Is Horror a dirty word in the publishing industry?

A writer friend of mine once mentioned that even if they wrote horror, they would market it to potential agents and publishers as a thriller or mystery. Horror, it seems, is a dirty word in the publishing industry.

I don’t have any stats to back this up. I looked, and the stats are either dated, or the sample size is too small. So, I don’t know how true this is. I know horror is a niche market. Either you like horror, or you don’t. No one, for the most part, is in the middle. The only authors I know who write mainstream horror is Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill. Both awesome and they have both more than earned their place in the mainstream market. People continually give them a chance because they are a household name, and in my experience, they never let the reader down. But what do you do if you’re not one of them? Change genres?

I love writing. It is a great escape. It’s like a movie of my own making playing out in my head, with the characters surprising the heck out of me as they manoeuvre through my grey matter landscape.

See, I don’t plan my books. I write, letting the characters flesh out a little idea I had. Then I refine it, and refine it, and refine it. I can only write horror. I couldn’t change genres even if I wanted to. And thinking about it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again; horror is one genre in which the reader can experience the entire gamut of human emotion. It’s all there, and there is usually an awesome villain or villains in the mix. Who doesn’t like villains and the heroes who take them down?

I have to say though, when I read comments about the gore in my books, I’m kind of surprised. I shouldn’t be. It’s right there in front of me, but with what I read and watch, I think I’m not that gory, really. But I must be wrong. Right?

If you love horror, and don’t mind a little gore, let’s show the publishing industry that horror is a marketable, profitable genre, shall we? Read horror. Watch horror. Support horror. Talk about horror.

What are your thoughts on horror? What, in your opinion, is the most popular genre?

John Hunt is the best-selling horror author of DOLL HOUSE, THE TRACKER, and OFF THE GRID. His newest book, MURDER RUN, is now available on Amazon.

Horror stories and fun. All right here.

Don’t you love it when you find a new author to read?

I was looking for contemporary horror to read, so I used the Googles to help with the search and I stumbled upon a blog listing 10 scary books in which not one of them had been written by Stephen King. I know, I know, I was surprised to find such a list as well.

And on this list (sorry, I forget the blog name and didn’t bookmark it, and I really would have liked to give them credit) was BROTHER by Ania Ahlborn.

I read quite a lot of books from multiple genres, and after a time, you can sense the trends, the story and what direction it is going in, and sometimes, the conclusion without having to finish the book. This happens to me a lot, actually, to the annoyance of my family and friends (they don’t like to watch movies with me because I can predict the ending quickly). And I can do this because I practice it a lot. I read all the time. I watch movies all the time, so, after a while, nothing truly surprises me.

I like being surprised. I try to surprise my readers with my books, and so far, luckily, I’ve been successful. And when an author surprises me, I am over-the-moon happy about it.

That’s what happened when I read BROTHER.

I won’t spoil it, but I will say that you usually know what type of book you’re getting into when it involves a family of backwoods cannibals. So I wasn’t expecting much in the way of a new storyline. I was absolutely wrong. And I am so happy that I was.

If you love horror with new, clever, and surprising storylines, you’ll love this book.

I mean, go get it now, off of Amazon, or wherever you can get it. Me? I’ll be buying the rest of Ania’s books.

John Hunt is the bestselling author of Doll House, The Tracker, Off The Grid, and his newest novel, now available on Amazon, Murder Run.

Horror Stories and fun. All in one place.

Best Horror Video Game of all time… IMHO.

How do you rate the best of a subjective genre? By personal opinion, of course, and for me, I’m rating my best on gameplay, and most of all, the story. I am a writer after all, well, doing my best at practicing it anyway.

For the scariest, like, wanna throw the controller away type of fear, you can’t beat OUTLAST. It’s a first person game, using darkness, flashlights with low batteries, and an eerie atmosphere to freak you the ‘f’ out. And it does it well. But is the story awesome? It’s ok.

You also may have heard of the Friday the 13th game as well. It is a multiplayer game, where you spawn as either Jason (predator) or a camp counsellor (prey). Jason tries to kill all the counsellors as they try to activate, and or build their means of escaping the map. Hella fun, and as an avid F13 fan, I absolutely love this game, but once again, the story? It’s ok.

The preceding games are just an example of some of these types of games. They are survival horror. Resident Evil has been doing these games for years and they are not new.

In 2013, yeah, seven years ago, a Playstation exclusive game was released. The Last of Us. Man. This is a game. It is third person game, but still manages to immerse you deep into the story. And the opening? Your teenage daughter dying in your arms at the beginning of a world-ending pandemic? Need I say more? Ok. I will then.

Of course, the father, Joel, becomes hardened, angry, and afraid to care for anyone. He makes his living smuggling items, and working on the dangerous outskirts of the small, stand-alone communities. And then along comes Ellie. A teenage girl who needs to be escorted far away. Joel doesn’t know why, only that the job pays very well.

They begin their long journey together, and of course he doesn’t want to like her, but he ends up dong just that. Now, none of this is really storytelling originality for sure, and I won’t say that it is. but the ending, man, I still think about it.

SPOILERS: Turns out Ellie is immune to this plague. She carries antibodies that could be used to develop a vaccine. She knows the process of removing these antibodies will kill her because it has to be harvested from her brain. Joel doesn’t know this until the very end when she is about to be operated on. And although Ellie is willing to sacrifice herself, Joel is not willing to sacrifice her. While she is out, getting ready to be operated on, Joel kills everyone, the surgeons, the staff, and takes her away.

The game ends with her asking him what happened. He tells her before they got in too deep, they realized they wouldn’t be able to create a vaccine, that it had all failed. Suspicious, she asks him if he is telling her the truth. He tells her yes, of course he is. He swears on it.

That is one hell of an ending. Joel couldn’t care less about the rest of the world. He only cared about Ellie, and what losing her would mean to him. Love it. If you like survival horror and an excellent story, get this game. It was a Playstation exclusive and it sold 17 million copies. It’s not on Xbox, not on PC, only on Sony and it sold that many… yeah. So good.

John Hunt is the best selling author of Doll House, The Tracker, and Off the Grid. His newest book, Murder Run, is available now on Amazon. Click the link below to get your copy today.

Horror Stories and fun. All right here.