Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Horror

I love the horror genre. When I read H.P. Lovecraft in middle school, his vision blew my mind, and his prose showed me the richness of the English language. I've read lots of horror since then, although not as much as many horror fans since about 75% of my reading is nonfiction, mostly related to my historical research.

It's no surprise that I've written horror myself. My Civil War novel A Fine Likeness and my short story collection The Night the Nazis Came to Dinner and other Dark Tales are my first two contributions to the genre. There will be more later this year, including another Civil War horror novel, a novella set in Viking Greenland, and an anthology collaboration with author A.J. Walker.

My favorite subgenre is historical horror. Someone once said that the past in another country, and setting horror in a distant time and place adds a level of strangeness that makes the horror more believable. In my writing it's often an open question whether anything supernatural is actually going on. Not that you need supernatural to make a horror tale, although it helps!

Do you have any recommendations for historical horror? I'm always open to discovering new authors. But please, no vampires. I am sooooo tired of vampires. Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire came out in 1976 and the craze has been going on unabated ever since. I am done with vampires.


  1. Historical horror - never thought of it that way. Maybe that's why Lovecraft's work is so effective now because to us it is historical.

  2. I didn't know H.P. Lovecraft was horror, but then it has been many many years since I read him. I do remember I loved his books at the time.
    I never have "gotten" the vampire craze.

  3. A-Z explorer! Indeed. Isn't the vampire craze dried up yet? ha! get it? *groan* Anyway...I too love great horror. Something that is just the right mix of psychological, suspense, and gore. Good stuff! Check out the publishers of 40k. 40K They do some good stuff. Plus I just really like their covers.

  4. I'm kind of over the vampire craze, as well. Though I really enjoyed The Historian, which was a take on the Dracula/Vlad the Impaler story, and I enjoy a good parody now and then.

    I enjoy Gothic horror, which I suppose might fall into the Historical Horror genre. It's not always supernatural, either (at least the older, original Gothic), but it's intriguing.


  5. Hi Sean .. all histories have horror in them - even if not written out - I don't let my mind wander too much as I don't want to be 'frightened' .. but I do enjoy a good story line with a historical background .. I am not into vampires ..

    Cheers Hilary

  6. Robert Scott's failed mission to the Pole. Make it a horror story with what really happened.


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