October in Review: Links, Treats, and Nary a Trick in Sight

Lots of spooky and wonderful things have been happening this October, but it’s not over yet! You have just enough time left before Halloween to browse through some of my favorite links this month.

The Horror Writers Association (the professional organization I’m a member of) put on another great “Halloween Haunts” blog series this year. Many HWA members pitched in with memories, discussions, and goody giveaways. It’s not too late to send in your info/comment on posts to be entered to win!

In the spirit of the season, I doodled this little guy for you.

In the spirit of the season, I doodled this little guy for you.

To start with you can read my post, “Reclaiming Horror,” right here. It takes a look at why horror as a book genre is in trouble and what we can do to fix it. Even if you’re not a fan of horror, I hope you’ll find it thoughtful and worth a read.

Two different horror novel boxed sets came out, pretty enough to make me drool on my keyboard: Jonathan Maberry’s now-complete YA zombie quartet and a Penguin Horror Classics set cherry-picked by Guillermo del Toro.

James Chambers wrote a beautiful nostalgic post to kick off Halloween Haunts: “The Old Stories Return.”

Carol MacAllister’s poem “A Demon’s Treat” (at the bottom of this post) made me smile!

Greg McWhorter recommended some alternative tunes to spice up your Halloween playlist.

On Twitter, Ellen Datlow drew my attention to this list of women writing excellent horror fiction at SF Signal.

This awesome article/photo set is of a dubiously true but undoubtedly spooky lake.

Here on my blog I set up some “Spook Packages” of suggested horror viewing/reading for every taste.

Heather L Reid gave a compelling explanation for why she began writing dark fiction (and loving all things Halloween) in her post “Night Terrors.”

Bram Stoker Award-winner Marge Simon was interviewed for Halloween Haunts, and shared a few poems.

Melissa Crytzer Fry always posts great nature photography blogs, but her one about bats is my fave!

Diann Daniel got to go see Stephen King speak (jealous), and was kind enough to share with us what she learned in her post “Four Writing Lessons I Learned from Listening to Stephen King.”

Lisa Morton gave a pretty cool summary of the actual history of Halloween for HWA’s Halloween Haunts. Hint: it’s not what you thought it was.

Matthew Warner gave a hilarious look at one child’s destiny to become a goblin… as interpreted through his artwork in “That’s My Boy.”

Lucy Snyder answered interview questions about her Bram Stoker award-winning horror story “Magdala Amygdala,” which I loved.

LitReactor introduced me to several of the latest additions to my Horror To-Watch list with ‘Ten Exceptionally Well-Written Horror Films.”

BookPage posted “13 of the year’s creepiest books.” I wants.

John Palisano passionately urged horror writers to write their hearts in “Opening the Vein.”

I reminisced about Halloweens and Octobers past here in “The Things a Picture Holds.”

Brian Taylor brought up the blessing/curse of all horror writers in “Horror Means…Stephen King?” And he’s right. I mean seriously, there are other authors.

I think my doppelganger is writing guest posts under another name again… “Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark: A Case for Scaring the Crap Out of Your Kids.” (Okay, okay. Maybe it was John Jarzemsky at LitReactor.)

Welcome to the Neighborhood” by Yvonne Navarro is a charming recounting of one woman’s first Halloween at a busy trick-or-treat spot. Dog costume included.

LitReactor columnist Robbie Blair posted this thoughtful and fascinating post: “The Uncanny Factor: Why Little Girls Scare the Shit Out of Us.”

I love recommendations! Brian Taylor gives us some more with “My Five Must Watch Horror Movies for Halloween.”

Author Robin Wasserman talks about Stephen King and teen audiences in this incredibly thought-provoking post at The Atlantic: “Stephen King Saved My Life.”

Thinking about trying your hand at this spooky stuff? The Writer’s Digest shop put up a bundle for “Writing Horror & Paranormal Novels.”

And if you STILL haven’t gotten your fill (you greedy goblins, you), you can even browse my links roundup from last October. And as always, you can get your chills at my creeptastically beautiful tumblr.

If I’ve missed something great, feel free to share in the comments!

Happy hauntings!

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  • Greg

    Nice recap! I clicked on several links and got lost in reading!

  • Regina Richards

    Thanks for all the cool links. And I love Mr. Pumpkin and his spider pal.

  • Traci Kenworth

    LOVE this post, Annie!! I hope to one day be a member of HWA as well!! Great links!!

  • A. B. Davis

    Oooh, lots of things for pleasurable perusing here. I appreciates. 😀

  • Holy moly – look at all those links! These all sound so great, but for someone who hasn’t even had time to touch her WIP in a month, these are way out of my ability atm. I’m wishing you a delightful (early) Happy Halloween! 🙂

    • No worries, Lexa! It’s just for fun. 🙂 And a happy early Halloween to you too!

      • kellynium

        I like your “Reclaming Horror” piece and very much agree that horror should be called horror with pride. I can enjoy most types of horror fiction, some far more than others. I dislike many horror movies. I hate gory slasher things. I saw a movie when it first came out years ago — it was the second on a double-feature slate and I had no idea what to expect — which was called “Last House on the Left”. It’s fair to call it horror but it’s clearer to call it trashy and nauseating. I still remember that movie with nausea. Yes it made an impression on me: an impression that I regret ever having attended that double-feature! Surely there is good and there is bad horror. The best horror stories are as great as anything in literature. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a great horror movie. I’ve seen good ones. The worst of horror, as with the schlock movies, is bad indeed. But you could say that about any genre I suppose. The point is that the horror label in itself is a prideful thing. There’s no good reason to avoid calling it what it is. Hooray for horror. It may not be the hottest thing on the market at all times. But it always has its place and I’m sure it has many heydays yet ahead.

        • I sure hope so! I think you mean a truly great horror movie along the lines of something powerful like many Oscar-winners? I think I agree, actually. At least, nothing is coming to my mind right now, although there are some horror Oscar movies like The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, or Rosemary’s Baby. You might give Wait Until Dark a watch if you haven’t yet. That’s one of my favorite horror movies of all time, and it’s very sophisticated. It has Audrey Hepburn in it. Thanks for the comment!

          • kellynium

            “Wait Until Dark” was a very big hit when it first came out. I saw it then & still remember particularly the scene where a guy pops out “from nowhere” in Hepburn’s apartment. It’s one of the great moments. The whole audience gasped. That is a good film as are the others you mention. I like the early portion of the 1930s Bela Lugosi “Dracula”, in the castle, and the rest of that film is good too, though not as nicely atmospheric as are those early Transylvanian secenes. I can’t think, though, of a horror film that thoroughly captured me, the way, say, the first two “Godfather” movies did, or the Harold LLoyd comedy “Safety Last” does (everybody knows the image of Harold hanging from the hands of the skyscraper clock but the whole film leads beautifully up to the thrilling skyscraper scene and is funny throughout). Those were great films.

          • I know exactly what you mean! Someone needs to get on that…