Tell us about your blog: I’m really passionate about YA fiction, and the quality and variety it has to offer. I review mostly YA, with a selection of MG and adult fiction. I also host blog tours, guest posts and author features. You can find it here.
First memory of reading horror: My first memory of reading horror is when I discovered a series called Point Horror in the early 90s. Maybe I shouldn’t have read a book called The Babysitterwhile I was babysitting. The experience definitely left an impression and started my persisting love of horror.
What do you love about horror? I’ve thought a lot about my obsession with horror, because on the surface it doesn’t make much sense. Why do people like to be scared? For me, it’s about that creeping sense of unease that builds up to the flood of adrenaline and the unexpected shock at the end of the scene. The horror I like best is dark, thought-provoking and heavy on the character development.
Which horror books do you keep returning to? IT is the first adult horror novel I ever read, and the only one I keep returning to. What could be scarier than a clown that finds out your fears and uses them to kill you? I rooted for those kids so much and I thought it was so clever how the book set their stories against the adult storylines. There are so many memorable scenes that give me a visceral reaction just thinking about them. The one that sticks in my mind is when the adult Bev returns to her childhood home and finds that an old woman lives there.
Greatest horror film (adapted from a book) & why? There’s a definite Stephen King theme emerging here, but there’s also a reason he’s so popular. I love his adaptations, even the outlandish 80s ones such as Christine, the ’57 Plymouth Fury that is ‘bad to the bone’. I was also really impressed by the 2017 version of IT. All of the best elements of the book came together with the help of an excellent cast.
Horror book that you’d like to see adapted to film & why? It’d be really interesting to see what a decent production company would do with The Fireman by Joe Hill. If they got it right, that would be a beautiful and horrifying film!
Best horror TV? My favourite horror TV show is The Walking Dead. It’s a great combination of gory horror, slow-burning scares and character exploration.
Best horror computer game?The Last of Us has more believable characters and gripping plotlines than a lot of books and films. It’s also a deeply tense and terrifying vision of the zombie apocalypse, all the more so because it feels like you’re in it!
Horror doesn’t seem to be as well respected as other genres of fiction. Why do you think that is? Genre fiction in all of its forms has a bad rep in some circles, and I’ve never really understood it. Some of the books with the tightest plotting, most evocative settings and characters I care the most about have been genre fiction. I think some people have a preconception that literary fiction is ‘better written’, but for me that comes down to a narrow view of fiction. Horror authors can use literary elements if they choose, or can write a terrifically gripping book without being literary at all!
Do you think horror is ready for a renaissance? I can’t really speak for adult horror, since my tastes seem to lean mainly towards Stephen King. I think YA fiction is more than ready for a horror renaissance. There are some great titles out there, like Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell or The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, but I’d love to see more.
Do you believe in evil? Unfortunately yes.
Do you celebrate Halloween? Always. My favourite way to celebrate Halloween is at one of those haunted house events where actors leap out from every corner. Last year I went to a horror maze that was set up in an abandoned warehouse. That actually sounds like the start of a pretty good horror movie…
Where can readers find you on social media: You can find me on Twitter @yaundermyskin – I’d love to talk books with you!