Horror is not my favorite genre; I prefer sci-fi and fantasy. I did take a short story writing class with multiple Bram Stoker award-winning Jonathan Maberry. Thankfully, he didn’t make the students write horror. I also read a few YA horror stories, but I didn’t read it on a regular basis. That changed when I became an assistant editor for Red Sun Magazine.
An assistant editor’s responsibilities include reading submissions to the magazine regardless of genre. Red Sun Magazine publishes fantasy, science fiction, and horror. So, horror, here I am.
My foray into the genre has yielded interesting results, some predictable and some not so much. I made the mistake of reading several horror stories before bed one night and had one doozy of a nightmare. It was a scary, terrifying nightmare. So, I got out of bed, grabbed the paper and pen I keep on my nightstand, and wrote it down as a story. When I submitted the story to my critique group–aside from the comments they made about not liking horror–they asked how I got back to sleep.
I think the key for me was turning it into a story and not dwelling on it as a horrific dream. In short, I got it out of my head, before my mind became a dark and scary place to dwell.
A few in my critique group said they don’t want to read any more horror, but one woman said she thought I’d found a new genre in which to write. Good writing, regardless of genre, relies on common standards for excellence. Therefore, if I can write well in science fiction and fantasy, then I should be able to turn my skill to horror with equal competence.
Where do I go from here? I recently found out about a contest for horror writers called The Next Great Horror Writer Contest at horroraddicts.wordpress.com. Wish me luck.
Red Sun Magazine