WIH: Of the Scary Things
I was invited to be included this year in a month-long celebration.February is officially claimed as a time to recognize women that write in the horror genre which often is considered a genre dominated by male writers.The genre domination by one gender or another can be considered a stereotype that should be put to bed.Women write in horror, I being one of them.Though we are few and far between on the bookshelves and piles of titles, we produce stories that are equally terrifying and dedicated to the craft of writing in this genre. We too can write pulling the fear from the darkest of corners into the light for readers to see clearly as well as our male counterparts in this area. We, too, understand the pulse that races for the reader because before the story is published we are the beta-readers of our stories, we are the first on the line to cut the draft before our editors, and we are the creators of fantastically dark worlds placing characters perfectly into position to success or fall to the slash of an enemy’s whim.
For me, I didn’t begin writing horror with the thought, “I want to scare people.” I, personally, fell into the genre and now am honored to be included among some great names in it. I approach every story with the goal of simply finishing it.The trouble for me lay in what my genre was, in the beginning, I didn’t see what I was originally writing as scary so I didn’t think that horror fits it best. I have been asked many times about why I write in this genre or what about it draws me, though the explanations have varied in wording the core of the answer lies in ‘it’s just how the story comes out’.Some of my work has been therapeutic in nature, confronting things that bother me to overcoming the dreaded feeling of the ‘unknown’.
As you will see, when or if you look me up, my work falls into several categories.For example, my best selling short Human Ouija fell into horror and gothic fiction, but my first installment of my The Blasphemer Series, Maxwell Demon fell into dark fantasy, gothic, and horror, but the follow up into that series Harvest fell strictly into dark fantasy. My genre-bending ways include me into things like ‘Women in Horror’, but I’m not limiting myself to ‘just horror’. So for me, the adventure is dark, mysterious, and filled with excitement.I do joke that I like ‘scaring people’, but that is based on reactions I’ve gotten back from advanced copy readers and beta-readers informing of this or that story scaring them, but again, my goal isn’t to ‘do that’ instead it ‘just happens’.
I am sure my personal interests and my experience in certain fields set me up to be a horror writer, if that is the case them fully, proudly, and with confidence, I will say, ‘My name is L. Bachman and I am a horror writer.’My experience as a horror writer isn’t something I can compare to being any other kind of writer since most of my work has been labeled this, but as a friend to writers in other genres, I can see how each genre gets their own amount of grief.There is a stereotype that horror writers are demented, that we’re all a bunch of weirdos obsessed with darkness or the devil, but that’s just a stereotype as bad as romance writers being a bunch of perverts.We write what we write and I’m sure others, not just myself, just write to get the story simply out unlimited by ‘I’m going to do this today…’ or ‘I want to get this reaction’.
Getting the story out, horror genre or otherwise is a purging of the self and of the soul.Where that story falls to me not always is a surprise anymore, half-way through I can see where it’ll fall now that I’m experienced enough in my self-publishing career in the independent publishing industry to know.For me, the experience has been wonderful, for the most part.The genre itself has brought me to network with fellow horror writers who can understand on the level of a writer and on the level of being labeled with a stereotype. Some days it feels like a modern witch-hunt with all horror genre writers being called, lump summed, and categorized as this negative thing or that when in truth we’re just writing to get the ideas that have been nagging at the nape of our neck like a badgering gnat out.
The bonus of it all, no matter the genre I believe, is that readers are given entertainment whether it be with the sliding of a finger on a tablet’s screen or the turning of a page in a paperback.That is the goal, giving the readers something to be entertained by that I, myself, is pleased with. I write for myself and write to give a reader somewhere a moment or two of entertainment–even if it is in the darkest corner with the fear of the unknown.