Used under CC 2.0 License
"Abandoned Mansion, Beirut"
Used with permission: CC 2.0 License
I write horror. I read horror. I watch horror. I have nightmares, and then I read and watch more because I love horror. I consume horror.

Here in the Alley, I'm the resident representative of horror fiction in new adult, and right now, in new adult, there aren't many books yet published in the horror genre. However, this is not a reflection of how well new adult could serve horror, or be served by horror. Horror, in fact, would flourish within the new adult scope and, in return, strengthen the relevance of new adult.


At it's heart, horror is metaphoric. What's frightening about horror is not only the realism of what scares us, but the deeper metaphors that show us what we -- as humans -- are capable of; how our human capacity for love and empathy is so easily twisted into rage and selfishness.




"There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand." 
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley. Letter 1.)

While there are only a few new adult horror books at this time, it's a genre that should be developed and promoted going forward. As our characters become adults, what can we say about them -- and, therefore, about ourselves -- through a genre that makes realistic development dependent on metaphoric explorations? How do our characters deal with what scares them the most while simultaneously learning how to survive and thrive in adulthood? The horror genre provides readers and writers a unique lens through which to focus on our characters’ capacities for growth.

As the horror representative here at the Alley, I am not solely interested in reading horror stories with a new adult twist; though, I certainly spend time doing just this. I also want to promote new adult horror and see the number of horror stories being written, published, and read increase. 

To this end, for now, I am compiling a comprehensive list of new adult horror reads, both predating the term "new adult" and since the term has taken hold in publishing. (If you have suggestions for books to be included on this list, please tweet or message me, or comment below.) I find the biggest obstacle for genre lovers like myself is finding what I want to read. A crucial first step in promoting and encouraging genre growth is connecting readers to books, and that's what this forthcoming recommendation list will do.



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  1. Horror is such a hard genre for me! I'm so easily scared and then think about the scary things constantly afterward :) But I'd love to see more for those that love horror!

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    1. Horror is for those who enjoy it, certainly; or, at least, those who enjoy being scared (like me!). However, it has always been a strong genre, and I want to see it represented in NA!

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  2. I am a horror super fan, and even though I mostly write NA paranormal and contemporary, I've been playing around with an NA horror series as well. I really hope there is a lot more to come. I grew up reading Stephen King and hiding the book under my bed at the end of each night, swearing I wouldn't read more. But always picking it up again the next day :). Thanks for a great post!

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    1. Sarra, Stephen King is a wonderful horror role model. I would also love to hear about any NA horror story ideas you have if you're ever open to sharing. :) I want NA to get a little horror lovin' into the mix. I prefer my novels murderous instead of sexy.

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  3. Would you say some of the latter horror flix like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th and I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend and Scream are NA? Seems like an easy fit for NA so I'm surprised there's not a lot more out there. (Forgive the movie references, but I'm too afraid to read/watch them and going off my brother's obsession with horror films.)
    And can always incorporate the "never have sex in a horror flick rule to spice it up.) Great post!

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  4. I agree with DA above. So many of the cult horror films are firmly rooted in the NA experience. Always college kids getting up to whatever, and then BAM! :-) I'm a big Stephen King fan, so a lot of my writing is tinged with elements of horror. Enough reviewers of my NA urban fantasy series have mentioned a horror 'feel' I've started categorizing them as horror on Amazon. I'd definitely like to see more true horror stories in NA!

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  5. I'm all for more horror!

    I mean, I'm too chicken-poo to read it, but I'm all for it being there. LOL

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  6. This was so good!!! I love horror, and it would be a great addition to the genre. Great post!!!

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    1. Thank you! I would love to see more of it in new adult, so let's be sure we do all we can to promote it!

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  7. I used to LOVE horror but now that I'm nearing my mid-age I can't take it as much as I once did. I literally lose sleep.
    BUT! I do love spooky and I'd love love love to see more NA ghost stories out there. Such a fun genre.I'd love to be able to write it!!

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  8. Bailey, you are my new best friend! I adore this post! One NA horror book I would hiiiiiighly recommend is Sinister Entity by Hunter Shea. It's not officially classified as NA, but it is, and it's one of the spookiest books I've ever read. Also, and I'm going to toot my own horn for a second, my agent is currently shopping my NA sci-fi horror. Once it's published somewhere, somehow, I'll add it to the list!

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    1. Lindsey, I am happy to have another horror enthusiast around the Alley! It is difficult to find our own kind on the NA side of things, which I mostly is a reflection of NA needing more attention than horror. Horror has an incredibly strong & faithful following as a genre, and I want to see it grow a symbiotic relationship with NA stories. I do really think there is a fresh angle for horror told from the young-but-not perspective of early adulthood.
      I will definitely check out SINISTER ENTITY, and please keep me updated on your progress with your own book. Thank you for this great comment, and please do share this post as you see fit. It helps.

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  9. This is such an awesome post, Bailey! Sometimes being an NA Horror writer is a lonely place to be. I have heard that NA is a grey area, both from agencies and publishing houses. Some have plainly stated that NA is the new chic lit, that it was born out of a need to see real-life and relationship happenings with the college set. Unless you are a known author, it will take some time to get the ball rolling and sales flooding in for NA in other genres. Self-publishing is a great way to showcase just what can be NA. I'm happy to say that I'll be self-publishing my NA Psychological Horror in late April, early May. Thank you for having such a wonderful site and for building up the NA community!

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  10. Bring on the scary! (She says while cringing in the corner...) I'm so much less brave than I used to be. I grew up on Stephen King... but now? Not so much. That said, NA is such a ripe mining ground for horror -- who has a more overactive imagination than someone living on their own for the first time??

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