If you haven't heard of Horror October before, basically, it's an event organised by the lovely Leanne (WHO IS A FLIPPING PASTRY CHEF!) at Literary Excursion to celebrate everything horror- books, movies, whatever. So, to kick off Horror Month, in this incredibly riveting *cough* discussion that Chantelle and I had, we contemplate what makes a book scary, the books we've read that actually fit the genre of horror and other such things.
Reads like a conversation as it's the transcript of a recording of an actual discussion between us.
Nara: So Chantelle, what's your opinion on horror?
Chantelle: Am I starting off this discussion?! I actually don't really have much of an opinion on horror yet...Um, I actually haven't read any horror books before. So I'm really intrigued about Horror Month! Hopefully it can introduce me to some good books.
N: Have you read ANY horror at all?
C: I don't think I have. I think the closest I've been to horror would be some very grim dystopians. But I don't think they count as horror. At all.
N: Some of them might!
C: I've read a lot of vampire books, but none that I would consider scary. I mean, I've heard about a lot of them, like the Experiment in Terror series. That's been in my to-read for a while.
N: That series is actually quite scary. Well, the third book, Dead Sky Morning is.
C: I read a lot by myself at night.
N: Yeah, me too.
C: So I don't really want to scare myself.
N: Fair enough.
C: How about you? What's your opinion.
N: I don't know. I don't particularly read a lot of horror. I just read broadly in general, and that includes some horror.
C: Yeah, you read everything!
N: Yeah, so I have read some horror, for example, the Experiment in Terror series, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, The Madman's Daughter...The Madman's Daughter was quite good! That's definitely horror.
C: How scary?
N: Um, I don't really tend to get scared in books, so I wouldn't call it scary per se.
C: But you could definitely feel that that was horror?
N: Yeah, you could tell it was horror. It's kind of based on The Island of Dr Moreau. So the MC is trapped on this island, and people are dying and stuff. I mean, they're killed by some beast. But yeah, it's definitely horror.
C: So what makes, do you reckon, a book scarier? For you?
N: I don't know. Suspense I guess? Kind of like in a movie.
C: How do you reckon it's different in a book?
N: Well, you can't see it. So it's not the same. Also, the main reason why movies are scary is mostly because of the sound. How it's just silent and then suddenly BAM!
C: Music plays a big part.
N: Whereas, obviously, in a book, there's no sound or music, so it's not that scary. Well, it's probably why it's not so scary for me.
C: Then again, we haven't read any Stephen King yet, so apparently we don't know the meaning of scary...
C: I remember I did read some of the Experiment in Terror, and I did actually get quite scared. I think it's mostly when things are in isolation. Like, as you said, if they're on an island or something. Or if you know characters are by themselves and it starts to play on your imagination. I think that's quite scary.
N: Like, the imagery and stuff?
C: Yeah, or just the possibilities of what can happen.
N: Have you read any ghost books at all?
C: The Bone Season?
N: That's not a ghost book!
C: It does have a ghost! Poltergeists.
N: Yeah, but I wouldn't call it a "ghost book"!
C: Uhhh, ghost books....well, no. Not since primary school. I'm not a fan of ghost books!
N: The Mediator series!
C: They were fantastic. But that's because those ghosts weren't ghosts.
N: Yeah they weren't really scary.
C: They weren't ghosts, they were hot boys haha.
C: There's a difference!
N: Have you read The Name of the Star? You still haven't read it have you... (Some background, Nara bought this book for Chantelle on her birthday... Last April)
C: What, that was a ghost book?! NO!!
N: It's really good though.
C: Okay...Well, so out of the books that you have read in horror, have any stood out for you? Like, would you now go looking for a horror book?
N: Not really.
C: OH GOD WE ARE TERRIBLE HOSTS FOR HORROR MONTH!
C: WE ARE TERRIBLE. Because it's like, if you read one dystopian, it's like yay, now I want to read more dystopians! But not so much for horror.
N: Well, it's not like I go "I want to read more horror", it's just like, "I want to finish that series that happens to be horror" or "I want to read more from that author who happens to write horror books"
C: Okay, we are terrible ambassadors for Horror Month.
N: haha oh man...