Book Review 4: 2012

Cover of "On Writing Horror: A Handbook b...
Cover via Amazon

Book Review 4: 2012

Traci Kenworth


On Writing Horror the revised edition. A Handbook by The Horror Writer’s Association. Writer’s Digest Books. 2007.


Write and Sell Frightening Fiction.


I can’t say enough good things about this book. It includes interviews, lessons, and all-around terror from prominent authors such as Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, J.N. Williamson, Joe R. Lansdale, Harlan Ellison and other greats. I have been addicted to horror stories since I was a teenager. I have the majority of Stephen King novels, novellas, short stories etc. (I say majority because there were ones that got away in special editions etc.) I have a good portion of the others as well.

What I like about this book is the encouragement and seriousness with which they take the subject of writing horror. Not that there isn’t some humor included, most horror writers have a dark vein of it throughout their works. What I mean is, rarely do you see the field of horror itself celebrated outside of this book or the Bram Stoker awards. This genre is often bypassed by critics unfairly. Let’s face it, people love to be scared and if you’re in that mood, these authors are some of the best you can find.

From King’s 2003 acceptance speech to Why We Write Horror to interviews that help us get to know the authors better, this is definitely a treat for any serious horror buff or would-be horror writer. It leaves no horror category out. From books to short stories to movies, it has it all. It even lists markets for the genre in the end. It discusses the classics through the modern, gives clues and inspiration to anyone considering pursuing this field.

The HWA did a great job with this book. In the writing community, I find it gratifying that such authors would come forward to help the young guard. Support is something we can all use more of. I encourage you if you want to write in this genre, to look this book up. It will whisper secrets to you, guide you on your path, and offer incredible amounts of insight into perfecting your craft.

4 thoughts on “Book Review 4: 2012

  1. I don’t like much of today’s horror movies, I like books better. I love the sneak up and shatter all illusions kind. Originally, I was a romance girl, but I found more and more of my stories fall into the horror category. Since the day I was hooked on Comes the Blind Fury, Ivy, and Stephen King’s scary world, I have found myself immersed in the terror field. I find it fits my ideas well.


  2. I’ve read this book. It was good. There’s another one that I thought was even better, but I can’t remember the name. I accidentally found it at the library.

    *looks through her files*

    It’s called: The Horror Reader’s Advisory: The librarian’s Guide to Vampires, Killer Tomatoes, and Haunted Houses. I don’t know about librarians, but I found it great for writers.


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