When creating anything that is going out into the public domain, there is always that question of, The Line. That imaginary boundary that limits the artist, that keeps them within the borders of the socially acceptable.
Luckily, I’m a horror writer. I truly believe that horror is the last genre to be unhindered by boundaries. There is not one idea or story that could not be successfully written about in a horror novel. There are no taboos when talking about horror. Sure, as a writer we would all have our own personal limits. Certain stories or plot twists that we would not use. That does not make it a boundary through, not in the sense of what is acceptable to the public. Horror should, in varying measures, terrify, sicken and disturb. It should make people shudder and to want to shut the pages, avert their eyes and thing of rainbows and unicorns. That is what makes horror so great.
We are the final literary adventurers. A dying breed of writers who stand proud and write not only what people want to read, but need to. I will go as far as saying that Horror needs to push the boundaries further and further. Horror cannot have a limit because humanity is the sickest and most terrifying of all characters, and as long as real life keeps creating fresh monsters, so fiction must adapt to keep the terror on the pages alive.
Realities are there to be stretched, horror, unlike any other genre, should not just be about the words on the page, or the story within the book. True horror should stay with you long after the book closed. Take The Shining from Stephen King or pretty much anything by Clive Barker. Those books are great stories, but even better works of horror, for they leave something behind, clinging to the soul. It is impossible shake. Reading those books changes you, in some small, unnoticeable way. You don’t generate that effect by staying within the limits of the socially acceptable, or by writing mainstream pop culture monsters. You get it by being a visionary, by taking an idea and twisting it into something hideous. Starve it. Poke it with a stick. Then release it out into the world.
The world is a rough and nasty place. Contrary to what many believe, there is more than enough darkness in it; real monsters lurking everywhere. People need horror to keep pushing that envelope, they need to pick up a book and be taken to the brink and then thrust over into the horrifically unknown, and to come back again. To read the book, conquer the words and close the pages, gives the read power. It gives them control over the darkness, a place where they know that they can always beat the monsters. Even if just for a little while.
Highway to Hell
Marcus, Becky, Richard, Helen,
Sammy, and Graham. All complete strangers, different ages, backgrounds and even
countries, but they all have one major thing in common…they all must DIE.
Sentenced to offer their penance in
the many chambers of Hell, their lives are nothing but a torturous experience.
They are brought face to face with their past, their mistakes and the
implications that had for others. Until one by one they are rescued and thrown
together. Walking in a dying world, they are introduced to their rescuers who
do anything but conform to their angelic stereotype. Together, bonded by an
unknown destiny the group is set on their quest; to find one individual buried
deep within the many Hell worlds. Not only does the fate of their world rest on
their shoulders, but that of existence itself.
Heaven and Hell, Angels and Demons,
these things were once considered opposites, but what happens when they become
In Alex Laybourne’s own words: ‘Born and raised in the coastal
English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the
misfortune of knowing this place) that I became a horror writer.
From an early age I was sent to
schools which were at least 30 minutes’ drive away and so spent most of my free
time alone, as the friends I did have lived too far away for me to be able to
hang out with them in the weekends or holidays.
I have been a writer as long as I
can remember and have always had a vivid imagination. To this very day I find
it all too easy to just drift away into my own mind and explore the world I
create; where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation
of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue
I am married and have four
wonderful children; James, Logan, Ashleigh and Damon. My biggest dream for them
is that they grow up, and spend their lives doing what makes them happy,
whatever that is.
For people who buy my work, I hope
that they enjoy what they read and that I can create something that takes them
away from reality for a short time. For me, the greatest compliment I can
receive is not based on rankings but by knowing that people enjoy what I
produce, that they buy my work with pleasure and never once feel as though
their money would have been better spent elsewhere.’