Paperback Horror steps out of the darkness and into the light:
'Why the hell do you read those things?' That's the question everybody seems to be asking me these days, usually while they cast sneering glances at whatever paperback I happen to have in hand. The short answer? Because I like them. Because I can.
The long answer is a little more complex. After an introduction to horror at a young age I became entranced with everything dark, and soon Clive Barker’s Hellraiser really set me on the path to horror. When I found out that Hellraiser was based on a book I was amazed and quickly delved into Barker’s other work, starting with The Books of Blood.
Many years later, after dabbling in art and movies, I had not only amassed a very respectable collection of nasty and/or obscure films, but also honed my style in terms of painting and started an interesting collection of books.
After getting married and having kids, I no longer had as much time to watch endless streams of movies or hunker down and paint a beautiful yet unsettling picture. It was the perfect time to reintroduce myself to some of my favorite authors, and I trolled through my books seeking the mildewing pages of my youth. Writers like Poppy Z. Brite and Clive Barker jumped out and reminded me that beauty and brutality can walk hand in hand. Richard Laymon broke all the taboos that I had previously thought unbreakable, and Jack Ketchum gave me a panic attack on the subway. Brian Keene put the zombie back on the map, and Bryan Smith brought the slasher back to form. Gord Rollo made me believe that Canadians still have a shot in the horror business. But most of all, Steve Vernon made me believe that I was worthy enough to join them all in the world of writing, even if it is just in my little corner of the blogosphere.
Above and beyond everybody else, my beautiful and outrageously supportive wife has been the reason behind my every move. She was the only who told me to grab a book to occupy my time while in transit instead of staring at the wall, and she was the one who told me to venture outside the box. She continues to support me through our joint venture - Kinderscares - and with my own little pet project - Paperback Horror, where I read and review my favorite paperback horror novels.
So why do I read these things? Because I love them. They take me away from everything else, to a faraway place, to worlds where I can be scared, grossed out, entranced, or just plain entertained any time I want. And I write for Paperback Horror to give back to the authors who write what they love - to let them know that someone out there is listening.