Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review: The Writing Dead by Thomas Fahy

The Writing Dead: Talking Terror with TV's Top Horror Writers was published March 3, 2015 by University Press of Mississippi. The book is divided up into 4 main parts with an introduction to the book and acknowledgements.

“I just write about what scares me. When I was a kid, my mother used to say, ‘Think of the worst thing that you can, and if you say it out loud then it won’t come true.’ And that’s probably been the basis of my career.” -Stephen King

Each section of the book has interviews with writers related to that topic. There are quite a variety of writers interviewed including those who write or wrote for Hannibal, Dexter, Bates Motel, True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Grimm, Angel, The Walking Dead, Hemlock Grove, Being Human, American Horror Story, X-Files, and Millenium. Each part of the book that focuses on a particular writer or series type, starts with a brief synopsis of why they were included and then goes into a transcript of an interview by Thomas Fahy with the author.

What I found interesting about the book is somewhat the usual things that one would take away from such a book, how the writer’s come up with their ideas and write. I enjoyed reading about all of the authors and found it interesting to see some of the other things in their career that they wrote before they came to horror and how it affected what they wrote.

I ended up giving this book 4 stars. I would recommend it to others as a good read or as a gift for someone who enjoys learning more about the behind the scenes writing of their favorite horror programs and movies. It’s interesting to see the connections between a movie that has become a series or a series of books that becomes a tv series. It’s also interesting to see how a particular writer’s previous projects affected what they in turn wrote for the horror programs.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Any quotes appearing in the text come from an advance reading copy and may appear differently in the final copy.


  1. I don't know if that's actually a scene from that movie (the name escapes me) where the little girl is found staring at the TV in the middle of the night and say, "They're here. The TV people." Creeps me out. LOL

    This might be interesting to take a look at. I like many of the shows listed and love the quote by Mr. King himself. I always got the feel from his earlier books that he wrote about what scared him. You know, what was in the closet or under the bed. ;-)

    1. Re/Mr.King: It's probably easier to write something scary if it makes the hair on the back of you neck stand up just thinking about it. Was just thinking that sometimes as we get older, what exactly scares us evolves. Some of it does stay the same, but other new things like losing family members or dealing with a crowd caught up in an already dangerous situation where someone has polarized it as a religious nut to control the group. (The Mist by Stephen King.)

      The book is also interesting because it will tell multiple shows that the authors worked on; and they are not all horror.

  2. Oh I need to get my hands on this one. :)

    1. It's pretty cool. I enjoyed the way it told about how the author's previous experiences influenced what they wrote for the programs.