Writers are just like you and me. They hate being pigeonholed.
Take me, for example. As the holder of a Ph.D. in English literature, I’m very widely read. And I regard my work as literary fiction, which I’ve heard defined as anything that doesn’t fit into a genre category.
But it’s undeniable that I love injecting a fantasy element in my work, or rather crystallizing things around some magical idea.
For that reason, and because I chose in my first published novel, Deadweight, to draw together splatterpunk with a King-like plot, I’m usually regarded as a horror writer.
I had actually written an unpublished first novel, Oedipus Aroused, which someday I will get back to and revise, a twist on the Oedipus tale in which Pleusiddipus, a cynic about oracles (there were legions of these in Greece, the one at Delphi only the most renowned of them) convinces Oedipus to head back home, that there’s no chance the oracle will come true.
I then wrote the original version of Santa Steps Out: A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups, much interest but no go.
So to horror I turned.
But this post isn’t about Deadweight, my third written but first published novel.
It’s about the World Horror Convention. I have attended perhaps five of these since they began in the early nineties. They wrre instrumental in bringing some great professional friendships into my life, and in leading to the invitation to submit to various worthy anthologies.
So if you’ve got the chops and "horror" is what you like to read and write, go to this convention. Very friendly, most everyone. You’ll quickly be brought into the community and lose whatever awe you may have about writers as magical, mystical, otherly creatures only distantly related to actual human beings.
Nope, foibles on display and writ large.
But how refreshing to be among a group of people who have found comfort with, and do not deny, their shadow selves.