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Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days of Horror: Day 1--The Appeal of Horror

Welcome to 31 Days of Horror where I will spend the entire month of October helping you to help your horror readers. This series will cover the world of horror fiction, but with the focus on the librarian perspective of the genre and its readers.

Also, it is important to note from the start how I define horror.  In my forthcoming book, I define horror as "a story in which the author manipulates the readers' emotions by introducing situations in which unexplainable phenomena and unearthly creatures threaten the protagonists and provoke terror in the reader." 

Okay, so enough introduction, let's get this Halloween party started.  I want to kick it all off with an article I wrote for NoveList entitled, "Horror at the Service Desk: How to Help Your Scariest Patrons."

This article is a summary of Chapter 3 of my upcoming book (see the big book just to the right of this post).  It is part of the NoveList RA News.  Although NoveList is a subscription based service, the newsletters are free to all.

In the article I talk about why people love horror and give a few sure bet authors and titles. Here is the introduction:

It seems like everywhere you turn these days, there is another zombie, vampire, or werewolf popping up in books, on television, or at the movies. It is hard for the average person to keep up with the sheer volume of horror-related material available to the public. When you add the haunting Halloween season into the mix, it is easy to see how librarians might be overwhelmed by hordes of readers, shambling in mass to the library, hungry for some tales of terror.
With so many choices, it is actually more difficult for us to help match our horror readers with their next good read. How do you sift through it all, from classics to old favorites and from new stars to paperback-only gems in order to find the correct book for the reader craving a good scare? All you need is a little preparation. By increasing your understanding of why readers are looking for horror and arming yourself with the right questions to ask these patrons, even the most horror-averse librarian can tame the monsters and save the day. In this article, I will break down the appeal of horror, gently leading you down the dark trail of terror, and escort you safely back to the desk fully prepared for the Halloween rush.

Click here to read the entire article and use the link at the bottom to subscribe to future RA News newsletters; some even featuring more articles by me. In fact, I will be in next month's issue writing about how to best serve your 20 and 30 something patrons.

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