Why Do I Write Horror?
By Morgan K. Tanner
“So why do you write horror?” It’s a legitimate question, one that has been asked many times, I’m sure, to authors of the macabre. Sometimes the question is put, as it is here, to delve into the minds of those creating the scares and the abominations we see littering the pages like dismembered, bloody body parts.
But not always.
Those without a passion for horror may ask this question with a sneer in a sarcastic or even disgusted tone. It is asked in the same way that a musician in a death metal band is asked why they play that horrible, shouty music that will never get on the radio. “Who reads horror anyway? You’ll get more readers writing something nicer.”
But like that musician, the horror writer isn’t in it for the fame and adoration from the masses. They do it because it’s their love, their passion. Writing anything else just wouldn’t be the same.
I would suggest that the majority of horror writers also enjoy reading the genre. They probably also watch many horror films, and perhaps even partake in the occasional listen to dark and horrific music. I enjoy all three.
Living for horror as an art form is bound to affect your mind when you sit before the keyboard and prepare to make deathly sweet words drip like victims’ blood from your computer screen. You write what you love, or more specifically, what you’d love to read.
I’m sure that death metal musician is striving to be part of the greatest death metal band of all time, too.
So for the writer, turning off Cannibal Holocaust, moving their worn paperback copy of It from the table whilst popping on Tomb of the Mutilated by Cannibal Corpse, before sitting down to edit their romance novel just doesn’t seem a realistic scenario to me.
They say writers should read more than they write. They are correct. And yes, reading many genres is another piece of advice I’ve heard many times. But when reading before the urge to become a writer manifests inside your soul like a demon from the blackened void, you’re not thinking about what you should be reading, you’re simply reading what you want to.
So when it finally comes to plotting that story that you’ve had in your head for however long, the horror already ingrained in your psyche is probably going to be the victor in the bloody battle for idea head space.
One thing I love about the genre is the broad scope of subjects it contains. Much like metal music incorporates so many subgenres, horror can freak people out in many ways. There are scares everywhere.
Monsters, serial killers, isolation or abandonment, the end of the world, black magic and the occult, disease, death, body horror, things that make you gasp in shock, things that make you feel uncomfortable, things that make you feel nauseas; the list is endless. Although my list has now come to an end. I’m sure you can think of more.
It’s this fascination with the darker side of existence that fuels the passion to turn words into frightening sentences and amazingly abhorrent stories. You want to scare people, and they will love you for it.
So why choose to write horror? I don’t think it’s a choice, more of a calling.
You don’t choose to write horror, horror decides that you are the vessel to show the world its savage evil.
I’d never thought about becoming a writer. I used to enjoy writing stories at school, but that was just schoolwork. Fast forward fifteen years or so I still hadn’t considered it. But then I binged on the works of HP Lovecraft. I became lost in his whole mythos and thought, not that I could necessarily do this, but I would enjoy trying. And hell yeah, did I enjoy it! So much so I’m still at it. I’m very much fledgling in this ‘career’, but my enjoyment has never wavered and my need to unnerve has never been stronger.
It was always going to be horror, what else did I have the passion to write about? Telling a story about two youngsters falling in love in the most unaccommodating of circumstances wouldn’t be genuine, because that’s not what floats my boat. And the reader would see right through it.
I feel blessed, or cursed as a more appropriate term, to have been infected with the horror gene. I hope to spread the disease until all become grossly afflicted with its potent savagery.
Now, where did I put my copy of Twilight?
An Army Of Skin
After losing his mother to a brain tumour, Trevor King feels totally alone in the world. Someone needs to pay for her death and Dr Mellick, Trevor’s work colleague and family GP, is the man he holds responsible. Trevor’s yearning for vengeance leads him to concoct a vicious plot to frame the doctor for multiple murders. Trevor skins the corpses, turning them into elaborate art pieces after being inspired by a mysterious textbook. But as the skins of the flayed victims come to life and continue the killings for him, Trevor wonders whether he is in too deep.When Dr Mellick goes missing Trevor becomes convinced the doctor is planning a similar scheme to bring him down.But as Trevor discovers the truth of his mother’s death and his own life, this murderous path becomes more of a calling.
Morgan K. Tanner
Morgan K. Tanner is a writer, drummer, and golfist currently residing in the English countryside. The idyllic surroundings make it an ideal place to write, drum, and hide the bodies. The busy sound of the typewriter is perfect to drown out the hum of the antiquated torture equipment. His works of fiction and threats have appeared in the mailboxes of many a celebrity, who then sells their story to the tabloids, claiming they are being ‘terrorized.’ You can praise or indeed abuse him by visiting www.morganktanner.com or find him on Twitter @morgantanner666.