What do the words “literary horror” mean to you?
Isn’t it strange the way this phrase provokes people? When did the genre become so reactionary? So rabidly anti-intellectual? This was never the case historically. Writers of the macabre were once venerated as masters of style and atmosphere. Now, if you appear to take your work seriously, you’re attacked for being elitist, a cardinal sin, apparently, and whatever you do, don’t mention the L-word. The fans will be at your house with pitchforks and torches ... as though you’d attacked their religion. But literature isn’t about pretense or snobbery. It’s about pride in the art. It’s about proficiency in the craft and seriousness of purpose. Whenever people – especially authors – profess to find this antithetical to the genre, we should automatically question their motives.