in books for children need to be happy? Or should writers of children’s books portray a realistic version of the world where things don’t always end well?

Critics and authors have come down on both sides of the issue. When the 2014 Carnegie Award was given to The Bunker Diary, it set off a flurry of controversy in the UK and prompted an opinion piece for The Guardian in which

And the Clock Strikes Three AM: Time and Timing in Terror, the Sequel

And the Clock Strikes Three AM: Time and Timing in Terror, the Sequel

cpt_1470618694673Last month’s terror-time about time-and-terror was firmly grounded in reality—creating timetables that work inside the book (natural character reactions to stimuli and logical story flow) and inside the reader’s mind (pacing appropriate for the specific audience’s needs, and avoiding shattering suspension of disbelief through overuse of techniques that, when used sparingly, should enhance tension). Immersion was the name of the game, with an end goal of a truer feeling story and the horror that relating to it as true-ish brings.

But before you go off and wed your story to reality at the altar of believability, there’s another variable. Unless

And Now for Something Completely Different: Adding Humor to Your Horror

And Now for Something Completely Different: Adding Humor to Your Horror

20160716_231210With the popularity of dark comedies, it should be no surprise that horror and humor can be a compelling mix. However, when it comes to young adult books, few succeed at the balance that keeps a funny horror book from losing its edge or appearing to try too hard. Here are a few humorous elements used in YA horror to enhance the story, characters, or setting without sacrificing their horror-ness.


WORD PLAYS AND PUNS
Puns and other forms of wordplay can range from clever to groan-inducing, and they are a little of both in Croak by Gina Damico. In the

And the Clock Strikes Midnight: Time and Timing in Terror, Part I

And the Clock Strikes Midnight: Time and Timing in Terror, Part I

Time and Timing in TerrorWhether it’s the beeping of an alarm clock marking a night over too soon, a school buzzer announcing the start of a test period, or the chime of a grandfather clock in an old house declaring the start of the witching hour, there are lots of ways that time can provoke dread. So, when writers look no further than flashbacks and verb tenses, they miss out on timely tension opportunities.

With a little attention towards the timing of the horrors in your story—pacing as well as narratively—you can save yourself time in revisions, time better spent dreaming up new nightmares …

Know a Nominee Part Five: Usman T. Malik

Know a Nominee Part Five: Usman T. Malik

 

 

Welcome back to ‘Know a Nominee’, the interview series that puts you squarely between the ears of this year’s Bram Stoker Award nominees. Today’s nominee is Usman T. Malik, nominated in the category of Superior Achievement in Short Fiction for The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family.

 

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DM: Please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work(s) for which youve been nominated. What attracted you most to the project? If nominated in multiple categories, please touch briefly on each.

 

UTM: I was en route to Seattle to attend …

Know a Nominee Part Three: Patrick Freivald

Know a Nominee Part Three: Patrick Freivald

Welcome back to ‘Know a Nominee’, the interview series that climbs inside the minds of some of the most talented authors and editors working in horror today: the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards nominees. Today’s edition features Patrick Freivald, nominated in the category of Superior Achievement in a Novel, for Jade Sky.

 

DM: Please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work(s) for which 51Md8PePKBLyouve been nominated. What attracted you most to the project? If nominated in multiple categories, please touch briefly on each.

 

PF: Jade Sky is an outgrowth of an idea …

Know a Nominee Part Two: John F.D. Taff

Know a Nominee Part Two: John F.D. Taff

 

Welcome back to ‘Know a Nominee’, the interview series that puts you squarely between the ears of this year’s Bram Stoker Award nominees. Today’s nominee is the King of Pain, John F.D. Taff, nominated in the category of Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for The End in All Beginnings.

 

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DM: Please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work(s) for which you’ve been nominated. What attracted you most to the project? If nominated in multiple categories, please touch briefly on each.

JFDT: I attended my first HWA/WHC two years ago in New Orleans and …

Know a Nominee Part One: Leslie Klinger

Know a Nominee Part One: Leslie Klinger

Hello, and welcome to ‘Know a Nominee’, the interview series that gives you daily peeks inside the skulls of some of the most talented horror writers and editors working today: this year’s Bram Stoker Award Nominees.

 

Each day, through to the day of the Bram Stoker Awards ceremony, we aim to bring you at least one Q&A featuring (you guessed it!) one of this year’s nominees.

 

First off, I’d like to send a huge thank you to all of our participants. Through the generous gifts of your time and candor, we have a great line-up of interviews—and I …

Know a Nominee Part Thirty: Kami Garcia

Know a Nominee Part Thirty: Kami Garcia

And so we’ve come to the last edition in this year’s “Know a Nominee” interview series. Thank you to everyone who has followed along, and my deepest gratitude to all of the nominees who have generously shared their time and insights — I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I have. Today’s update features Kami Garcia, nominated in the category of Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel for Unbreakable (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

 

 

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DM: Can you please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work for which you’ve been nominated?

KG: After writing …

Know a Nominee Part Twenty-Nine: Paul Tobin

Know a Nominee Part Twenty-Nine: Paul Tobin

 

 Thanks for joining us for this edition of “Know a Nominee,” the interview series that shows you the darkest reaches inside the minds of this year’s Bram Stoker Award nominees. Today’s featured nominee is Paul Tobin, who’s nominated for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel for Colder (Dark Horse Comics).

 

 

DM: Can you please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work for which you’ve been nominated? In download (38)the case of a work wherein you’ve written multiple stories (like a collection) please choose your favorite part and discuss.

PT: Colder evolved after editor Scott …

Know a Nominee Part Twenty-Eight: Michael Bailey

Know a Nominee Part Twenty-Eight: Michael Bailey

 
Welcome to the latest edition of “Know a Nominee,” the interview series that puts you inside the minds of this year’s Bram Stoker Award nominees. Today, we feature Michael Bailey, who’s nominated for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction for “Primal Tongue” (Zippered Flesh 2, Smart Rhino Publications).

 

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DM:  Can you please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work for which you’ve been nominated? In the case of a work wherein you’ve written multiple stories (like a collection) please choose your favorite part and discuss.

MB:  “Primal Tongue” is about communication. Do we need words? …

Know a Nominee Part Twenty-Seven: Cat Winters

Know a Nominee Part Twenty-Seven: Cat Winters

Welcome to the latest edition of “Know a Nominee,” the interview series that gets you up-close and personal with this year’s Bram Stoker Award nominees. In this post, we catch up with Cat Winters, who’s nominated in the category of Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel for In the Shadow of Blackbirds (Harry N. Abrams).

 

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DM: Can you please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work for which you’ve been nominated? In the case of a work wherein you’ve written multiple stories (like a collection) please choose your favorite part and discuss.

CW: When …

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