I debated long and hard about what the first post of this blog should be. Did I want to blog about representation in the media and why it is important for marginalized groups such as LGBT people and People of Color? Do a book review of on one of my favorite stories, the Gothic novella from 1872 that was written by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla? Perhaps I wanted to dive right in and analyze Carmilla as Queer Fiction, or talk about Bullet Journaling?
All were good topics and ones that I will definitely be covering, but the thought occurred to me the other day while reading an Erotic Horror story during little breaks I took as I reread Carmilla for some upcoming review and analysis posts. Horror is among my favorite genres; one which holds, dare I say it, a beauty that many people don’t see.
It is a diverse genre in which the writer must expertly play on the reader’s emotions like a master pianist to get the desired brand of scared and/or disturbed that fits their specific story. Someone writing Romantic Horror or Erotic Horror may need to manipulate their readers so that cannibalism is sweet/sexy, using the very things that normally draw people to the erotic or romantic against them. A cannibal that falls in love while the reader watches on both repulsed and pulled into the story by romantic gestures that suddenly become disturbing because of the nature of the character; a relationship involving a vampire or a serial killer where the love interest knows and accepts the vampire/killer for who they are. Maybe a sweet but terrifying story about a frustrated demon mother, who much like a human may have trouble weaning their child off of breastfeeding or formula, is having trouble weaning her child off of her flesh and onto human flesh.
The possibilities are endless. All equally able to strike fear into a reader when done right, creating a pervading sense of dread and horror for the durations of the story. I can describe a romantic if slightly childish scene where two people carve their initials into something but have the people be a pair of serial killers and have the something being a struggling victim. I can write a sex scene if that is my wish, have the characters be deeply in love, but have the characters quite literally consuming bits of each other. I can write a normal slasher story or a monster story if that is what my heart is set on writing
And it is that wide open galaxy of space for writers to play to their heart’s content as long as they do the job of disturbing, scaring, or horrifying their readers that makes this genre so uniquely, dementedly beautiful in my eyes as a reader and a writer.