Dark Whispers

The Official Blog of the Horror Writers Association

  • Horror Writers Association

    If you're looking for information on the organization, its members, and/or news on the latest horror book releases, you’ve come to the right place.
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Previous HWA Releases


Edited by Mort Castle

Copyright 2006 by HWA
ISBN: 1-5829-7420-9 (Writers Digest Books)
Price: $16.99

Recently updated and revised, available in trade paperback from Writers Digest Books. Click here to order from Amazon.com.

A volume of essays on the craft of horror writing, edited by Mort Castle, with contributions from dozens of well-known HWA members. An invaluable addition to any writer’s library.


Foreword: The Horror Writers Association: A Shockingly Brief and Informal History of the HWA by Stanley Wiater

Editor’s Introduction by Mort Castle

Part One: Horror, Literature, and Horror Literature

  • The Madness of Art by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Acceptance Speech: The 2003 National Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by Stephen King
  • Why We Write Horror by Michael McCarty

Part Two: An Education in Horror

  • What You Are Meant to Know: 21 Horror Classics by Robert Weinberg
  • Avoiding What’s Been Done to Death by Ramsey Campbell
  • Workshops of Horror (and Seminars and Conferences) by Tom Monteleone
  • Degrees of Dread by Michael A. Arnzen

Part Three: Developing Horror Concepts

  • A World of Dark and Disturbing Ideas by J.N. Williamson
  • Mirror, Mirror by Wayne Allen Sallee
  • Going There: Strategies for the Things That Scare You by Michael Marano
  • Honest Lies and Darker Truths: History and Horror Fiction by Richard Gilliam

Part Four: Horror Crafting

  • Such Horrible People by Tina Jens
  • A Hand on the Shoulder by Joe R. Lansdale
  • Eerie Events and Horrible Happenings: Plotting Short Horror Fiction by Nicholas Kaufmann
  • Reality and the Waking Nightmare: Setting and Character in Horror Fiction by Mort Castle
    “He Said?” She Asked: Some Thoughts About Dialogue by David Morrell
  • Keep It Moving, Maniacs: Writing Action Scenes in Horror Fiction by Jay R. Bonansinga
  • The Dark Enchantment of Style by Bruce Holland Rogers

Part Five: Horror, Art, Innovation, Excellence

  • Innovation in Horror by Jeanne Cavelos
  • Depth of Field: Horror and Literary Fiction by Nick Mamatas
  • Splat Goes the Hero: Visceral Horror by Jack Ketchum
  • Darkness Absolute: The Standards of Excellence in Horror Fiction by Douglas E. Winter
  • On Horror: A Conversation With Harlan Ellison and Richard Gilliam

Part Six: Tradition and Modern Times

  • No More Silver Mirrors: The Monster in Our Times by Karen E. Taylor
  • Fresh Blood From Old Wounds: The Alchemist Meets the Biochemist by Joseph Curtin
  • More Simply Human by Tracy Knight
  • The Possibility of the Impossible by Tom Piccirilli
  • Take a Scalpel to Those Tropes by W.D. Gagliani
  • That Spectred Isle: Tradition, Sensibility, and Delivery or Ghosts? What Ghosts? by Steven Savile
  • New Horrors: A Roundtable Discussion of Horror Today and Tomorrow by Joe Nassise

Part Seven: Genre and Subgenre

  • Archetypes and Fearful Allure: Writing Erotic Horror by Nancy Kilpatrick
  • Writing for the New Pulps: Horror Theme Anthologies by John Maclay
  • Freaks and Fiddles, Banjos and Beasts: Writing Redneck Horror by Weston Ochse
  • Youth Gone Wild by Lee Thomas
  • Writing Horror Comic Books And Graphic Novels by David Campiti
  • Acts of Madness: Writing Horror for the Stage by Lisa Morton
  • Fear Spins Off: The Tie-In Novel Comes Into Its Own by Yvonne Navarro
  • The Play’s the Thing on the Doorstep: Writing Video and Roleplaying Games by Richard E. Dansky
  • Now Fear This: Writing Horror for Audio Theater by Scott Hickey and Robert Madia
  • Good Characters and Cool Kills: Writing the Horror Screenplay by Brendan Deneen

Part Eight: Horror Business: Selling, Marketing, Promoting

  • Dark Fluidity: Online Research and Marketing Resources by Judi Rohrig
  • The Small Press: Filling Shelves with Rare Books by John Everson
  • Sharing the Creeps: Marketing Short Horror Fiction, version 2.0 by Edo van Belkom
  • For Love or Money: Six Marketing Myths by Bev Vincent
  • One Reader at a Tine: Promoting Your Horror Novel by Scott Nicholson

Afterword: Quiet Lies the Locust Tells by Harlan Ellison


One Response to “Previous HWA Releases”

  1. LinzyAnne said

    I just got this book about a week ago and I have to say it has helped me out a lot looking at horror in every which way possible. I really enjoyed Stephen Kings thank you speech just because of the way he put how he got started and all that. I also really enjoyed reading why various writers decided to write in this particular genre! It was inspirational. I also love how blunt this book is where it is not like oh no matter what you will do a good job and somewhere you will get published but it snaps you back in reality letting you know you can try your best but it may not go just the way you want it too. This book hasn’t left my side since and I have decided to take the list of books that must be read and go to the book store soon to order a few!!! Thank you so much for this awesome book!

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