• Cassandra L. Thompson

The Horror Writer Book Review

The Horror Writer: A Study of Craft and Identity in the Horror Genre

Compiled and edited by Joe Mynhardt

Published by Hellbound Books Publishing, LLC

Growing up, I knew that something was always off about me. When I realized that I was a writer with a penchant for all things creepy and dark, I had a feeling it might set me apart from my peers. At the time, I was okay with it, books were my friends.

Fast-forward to my thirties where I’m comfortable in my weirdness and social media has given us access to millions of fellow weirdos, including tons of writers. Nevertheless, even with social media, a burgeoning horror writer might still feel alone, especially trying to navigate the often daunting publishing world.

So when I picked up The Horror Writer, compiled and edited by Joe Mynhardt, and read through the personal stories and advice from Bram Stoker Award winners, bestselling authors, and those who hold their own in the horror genre, I was pleasantly surprised. Instantly I felt connected to a community, to people who like what I like, who write how I write. Community is an incredibly powerful experience, and in the competitive world we live in, community goes a long way.

There is a ton of advice sprinkled throughout the book, such as writing tips to help with pacing, dialogue, and setting, as well as helpful information about publishing and how to build your brand. It also includes interviews with several successful horror writers. But perhaps my favorite part of this compilation is the true variety of view points. This is not just a famous white male prattling on about his own experiences (still love you, SK!), but a showcase of different voices.

My favorite of these excerpts was Women and Violence: The Evolution of the Final Girl by Stephanie M. Wytovich. We all know this girl, she is the one who survives the violence in the horror flick to rise up triumphantly at the end. While it’s an improvement to the blonde, hypersexualized bimbo-type who is one of the first to get murdered in the old slasher flick, the Final Girl is still problematic. Stephanie describes how and why in her passage, and I highly recommend giving it a read. As a female horror writer, I love watching female stereotypes shatter and give way to new concepts that improve my favorite genre.

All in all, this was a great read and super informative. I will forever be a student in life, so for me, any time I get the opportunity to learn is a bonus for me. This book was chock full of helpful information that I would recommend to any horror writer - beginner or seasoned.

Get your copy today!

The Horror Writer: A Study of Craft and Identity in the Horror Genre

Compiled and edited by Joe Mynhardt

Published by Hellbound Books Publishing, LLC

Featuring: Ramsey Campbell, John Palisano, Chad Lutzke, Lisa Morton, Kenneth W. Cain, Kevin J. Kennedy, Monique Snyman, Scott Nicholson, Lucy A. Snyder, Richard Thomas, Gene O’Neil, Jess Landry, Luke Walker, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Marie O’Regan, Armand Rosamilia, Kevin Lucia, Ben Eads, Kelli Owen, Jasper Bark, and Bret McCormick.

Interviews with: Steve Rasnic Tem, Stephen Graham Jones, David Owain Hughes, Tim Waggoner, and Mort Castle

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