Why Horror Writers Are Nice People

Johann Unterweger

Johann “Jack” Unterweger

Today I’ll be heading to the 25th anniversary of the World Horror Convention and my roommate will be Patrick Freivald. I’ve been asked quite a few times now if I’m scared to room with a horror writer. The answer is, I feel safer rooming with a horror writer.

We all have aggressive and dark thoughts and writing is an excellent way to purge and regain emotional balance. It’s the people that deny any kind of negative emotion I worry about. It’s not pretty when Pollyannas go super nova.

Years ago I had a very unpleasant boss. The entire crew quit except for me, and I stayed on for another four or five months under him. I faced him almost every day with a smile. The secret was I had gotten my pent up anger out by writing the night before. Quite a few stories in Mr. Bonejangles were fueled by that anger and “Manager Matt” won a starring role in one story. Writing keeps me sane in a crazy world.

I’m posting later than usual due to having an extraordinarily bad day yesterday. I wish I could say it’s in the past, but some situations take longer to resolve. As I resolve it, I have a lot of stress built up. It woke me up this morning at 4:30 a.m., shaking with anger.

Now I’m tired and stressed. The downward spiral begins… or I can write about it and have the satisfaction of adding it to my next collection. I have a lot of emotion right now to put into it.

This brings me to the point of why I feel safer rooming with a horror writer. Horror writers are nice people. They own their emotions and translate the negative ones into positive assets. I certainly trust someone like that more than the person who appears nice but inside are a seething mess.

Bottom line: Horror writers don’t make good serial killers because they don’t horde their inner monsters, they own them and then share for entertainment purposes… unless you’re Johann “Jack” Unterweger, the serial killer who tried to rehabilitate himself with writing but failed.

But I’m not rooming with him.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher, and author with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She co-publishes Space and Time magazine with author husband Ryan Aussie Smith. For more information visit SpaceandTime.net
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