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Dark fiction: Oh, the Horror! by Rebecca Rowland | Horrors Hiding in Plain Sight Book Tour and $50 Amazon GC #Giveaway | #Horror #DarkFiction #ShortStories

Horrors Hiding in Plain Sight by Rebecca Rowland is on virtual book tour. The psychological horror, transgressive dark fiction, sho...




Horrors Hiding in Plain Sight by Rebecca Rowland is on virtual book tour.

The psychological horror, transgressive dark fiction, short stories stops at Readeropolis with an author guest post.

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a $50 Amazon GC and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).




Dark fiction: Oh, the Horror! by Rebecca Rowland

I was always a fan of scary movies, even as a child. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, the Renaissance of the slasher film, and I can’t think of an entry in the jump scare genre that I didn’t watch before I turned twenty. So, of course, it should follow that as a writer, I’d pen the goriest, most ghoulish tales of sinister scariness. You are what you eat, after all. And yet, when I first labeled my short fiction as horror, I was asked, uh…where are the ghosts? The vampires? The sub-human creatures lurking in the darkness, preparing to eat our brains?

Sure, a few passages of supernatural ghastliness pop up in a story or two of mine: an evil doll who bites children, a pack of ageless serial killers gathering souls to maintain eternal life, a wendigo who lives under the bed (though, in truth, I like to think of that last one as realistic fiction). However, for the most part, my Horrors are the ones that are Hiding in Plain Sight: my characters usually exist in the real world, because to me, the adolescent who can callously bully a peer to death is a thousand times scarier than zombies tearing flesh from my shoulder. I suppose that’s because most of the time, readers of a speculative story can easily identify the threat, and when they lie awake in a dark bedroom at night, they can use rational thought to dispel any concerns over a swarm of giant murder wasps taking over their airspace (okay…bad example). Concerns over the neighbor next door possibly keeping a stranger hostage in his basement? Perhaps not so much. 

All of my protagonists are flawed; many of them are terrible, sadistic human beings on whom I would never turn my back. But does that make the stories “horror?” I’ve penned my share of body squeamishness, but I’d much rather be classified as a “dark fiction” or “psychological horror” writer; I try to make the reader excessively uncomfortable rather than terrify them. The areas I feature most often are the places where we feel the most comfortable—a childhood home, a committed relationship, an intimate encounter—but they are also the places we are the most vulnerable. And of course, there is the scariest place of all: our own minds. My greatest fear is losing touch with reality; therefore, more than a handful of my main characters do just that. The fright factor comes from the unsuspecting reader tagging along for the ride. 

Don’t get me wrong: the last movie I watched (and quite enjoyed) featured a Lovecraftian-like creature stalking an underwater drilling ship, a love child of The Abyss and Alien. Every now and then I might slip a little speculative horror into my writing, but what’s nice about the umbrella of “dark fiction” is it is flexible enough to meet every creepy-fiction connoisseur’s need. The problem occurs when some theorists classify horror and dark fiction as separate entities, believing that while the former employs supernatural elements, the latter is rooted in reality and is simply bleak and brooding. What then becomes of the serial killer trope? Does Hannibal Lecter evoke terror, or is he just unsettling? What about dark science fiction, the kind of storyline featured in one of my all-time favorite scary movies, Event Horizon (1997)? And what of cosmic horror? Is our fear of the unknown realistic, or fantastical? 
I propose that horror, in all of its modalities, be included within, rather than separated from, the wider realm of dark fiction. On the island of misfit toys, the spotted elephant, square-wheeled train car, and Charlie-in-the-box differed from one another in their characteristics and intended recipients, but they shared a common need. Horror, dark fantasy, psychological thrillers, and sci-fi terror may use different methods, but their central intent is the same. Horror as a concept is ghettoized enough. 


The Horrors Hiding in Plain Sight 
by Rebecca Rowland 
Genre: Psychological Horror, Transgressive Dark Fiction, Short Stories 


Three adolescent bullies discover that the vicious crime for which they were never charged will haunt them in unimaginably horrific ways; a dominatrix and a bondage fetishist befriend one another as one’s preoccupation grows to consume his life. A man persuades his wife to start a family, but her reluctant pregnancy comes with a dreadful side effect. A substitute teacher’s curiosity about a veteran teacher’s methodology provides her with a lesson she won’t soon forget. An affluent, xenophobic lawyer callously kills two immigrants with her car with seeming impunity; a childless couple plays a sadistic game with a neglected juvenile each Halloween. An abusive father, a dating site predator, a neglected concierge, and an obsessed co-worker: they are all among the residents of Rebecca Rowland’s universe, and they dwell in the everyday realm of crime and punishment tempered with fixation and madness. There are no vampires, zombies, or magical beings here; no, what lurk in this world are even more terrifying. Once you meet them, you will think twice before turning your back on that seemingly innocuous neighbor or coming to the aid of the helpless damsel in the dark parking lot. These monsters don’t lurk under your bed or in the shadows: they are the people you see every day at work, in the supermarket, and in broad daylight. They are the horrors that hide in plain sight, and they will unsettle you more than any supernatural being ever could. 

Trigger Warning: 
Contains graphic violence (though not continually) including accidental death, murder, and suicide; sexual content, and occasional graphic language. Sexual assault is implied but not described in a graphic nature. No animals are harmed. 






Rebecca Rowland is the transgressive dark fiction author of the short story collection The Horrors Hiding in Plain Sight, co-author of the novel Pieces, and curator of the horror anthologies Ghosts, Goblins, Murder, and Madness; Shadowy Natures, and the upcoming The Half That You See and Unburied. Her writing has appeared in venues such as Coffin Bell, Waxing & Waning, and the 

WiHM online collections The Ones You Don’t Bring Home to Mama and Final Girls with 20/20 Vision and has been anthologized in collections by Red Room Press, Transmundane Press, Forty-Two Books, Emerald Bay Books, Twisted Wing Productions, Thurston Howl Publications, J. Ellington Ashton Press, and Dark Ink. To surreptitiously stalk her, visit RowlandBooks.com

Website * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads




$50 Amazon gift card 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! 






4 comments

  1. these are my favorite kind of stories! I always love scary, but with human culprits. I lose interest when stories get too "out there" with vampires or flesh eating zombies. I will definitely add this to my reading list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Best of luck with the books and book tour! I included the tour in the Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020 edition of The BookTube Your Shelf Daily Reader: https://paper.li/Readeropolis/1517059010#/

    ReplyDelete
  3. The book cover is intriguing. It makes me want to read the book.

    ReplyDelete

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