February 2010: An Introduction
Ty Schwamberger

The first two questions I get asked when I tell someone that I write horror are; when and why did you begin writing and why horror?

The simple answer to these questions would be; because I’ve always enjoyed writing and that I’ve always been fascinated with scary stuff.

Some people are ok with these answers, while some are not. To the people that want to really know I tell them the following.

“The first time I remember writing anything was back in the 5th grade in Mrs. Rudy’s English class. We had a notebook that we had to write so many story stories, poems, etc, each week for credit. My stories were always of the scary variety. I still have the notebook. Perhaps one day I will expand from the story I began back then and make something more out of it.” (a side note – I just completed a novel based on that story)


“I like writing scary stuff simply because that is what I have always been into. I like how a horror writer can make pretty much anything into something scary.

You can start a story with a man walking a cute dog down the street, enjoying the outdoors, his life and his dog. Now, you can make that scary by having a madman in a car jump the curb and taking them both out. Say the dog dies but the guy ends up in the hospital and has to fight for his life. Then after getting out of the hospital, perhaps the guy goes on a mission to find the reckless driver and put him out of his misery.

Even the everyday things we enjoy can turn into someone’s nightmare.

That is what writing horror is all about. Trying new angles on a classic story or character or writing about something no one else has ever thought about before.”

See what I mean? It’s basically the same answer but just a very different way of explaining it.

Essentially this is what writing is all about.

It’s about the trials and tribulations that you, as a writer, will face when you are first thinking about writing something and throughout the entire writing process.

This is also the basic premise of this column – ‘Ty-ing Up the Genre’.

We are going to take a journey together down the wonderful river of writing and I’ll be your riverboat captain. We are going to explore the ins and outs of writing and finally how to go about getting your work published.

But wait a minute – I’m not the only one that will be your guide throughout this journey. Oh no. Coming along with us will be some the most well-known and highly respected writers, editors and publishers in the horror genre today.

Exciting, huh?

But wait, there’s more.

What if I told you right now who these people are? That would be even better, right?

Sure it would.

Ok. I guess I’ll fill you in who will be joining us over the next year. Some of these well-known folks will include: Maurice Broaddus (horror author – and will be featured in the April column), Tim Deal (publisher of Shroud Magazine), Jason Sizemore (Apex Books), Scott Sandridge (Fear and Trembling Magazine), Jack Ketchum (horror author), Michael Knost (editor and horror author), among many others.

Quite a lineup wouldn’t you say?

It should be quite an exciting journey that you and I are about to undertake.

So I hope you join me each and every month right here on Hellnotes to explore the world of writing and publishing. Not only will these articles and interviews be fun to read but very informative as well.

Ty is a published author in the horror genre. To learn more about his work, you can visit his website at: Ty Schwamberger

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