Horror Movies and Query Letters

So I was having a comment-versation with a reader and we were discussing the psychopath on Dark Tourist who runs the haunted house attraction where he’s allowed to physically assault you and makes you sign things beforehand that say you won’t sue him for doing so, blah blah blah.

This guy:

I’m pretty sure this dude is a serial killer, and at least a serious narcissist. His whole “I’m just a quirky dude who likes to give people survival horror experiences” doesn’t fly with me. Naw, dude. I don’t like him. I get seriously icky vibes from this dude. Now, people are asking to come there. People are signing up for it. But his blasé attitude about it is meh for me. He seems pretty swaggy and I don’t’ like it. I don’t like people who walk around with their dicks swingin’ around. Have a modicum of self-loathing like everyone else, please.


What this dude does is actually interesting. It’s psychological torture and horror more than jump out from around a corner and shout boo type of shit. He repeatedly asks them just during the waiver ceremony “why would you do this?” People flock to this douchenozzle for what he forces them to learn about themselves but seriously? I’m not paying this guy to make me ask myself hard questions. It’s stupid. He is, however, good at getting at what scares people individually and tweaking it intensely.

Mindfuckery is his business, and business is good.

Anyhow, I mentioned that his episode of Dark Tourist reminded me of a horror movie I watched in which the protagonists went searching for the most extreme haunted house in the world. And they found it. And of course – spoiler alert – they got murdered.

I mean, it wasn’t really a surprise. The movie, “The Houses October Built,” was made in 2014. It’s a single-camera, found footage piece similar to “Blair Witch” or “Paranormal Activity” that boasts a respectable enough cast and crew. Steven Schneider, who co-produced the movie, also gets to put “Paranormal Activity,” “Insidious,” and M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Visit” on his resume.

Side note: I fucking love Shyamalan. I do. And I’m not sorry. I get that he’s not for everyone and I get that people sometimes feel cheated with him. I get that “The Village” turned out not to be what anyone expected and what few wanted it to be, but I loved it anyhow and I won’t apologize goddamn it.

Shyamalan? I love you you brilliant bitch. Even at your worst.

Now. “The Houses October Built” was not great. It was predictable. It was just okay. It was compelling enough that I watched through to the end. It was well-rendered enough that I wasn’t put off by shoddy technical aspects like bad video or sound. It was, as I said, just okay. There’s apparently a sequel, which I probably won’t be looking up.

I’ve sort of fallen away from the whole horror movie genre, although I used to be incredibly knowledgeable and well- … I don’t know … well-watched on the subject? I’d seen most of the horror movies offered by Netflix, and before Netflix I literally watched every horror movie available at the video store at the end of my road by sophomore year. I’m not kidding. I’d seen every single one of them, and continued to watch every one that was released each year.

After having kids, I discovered that watching stupid teenagers get hacked to bits was no longer all that much fun. Because as I looked into the eyes of my own children I knew that they would one day be stupid teenagers, and I knew that the kids being murdered could easily be my own kids and I don’t know.

Having kids just made me sorta soft. Like, the empathy for humanity that comes with having kids is not convenient. But it’s a thing that happens. You start to care more about other people’s well-being because you want the comfort of being able to assume that others will do the same for your family.

It’s not logical, but it’s a thing that happens.

It just is.


So That’s that.

I’m gonna stick with Mob Wives.

After I literally binged the entire series of The Sopranos – seriously, you guys, how did no one let me know that this was a thing? I fucking loved that series and I was over 20 years late to the party. Jesus. Anyhow, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye after the finale – which I could write an entire dissertation on, by the way, from a writing/literary criticism perspective – and so I went ahead and started Mob Wives.

I’m generally opposed to reality television based on general principle, and especially those that have to do with wealthy women of questionable itelligence, but I am in love with these bitches. My family is German, Irish, and Scottish but holy shit. I recognize significant mafia elements in my family. I also understand the trauma of having gone through having a husband arrested, a house raided, etc. That’s truly a trauma and a violation unlike no others. I get that these women have to create their entire underground support system because what their husbands go down for is unacceptable, socially, and there is no other support. I get that. When no one else ca understand what you’re facing that fucking isolation will kill you.

Anyhow. That’s that. What’s next…Let’s see.
Ah. Ugh. Yes. Okay.

The book proposal is done. Have I officially come out and disclaimed that I’m working with Kelly Makela on a book about her conversations with Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong? Probably not.

So that’s a thing that’s happening now.

The sample chapters are written. The proposal is ready to go. And now, the querying begins.

I have been working at the TO for three years and in that time I have grown complacent as shit, y’all. I have forgotten what it is to be out there trying to hustle narrative with no platform. And I just wanna take a moment out from sending out query letters like the loser kid in the Junior class looking for a prom date and say thank you.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Thank you for clicking “like” on whatever platform you access my madness.

Thank you for leaving comments.

Thank you for stopping me in the street to say that you liked what I wrote, or that it was personally meaningful to you. And don’t take it personally when I respond with some self-deprecating humor and an attempt to get away from you as quickly as possible. It’s not that I dont need to know that my writing is meaningful. It’s that I’m uncomfortable with the fact that I need that. It’s my issue.

I’m working on getting better at tolerating positive attention.

In the meantime, don’t stop. I’m so thankful to have a platform and I have reached a point at which I often take it for granted. Sending out query letters, facing rejection after three years of being told “write what you want and we will print it?”

And terrifying.

So fingers crossed that we can find an agent to jump on this.

Because it’s excellent. If you watched “Evil Genius” and you thought, “hmmm…I wonder whatever happened to those snitch letters for two years?”

This. This right here.

This is what happened.

You’re going to want to read this book.

One thought on “Horror Movies and Query Letters

  1. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! STACEY! That is huge. So many questions! How did that come about? I’d understand if you don’t want to disclose much about it yet, but holy shit. Good luck with your hustle and go get’em. 🙂


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