TL asked Leah Raeder:

Is there a genre you don't like to read (for me its the horror genre)?

Leah Raeder Nope. I read everything. There are some genres/categories I prefer to others, of course, but I don't dislike any genres.

To expand on this from a writer's point of view...

A writer should read as widely as possible. Each genre, style, and category of fiction has its own strengths. I love the tension and momentum in thrillers, the rich language and character complexity in literary fiction, the self-awareness and social commentary in contemporary YA, the fascinating ideas and moral quandaries in SF, etc.

I like horror, too. Writers can learn valuable things from horror: how to build atmosphere, cultivate suspense, pull a reader in so deeply that they jump at a sudden noise in their house and lower the book for a moment. How to mess with someone's mind, really. That's true immersion, and it's something all fiction aspires to. I'd like readers to sink as deeply into my novels as I do when reading a great horror book.

Two of my favorite novels of all-time are horror: Interview with the Vampire and House of Leaves. If you're not into horror, you should still give them a shot. They may surprise you with how immersive and "non-horror-y" they feel. Great horror is more psychological than physical. It's not about gore and jump scares--it's about playing with a reader's imagination and making them supply the scariness.

There's something exhilarating and cathartic (if I wanted to be really pretentious, I'd say cleansing) about scaring yourself. That's why we gather with friends to watch horror movies with the lights out, or circle around the campfire to tell ghost stories before bed. Personally, I love being scared. An old friend and I used to play survival horror video games together with the lights off and deliberately try to freak ourselves out as much as possible. Inevitably, we'd scream and throw the controller aside and huddle together in terror. It was a blast. I'd love to write a book that scary.

Plus, I've got a trunked Young Adult sci-fi horror/thriller manuscript that I may try to publish someday, so. Horror is fun.

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