Horror evokes emotion. It engages the reader's senses on a sometimes primal level. Its intent is to create an atmosphere, a mood of tension, fear, and breath-holding suspense. It's not afraid to ask the hard questions and look unflinchingly at the horrific answers. Horror challenges readers to go down into that dark basement, to open that door, to examine what bloody, murderous evil dwells in the hearts of men.
From the psychotic insanity of Poe's most famous Tell-Tale Heart narrator to the paranormal powers of King's Carrie, horror has held an honored place on American bookshelves for decades. Why then, have many of today's bookstores stopped hosting a section devoted entirely to horror?
The answer lies in the hybrid nature of today's fiction genres. So much that is written today contains a paranormal or supernatural element, because that is what we readers demand. Bookstores, and publishers too, often let the merit of the author's work speak for itself. Which, frankly, it should.
To earn a "horror" or "thriller" label at Tell-Tale Publishing, the work must contain some serial-killer-type element. It may or may not contain paranormal or supernatural elements, but it will certainly scatter some dead bodies around. Unlike Mystery, Horror doesn't necessarily care if you know who done it. The focus becomes...how do you escape?