Thursday, 8 March 2018
TOP 5 HORROR AUTHORS THE DIGITAL WORLD HAS TO OFFER
When was the last time you held a physical book? It doesn’t take a genius to guess chances are the closest you have come to smelling the fresh pages of a paperback hot off the press is via your smartphone or tablet, that you accessed it via an Internet connection and the book was selected for you in relation to your Internet search courtesy of Google.
Print media is a dying dynasty and authors without the backing of a savvy PR agency are finding it harder and harder to reach their target audience. Sure, trees now stand a better chance of survival and won’t be finding themselves on the endangered list anytime soon, but the same can’t be said about writers.
Gone are the days when an author could become a household name, and as a result print media is facing a period of significant restructuring. Paperbacks and hardbacks that designed their covers for maximum shelf impact have all but vanished; the book table platform is in rapid decline and digital reading is the 21st-century medium of book distribution.
So does it even matter if people are reading fewer works of literature? What if we’re reading less Clive Barker but filling the void with, say, Twitter feeds from your friends and articles online? Well, a number of recent studies have demonstrated that fiction, particularly literary fiction, seems to boost the quality of empathy in the people who read it, enhancing their ability to see the world from another person’s eyes. And good works of literature, particularly novels, can grant you direct access to another person’s mind, whether it be the mind of the author or of one of their imagined characters, in a way that few other works of art can.
So, if we’re reading less literature, it stands to reason that we are becoming a less empathetic country as a result. If changing reading habits are indeed making us less able to see things from other people’s points of view, that could have drastic consequences across the board.
Once upon a time, to read a novel all you had to do was suspend your disbelief as mystical and enchanting worlds filtered freely from the freshly printed pages in front of you. Now you have to suspend your belief that the world will end if you lose digital access for a few hours. That’s a shame, because in my opinion reading is still the best way to lose yourself.
So without further delay I bring you five authors – some you may know and others you may not. I will analyse their cover art and the book for your reading pleasure, so next time you decide to read something you will have a few fresh names to choose from. In no particular order, here are my authors.
Darkness Within by Kitty Margo
Darkness Within is one of the author’s more haunting novels and strands its lead character Cate Cooper with no cell phone signal, a dead car battery and a failed GPS in the middle of nowhere. After she finds her way through a maze of cornfields she stumbles upon a rundown cabin by a river, and as if her night couldn’t get any worse she discovers that each of the owners of the cabin for the past century have given birth to a set of male twins, one good, one evil, one fertile, one sterile. With the exception of the great great uncle, the twins have a habit of dying young.
And never from natural causes.
With these long-held family secrets, and the threat of something sinister lurking at every turn, Cate, who has unwittingly fallen prey to the family, needs to find a way to survive, or at least die trying.
Margo, like her lead character, has become the victim of publishers’ astonishingly bad online marketing, including their bad choice of cover art more suited to a Mills and Boon novel; however, the artwork is first rate nonetheless. But with our backing maybe her sinister work of horror fiction can find a new lease of life within the horror community, where she should be. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good backwoods inbred horror outing?
Spilling Blood by G.S. Wright
A Case for Murder: Brittany Murphy Files by Bryn Curt James Hammond
True Crime/Pop Culture/Celebrity
It’s hard to believe that Bryn’s work has been overshadowed by his inclusion in the wacky world of conspiracy theories. His style is unquestionably unique and bold, and while he limits his public appearances (only partaking in one convention signing in 2017) he certainly has a lot to say. 2018 promises a return to his old hunting ground with The Complete History of The Howling so fans from the author’s golden days of GZ Magazine will be rejoicing, but for me it’s his up-and-coming A Case for Murder: Aaliyah Files (Aaliyah, Queen of the Damned) that I’m waiting for. If Brittany Murphy Files is anything to go by I’m in for another round of dark Hollywood morbid debauchery.
Hybrid by Nick Stead
The Box by H.A. Larson
But moving on, Larson’s writing style is much simpler than most of my selection but in the way of it being more stereotypical in its plotting and pacing. If you’re a fan of Stephen King then Larson’s twist and turns won’t come as a shock. But don’t let the King trappings put you off. H.A. Larson is on her fifth book and she has certainly proven herself to be a worthy genre writer with The Box, so go check her out!
Article written by Rick Welington