Summer Scares 2019 Resources

Click here to immediately access the Summer Scares FAQ and Resource page so that you can add some professionally vetted horror titles into your reading suggestions and fiction collections for all age levels.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Second Half of 2019 Horror Preview is Now Live and Summer Scares Updates!

For the second year in a row, Library Journal asked me to write a horror genre spotlight for the second half of the year.

You can access that article as well as the handy table of titles with isbn's to make ordering easier for you to add these titles and a list of the best podcasts for horror fiction and nonfiction, here.

Just so you know, every single title in this article is appropriate for a general public library collection. This is your chance to add "reviewed" titles to your collections [if that is a requirement for your collections].

The piece also has a companion piece I recruited author and reviewer Gabino Iglesias to write, entitled "Don't Call It a Comeback!" here.

Please also click here for more about and by Iglesias here on the horror blog.

Finally, Library Journal is one of the partners in Summer Scares, an initiative I am leading for the Horror Writers Association with a wonderful committee of librarians and author Grady Hendrix. Our entire goal is to provide lists of horror titles that you can confidently suggest to all ages of horror readers, all year long. The focus is on summer because that is when we have the highest number of leisure readers looking for books. But horror is a great option all year long.

In case you have missed it, here is the Summer Scares Resource and FAQ page. It is filled with ideas for displays, reading lists, podcasts and so much more.

Today I have added a brand new guide/annotated reading list  by Grady Hendrix entitled Using Horror to Hide From The Heat and an appearance by Grady Hendrix and me talking about horror and Summer Scares on the Circulating Ideas podcast, recorded live at the Penguin Random House booth during ALA Annual. Click here to access that episode [#161].

No matter how you yourself feel about horror, please remember, you need to help all of your readers at the library. I am here with all of the resources you need.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Why Does Horror Matter?: A Podcast Featuring Me To Help You Understand the Appeal of Horror

This holiday week I am going to be talking about horror a bunch. Why? Well first of all it is a great escapist read and pretty much everyone reading this will have at least 1 day off this week for the 4th of July.

Second, this is the week my Horror Preview piece for the second half of 2019 will be published in Library Journal [more on that later this week]. That means many of you will be thinking about horror this week too when you read the piece.

[2.5- I also invited Gabino Iglesias to be a part of the LJ piece and he is part of #3 below]

Third, I spent much of my time at StokerCon 2019 [when I wasn't running Librarians' Day] tracking down authors and editors to ask them "Why Horror Matters" both for the LJ article [and there are some great quotes in that piece] and because I was asked to be on a live podcast taping/panel for Ladies of the Fright with the title of the episode being- "Why Does Horror Matter?" And that podcast recording went live late last week. And it is very good.

We had standing room only to record which was a little terrifying, but all of us on the panel were prepared and had great insight to share. Much of what we talked about will help you to understand the appeal of horror better. So listen and learn. Click here [or see below] to listen and see the full episode notes including information about the books and authors that were mentioned.


It's difficult to put into words what a rewarding experience it was to host the panel "Why Does Horror Matter? An Exploration of the Relevance and—Dare We Say—Necessity of Horror in a Tumultuous World" featuring panelists Stephen Graham Jones, Kathryn E. McGee, Becky Spratford, and Gabino Iglesias this past May at Stoker Con 2019. It was incredibly rewarding and definitely one of the highlights of the con for us. This topic is one we've been thinking a lot about lately, but we had no idea if it was one that would resonate with others. We were pleasantly surprised to arrive at our panel room to find it was standing room only. Not only did we feel the podcast love, but we also felt that this is a topic that's heavy on many people's hearts. 

Our panelists added a richness and depth to the conversation that we could have never anticipated. Our panelist table was smaller than what was featured in some of the other rooms, but it added such a feeling of intimacy to our discussion that wouldn't have been captured otherwise. The subject matter has a tendency to become heavy and intense, but our panelists sprinkled in moments of humor and lightness to balance it all out. We're incredibly honored to share this conversation with you, and we hope it sparks continued ideas, inspiration, encouragement—and most of all, reckless hope. 

Show Notes

Panelist book recommendations:
Find Our Panelists:

Be sure to check out the Ladies of the Fright patreon!

Special thank you to our patrons: S.M., Bob, Eli, Nathan, Jessie, Michael, Emily, and Kev!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Diverse Horror Resources

For a few years now, the Horror Writers Association's Diverse Works Inclusion Committee has worked very hard to create monthly lists of horror authors and creators who are NOT white males.

The monthly column is called The Seers Table and you can access the archive of every list here.

Recently, Linda Addison, one of the founders of this committee told me that she is starting to see a lot of tangible results form the committee's work. Providing an introduction to new, own voices authors to the membership, specifically, has increased awareness of non white male authors and led to more of these titles being read and then subsequently recommended for the Bram Stoker Awards. This year in particular, the final ballot of the Stoker Awards was more diverse than ever, and while Linda has noted there is still a long way to go, the fact that in just a few short years we are seeing real results is amazing.

The Seers Table originally was a part of the members only resources from the HWA, but now they are easily archived here. You can not only use these introductions to the authors to help you to add more own voices horror to your collections, but also, the entries are written in a way that you can book talk the author and their works right from the resource itself. [Reminder: Using the Words of Others is one of my 10 Rules of RA Service]

I have added the Seers Table to my Horror Resources main page here. [It is a bullet point under the HWA entry.]

While this is an ongoing, monthly project and some of the authors you might not be as familiar with, earlier this week Book Riot published a list of 20 Horror Books by Authors of Color. I am sure you have some of these at your libraries right now and the rest would be super easy to add. Why not do it now, before the Halloween rush so you have them when you will really need them. And, you can also promote them as part of Summer Scares, two of the books are even by two of our selected adult authors. Different titles but just as awesome.

Click here for the Summer Scares Resource page which is filled with lists and recommendations for all ages of horror readers.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Upcoming Book About Horror and its Appeal-- Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modern

Today I have a press release about an upcoming book that is great for all public library collections AND I wrote the afterward. Specifically my afterward is about the importance of libraries in cultivating horror collections both the literature and the books about horror. It's titled, "Guardians of the Damned: Horror Scholarship and the Library." That afterward will not be reprinted here on the blog. It is ONLY in the book. 

Here are all the details via the Horror Writers Association press release:

Horror Writers Association (HWA), the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy, announces a new release in the Fall 2019 from McFarland Books.

Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modernism: Critical Essays.

Click here to pre-order

These essays were initially presented at Ann Radcliffe Academic Conferences during StokerCon® events. All scholars and academics were invited to submit presentation abstracts related to Horror Studies for consideration.

The book is edited by Michele Brittany and Nicholas Diak, with a Foreword by Lisa Morton, six-time Bram Stoker award-winning author and former President of HWA, and an Afterword by Becky Spratford. From the back cover:
“This collection of new essays explores a gamut of topics ranging from historic works such as Ann Radcliffe’s Gaston de Blondeville to contemporary novels, including Max Brooks’ World War Z, as well as essays on weird fiction, Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Australian-Indigenous monster mythology, and horror in picture books for young children.”
The Ann Radcliffe Academic Conferences have been a tremendous success, with many presentations covering a wide range of Horror studies. The co-chairs, Michele Brittany and Nicholas Diak, are looking for completed research or works-in-progress: art, cinema, comics, literature, music, poetry, television, and video games.

The next conference will be held during StokerCon® 2020 at the Royal and Grand Hotels in Scarborough, United Kingdom.

Michele Britany is an independent popular culture scholar. She is the editor of the Bram Stoker Award® nominated Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Subgenre, and James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy, both published by McFarland Books. Michele is the book review editor for the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, and she is the co-chair of the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference held in tandem with the Horror Writers Association’s annual conference, StokerCon®. In addition, she is the editorial manager and contributing writer for Fanbase Press, and she is a regular guest on the “Voice of Olympus” podcast series. She has presented at the SWPACA annual conference and at Wondercon Anaheim as part of the Comic Arts Conference series. Michele often moderates panels at conventions held in Southern California where she resides.

Nicholas Diak is the editor of The New Peplum: Essays on Sword and Scandal Films and Television Programs Since the 1990s (McFarland Books). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University. Later, he returned to school at the University of Washington (Tacoma) and earned a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, where he did his thesis on Italian genre director, Antonio Margheriti and his film Castle of Blood. Currently, he resides in Orange, CA and has been working to establish himself as a scholar in different fields of pop culture, including Italian genre films, post-industrial music, synthwave music and outrun culture, and H. P. Lovecraft studies. He has contributed essays, chapters, and reviews to various academic anthology and pop culture websites.

Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, and award-winning prose writer whose work was described by the American Library Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror as “consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening”. She is the author of four novels and more than 130 short stories, a six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®, and a world-class Halloween expert. She co-edited (with Ellen Datlow) the anthology Haunted Nights; other recent releases include Ghosts: A Haunted History and the collection The Samhanach and other Halloween Treats. Lisa lives in Los Angeles.

Becky Spratford is a Readers’ Advisor in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library. She runs the critically acclaimed RA training blog RA for All, and is on the Steering Committee of the Adult Reading Round Table. She is under contract to provide content for EBSCO’s NoveList database and writes reviews for Booklist. Becky is also known for her work with horror readers as the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Second Edition [ALA Editions, 2012] and is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association. You can follow Becky on Twitter @RAforAll.

The Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference is part of HWA’s Outreach Program. Membership to the HWA is not required to submit or present. If interested in applying to the Horror Writer’s Association as an academic member, please see

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Updates to Summer Scares Resources

Great news, we have added even more resources to help you to confidently suggest horror to all age groups this summer. In general you should be using the Summer Scares Resource and FAQ page to find the titles, suggested reading lists, and details about how you can use our program to get more scary titles into more hungry readers' hands.

But here are the most recent updates.

First we have completed the podcast series and now there is an episode for each age level of titles. Each episode provides a discussion of each title with a sample book talk on how to hand sell it to patrons and information about the appeal of horror for adults, teens, and kids. The final episode in particular, with Kiera Parrott, has in depth information about how to work with the parents of middle grade readers when suggesting horror.

Here are all of the links from the Summer Scares Resources page pertaining to our podcasting partners.
In the author interview section, another Summer Scares author, Micol Ostow, has answered Grady Hendrix's interview questions here.

Also as part of Librarians' Day at StokerCon 2019 we had three Summer Scares authors join us on a panel where they talked about their work, their inspiration, and titles that they wish more people would read. The link to the notes from that specific panel are here. But you can also click here for the resource sheet for the entire Librarians' Day slate of programs.

That's what is new, but there is so much more for you to use at your library today, tomorrow, and all year long. Just click here for one-stop shopping.

Coming soon we will have official Summer Scares readalikes-- 3 readalike titles for each of the 9 titles. This means you will have even more horror to confidently suggest at every age level/

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

StokerCon Librarians' Day Resource Sheet Now Available for All

On Friday May 10th I hosted Librarians' Day at StokerCon in Grand Rapids Michigan.

For all, whether you were in attendance or not, I created this resource sheet.

You can click here to access it.

I would also like to thank our sponsors: LibraryReads and NoveList

But I wanted to leave a comment here that didn't make the resource sheet. During the Summer Scares panel Grady Hendrix, friend to libraries everywhere and our Summer Scares celebrity spokesperson shared a story about his childhood librarian, who had recently died. There was a book that little Grady loved and checked out every time he came to the library. But this book was out of print and the librarian was worried that it would be lost one day or it wouldn't be there when Grady came in or it would break, so she scoured the used book outlets [much harder without the internet] and made sure there was a copy behind the desk always, just for Grady. He was tearing up as he told the story and then he told the group of library workers that we have no idea how much we do. We are superheroes. We are there to take care of people's souls. We see the best part in everyone and people need that.

Thank you Grady, even if you did make everyone cry.

Now click here for all the details and resources.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

This is Horror Awards Announced

Today the This is Horror Awards in 8 categories were announced. You can always find the current and past award winners in my Horror Awards Index. Also the post for this year's award winners has easy links to get to all past winners [at the end of the post].

These awards are voted on by the public and interestingly, this year's novel winner and runner up won the Bram Stoker Awards for First Novel and Novel respectively this past weekend. So, the professional writers and the fans are clearly on the same page. That is very nice to see.

Below I have reposted the Novel category announcement, but click through to read them all including 2 podcast categories. And of course, don't forget the importance of Using Awards Lists as a RA Tool.

The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn KisteNovel of the Year

“This news is such a surprise and such an honor. Thank you so much to everyone who’s read and supported The Rust Maidens. It means the world to me. Thank you to my fellow nominees for being the kind of writers that inspire all of us, day after day. And incredible thanks to This Is Horror. Michael, Bob and their fantastic team of writers do so much for the genre, and I can’t express my gratitude enough for all they’ve done over the years. Congrats to all the nominees and winners this year, and I can’t wait to see all the great new horror that 2019 has in store for us!”
—Gwendolyn Kiste, author of The Rust Maidens