Horror Writers Association Blog

Tag archive: HWA Archives - Horror Writers Association Blog [ 65 ]

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.

 

Taffbook
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 …

In March: “Found Poetry” with Terrie Leigh Relf & HWA Poetry Showcase Announcement

In March: “Found Poetry” with Terrie Leigh Relf & HWA Poetry Showcase Announcement

Poet Terrie Leigh Relf talks about “Found Poetry” and shares a little bit of herself and her own work this month. Personally, before reading this article, I’d never heard of “Found Poetry” and it’s a fascinating literary field. Special thanks to Terrie for pulling back the curtain a little on a lesser known form of poetry.

What Is Found Poetry and Where-Oh-Where Can It Be?
by Terrie Leigh Relf

While on staff at Alban Lake Publishing, one of our regular contributors and a writer friend, Lauren McBride, asked me about found poetry. When she requested an article on this …

Women in Horror: Part Eighteen

Women in Horror: Part Eighteen

 images (23)It may be March but I’m still rolling with WiHM!

Today, my dear friends, is the final article. Yes…it’s true. Please do not weep, do not lose hope, we will meet again. For now we can explore a great viewpoint on the whole concept of Women in Horror from editor, author, anthologist & all-round great friend…Joe Myndhardt…

 

Female authors, characters and inspirations… and those who have a problem with them.

by Joe Mynhardt

I learned something over the last few days; I learned that there is still a lot prejudice when it comes to the work of female …

February in Poetry: “Women in Horror” & Introduction by Peter Adam Salomon, Editor

February in Poetry: “Women in Horror” & Introduction by Peter Adam Salomon, Editor

‘Strangulation’ by Marge Simon

In the ‘November in Poetry’ column, poet Wendy Rathbone touched on an eternal truth that is so vital that I wanted to follow up on it. Wendy spoke of the ‘earliest and best known darker tales’ being poems:

“Beowulf,” “The Iliad,” “The Odyssey.” Dark poetry continues throughout known history from Dante’s “Inferno” to Milton’s “Paradise Lost” to William Blake to Poe.

This month, I’d like to go back even further in time, to show just how important the darkness has been, not just to poetry, but to all literature.

One of the oldest surviving works of …

Scary Out There! A Blog on Horror in Young Adult Fiction: A Chat with Rachel Caine

Scary Out There! A Blog on Horror in Young Adult Fiction: A Chat with Rachel Caine

Welcome back to SCARY OUT THERE, the Horror Writers Association’s new blog on scary fiction for teens. This week I sit down for a chat with Rachel Caine the #1 internationally bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the bestselling Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, the Outcast Season series, and the new upcoming Revivalist series. She was born at White Sands Missile Range, which people who know her say explains a lot. She has been an accountant, a professional musician, and an insurance investigator, and until very recently continued to carry on a secret identity in the

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