It’s the holidays, so why are we talking about horror? Well, 15 minutes at my family reunions could answer that, but in short, horror authors aren’t all blood, guts and gore. In fact, the horror legends do what ALL authors should do…they probe the human soul, peel back falsehood and reveal the authentic human condition for better or worse. Whether we pick up a Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Edgar Allen Poe, or Rod Sterling story, what surfaces almost immediately is these authors understood people when creating these tales. Writing great novels requires we become masters of exploring the psyche, of using what makes humans weak, greedy, vengeful, callous, vain or jealous. Human frailty is the lifeblood of story—CONFLICT. Whether one writes thrillers, romance or YA, we must be able to delve deep and go to those uncomfortable places, because THAT is why readers turn pages.