The Horror...

(A Genre Writer Turns 50)

KC Redding-Gonzalez

KC Redding-Gonzalez
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
October 28
A writer of Horror fiction and certified cat wrangler, KC has a BA degree in English/Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She writes this blog in her book-infested garret to exorcise the evil spirits of co-workers past, talk to real (visible) people, and avoid cleaning the layers of dust which five years of undergraduate study allowed to collect on twelve bookcases, three cats and one very patient husband.

I sat down three nights ago to read a new book. I read it in two and had my first nightmare in years…and I mean nightmare; I struggled awake with vivid images and some sort of scream in my throat. I startled my husband and scared the cats.

It wasRead full post »

Recently, someone asked me why I thought J.K. Rowling had chosen to use a pseudonym for her book The Cuckoo’s Calling. Oh, I thought to myself, if you only had the time to hear the whole ugly history and psycho-socio rationality behind such a thing. If only the answer were truly/Read full post »

It seems like an easy task: just read the Horror canon. It is (after all) what all Horror editors encourage and recommend; it is the surest way to know what has gone before, to understand what is original, and what the definition of “literary” is all about.  But to those searching/Read full post »

One of the problems I have with the criticisms of Horror by Critics and publishers alike is the frequently heard lament that “no one today is writing Literary quality fiction – especially in the genres.”

It’s a problem in my opinion because no one is teaching Literary techniq/Read full post »

Fans Are From Mars; Critics Are Not From Venus

Outside the field of Literary Criticism, people tend to think that Literary Critics are being unbelievably petty. They think that Critics use grammar or irrelevant content issues, character details or accidental flaws in plot to destroy contemporary autRead full post »

Nobody likes their flaws pointed out. It somehow reeks of the first grade playground where for the first time you were forced outside yourself and strange, unfamiliar dynamics cloaked in first grade girls and disguised as popularity invaded what had been a pleasant, private world. Sandcastles get desRead full post »

It’s hard to see the requests for “original writing” and then have a story rejected while in its place yet another horrid changeling emerges in print which remarkably resembles those cookie-cutter stories that seem to bleed out of genre writing’s every pore…

What doesRead full post »

Forgive me Father, for I have penned…

Most writers can remember the first time they saw their own words in print…even if they were simply printed out on the computer on startlingly white paper with an official looking font. Suddenly the words had an existence of their own – outsi/Read full post »

Most of the time being a writer means a constant foray into childhood truths. You “discover” that writing is part of who you have always been, and that writing is part of how you cope with who you’ve become. But you also learn that along with the truths come “Unsavory TruRead full post »

Don’t mind me… My ambitions are apparently pretty low. I am happy to write genre fiction “in my spare time” and to have Horror as part of my personal identity. But this apparently now means that I must live my life in professional exile. Unbeknownst to folks like me and unsusRead full post »

One of the borders Horror shares with Science Fiction is the Doomsday scenario. So when looking for new angles to create Horror fiction that hasn’t yet been explored, it is normal to turn to our sister-genre for concepts, theories, and examples. It is also normal to listen to criticism rained dRead full post »

Barely one year after the Waldo Canyon fire woke up Colorado residents to the dangers of living in suburbs which spread their tentacles into wilder areas, the Black Forest Fire exploded into our collective consciousness. Those of us who call Colorado Springs home had barely suppressed the memories ofRead full post »

There’s good news and there’s bad news: success can be had but there is a cost, and ten thousand hours of writing is the price.

 At least, that’s the word in journalist Malcom Gladwell’s 2008 book entitled Outliers: The Story of Success. A former business and science repRead full post »

It’s almost inconceivable when you knock over the cat and three pieces of furniture to get to the keyboard to pound out that new story with the idea raging in your head and raising the goose bumps on your arms that everything might suddenly just….STOP.

But unfortunately, it ofRead full post »

If you’ve been to a brick-and-mortar bookstore of late, you might have noticed something: the genres seem to be shrinking. They are also combining: Science Fiction is now married to Fantasy, and tucked into their shadows is Horror. What is a writer to make of this? Have the hard lines of/Read full post »

There is a weird and distracting trend in Horror fiction that seems to be growing in popularity: creating a main character who “happens to be” a writer.  The practice may have had “honest” beginnings, and may have even been unique at one time. But it has caused me to closRead full post »

It may come as a shock to some, but the battle over Horror as literature is waning. While the folding of the genre into newly formed categories and older, more established, more “respectable” ones may provide a contributing factor, the genre itself is the source of its own immutableRead full post »

Something interesting happened at the Oscars: a truly adult-themed film won an esteemed award and actually made money at the box office. The mind boggles.

hwood 1

At the risk of saying I-told-you-Read full post »

Emergence of the American Ghost Story

When Sensation fiction met Dime Novels and public fears, Horror gained its first mass-marketed popular publishing trend…The Gothic.

Ghost stories in particular proved to be a popular vehicle for telling the stories of the marginalized and they grew rapidlRead full post »

The First Dime Novel – A Woman’s Work

To look at contemporary Horror, one must look at genres. And when the history of how genres became established comes to light, one of the first places to look is at the early pulps. This time period – the Industrial Revolution – ledRead full post »

For many people – writers and readers alike – Horror is a predominantly “male” genre. We imagine that the stories are specifically created to titillate the egos of teenage boys, and to shock or startle their naïve teenage girlfriends.  In fairness, sometimes that isRead full post »

I am an admitted Horror junkie. When a reviewer claims a book or a movie is TERRIFYING or SCARIFYING BEYOND BELIEF I tend to fall for it – reluctantly, mind you – but eventually I will relinquish my skepticism and take it all in. Sad to say, I am usually HORRIFIEDRead full post »

It’s not just your imagination: there are an inordinate amount of children that are terrorized and devoured by monsters in adult Horror fiction. It is one reason some people reject Horror as a genre, feeling that any category that earns its stripes by exploiting the fears of innocent children iRead full post »

As I leave my university, sheepskin in hand (a project thirty years in the making, mind you), I pass a good many fellow graduates who have The Look.  Their faces are marked by expressions that are a strange brew of hope, fear, and expectation.

Where are the angels? The dancingRead full post »

DECEMBER 17, 2012 1:01PM

Horror in the Wake of the Real Thing

Most “normal” people wonder how an otherwise fellow “normal” person can write horror fiction “in times like these.” This is a conversation that has been going on since the first monsters burst onto fire-lit cave walls. Why give imagery and substance to such –Read full post »