Monday, August 27, 2018


Why Horror? By Mid-Grade Horror Author Nancy Gray #horror #writing

Why Horror?

When I was asked to write a blog about my work, I honestly wasn’t sure where to begin. So I started thinking about questions people have asked me before, and one of the things that seem to surprise people when I talk about my work is the fact that I enjoy writing horror. People probably wouldn’t expect it from me. They probably, in fact, would think I would prefer to write fantasy or young children’s stories instead of middle grade horror novellas, but horror stories are how I got my start and what I enjoyed when I was a child. So I’m going to try to explain why horror is important to me and why I think these books are worthwhile.

Even though people don’t like to admit it, deep down I believe that everyone likes a good scare as long as it’s caused by something that doesn’t have a bad outcome. People like to tell a good “close call” story or a story about seeing something they can’t explain if the audience is willing to listen. We all have a deep fascination with the unknown and things that can’t be easily explained. Even though no one likes to say it, we tend to look in the direction of an accident because we have a fascination with things that are grim.

When I was a child, I read books from the Scary Stories series. I read these books because I was fascinated by the gore and the horrific things that happened in the stories. The stories made me jumpy and a little nervous but it was a good feeling, an interesting shiver that would make me always look over my shoulder. As I grew up I started watching scary television shows and reading books like Goosebumps. I started reading Stephen King novels probably when I was too young.

The point that I’m trying to make is that horror books are worthwhile because they stimulate that need that we have to see the grim side of things and to experience a close call through the eyes of another person. We can read a story, feel afraid, and then breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it’s all just a story in the end. No one knows how keenly we need this kind of outlet than children. 

The world today is a scary place. Amid stories of child trafficking, families splitting up, school shootings, and other horrible realities that children are exposed to, stories about children fighting monsters and facing their fears are important. In the Spine Chillers series, my characters have to save themselves by being clever, thinking things through, and using their talents in creative ways to fight off the monsters that thrive on their fear. In facing the creatures, many of them have to confront their own inner demons as well and learn what they are and aren’t capable of in order to protect themselves and others. If my stories can give children courage, and can convince those facing something that seems too big for them that they can be confident in themselves, then I’ll have done what I set out to do with these novels. I’m proud to be a horror writer, and especially one for middle school children.

About the Author

Nancy Gray has published a number of works including her young adult fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.

Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video games, anime, manga, and horror.

Her latest book is the mid-grade horror, Spine Chillers: The Scarecrow.



About the Book:

Author: Nancy Gray
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 113
Genre: Mid-Grade Horror

Eleven year old Sophie arrives at her Aunt and Uncle’s farm to horrible news: her cousin, Hunt, has gone missing.  When Sophie starts searching for clues to where her cousin went, strange things happen.  The scarecrow wanders around the cornfields at night and murders of crows lash out at other animals for no reason at all.  

An ancient spirit wants revenge. Sophie will have to be brave and clever in order to save her cousin…and herself!



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