What is Horror?
Earlier this month Angelic Knight Press featured yours truly in an article: REBEKA HARRINGTON – WOMAN IN HORROR (Many thanks AKP) As an indie author I’m always very happy, if not flattered, when someone out there in cyberspace spares me a mention. But until I saw this article I hadn’t even stopped to think I may be considered a ‘horror’ writer.
Sure I write about vampires, and they can be pretty be horrible, but me…. a horor writer?
My first book, Vampires Revealed, was more like an autobiographical mocumentary than any other tag you care to throw about. Bektamun, narrator and star of the tale, relives some of the ‘horrible’ things she has done; but only when forced to protect those she loves.
Desires Revealed, my upcoming release, is a love story first and foremost. And of course there is ample vampire shenanigans thrown in. (Got to feed the bloodlust)
Does writing about vampires automatically mark you as a ‘horror writer’? When I think of horror fiction the first name that springs to mind is Stephen King, which I’m sure is the same for a lot of people. Mr King has dabbled with vampires (very successfully too, I might add), but his most famous and popular works are far removed from the world of vampires.
Also worth considering is whether or not, despite the vampire ‘revolution’, the general expectation is for vampires to appear in the horror genre. Maybe I’m just weird, because I really don’t think of vampires as characters of horror; well at least not so much anymore.
Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula was pretty terrifying for the time it was written. Fast forward to The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice; doubt I would’ve bought and read the books if I’d thought I was buying horror. For me, books in The Vampire Chronicles, were about Lestat’s inability to understand humanity; not that he was a blood-sucking monster. Like I said, maybe I’m weird. No doubt my opinion of vampires as characters of horror would change instanteously should I ever meet a Dracula, Lestat or Eric (Southern Vampires, Charlaine Harris).
When I think about horror, and the things that scare me, I only have to look at history to have shivers run down my spine.
Part of ‘my’ vampire mythology is a group of extemist vampires known as the Eleiveb. While searching for inspiration as to what kind of things they may subject their human victims, I simply did a search for ‘torture’. One of the most interesting/horrifying sites I came across was Medieval Torture. The site features a myriad of tools and equipment which sole purpose was to inflict pain and torture on human victims.
While I may be uneasy being assigned as a horror writer, and steadfastly believe mankind is far more horrible to each other than legend or mythical creature we can imagine, the fact remains I will continue to write about vampires; and they will inevitably do horrible things.