Guest Post: Alex Laybourne on Halloween A Horror Writers Worst Nightmare

Halloween: a night where being scared is fun, where horror stories are eagerly told to children who are excited to listen.  It’s not a dictionary definition, but I feel it sums it up.

As horror writer, I doubt that there is any one holiday that is better suited to a genre than October 31st. Yet at the same time, I do not think that there is a holiday that a writer dreads with such completeness.

I do not mean this in terms of our stories, but rather in terms of who we are. Our friends know what we write, our family members, neighbors and colleagues will all at least have an idea of the stuff we write. Why? Because at the end of the day we are proud of what we write, and want to share it with the world; why would we do it otherwise? It sure isn’t for the guaranteed self-esteem boost a critical review gives us.

Armed with this knowledge, who is the first person these above mention folks turn to once the day of horror worship looms on the horizon.

“Can you tell my children a story?”

“Can I introduce you to a few people?”

“Will you come to my party?”

Ordinarily these are regular questions and ones we will be all too happy to help with, yet on this one day of the year the expectation levels placed on our shoulders change. Suddenly we are expected to be able to summon up horrific images and demented personalities at the drop of a hat.

Again, ok, we are writers; I can sit down and run off scenarios and characters for you, but are they believable? No, there is no life or depth to them.

Writing good horror is about more than just a mad man running around strangling married women in the park, or an evil spirit making people commit suicide just for kicks. It takes hard work just like any other piece of fiction.

A reputation is slowly built, but quickly torn down, and a bad performance at a party full of expectant faces eager for a frightening experience on the day when we are all attuned to being scared is exactly the sort of thing that will make people then look twice when your books floats by. Let’s be honest about things here, in the beginning, the main sales we make will be to friends and acquaintances.

A horror writer I may be, and scary are the dreams I have and the thoughts that cross my mind while cooking dinner, but come Halloween I will curled up in my flat, a good book in one hand and a horror movie on TV.

Author Bio:

Horror writer Alex Laybourne was born in the UK but relocated to The Netherlands to be with his wife. Together they have three wonderful children who despite their young age are showing all the signs of following in their father’s creative footsteps.

Alex’s debut novel Highway to Hell is a 96.000 word horror novel and the first in a trilogy that will take readers on a journey not just into hell, but through it.

Highway to Hell can be found on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.de, and for all non-kindle readers via Smashwords.com for just $2.99. You can also download a free sample of the novel at all of the above sites.

Alex is always interested in making new friends both readers and writers alike. You can find him at most hours of the waking day on Twitter under the name @vanplank or on his blog www.alexlaybourne.com

Book Blurb

Heaven and Hell, Angel and Demons, these things were once considered opposites, but now you will see that they are neighbors, allies…. friends.

Marcus, Becky, Richard, Helen, Sammy and Graham. All complete strangers, different ages, backgrounds and even countries, but they all have one major thing in common…They all must DIE.

Sentenced to offer their penance in the many chambers of Hell, their lives are nothing but a torturous experience. They are brought face to face with their past, their mistakes and the implications that had for others. Until one by one they are rescued and thrown together. Waking in a dying world, they are introduced to their rescuers who do anything but conform to their angelic stereotype.

Together, bonded by an unknown destiny the group is set on their quest; to find one individual buried deep within the many Hell worlds. Not only does the fate of their world rest on their shoulders, but that of existence itself.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Guest Post: Alex Laybourne on Halloween A Horror Writers Worst Nightmare

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today Susan. It means a lot to me.

  2. Excellent points, Alex. One question–can you tell me a story??? 😉 As a thriller/suspense writer, I empathize.

    Mike Sirota, one of the most talented writers I know, and author of 20 published books, writes in the horror genre. Gave me a whole new impression of what that means… Have a great Halloween and reserve the right to stick to typing. 😉

    • Thanks for commenting August. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.
      I got the idea from someone I read Clive Barker had written about a costume party he was invited to one Halloween. I will have to go and check out Mike Sirota’s work. Thanks for the tip.

  3. asraidevin

    Haha. I once saw Nora Roberts say she is often asked if she’s experienced everything she writes about.
    Makes me laugh.

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