Sunday, December 11, 2011

Coral Moore: Why Every Genre Needs a Little More Horror

Today we've got a great guest post by Coral Moore! And so it begins...
* * *

There’s a spot that the really great horror authors reach for when they write a story. That slightly squeamish, tender area somewhere deep in our gut is prodded and sometimes even punched by the creative minds behind suspenseful tales. Like that bruise you keep poking even though you know it’s going to hurt, we lovers of dark fiction just keep asking for the pain over and over again. I don’t believe horror fans are driven by masochism though, but more a desire to feel, to connect deeply.

I first started thinking about this a few weeks ago when I had a conversation with a couple of folks on Twitter about how horror writers were, by and large, romantics. I think I phrased it something along the lines of: isn’t it funny how the gore and blood hides the soft, squishy heart underneath. The more I thought about this offhand comment though, the more true it seemed. Every self-reported horror fan I know would qualify as more sentimental than average.

We sappy horror fans really just want to be touched by our fiction. Does it matter how? Is a positive emotional experience better than a negative one? Speaking only for myself, I love a heartrending romance as much as a gory horror story, just in a different way. How much better would it be if they were both found in the same place? I wonder, now that I’m blathering on about this, is there a market for a real horror romance? Is that what all this sparkly vampire stuff is trying to be?

I recently read a Contemporary Romance that evoked a lot of negative emotions on its path to a happily ever after and I enjoyed it more than any other book I’ve read this year. Now, it wasn’t anywhere close to horror, but the characters were supremely damaged and there was a lot of real darkness lurking under the love story. I wonder how far we can push that envelope. I may have to try it and find out!

Everything I write is edgy. I guess that’s just how I’m wired. There’s something about that soft spot that I just can’t resist touching, though I don’t usually grab and twist the way a true horror writer would. I’d blame my penchant for gritty, disturbing fiction on the early influence of Stephen King in my life, but I believe it’s more a chicken and egg scenario. I read King at a young age because that’s what I craved and through him I came to love dark fiction even more.

One pivotal aspect of scary stories I think every writer can learn from is the delicate balance of anticipation and fulfillment. There’s an artistry to the way a skilled horror author builds and releases tension that I strive to create in my work. My first release Broods of Fenrir is an Urban Fantasy, but there are horror elements in the framework of the story. As a rule, UF skirts around a lot of violence, but I’ve tried to address it face on. There’s a roughness to my werewolves that derives from their origins and you won’t find anywhere else in the genre.

Everyone can use a bit more horror in their lives, don’t you agree?

* * *

Coral Moore has always been the kind of girl who makes up stories. Fortunately, she never quite grew out of that. She writes because she loves to invent characters and the desire to find out what happens to her creations drives the tales she tells. Places you can find her on the web: Website - Goodreads - Twitter

 * * *

Alan here. I do agree.

Broods of Fenrir is a real page turner, with lots of tension and conflict. What really impresses me, though, is how Coral gets into the mind of an alpha male. The psychology is pretty much spot on. And as far as I know, Coral isn't a six and a half foot tall bruiser, so that's quite an accomplishment, and one I feel further sets Broods of Fenrir apart from a lot of urban fantasy.

Here's the deets on Coral's much anticipated first novel:

Shapeshifter Brand Geirson was raised to rule the Broods of Fenrir, but he refused his birthright. Instead, he killed their brutal leader–his own father–and walked away.

For hundreds of years he’s avoided brood society, until a werewolf kills an innocent human woman and Brand finds himself dragged back into the violent politics of the shapeshifters. When the two brood women who mean the most to him come under threat, he must take up the throne and risk becoming the kind of vicious bastard his father was, or let the broods descend further into chaos–taking the friend he swore to protect and his lover with them.


  1. Hi Alan!

    Thanks for giving me a spot on your blog. :)

  2. And for the record I'm a five and a half foot bruiser! :)