Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Genres of Literature – Horror

February 12, 2018


Horror is a genre of fiction, of which, the defining trait is to provoke a response; either emotional, psychological or physical, within readers that causes them to react with fear, dread, disgust, or is frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting and even startles it’s readers with the text.

Horror: Ancient Greece and Rome

This genre has ancient origins with roots in folklore and religious traditions, which focused on death, the afterlife, evil, the demonic and also a ‘thing’ embodied in the person. This manifested as stories of witchcraft, vampires, werewolves, and ghosts.

Horror: Medieval Era

Much of horror fiction derived itself from the cruelest faces in world history, particularly those who lived in the fifteenth-century. “Dracula” can be traced to the Prince of Wallachia Vlad III, whose alleged war crimes were published in German pamphlets in the late Fifteenth Century and resulted in stories of horrifying detail.

Gothic horror: 18th century

Slowly the horror genre became traditional Gothic literature. 18th century Gothic horror drew on sources of seminal and controversial elements of the supernatural instead of pure realism.

Horror: 19th century

After the Gothic tradition blossomed the genre became the horror literature we now know in the 19th century. Influential works and characters still continue to resonate, such as Brother’s Grimm and Hansel & Gretel (1812) and of course Frankenstein (1818) and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. (1820)

Horror:20th century

Cheap periodicals became prolific at the turn of the century, leading to a boom in horror writing. Horror writers of the time included H.P. Lovecraft pioneering cosmic horror and M.R. James redefining the ghost story. Also the serial murderer became a recurring theme.

Contemporary horror fiction

As most of you know Stephen King is my hero and it is the best-known contemporary horror writer. His stories have delighted and frightened many of us for decades, from Carrie to Sleeping Beauties and all those tales in-between.

I have to admit as a prolific reader of Mr. King, I am wary of ever writing a horror story because I don’t think I can measure up to his expertise.

Do you write horror? What theme do you favor?

What horror writers/books have you read and ‘enjoyed’?



Onward & Upward..

September 17, 2010


Now I have the AGM behind me and my position as Secretary of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County is secured, I can move on to other projects. Some are long term, like the Foundation’s Conference next April and some, more immediate, such as my entry into this year’s NaNoWriMo and my weekly writing prompts.

I enjoy creating the Saturday prompts – it is another ‘creative’ item to my catalog – and the best part is crafting a response and then reading everyone else’s. Several have become the inspiration for longer pieces of work, which I will put on the back burner until after NaNo.

I am trying to focus on my NaNo story this year, prior to November. Last year I had the seed of an idea and just ‘free’ wrote all month, the story created itself under my finger tips. My new tale, as I have said, is a different concept altogether and I am looking forward to writing it. My point of view is as narrator instead of the main character, so a challenge for me as I have not written this way before. Discovering new ways to write is part of my enjoyment of this all consuming passion. Its skills are many and varied – a life long lesson.

One aspect I have noticed, after becoming a writer, is that I read differently now. I am aware of the forming of the characters, the story arc and the use of words. However, with a good piece of writing, I am a novice reader again. A case in point – I have just finished reading Under The Dome by Stephen King. This mammoth tome of 1074 pages held me captive all the way through. The story is spell binding as well as the vast number of characters used. It is the sign of a truly skilled author, that you care for a character in a short time and their story glides the plot along, seemingly effortlessly. (As you may suspect, I am a huge Stephen King fan).

We all have our author hero’s and a part of that is enjoying the particular genre they write. Mr. King’s skill in absorbing me into a story and his openness about his writing life has my absolute admiration. If I can write just one novel that captivates a reader I will be happy.

Blog at