From A.F. Stewart: Confessions of a Surprising Horror Writer

Killers & Demons by A.F StewartI consider myself a fantasy writer, or possibly a purveyor of speculative fiction, but somehow during my journey as a writer I managed to end up an author of horror as well.

Now to anyone who knows me well, this may come as a bit of a shock, because I am not a fan of horror. I don’t read horror books and generally stay far, far away from horror movies and TV shows (with the notable exception of Supernatural, which I adore).  Now this aversion is not because I am a snob or cast aspersions on the horror genre; it is simply because I am a big chicken.  Horror scares me and it can give me the willies for days.

So how did a self-proclaimed chicken wind up writing horror stories?  I’m not quite sure, to be honest.  I’ve always liked dark psychological fantasy and sci-fi and I grew up reading short stories by Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman and others.  When I started writing my own stories, I naturally gravitated to the dark side of the fantasy/sci-fi genre.  Tales of tortured ghosts, revenge, curses, vampires, paranormal deals, even the occasional mummy and zombie started pouring out.  Then the body count started piling up.

Yes, people, I discovered both a knack and a certain enjoyment in killing off my poor characters.  And not just a sword thrust here, or a vampire bite there, no they started dying in creative ways.  Turned into a tree, dinner for a werewolf, demons ripping them to shreds, stalked by killer clown dolls, and the always popular hunted by serial killers.

Which brings me to my book, Killers and Demons.  This is the first collection of stories I’ve written devoted entirely to villains and to the horror genre, an opus of murder and mayhem if you will.  Each one of the five stories revolves around a murderer; three tell the tales of  serial killers and their unfortunate victims, and two open the paranormal veil into the world of diabolical (and heartless) demons.  It is the first book I’ve written that can be labelled pure horror, but it probably won’t be the last.

Note from Dandi:  I’m a fan of A.F Stewart’s work, you can read my reviews on Killers & Demons and Once Upon a Midnight Eerie.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She co-publishes Space and Time, a publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction since 1966. Join the community at spaceandtime.net
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3 Responses to From A.F. Stewart: Confessions of a Surprising Horror Writer

  1. Sheila Deeth says:

    I’m never quite sure where the boundary between horror and psychological thriller really lies but perhaps it’s one of those permeable veils. Killers and Demons sounds very intriguing.

  2. Sheila, I’m not sure either. I think horror may play more to scares and shock value than suspense, although there’s plenty of tension in both.

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