So, the fact that I have watched so much horror this week it isn't even funny (including some horror movie-related shows as well as true-life horror stories), I thought it would be a good time to revisit my senior seminar project in college (for literature).
For the final project, my paper was on horror as the ultimate misunderstood, underestimated genre in literature. This is an idea I still adhere to, to this day. Anyway, what I filled those 10-15 pages with is a little foggy now, but I recall just believing that a genre that explores so well what scares us has got to have serious meaning and serious truth about the human condition, not to mention particular phases in history.
The accompanying part of my project was a vampire story I had written. Which my professor LOVED, believe it or not. He said that that story proved to him what I was capable of as a writer. (It also landed me an A in a class I hardly ever attended -- that was the year I switched nights and days around, and was hard pressed to get to classes, even 6 o'clock pm classes.) Reviews from friends ran the gamut from, "I couldn't sleep after I read it," to another rather unique review, "At times I thought it was comedy, or porn." (Actually, in a little pice of trivia, that last comment was uttered -- probably around 1991 -- by the individual who is putting on the party tonight.)
As for that story's fate, it never got published. I tried it with both straight-up horror zines as well as literary magazines (it got a personal rejection from Richard Peabody over at Gargoyle, of course this was years and years ago. He turned me onto Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls in that rejection, though).
I haven't tried to market that story in a long time. It probably IS a bit over-written, judging by the last time I looked at it, but I still think it had some really good elements. (To my dismay, I spotted some of its elements in vampire movies years after, which kind of sucks when you feel like you did it first.) Meanwhile, though, I kind of think it also didn't have any clear sense of whether it was a piece of literature or a horror story, which made it I think difficult to place.
Although a lot of my work is dark, and occasionally has supernatural or surreal elements, most of it isn't straight-up horror, with the exception of one story that is currently in submission circulation. However, I'm starting to think maybe horror might be my choice for NaNoWriMo.
Happy Halloween, everybody!