It was a dark and gloomy night. 7:30 p.m. State Street looked like if it was part of an old and haunted ghost town, with the exception of a homeless man taking a nap on a public bench, a young adolescent coming out of the bookstore with a copy of Kafka’s The Trial, and a woman standing alone on the corner of State and Canon Perdido.
Her name was Paola. She had on a short, red dress, and long blond hair. Her lips and shoes matching the dress, her hair complementing her Caucasian skin tone. No, she wasn’t a prostitute. She was waiting for Paul, her boyfriend.
She looked at the logo behind her, while gently hiding some of her hair behind her ear. “Borders, Book Store,” she said out loud, confidently knowing that the napping homeless was not close enough to listen to her soliloquy, and the teenager was halfway on the other side of the street. She then looked at the main entrance and was happy to see that they were going out of business soon. “Hopefully they open up a clothing store,” she said, cheerfully.
But of course, she wasn’t there because it was fun to look at signs. She’d been waiting for Paul a lot longer than what she anticipated. “Fifteen minutes is a long time,” she said, as a reddish blush of anger appeared on her cheeks.
She hated to be there. It was so frustrating. But it wasn’t just the ‘waiting’ part that irritated her. No, it was more than that. In fact, she was a little bit possessive and couldn’t help but think that Paul was fucking another woman in his office; added to that the fact that she didn’t know where his office was.
Paul never told her.
Go to Amazon and see the 18 books I have there. I’ve been writing poems and short fiction since I was 12 (getting close to 33 now). I started writing seriously in 2009, have completed two novels, a novella and fifteen short stories, all of them with various word count. I still rhyme, just for the hell of it, and currently got my dream job: I am an editor at a local newspaper. How cool is that?
The question I heard a lot is, “how you do it?”
The truth is, there is nothing otherworldly about writing. You just have to sit your ass down and let your fingers do the job. My beginnings in the writing arena occurred while I had nine-to-fives. Many of them. I can’t sleep whatever number of hours the doctor says I have to sleep because my brain is an entity of its own and does what it pleases. For the last nine years of my life I have worked hard, preparing myself for the life I am living right now.
The life of a full-time writer.
Recently I posted a blog explaining what Transgressive Fiction was. By doing so, my mind started to go back in time and think about the books I’ve read, the ones that sparked my interest in this genre. For a while, I’ve had my transgressive story idea, something real but at the same time lunatic, raw and a tad adventurous. Nevertheless, my penchant for writing horror kept me away from it. But it was there. It never left. It was like an itch you have because you haven’t taken a proper shower in over a week. Gross. I’m glad it never went away, though. Now you can find the novel, the first of a series, on good ol’ Amazon. Before you do that, however, why don’t you take a look at these books I’ve read in the past, the ones that started up that itch in me?
The look on the faces of people when I tell them I’m writing a Transgressive Fiction series is priceless. There was even an asshole that said, “What? You’re writing a transvestite series?”
I said, “Fuck you!” and then gently explained what I meant.
In a way, I expected him to be ignorant. I’m 33 and still don’t know shite about many things. Who am I to judge?
This literary movement, albeit simple, it’s difficult to explain. It’s about anorexic models who think they’re fat. It’s about rich assholes who party too hard. It’s about junkies who think they own the fucking world. It’s about poor miscreants who dare to dream too much. It’s about sex. Rough sex.
And often, it is also about death.
The Free Dictionary dot com defines ‘fear’ as a very unpleasant or disturbing feeling. Although philosophers and Vulcans insist that fear is irrational, they can’t help to feel it as well. As an evolutionary survival tactic, fear is tattooed in our genes and, as far as you know, mankind hasn’t come up with a laser strong enough to extinguish it. Fear is akin to an addiction. You know it’s bad for you, but you keep coming back for more. Over and over again.
I grew up on Stephen King’s Children of the Corn and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Also, on those sleepless nights that came every other day, my mom’s version of a lullaby feature stories of La Llorona and El Chupacabras; I often wonder why she still doesn’t understand why I am so screwed up. Such was my fascination with the supernatural that after watching The Looney Tunes with the entire family, I would stay awake, waiting for everyone to fall asleep, so I could go back to the living room and watch a late night scary movie. I consumed everything with so much gusto it wasn’t long after I started coming up with my own stories. Television wasn’t my only source. I also read. A lot. I often delve into other genres (mystery and transgressive fiction, to name some), but in the end, all of the stories I come across share a horror element.
Looking for more horrific material, I stumbled upon this blog. Read On.
Brian Evenson’s new novella, The Warren, opens with a declaration of documentation:
I shall begin this written record by reporting the substance of our last conversation—which was not only the last conversation I had with Horak but the last I had with anyone or ever expect to have.
Another year has passed, delivering us a terrible bounty of new horror books to terrify us on quiet nights. Taken together, 2017’s best horror books were a little more introspective than last year’s, striking at the heart and bringing us visceral scares, from Scott Thomas’s psychologically affecting house of horrors in Kill Creek, to the raw rage and grief at the center of Paul Cornell’s Chalk, to the deeply humanist horror of Jeremy Robert Johnson’s Entropy in Bloom and the deeply feminist body horror of Carmen Maria Machado’s unparalleled short fiction. But beyond just hitting us in the (bad) feels, the year also gave us a new all-star gateway anthology, an eerie pastoral-gothic debut, new novels by returning favorites, and otherworldly delights—both fictional and non-fictional.
These are the best horror books of 2017.