Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On the Darker Side

Photobucket"> How did horror become so ingrained in some romance novels? Since the topic of dark YA novels has been debated lately, I put together a partial list of influential dark & edgy fiction. These are classics, or simply well-read favorites, but they all inspire many of today’s writers of teen horror, gothic, and paranormal novels.
Authors: Stephen King, Christopher Pike, Dean Koontz, Mary Shelley, R.L. Stine, Edgar Allan Poe, Darren Shan, Anne Rice
Books/stories: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Schwartz, Beauty & the Beast, The Phantom of the Opera, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Dracula, Wuthering Heights, And many, many more…
For me, this list feels like a warm blanket or a blissful afternoon escape—time spent cradling a much-loved tale of doom, gloom, and fright. Also in my opinion, some horror IS romantic. Many of the authors and books above have used romance in their tales of horror. In the old classics, such as Phantom of the Opera, the heroine is the target of the dark evil antagonist and it’s her being in danger that creates tension. People loved to be afraid FOR the heroine. In today’s writing, authors usually strive to put the female in a more independent role, but the woman-in-jeopardy device often reappears, nevertheless. Or, as in Poe’s works, the romance is represented by the death of one of the main characters. For Poe, nothing was more romantic than a love that went on beyond the grave and a hero who was left to face the evil antagonist alone. What is your favorite dark tale of horror and romance?