Thoughts and Fears January 2021 Progress Report

At the same time I’ve been working on Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers, I’ve been pulling together another book. It’s called Thoughts and Fears: Essays on Horror and Culture. A chunk of it will consist of essays I’ve written previously for the Internet, each given a lick of paint – sometimes quick a few licks, in fact. One essay in particular spiralled from a single blog post to a 15,000-word beast. I’m presently trying to prune it down to a more manageable four-figure wordcount.

Meanwhile, a full third of the book will be taken up by all-new essays. This aspect’s been a real journey for me: I still haven’t decided what each topic will be, and the ones I have chosen are taking me into interesting research areas. The most recent addition to the line-up is an essay on the work of Whitley Strieber, whose background as a horror writer is often treated as a footnote to his later role as alleged alien abductee; I’m planning to give equal weight to both of these elements to his curious career. There’s potential for some fascinating psychological insights into the creative process to be had

Here’s a (still incomplete) list of the essays that you can expect to find in the book when it’s published:

  • Lost Boys and Girls Next Door: Jack Ketchum on Film
  • Fascist Ghosts: Racism and the Far Right in British Horror
  • The Life and Times of Countess Zaleska, Dracula’s Daughter
  • I Was a Teenage Stanist: My Immortal, The Last Resurrection and Millenial Adolescence
  • Wary in Wonderland: Christina Henry’s Alice Books
  • Cartoon Nightmares: Creepypasta, Elsagate and Pup Culture Horror Online
  • Corpses in Cottingley: The Folk Horror of Alison Littlewood
  • Fish Fingered: The Sex Life of the Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Jack Chick’s Unhappy Halloween
  • Poltergeist Girls: Hauntings, Possession and Coming of Age
  • Streets Blue and Red: The Vampire Comics of Nancy A. Collins
  • Giving Cthulhu Forty Whacks: Cherie Priest’s The Borden Dispatches
  • Grey Wolves: The Strange Career of Whitley Strieber

If any of that piques your curiosity, then perhaps you could help fund the book with a donation via Ko-Fi or Patreon!

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