Inspirational horror as a Genre?

A short time ago, we were sitting around the table with some very dear friends. During the course of the conversation the subject came to books and my dear friend said, "Gordon I know you take this as a compliment but your writing is too creepy for me" It is and was quite hilarious to me. Why?

Well, here is the deal. I have never considered my writing horror or any other genre for that matter, I just write. I've been told more than once what comes out of my mind is disturbing. I have a problem with the title, part of which is my own ignorance. Not the horror title, a title period. I just write whats in my head, not particularly trying to be anything. Part of it is my lack of interest in lumping much of anything into a broad category. This doesn't just pertain to writing either. So often it seems we want to pack everything into an easy category. I have developed quite an aversion to politics in recent years. Due in part to a similar phenomenon. This group is this and this group is that, but nothing is this simple. I will move on from this subject right away as I try to keep this blog positive.

So back to the irony of my writing. I have been educating myself on what is lumped into the category of horror. It gets pretty broad. You see, I look at Firetok as this inspirational tale of a person who was able to experience rebirth as a person after living through some really awful stuff. Not only does he experience self discovery, he finds a purpose in helping others with abilities he had been taught to ignore. This is inspirational to me. So the part I glossed over was the "really awful" part. And of course there is the "supernatural" element which I am finding is a fast track to the horror category.

Part of my process of writing the second book in the Firetok series is to reread aloud the first book. This accomplishes many things besides just irritating me when I find flaws or style which I have grown away from. It's more of a flow thing for me and let's face it, some parts of that book were written years ago. One of the unintended consequences of reading with my new-found knowledge and tip of the iceberg understanding of what modern horror has become, is to observe my book as an outsider and really evaluate what I read. My reluctance in desire to be lumped in any particular category aside, I am coming to grips with how gruesome parts of the story are. They had to be. The subject matter underlying the rest of the story is deep dark awful and a reflection of what is really going on in our world. For a reader accustomed to butterflies and hand holding while sipping expensive wine from an exotic location, my writing doesn't go there. My stories are from a different part of life but one I feel is just as inspirational and uplifting even if it is surrounded with unsettling details. In the end, every author has to write what is right for them. And for me, I always want to see the good guy win.

 The reality of life as I see it, there are some pretty awful things going on and some of us end up having to deal with it considerably more than others. It's one of those big unfair parts of life I will never understand but I refuse to give up trying. In the meantime I have decided to refer to my writing as inspirational horror and hope it catches on.