A couple of months ago, I was asked to contribute an installment to Nightmare Magazine‘s recurring column The H Word. I chose to write about a topic that I’ve spent a lot of time pondering during the years that I’ve been a consumer and creator of horror film and fiction, and the resulting column went live yesterday: But Is It Scary?
For those who’ve been following along and recall my recent posts about The Witch, some of this will sound pretty familiar, even though I wrote it a couple of months ago, before I’d ever seen The Witch. Still, it’s a perennial subject that keeps circling back around, and I doubt that I’ve given it any treatment so definitive as to finally lay it to rest this time, either.
As I said in that post, I’d consider even the most intense of my own stories “creepy” rather than “scary,” and a big part of my development into whatever the heck it is that I am these days has been about accepting the fact that I’m a horror writer who isn’t particularly interested in scaring people.
Speaking of things that aren’t particularly scary (sorry, I really didn’t have a very good segue here), I am also very proud to reveal the front cover of my next book–and my first nonfiction book–Monsters from the Vault: Classic Horror Films Revisited, coming this summer from Innsmouth Free Press. The cover is by the extremely talented Thomas Boatwright, who was my first choice for this project and who comes about as close as anyone ever has to drawing what the inside of my head looks like. There’ll be more news about the book coming very soon, but for now, here’s that cover: