Horror is a popular fiction genre, though generally horror fiction books only just scraping it into the top ten of the most popular.
Romance generally speaking holds the top spot.
I enjoy horror fiction novels, but there are many sub-genres within the main one. Generally, when listing a horror book, you may have the options of; Supernatural, ghost or occult. I would also suggest that Dark Fantasy or dark fiction in general is likely to contain varying levels of horror.
That said a crime thriller could very well contain some horrific scenes.
More about horror fiction books, genres and sub-genres
It is clear that we live in a world of real horror. Every minute of every day there will be acts of horror somewhere in the world. A horror fiction book for example, that is based around a serial killer is depicting events that could have occurred. This type of horror can be very uncomfortable to read.
When you watch a movie and find it is based on true events, the impact is generally far greater. This is because all of a sudden; this could happen to you the reader!
Moving away from reality a little we can introduce the likes of ghosts and spirits into our horror fiction books. This is not a huge leap from reality. Many people believe there is a spirit world beyond our plane of existence.
I believe there is something more than the physical world that we inhabit. That does not mean I believe in God necessarily. I just believe there is something we do not understand. Just because science cannot prove the existence of such a thing, does not mean it isn’t there. They are equally unable to prove categorically that it does not exist.
Ghosts and Spirits
I have had many experiences of the supernatural (or the unexplained if you’d prefer) This has opened my mind to the possibilities, that’s all.
So, a good horror story with supernatural content is perhaps more scary than absolute true to life horror fiction.
Think about it. You can see a serial killer; you could touch and feel him. So, you have a chance at least to escape. But a spirit seeking to do you harm is a totally different kettle of fish.
Moving further away from reality we might look at alien beings. Certainly Alien though a sci-fi movie/book. It was also horror. The sense of menace was immense and it was easy to imagine the terror. The films came before the books I know.
Again, with Alien related horror fiction books, it is possible that other species exist in the universe. Therefore these also tap into the same emotions as true to life horror.
Once you move beyond these levels of reality, I find that it becomes more about horrific scenes than horror. If you can’t realistically put yourself in the situation then much of the impact is lost. The brain will simply dismisses it as ridiculous.
In my opinion all horror and dark fiction should have a solid underpinning story. It should also teach a lesson or make a point that has the reader considering how they might have acted. Perhaps even have then question their own values or morality.
My Aims as a horror fiction book author
As an author I would like to be able to make a living from my writing dark and horror fiction books. In doing so I would be achieving my primary goal. That goal being to have as many as people reading my books and hopefully enjoying them. I would hope sufficiently so, as to not only recommend them to others, but to discuss the key points that the books attempt to raise.
In the event that I become even marginally successful. I would like then to pass my experiences to other independent authors. As I understand the difficulties of trying to break into a very competitive market. whether self-published or traditionally.
As a fairly rational man, I am under no illusion my horror fiction books are not for everyone. Although I am not new to authoring,.I am new to fiction writing. As such I don’t doubt that people will want to pick fault with my writing style or grammar.
What has surprised me, is that several of my readers, have commented that they found my books to be very engaging. In fact more engaging than those of many established and/or traditionally published authors. This I at least find encouraging.
My horror fiction novels
At the outset I had no particular genre in mind. My first book was a story that I had in my head for many years.
It is fair to say that the first horror fiction book from the series ‘When Darkness Calls’ is a romantic thriller. However, as the story develops it becomes quite dark. One particular chapter has what is very obviously a horror scene.
The Reticent Witch
The second horror fiction book from the series is The Reticent Witch. This is a spin-off from Sold Out Soul Doubt. Not the direct sequel.
This book becomes increasingly dark as the story unfolds and has multiple scenes of horror. I found this book incredibly easy to write. The upshot is that I realised that horror is perhaps where my hart lies.
Although my books are removed somewhat from real life, they do not stray too far. I do try and use actual historical detail, to ensure that to the best of my ability I can keep the reader believing that this could actually happen. (in fact I believe it could).
I also manipulate common perceptions to fit my narrative again to set the reader thinking; Oh yes, I can see that.’
I had a professional editor and published author, review my first book prior to publication. One of his comments was that he could see one of the characters, (an investigative journalist) having her own story. He felt she had great potential.
I have considered his suggestion carefully. However based on the first book she would be the main protagonist in what would be crime thrillers. I do like crime and psychological thrillers but as a writer I’m not sure that’s my bag. I am I think a horror fiction book author.
Cathy (The Reticent Witch) however, I feel has almost endless potential. Ironically though in the area of taking down organised crime.
As for my investigative journalist, I don’t want to provide any spoilers for book three of the series. ‘Sold Out Too.’
My interest in the paranormal has certainly driven me down the road of horror genre connected to ghosts and sprits.
The KJV Bible
Although my books do source and quote the King James version of the bible. I have tried to keep the narrative secular. That might sound contradictory in fact it absolutely does.
But in the context of the story, the reader will see that in fact mainstream religions are brought into question. Not dismissed but perhaps their true origins brought under the spotlight.
This theme will continue and be built upon in subsequent releases. Again if nothing else, I hope it might stimulate some interesting discussions on the issue.
Demonology fiction or non-fiction book?
As well as the KJV bible I use a book written by King James I. called demonology. The book i use, also has some of the historical records from the witch hunts that were commissioned by King James.
Furthermore, I refer to the works of John Dee and Edward Kelly. Dee was the greatest mind of his time and Kelly a Scryer. Dee was an advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. and his legacy immense. He documented for seven years conversations with over seventy angels and demons via Kelly’s scrying sessions on a black mirror. The mirror and other artefact are on display in the British Museum and the science museum.
The more I investigate Dee’s angelic conversation, in which he transcribed an entirely new language. A language know as Enochian. A language often referred to as the language of angels. The more I wonder where the truth actually lies.
Consider this. Dee, under angelic instruction created mathematical charts that only some four hundred years on are we starting to understand the significance of.
In my opinion these events (which were documented in great detail by Dee) did happen. Modern science dismisses Dee as a crackpot. He is viewed similarly by the church and academics, despite the work he did. Work which nobody denies, helped us to where we are today.
Even by today’s standards Dee would be revered for his intellect. Yet he is almost written out of modern history because he dabbled in the occult.
Other references in my horror fiction
In a short story called ‘The Blade of Nalvage’ which is a free PDF on this site. I have created a fictional provenance for the blade which utilises real events and characters as well as biblical creatures. The angel Nalvage was one of the angels with whom Dee and Kelly conversed.
As part of my research I investigated the ancient measurement the cubit. This again must have anyone with a grain of rationality question the history of mankind. Read the free short story and ask yourself how that could even be. There is much more I would like to have written but I didn’t want to make it into a technical article about the cubit.
I enjoy writing dark and horror fiction books. I would like to be able to make a living from it and to have my books read globally. My books are based on real life horror linked to paranormal phenomena and bolstered by historical fact.
I believe my books are an easy read, they are fast paced, page-turners and generally an emotional roller coaster.
I would certainly like to think that The Reticent Witch is one of the best horror books of 2020 from a new author.
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