TO ALL HORROR WRITERS AND PUBLISHERS EVERYWHERE:
I wrote and posted this on Myspace a handful of years ago, just for horror authors, and I received pages of positive responses. All this time later, after I came across it again, I thought I’d resurrect it, because in my mind nothing’s changed…….except for the fact that these days, I’m not only an author, I’m a publisher of many authors…..
To all horror writers, large and small, big press, small press, even smaller press, self-published, not even published at all:
In my youth, my dad would every once in awhile take me fishing off any given pier in the Pacific Ocean off Southern CA.....Newport, Huntington, a few others. He'd wake me up super early, we'd salvage enough twinkies and sandwiches to fill an Igloo, get our bait, drive, find a nice spot amongst the other fisher people there doing what we were about to do, and then cast our lines and do it.............sitting there for hours trying to catch something, among countless others doing the same thing, rooting for one of us that brought in something big, wowing over the guy with his little daughter who caught something so tiny they threw it back but nonetheless it was still quite a spectacle....it was all a thrilling experience for me. A couple of times, we caught a nice one. Other times, somebody else did, and it was bigger than mine and others took photographs. Some talked about the big ones that got away, and you could never really know for sure if they were telling the truth. One time, a fight broke out between two of the fisher people, and I had to move out of their path. I forgot what happened with that; either they settled their differences, had to be escorted out, or just stayed away from each other. I guess it didn't matter....if they didn't cease to exist sometime afterwards, they had to still be fishing, somewhere, eventually, if that's what they love to do.
The way I see it, from within the industry and without, down to the smallest aspiring horror writer, from the Kings to the Keenes to the most noble amongst us down to the guy in Nebraska who's horror's biggest fan but just can't get past chapter number three in his hoped-for debut novel, we're all of us fishing on a pier with a box full of twinkies and some bait we hope will catch us a big one. Maybe you caught a big one already, maybe you have a long history of award-winning big ones we all love or aspire towards, maybe you're constantly asking those who caught a big one just what bait they used. We've all had our lines in the water, all sitting at that very long pier doing what we strive to do best, and as far as I'm concerned we're all in this together, trying to do the same goddamn thing.
Write horror. And hope people like it.
Maybe you're not serious enough, and you'd just as well take your fishing pole and go home to something more suitable to what you really want, towards a direction in your life just as notable. I'm talking to the ones who want to stay, as well as to the ones who have stayed there and done very well for themselves.....
We're all on the same pier, always fishing, fishing for that first one, fishing for more, and it's a long-ass pier. Let's make this pier the best fucking pier the book industry has ever seen, turn it into the 2-plus bookcase section at Barnes & Noble the horror section well deserves and hasn't seen for a long time, turn the genre on its heels and make the reading public love us. There's desire for it. There are many people out there who love horror and just won't read. Let's change that. Let's nurture each other for the love of horror and its written word, and embrace each other in this art form and set aside any differences you may have, speak to the public in one loud, clear, decadent voice.
And who am I? Nothing really but just another fisherman. And I embrace all of you others. I'm a horror writer, and I'm damn proud of being so. I’m also a full-time horror publisher, so not only have I invested my life on my own works but I’ve placed my career secondary to the benefit of publishing and promoting others, kind of like putting my money where my mouth is or practicing what I preach, and I work day and night with one goal: making smalltime horror big time. But no matter what else I've done, I've been a horror writer first and foremost, as fate would have it, and will die being one. Every last one of you suit my cause and are my kin, whether you’re another writer, publisher, or whatever…..horror is horror, and we need to mutually work together with networking rather than competition for the greater glory of making our genre the equivilent of a full book case at Barnes & Nobel again, regardless of the ever-changing climate of the book industry.
Let's support each other.
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