This morning while scanning through hundreds of Facebook updates, I came across this interesting article from The Examiner, posted by author Anne Rice on her fan page. The author hypothesizes that all authors who write horror and supernatural fiction (or at least the best selling ones) have had a certain amount of tragedy occur in their lives that made them choose to write this genre.
In the article she chooses five of the master horror writers of our time: H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Edgar Allan Poe. In each of their lives there has been a substantial amount of death and depression that has affected them.
We all have a dark side. Is this dark side so much greater in these people that it influenced the genre they chose to write? Frankly, I’d have to agree in part. But let’s reflect on a few other authors who’ve had tragic lives and have decided to write other genres or literary fiction instead.
Ernest Hemingway served in WWI as an ambulance driver, and was subsequently wounded. He married three different times, and separated from his last wife. He was almost killed in a plane crash while going on an African Safari. The crash left him feeble and ill for the rest of his life. He committed suicide. And yet… he didn’t focus his writing career on horror.
Subsequently, M.R. James, a prolific author of ghost stories, was a brilliant scholar all through school, was extremely loyal to his friends, and published dozens of articles and papers in his years. In several of the biographies that I’ve found for him, I can’t find any evidence of a devastating, life-changing event that would spur on a choice to write about ghosts.
What is your opinion?
Here’s the original article: http://www.examiner.com/anne-rice-in-national/master-of-the-macabre-from-edgar-allan-poe-to-anne-rice
Until later, good morning and happy writing!