Sunday, June 17, 2007

The horror ... the horror ...

Just wondering if you have any insights into the comeback of HORROR!!

'The Independent' charts rise of horror in the UK:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/arts/articulate/200702/s1844890.htm

And Hachette Livre seem to have gone to town on Jason Nahrung's 'The Darkness Within':
http://www.abc.net.au/news/arts/articulate/200706/s1945042.htm

What's your feeling, as an agent. Is this just a blip, or is horror finally shrugging off the bad reputation earned by the schlock-merchants of the late 1980s?

Horror will probably never have the profile or popularity of crime or thriller novels – it will always be niche in that respect. It would probably take a writer of the talent and prolificity of Stephen King to push it mainstream again. Edgar Allen Poe-style creepy horror will always have its place, but anything too gory will probably not attract female readers, who are the ones buying the bulk of the books. Women love crime novels, but in horror the violence is more explicit.

So while the bad reputation may be going, I'm not sure how many people will actually work that out ...

2 comments:

Gary Kemble said...

Interesting. I'll keep plugging away with my creepy stories... as someone much more famous than me once said: "I don't choose my stories, they choose me!"

altair said...

Funny, there is quite a lot of horror being published in mainstream. A Daniel Steele book I had was pretty much blood a gore, pure in your face horror. The thing is that Horror the name isn't really popular, but horror the concept is strong. Just don't call it horror -- as an agent I never call those darker submissions anything more than dark suspense, darky mystery etc, etc.

Horror as in the genre 'Horror' will always be niche, for sure; but the concept will always have a foot in mainstream -- and I disagree you need to be a Stephen King to do this.

Robert Stephenson