Friday, October 11, 2013

Horror Fiction: Not Just for Halloween! by Jacqueline Seewald

The horror genre of fiction continues to fascinate readers. Why do readers love what terrifies them? It appears that vampires  never die. Zombies can be found in movie theatres, TV shows, commercials, books, and short stories. In the month of October, three of my own speculative short stories, combining horror and mystery, are being published in new anthologies.  They are:

Between There, Vol 2

Spirits of St. Louis: Missouri Ghost Stories

Dying to Live: Stories of the Undead

When people talk about horror fiction, they might let out an involuntary shudder. However, horror fiction isn’t just about the gruesome. It’s not only about such supernatural creations as: ghosts, goblins, ghouls, gremlins, etc. No, it’s really about what we fear, what we dread most, what strikes terror into our hearts and souls. These things may be ordinary, like a pit bull off the leash running toward us, or extraordinary, like meeting a vampire in a neighborhood bar at midnight. Our fears are both usual and unusual.

Horror fiction will not be going away any time soon because it is human nature to feel fear as an emotion. Horror fiction helps us handle these feelings, helps us cope with and confront our terrors, those within us and those in the environment around us. Writers like Stephen King and Dean Koontz have recognized this. They reach into their worst fears and nightmares to help us come to terms with our own.

In my co-authored novel, THE THIRD: A PINE BARRENS MYSTERY, a boy and his mother, writing alternating viewpoint chapters, come to terms with their own greatest fears while solving several murders. The novel’s setting is real but eerie. Legends of the Jersey Devil prevail. Fans of both mystery and horror will relate to this novel. You can check out some of the reviews on Amazon:

or Goodreads:

What frightens you? What sort of horror story would you read? Drop by and leave a comment. Include an e-mail address if you wish to be entered to win a copy of THE THIRD EYE—or simply place a request for the novel at your local library.

Happy hauntings!


Rose Anderson said...

Great cover and your post gave me something to think about.

In movies or books, I don't like horror that comes from a sick twisted character with no rhyme or reason to do what he does. (the movie Saw for example)

Horror that is subtle or other-worldly is fine. Like things penned by Alfred Hitchcock or Stephan King.

Best luck!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Rose,

I see you're another early riser. I agree with you. My taste runs to subtle and psychological horror or paranormal elements. I think they do well in mystery and romance fiction as well as straight horror.

Kaye George said...

Did you actually write this with your son? If so, what fun! I love the concept for this book.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Kaye,

Yes, Andrew and I collaborated on THE THIRD EYE. I'm told Charles Todd mystery novels are a collaborative effort between mother and son as well. Mary Higgins Clark often collaborates with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark.

david said...

always been a big fan of horro. nice blog. i'd love to be entered to win a copy of the third eye.

Karen McCullough said...

I used to read a lot of horror, but I stopped when it headed toward the gross-out end of the spectrum rather than subtle chills. Still love some of the classics like Lovecraft. I've tried to use that variety of horror for some of my paranormal stories. (And, yes, Charles Todd is a mother-son collaboration. They're both lovely people, too.)

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Gail Farrelly said...

Good post, Jacquie. When I think of horror fiction, I think of roller coasters. Pay up to get scared out of your mind. And there are always plenty of customers!

Congrats on your most recent publications. Hope they do well.

My email address:

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Karen,

I'm not into the gross stuff either. I have a story in an anthology entitled THE CALL OF LOVECRAFT. It was inspired by a collection of Lovecraft short stories that had a wonderful introduction by Joyce Carol Oates. I so admire her versatility.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Gail,

The roller coaster analogy is a good one!

Bobbi A. Chukran, Author said...

Great post, Jacqueline! I've recently started reading horror short stories again--something I did when I was a teenager. I like the earlier Stephen King stories, some of Koontz's novels (Phantoms is my fav, so far), John Saul, etc. Congratulations on getting all your stories published in the anthologies!
bobbi c.

Bobbi A. Chukran, Author said...

Oh, and please enter me into the drawing:

Thanks! bc

Janis Susan May said...

Great post. I've always believed in showing little, just enough to prime the reader's imagination - that way they can fill it in with what scares them the most.

joye said...

I like all kinds of horror stories. Don't have a favorite.
I like to read horror stories that after the last sentence is read one keeps wondering if that situation could really happen.

Alice Duncan said...

I'm a real wimp, but I love some horror stories. Yours sounds great, Jacquie! I loved the original DRACULA, by Bram Stoker, too :-)

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Bobbi,

Thanks for posting.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Janis,

I agree about not giving too much detail and letting the reader's imagination take over.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Joye,

I agree that there are many kinds of horror fiction. I've always loved haunted house stories for instance but there are so many variations.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Alice,

My story in the new anthology for Diabolic Press is a creeper with humor based on the Dracula legend--it's called "Vlad".

jenny milchman said...

Sounds like a great concept for a story--I will look for it! I feel like I was nurtured in horror as a writer...Stephen King, of course, but always Frank de Felitta's AUDREY ROSE, The Omen, everything Ira Levin...oh, they bring back surprisingly great memories given the content. Thanks for this post, Jacquie, and Happy Halloween!

Jan Christensen said...

Hi, Jacqueline--great post with good points. I'm not a fan of horror, but read it occasionally if someone recommends it. I do like it if it's humorous, and have written a couple of humorous pieces, just for fun. And don't mind a hint of it in stories. Wonderful about getting THREE stories published all around the same time. Keep up the good work. You know I don't need to be entered into the contest as I've already read and reviewed THIRD EYE. Great book!

James S. Dorr said...

As Karen notes, some horror can run toward the gross out end of things, but there's still a lot that doesn't. In my own writing I tend to get interested in character under stress, which makes horror/dark fantasy a natural medium (though of course the possible blend back into mystery is there too).

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Thanks for dropping by. Actually, I like mystery novels that have a touch of horror. But short stories can go either way for my tastes.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, James,

I like what you do with your fiction, very creative!

Unknown said...

I'm one who can only stomach horror when there is intellect behind it. Horror for the sake of horror is beyond me. I was the girl hiding behind the pillow until the horror scene passed!

Mary F. Schoenecker said...

I'm not really a horror story fan, but I have enjoyed your other books and always like hearing from you, Jacquie. Good post, my friend.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Gemma,

I agree with you. I like intelligent horror fiction myself. Actually, The Third Eye has quite a bit of humor in it and spoofs horror fiction. I like mixing genres.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Mary,

Thanks for the endorsement of my writing. I think you would like this one too. It's more mystery than horror with a healthy dose of humor.

Nancy Means Wright said...

An interesting take on the impact of horror, Jacquie. I usually avoid books of 'horror' but The Third Eye certainly didn't chill me the way I'd earlier imagined--and that was a good thing! I like your thought that it's fear that disturbs us most. And we all have to learn to combat that.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Nancy,

Thank you for your thoughtful post. Also, thank you for your comments about The Third Eye. I hope more readers will put in a request for the novel at their local libraries.

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