It is always gratifying to see a review of a book you’ve written. This is one area where I’ve struggled since I tend to write between categories. Outside the discipline itself religion is a pretty suspect topic, treated with some embarrassment among academics. Combine that with another subject (meteorology, horror movies) and journals that specialize in either discipline tend to ignore it. Horror Homeroom, however, has proven a collegial place to explore the connections between horror and religion. A review of Nightmares with the Bible, by John Morehead, has appeared there, and I’m honored by the attention. When you write books between discipline boundaries you wonder what people think of them. When they’re priced stratospherically you will wonder a long time.
Long ago I started to notice how often religion came up in horror contexts. I’ve also been aware for a considerable time that although horror has lots more fans than religion does, the discipline hasn’t been considered a “respectable” one. (Yes, scholars are open to prejudices as well.) I’ve tried to keep up as well as I can with books written about horror and I’ve done my homework on the religion side, I think (although I continue to study). The two crowds (horror and religion fans) tend to be about as opposite as you can find. I’m learning the wisdom of publishers firsthand—if you do interdisciplinary work instead of broadening your reach you’ll find that neither discipline will touch it. Especially if one of those disciplines happens to be religion.
Nevertheless, this is a celebratory post. Rarely do my books get written up. Holy Horror has been out for over two years now and not one academic review has appeared, not even in Reading Religion, where readers can request review copies. McFarland, my publisher for that particular volume, doesn’t do much with religion and apparently doesn’t send review copies. So I’m thrilled that Horror Homeroom has published a review. I am genuinely curious as to what others think about my ideas. Not only has the internet thrown a kind of lifeline to those of us without academic libraries, it has also given a voice to those the academy would rather not recognize. Does religion have anything to do with horror? It most certainly does. Does horror fear anything? Yes, it fears religion! And so the two have much to learn from each other. My thanks to Horror Homeroom for putting the review out there and I hope some may comment upon it.