How to Befriend Your Fears, a guest post by Ryan La Sala

A question I get a lot is: why horror?

Some context: The Honeys is my third book, but my first horror. Horror is a new genre for me, and the pivot has clearly surprised many. My first book is about a gay kind battling a drag queen sorceress in an adventure spanning multiple dimensions, stories and genres. None of them are horror. And my second book is a cute queer romance about two ex boyfriends competing in a live arts and crafts competition at a comic book convention. No horror there. In fact, I sometimes worry about the readers who found me via a cute love story. (I actually am not worried, I’m wickedly amused, but when you’re in my position sometimes you have to feign concerns like this so you don’t alarm anyone). Those readers are in store for quite a shock.

So again, people ask: why horror? Why now?

I guess I have the same question. Why do we write scary stories? What’s the point in scaring ourselves? When the world is frightening enough, what’s the value in purposeful exposure to fear in such a concentrated form? Is it like a type of inoculation? A shameful curiosity about the pain of others? Or is the allure of such stories a dark reflection of some unknown impulse within each of us?