By Darvell Hunt
I’ve debated about what to say on the topic of LDS horror, or whether I should say anything at all. I mean, after all, is there such a thing?
I say, yes, there is. The follow up question then becomes: is this something anybody wants to see?
Again, I find myself saying, yes.
By now, nobody who reads LDS writing blogs can say that they don’t know about the LDStorymakers Conference that was held a number of weeks ago. Popular romance writer Rachel Nunes gave a presentation on the current market of LDS genres. She brought up the LDS horror genre and stated that there is currently nothing really available in this market and that if somebody were to do it well and stay within LDS boundaries, one might be able to really exploit this untapped market.
I’ve been sitting on an LDS horror novel of mine for about four years, wondering what to do with it. I think the time may be right to get it out there for people to see. But how?
There has also recently been a lot of discussion of Richard Dutcher, who pioneered LDS cinema. What many people do not realize is that he also was a pioneer in LDS horror, specifically with his film Brigham City.
Richard Dutcher was able to pull off LDS horror by giving it redeeming value. Anyone who has watched the last scene in Brigham City must surely know what I mean. I think what he did was key to making LDS horror work.
But why would we do this?
I am one of many closet-readers of mainstream horror, but I, like many LDS readers, am tired of the language and content so popular in mainstream novels, and not just horror. The reason many LDS readers buy LDS books is to get away from objectionable content that exists in the mainstream market. Presently, however, there is nothing available for LDS horror fans.
I would like to change that.
I recently talked to the editor of one of the “big LDS publishers” about the prospect of publishing LDS horror. While this editor seemed very reserved about the idea, this person left the idea open to the possibility. So, as of this moment, this LDS publisher is considering my submission of an LDS horror novel.
How cool—and how weird—is that?
Will anything come of it? I don’t know, honestly, but I hope so. I would love to give LDS readers of Stephen King and Dean Koontz something to read that they wouldn’t mind recommending to their LDS friends.