Why Do I Write Horror?
By Oli Jacobs
Ask anyone who is mildly schooled in the arts, and they will agree with the argument that Horror and Comedy are intrinsically linked as genres.
Both deal with reactions, the kind that cannot be forced or faked convincingly, but come from a primal response deep within one’s psyche. To be amused is much like to be scared, with the slower burns of humour tickling you before hitting you with an aptly named punchline. With Horror, this tickle is equally as uncomfortable, but not as joy-inducing, and the punchline, if landed right, can prevent you from going about your normal business.
I’ve been called a funny guy, with added dashes of “weird”, “different”, and “slightly out there” thrown in. When describing me once, an old friend simply said I was “Oli”, and that there were no known ways to go beyond that.
Naturally, I refute these opinions, and would simply describe myself as another statistic in this ever-growing database we call life.
But the idea of having a certain way of looking at things does breed a sense of creativity, and since I was able, I have been keen to craft worlds, characters, and tales. While at first these were designed to cause a chuckle, there were always hints at amusement within the darker elements of subjects. The joy of Schadenfreude – to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others – became a familiar theme within my work. Much like the slapstick of old, and the bitter divisiveness of many a sitcom, humour always came with a little bit of the gallows.
So as one got older and more bitter at the world around them, so grew the horror.
As a fan of Horror in multiple genres – the teenage dalliance into zombie films, the so-called intellectual look at the more educated crafters – I became more and more aware of what caused a reaction in people. At first, it was the recognition of simple viscera – to provide folk with a knee-jerk within their stomach at the sight of blood and guts. Much like the Dad Joke or simple pun, this was a base level trick to get a reaction. A cheap pop, to use wrestling vernacular.
Therefore, as my craft continued, I became more interested in building tension. In fact, it is one of the key elements I believe I show in my work. The ability to build up, to add layer upon layer to the story, and maintain the attention of the reader. To make them look closer and closer and closer, until hitting them hard with the full force of the narrative.
To give them the punchline.
And that’s why I write Horror. Not to titillate, or to shock, but to lure you into a false sense of security, and then leave you with a terrible realisation that all is not right with the world.
Or something like that. After all, they’re only stories, aren’t they?
From the wilds of deepest Buckinghamshire, Oli Jacobs has been self-publishing his esoteric brand of writing since 2012 to moderate acknowledgement. With his fingers more likely tapping out a mix of Comedy and Horror, he is constantly percolating ideas within his Escher-like brain. When not writing, he can be found staring into the void and enjoying time with his wife and dog.
You can find out more about Oli via his official website www.olijacobsauthor.wordpress.com
You can follow Oli on Twitter @OliJacobsAuthor
In Anton Court, a 6-feet wide hole appears overnight, eventually turning the residents crazy wondering how it appeared, and what caused it
In the gated community of Anton Court, the residents wake up one morning to find a hole in the communal garden. Not just any hole, but one that stretches 6 feet wide, doesn’t seems to end, and makes strange noises during the night.
Despite the protests of the residents – including single mother Hannah Suggs, retired military man James Stanley aka “The Colonel”, and millennial thrillseeker Rich Davis – Anton Court’s owners, HP Properties, try to convince them everything is under control. Even when a truckload of cement won’t fill the hole, and a steel panel is ripped off during the night. Once the children start creeping too close to the hole during the night, it is decided to evacuate the Court.
But not everyone wants to leave. Hannah stubbornly refuses out of fear of eviction, The Colonel is too proud to give up his home, and amateur scientist William Barrett wants to study it.
Worse still, Davis wants to explore the hole. With HP’s consent.
It is soon discovered that the hole is more unusual than the curious sanity it inspires in the residents; it is deeper than they could ever believe, perfectly smooth, and seems to get smaller the more you go down. Not only that, it is getting bigger at the top.
Then Davis reaches the bottom, and things get vastly worse on Anton Court.
Inspired by the likes of HP Lovecraft (At The Mountains of Madness), Stephen King (The Shining), and Mark Z Danielewski (House of Leaves), Deep Down There is a slow-building Horror about how the unknown can rip apart the delicate façade of everyday life. From the dark secrets of your next-door neighbours, to what really exists in the ground below our feet.
So, what lies Deep Down There? Read on, and find out for yourself. Just make sure to bring a torch, and a very long rope.
You can buy Deep Down There from Unbound