“O, horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee!”
Yes, I am talking about horror novels, not about what those female MPs saw over the shoulder of Neil Parish, the most recent in a long line of political scandals. Porn in the commons, who woulda thunk it. Those who dish out the law of the land to the rest of us while acting as if it doesn’t apply to them rise again. But enough of Parish’s moving body parts.
I’m quoting Shakespeare, we celebrated his birthday last week. This phrase comes from Macbeth, of the to be—or not to be—fame, while Macduff’s the man who says it when the violent and bloody murder of the king is discovered.
Horror, it’s a part of life, and we have plenty of it dished out on the News. I’m not going into the barbaric acts perpetrated on Ukrainian civilians by so-called Russian soldiers. Still, these things illustrate the capacity for ordinary people to behave badly. I don’t mean self-defence, but letting go of the dark beast caged within for primitive self-gratification.
This brings me to Horror, those who write it and those who read it. Why? A cathartic procedure, it seems to me, now that I’ve read some, with both writers and readers getting something out of their system through it. It was never a genre I wanted to write or read, not with the daily evidence of Man’s inhumanity to Man evident in the media, but I’ve done so in recent months, and it’s been an enlightening procedure.
Shakespeare wrote his share of it, and grisly stuff it is—be warned and don’t watch Titus Andronicus unless you’ve got a cast-iron stomach.
In a more contemporary context, Stephen The Horror King comes to mind. There are other excellent writers in the genre closer to home, in the shape of our very own Katherine Black, aka Sooz Simpson, and another Stephen, S. Lee Glick. I was privileged to do a proofread on his just-published There’s Something Wrong With Joey. See more below. Horror indeed, and if Joey was put in the same room with Jennifer, the psychopath from Katherine Black’s Leverage, we’d all be in deep trouble. You can tell that just by looking at the respective covers of these books.
See what I mean? Look at these charmers, and you know what you’re getting into. Book covers are the first thing potential readers see. This is why it’s so important to get the right cover for your book. Best Book Editors have you covered whether you want a ready-made ebook cover, or a custom design. BBE have a team of designers with very different styles. Why would you settle for clipart?
The cover for Joey may look simple but it has seven layers to it. We were asked for a boy in a church with a winged cat on his shoulder–you find some clip art to fit that brief. Our artist had to hand draw elements of this design.
So have a talk with Sooz, or she’ll turn into Katherine Black and set Jennifer on you. And Stephen Glick will bring Joey along for the ride. Don’t go there. Read Leverage, and There’s Something Wrong With Joey to see why not. Compulsive horror reading.
Set in small-town America during the 1970s and told from the first-person perspective of Joey’s 13-year-old cousin, Simon. This story revolves around the large Luchks family and how the tender-hearted and honest Joey turns into a monster. The boys and their friend Willie are bullied by the older Vinnie, Terry and their crowd on a day out at the County Fair. Forced to defend himself, 10-year-old Joey tastes the enemy’s flesh in the ensuing fight.
It awakens something dark inside him, as evidenced by the horror story he tells afterwards. He claims it was real and more than just a dream. That’s the beginning, and life in the Luchks family will never be the same.
Author S Lee Glick builds a fast-paced narrative set in the well-painted scenery of provincial country life. It’s peopled with believable characters who initially act as might be expected. These are ordinary farming community folks—but their world is turned upside down. Against such an everyday background, the horror is intensified through the cold and matter-of-fact manner in which atrocious actions are carried out.
Where will it end?
S Lee Glick
We had loads of fun creating Stephen’s Book Trailer. We’re always looking for new effects and things we can do to make every video individual to that author. Check out the creepy vocal software at the end of this one. There’s Something Wrong With Joey
Check out Stephens Book Reviews There’s Something Wrong With Joey
Official BBE ReviewThere’s Something Wrong With Joey
Staff ReviewThere’s Something Wrong With Joey
Official BBE Review The Testament
Stephen also took out our Press /Media Pack service that you can see here.
Amazon book links
Want to know more about this author? In this candid Author Interview he spills the beans
We start and end with Daffy: That’s All Folks!
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.