Many of you have asked me if I’ll ever go back to writing a non-fiction column again. I’m very happy to announce that I’ve struck a deal with Shroud Magazine. I’ll be writing a regular column for them beginning with their next issue.
Quite often, I’m amazed by the number of young readers I meet at book signings or conventions who have never heard of Robert R. McCammon or William Hope Hodgson or who have never read a novel by King, Laymon, Lansdale, Ketchum or Koontz. When I ask them what they do read, they shrug and say, “Your stuff.” This always perplexes me until I remember that I am getting old, and this new generation of young adults didn’t grow up on the same books I did. Stephen King is your parent’s horror writer. You grew up on Goosebumps and have apparently graduated to me (you poor bastards).
Now, there’s nothing wrong with Goosebumps. It got you reading, the same way comics got me reading back in the 70’s. But there’s a wealth of good things you’ve missed out on. Stories that will make you a more informed fan. Books that will make you a better writer. Required reading. Many years ago, an amazing writer/editor named Karl Edward Wagner created a list of what he felt were overlooked or seminal gems within the field of horror fiction. I intend to do something similar. Each issue, the column (tentatively titled ‘Seminal Screams’) will focus on a different classic work of horror fiction. Regardless of whether you’re a fan or a writer, these are works you should read at least once in your life. From Poe to the Splatterpunks, we’ll cover novels and stories that have shaped and changed the genre. You’ve gone on long enough without reading “Sticks” or The Drive-In or Salem’s Lot or The Girl Next Door or “Scoop Makes A Swirly” or The House On The Borderland or “The Great God Pan”. It’s time we fixed that.
Participation is mandatory, so go ahead and get yourself a subscription to Shroud Magazine. Trust me, it will be worth it. This column is important to me. I have a feeling that once you read it, it will be important to you, as well.