About the Author
L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She knows this because she's killed bamboo. Twice. She is the author of the Winged series, the Plaisir Coupable series, Jude Magdalyn series, the Moon Rising series, and Taken: A Frankie Post Novel.
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Guest post by L.M. Pruitt
What Lies Beneath (The Genre)
I’ll confess, when I think horror I think of the classics—Stephen Kin, Wes Craven, Ray Bradberry—books and movies which make you want to sleep with the lights on whenever you finish. It’s the second part of that description which gave me pause and made me start to really examine the various subgenres of horror. Obviously, talking about all of them would turn this post in to a full length dissertation so I’ll just look at a couple.
The first time I read The Witching Hour, I made it through one chapter before having to put it down. Not because it was boring—because it scared the hell out of me. I recently read somewhere that this particular work by Anne Rice is a prime example of Southern Gothic and I’m inclined to agree. Although the supernatural element is pervasive, it’s also subtle, making it all the more frightening when it’s brought to the front. The entire book, but especially the historical sections, are infused with this creeping sense of menace and dread and tragedy. By the time the true horror shows its face, you’re more than on the edge of your seat—you’re in the lap of the person next to you, asking them to hold you.
In contrast, the first time I read The Relic, the majority of the book I was more intrigued than frightened. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are, for lack of a better phrase, very science-y. Their main protagonist, Agent Pendergast, is something of a modern day Sherlock Holms, albeit with more tact and manners. And so I was more than a little surprised to find myself suddenly very nervous in stairwells and dark places and anytime I smelled raw meat. I’ve heard Preston and Child described as mystery and thriller but I very much see them as horror. Just because the horror isn’t supernatural or is explained away with science doesn’t make it less frightening. If anything, I find it more disturbing, especially since, as we all know, truth is often stranger than fiction.
These two subgenres were the primary inspiration for Silk—along with a healthy dose of a serial killer, of course. Hopefully, I did them and the authors who write in them and inspired me justice. For now, I’ll leave you with one final thought:
Don’t go in the woods….
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