I love the cover art for this book. It couldn’t be much clearer that it is about learning as a horror writer. This isn’t just a book about the technical side of writing though. Some of the articles in this book pay attention to how you should conduct yourself. It basically boils down to not being a douche. This advice has very little to do with writing and everything to do with being a human being that anybody would want to be in a room with. This couldn’t be made more clear than by Theresa Derwin in her contribution about women in horror. I’ve exchanged emails with Theresa and she has sent me books to review in the past. She’s always come across as professional and I’ve never considered her gender before. I haven’t needed to. That is the point. I didn’t reply to her emails asking for naked pictures or by asking inappropriate questions, and I certainly didn’t try to belittle her because of her gender. Neither should you to her or anybody else! I’ll get off my soapbox now but please remember to treat everybody well. It is good manners and you never know who will be in what position in the future. As one of the authors in this book says ‘DO NOT BURN BRIDGES’.
On to the more technical aspects of this book. There are a lot of contributors in this book and they all have something different and useful to say. A lot of it is just as applicable to me as a reviewer and office worker as it is to a working author. There are some really good pieces of advice in here that are very specific about what makes good horror. Even as a horror reader they made me think about books I’ve read.
Most importantly for me I finished this book and already had a list of some books and authors that I need to check out. The article by Simon Marshall-Jones resonated so much that I stopped reading this book and bought a Spectral Press book there and then.
This is a really interesting book that is useful to anybody with an interest in the Horror genre. With a price of £0.77 it is cheaper than a packet of crisps. With four hundred pages packed with advice it is not only a good read but a reference book to come back to when you are struggling.