Now, sometimes they just say “Awesome”, and my day goes by a lot more easily. Most of the time, however, a look of confusion crosses their face and they ask, “Why horror?”
I’ve never had an easy answer to that question. Here are some of the not-so-easy answers I’ve often used, or at least considered using.
1) “Shut up, I can write whatever I want!”
For obvious reasons this one never made it out of the consideration phase.
2) “It’s a good way to confront my own fears.”
When I was little, I was afraid of everything. Dolls, strangers, my own shadow, nuclear holocaust, loud noises…
The world is a scary enough place on its own. There are so many tangible, horrible things to be afraid of that sometimes it just feels better to completely unplug for a while and be caught up in a fantasy world where it’s perfectly all right to be afraid of something that can’t possibly hurt you for real. I think that's one of the reasons some of the more fantastical villains of horror have been so enduring; we know that they're not real, and this allows us a safety net of sorts to let fear in without truly having to worry about what the world will look like tomorrow because of that fear.