Friday, August 6, 2010


I've been hearing a lot about labels in writing lately--and no disrespect meant to anyone--but I see it as a necessary evil: nothing more, nothing less. They call it "horror" or "bizarro" because horror's not scary enough anymore. Don't get me wrong, an author has to brand himself, therefore I'm a "horror author." I keep in mind that it's just a tag, however. The bottom line for me is an exciting story. I don't care what genre it is if it's a great story, and most horror tales aren't great, let's face it. If you're kicking my ass with a thriller, then good for you.

Take The Wicker Man (*yawns* I am so tired of stating, "The 1973 version"), for instance. It's a lot of things: it's scary, it's a musical and it's an erotic film. Some people don't like it when there's a lot of things going on in a novel (thinking Bag of Bones here), but I do, and if that wasn't the case with my first novel, I wouldn't have cared enough to come back to writing. In addition to the scares and gore, it's got comedy and it's got eros. Having a lot going on is better than having nothing going on, which I've seen a lot of. To call oneself "horror" is to imply that there's nothing to life but being afraid. We also are sometimes confident, sometimes laughing, and every once in a while, we fuck.

Then some people call themselves "romance authors." This is the most foolish tag of all. Don't all stories have a romance embedded in them? I know all but one of my novels do.

"Adult" is a funny tag. I'm still the same teenage kid that listened to metal and read Chillers magazine every week. Only difference is, as adults, we can work out and learn to fight, thereby not being pushed around anymore.

A good example is music. I'm a musician, and they want to call me "death metal" or "screamo" or "emo." Most of those tags really bother me. I just like exciting music. I listen to thrash most of the time because most bands in my genre keep garbage songs, and some don't even have lead solos. I don't want to listen to the popular radio station to make more friends, however. Chances are they're going to see through the facade anyway.

So call one of my pieces a great tale, and I'll be happy.

On my playlist: Covenant by Morbid Angel

Reading: Wolf's Bluff by W. D. Gagliani.

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