RA for All...The Road Show!

I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Horror Review Index Update

There are four new horror reviews available in the index and on the general blog:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Attention Librarians...The Horror Writers Association Wants YOU!

As you probably know I am a member of the Horror Writers Association. And in the last few years they have made a commitment to working with libraries and librarians.  Not only do they have a dedicated volunteer to work with the library community, but they have a specific area on the website for us. They have also entered into to an official partnership with United for Libraries, culminating this year in a wonderful presentation at ALA annual.

Well, right now they are offering a discounted membership for the end of 2016 for people to try them out.

Click here for more details.

But let me tell you [from my experience] what you can get from the HWA as a librarian that you cannot get anywhere else:
  • Access to the Stoker Recommendations list...as they are being recommended-- this is a wonderful way to see what horror books are getting a lot of buzz. Since they are not reviewed as often as other genres in the mainstream library review sources [people, I can’t read every book and write a review for it; I do many, but all...impossible]. You can also add books to the rec list as a member.
  • The chance to volunteer as a judge for the Bram Stoker Awards! Who knows what books readers like better than us? Members make up the jury for the awards. I will have a lot more to say about this in early 2017, so stay tuned.
  • A monthly emailed newsletter. Using this link you can access a sample newsletter to see what you get. It gives you a great quick snapshot of what is going on in the genre at any time. Also, past newsletters are archived.
  • Access to a database of publishers and authors with contact information. I can tell you from experience, contacting these people is a 2 way street.  You can contact them for information you need, but you can also opt in to get free ARCs of upcoming books. This is a great collection development tool.
  • There is a lot more that I am sure I am forgetting right now. Click here for all of the posts I have tagged HWA which includes guest posts by officers in the organization directed at you specifically.
You can look at all of the Librarian membership information on the HWA’s webpage that is catered to us specifically.

Librarians do not have to be paid published horror writers to join at the Associate level. Back when I first joined, they did not have this option. I joined as a professional, published writer. 

I would highly suggest any library workers who work with horror collections and/or readers take the HWA up on this $37 offer to give the association a try. 

If you have questions or concerns about the HWA, feel free to contact me

Friday, July 8, 2016

Horror Review Index Update

I have been reviewing a lot of horror for Booklist and posting the text of the reviews on RA for All, but I am also cataloging them in the Horror Review Index regularly. I do not want to waste my time or yours cross posting the full text of the reviews. The two blogs have different audiences. Those who come here to the horror blog, want more targeted information.

To that end, the Horror Review Index page is where you should go to find horror titles to suggest to your library patrons. I will make sure always to update the page name with the date of the last added reviews.

I will also start having posts like this one where I will simply list the newest reviews. We are hitting the busy season, so I have a bunch of suggestions.

Finally, remember, your horror fans are not monsters, they just like to read about them.


  • Manderino, John.  But You Scared Me The Most (2016)
  • Keene, Brian.  Pressure (2016)
  • Mamatas, Nick.  I Am Providence (2016)
  • Merbeth, K.S. Bite (2016)
  • Ford, Jeffrey. A Natural History of Hell (2016)
  • Wednesday, June 8, 2016

    StokerCon 2017 Featuring Special Guest....Me



    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    HWA Opens Registration to StokerCon 2017

    Los Angeles, CA -- The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy and home of the prestigious Bram Stoker Award®, today announced it will begin accepting registrations for StokerCon 2017 this Friday, June 10, at 12:00 AM EDT.

    To register, visit http://hwa46.wildapricot.org/event-2262526. For HWA members, registration is $99 (USD); registration for non-HWA members is $115 (USD). Upon successful registration, attendees will receive a discount code for Queen Mary hotel accommodations.

    StokerCon 2017, the HWA’s second annual convention, is scheduled for April 27-30, 2017 aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Guests of Honor for StokerCon 2017 include:


    • George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones
    • Elizabeth Hand, the Cass Neary series
    • Chuck Wendig, Star Wars: Aftermath, the Miriam Black thrillers
    • Peter Crowther, the Forever Twilight cycle
    • Bill Bridges,  White Wolf’s World of Darkness, The Silver Crown
    • Tananarive Due, Ghost Summer, the Tennyson Hardwick mystery series
    • Gretchen McNeil, Possess
    • Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels, When the People Lights Go Out
    • Becky Spratford, The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Second Edition

    Nancy Holder, five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®, will serve as the event’s Toastmaster.

    About the Horror Writers Association

    The Horror Writers Association is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field's greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. The HWA is home to the prestigious Bram Stoker Award® and the annual StokerCon horror convention.

    For more on the Horror Writers Association, please visit www.horror.org.


    Monday, May 16, 2016

    Becky on the Five Things to Know in Horror

    Back in April I was part of a presentation on the top things to know in top genres for Booklist and NoveList. The genres were Thrillers, Horror, and Science Fiction.

    The video is now available for anyone and everyone to view.

    Click here for the video [horror is second]

    Click here for the handout

    This is an excellent resource for collection development for all three of these genres. I also provide a quick tutorial at the end of the genre specific presentations about how to use NoveList to stay up to date in ALL genres.

    Finally, I have reposted my horror specific portion of the handout here on the horror blog so that it can be searchable in the future. I strive to make this blog a useful tool for those helping horror readers in a library setting. But please note, the written resource makes more sense if you watch the video too.

    **********************************************
    Becky Spratford on Horror: 

    “Horror is a story in which the author manipulates the reader’s emotions by introducing situations in which unexplainable phenomena and unearthly creatures threaten the protagonist and provoke terror in the reader.”

    Five Classic Authors 
    * Stephen King (The Shining)
    * Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas)
    * Anne Rice (Interview with a Vampire)
    * H P Lovecraft (Cthulhu Stories)
    * Ramsey Campbell (Nazareth Hill)

    Five Must-Read Books (To understand 21st Century Horror) 
    * The Rising by Brian Keene
    * The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle
    * John Dies at the End by David Wong
    * The Keeper by Sarah Langan
    * The Terror by Dan Simmons

    Top Five Trends in Horror 
    *Weird Fiction Re-Emerges As a Subgenre: Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer; Kelly Link
    *Science Fiction and Horror Team Up: Justin Cronin Passage Trilogy; David Wellington
    *Horrific Women: Tananarive Due and Sarah Pinborough
    *A Return to a Pulp Sensibility: Richard Laymon and Brian Keene
    *Horror on Audio: Ghost Radio by Leopoldo Gout and Locke and Key by Joe Hill

    Five Up and Comers 
    * Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
    * Jonathan Maberry (Rot and Ruin)
    * Sarah Pinborough (Mayhem)
    * Jonathan Janz (Children of the Dark)
    * Paul Tremblay (A Head Full of Ghosts)

    Becky’s Five Favorites [Besides NOS4A2] 
    * The Ruins by Scott Smith
    * House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
    * Bird Box by Josh Malerman
    * Anything by Shirley Jackson
    *The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell