How I accidentally wrote a horror novel

Haunted 1

A daydream carried a bit too far

A long time ago I was introduced to Stephen King. It was a giant book full of short stories. Soon after reading his amazing work I graduated to his novels.

Before I knew it I was reading other horror novels. Some were good and some were okay but one thing was certain:

I too would be a horror novelist.

Not having a full understanding that the genre picks me I decided that it would be I who chose the genre. It was a rookie mistake on my part but since I was young and a bit ill-informed you’ll have to forgive me.

So on that day after reading multiple horror short stories and novels a horror writer was born.

Well….not really.


You’ll have to forgive me

Scary Books

Clearly I couldn’t write like King or Koontz or any of the other writers I read but most of all I could not write a scary novel to save my life.

But unintentionally….well, that’s another story.

I can’t remember when I wrote it but I do remember when I shared it. It was sometime last year. My turn had come up in my writer’s group to submit. I remember working on a long piece but it just wasn’t ready to be seen.

Luckily, deep in the forgotten file a little story written years ago was found. I wasn’t sure what to make of it but I shared it anyway. When I finished I was informed by my group it was on the scariest stories they ever read.


Just a little surprised

At first I felt guilty. I’m not the type to scare anyone but the guilt quickly wore off and replaced by a sense of accomplishment.

Yes, I scared someone! How cool is that! King, Koontz, are you listening!!??

Some members suggested I submit it. The story ran about 4000 words. There would be contests that would accept it, they exclaimed.

But something held me back.

For the longest time my guess was guilt. I write comedy/romance. I make people laugh and feel good and all that stuff. I want them to forget about the craziness of life. At least for a little while. But scaring them?

Why would I do such a thing?


They want more

So I thought a little deeper. I studied the characters, looked at the setting and realized there was more to tell. It wasn’t a short story but a novel. All I did was touch the surface on something much darker.

So now I’m tempted to travel down the rabbit hole. A horror rabbit hole mind you. I will admit I am hesitant and a little nervous at what I will find.

I will always be amazed with the ideas we come up with. Sometimes our ideas embrace the light but something it’s the darkness that our ideas crave.

I know my hesitation will turn to curiosity. I will encourage it to grow and for a little while allow it to take control.

Maybe it’s a good thing to travel to places we’ve never been. I say maybe because I’m still hesitant but who knows how long that will last.

Now if you’ll forgive me, I have a rabbit hole that’s calling.

rabbit hole


50 thoughts on “How I accidentally wrote a horror novel

  1. Quite an interesting situation, Bryan. Offhand, I’d guess the genre was calling to you. Of course, for how long is another matter. I mean, is it one novel or twelve or twenty four? You won’t know for a while is my guess. Good luck with that.

    Alas! Horror is a genre I’m not a good audience for. I’ve read some King and Koontz, but emphasis on “little”. I recall mostly feeling disappointed their promising beginnings didn’t go down the science fiction road. Quite silly of me. I do admire them for their creativity though — especially King. If fact, I admire King for a number of things — and not all of them involving his books.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Paul,

      King is a good man. I’ve always wanted to hang out with him at a Red Sox game and do nothing but talk baseball. He sounds so easy going.

      After I write this I’m not sure what will happen. I do think this is it. It wasn’t planned which explains the title of the post. Sometimes mistakes are a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes it is good to crawl out of our comfort zones. Personally, I think we should be able to tackle any genre, after all, we create characters and what they get up to is largely up to them. I have yet to prove this theory, as always wanted to write something eerie and haunting. Give it your best shot, Bryan!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. If you have a story that’s nagging you to write or expand or polish, that means it’s your passion project, your calling. Writing in a different genre that you chose is only going to make you unhappy and your words uninspired. Write the horror novel, then share it with the world. I know I’d love to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is nagging at me to expand. I do remember entering it in one contest but it felt wrong. I believe in my post I said I didn’t and now I remember I did. Maybe that uncomfortable feeling was telling me something. Thank you, Staci. I always look forward to your advice.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think one of the best Steven King stories is ‘The Long Walk’ which he wrote under the name of Richard Bachmann. I encourage you to follow your dream/nightmare story. I for one, enjoy horror and would love to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You should do it! I would buy that. Have you seen the TV series called, MONSTER? It was hard to find for a long time, but I found it on SHUDDER. I think it’s the 3rd or 4th episode that had a hard time being aired because it had the same concept, with this child robot. The robot was the mascot for the children’s show. I remember it being a lot better, but it’s still interesting and worth checking out.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoy your trip into the darkness! If you need a companion down that rabbit hole, give me a holler 😉 It’s great pushing your boundaries. I usually stick to horror, but on a dare from my writing group I wrote a children’s story and it actually won a small competition – so you never know where stretching your comfort zone will take you. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree, it is good the get out of that comfort zone. You would be perfect to beta read this. I’m writing your name down. When I get started I’ll contact you.


  7. Strangely, Bryan, I have ended up travelling down that same horror rabbit hole. I too am a King fan and have read Koontz although I don’t think he is anywhere the master of writing that King is. I am sure your horror book will be excellent and then you can go back to romance.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve always loved to scare. I don’t know what it is, but quite frankly I feel like fear is delicious and exciting~ I didn’t start off writing horror though, i wrote mystery when I was young haha

    I loved reading your journey into horror. Don’t feel guilty! Relish in the sweet, sweet fear. keep them guessing and and wondering what’s lurking in the dark >)

    Oh! And have you read anything by Brian Keene? He’s a great horror novelist. His works are absolutely chilling and amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Brian Keene? I will check him out. I just read your short piece. Loved the ending. You had this nice and calm story then all of a sudden you toss in that final line. Well done.


  10. Thank you for your comment but most of all please accept my apology for the long reply. I was out of the country. The link you sent was excellent. I am saving it as a resource. Have yourself a great week.


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