… is this great interview from Fata Libelli with the esteemed Mr Reggie Oliver.
He ranges widely across subjects of craft and genre, but I particularly like his comments on the nature of Horror fiction.
However, to me the supreme ingredient is atmosphere and all those other elements must be contributors towards it. This is not necessarily about being directly “scary” so much as evoking a mood that will bring about in the reader a sense of wonder, unease and deep reflection about the underlying nature of the universe no less. Many of the most acclaimed stories in the genre have been all but exclusively concerned with this elusive thing called atmosphere: think of “The Turn of the Screw”, “The White People”, “All Hallows” and Algernon Blackwood’s one indisputable little masterpiece “The Willows.” To which I might add Maupassant’s “The Horla” and Chekhov’s “The Black Monk.”