Occasionally, I'm reluctant to tell people that I write horror. My problem is that -for a lot of people- 'Horror' means movies like Hostel or Saw, gleefully gory scholckfests in which the characters exist for no other reason than to murdered (or worse) horribly. The term 'torture porn' is wholly appropriate for this sort of work.
Picture above, what I don't write.
I know good people who like that sort of thing so I won't speak ill of the (sub)genre. And to be fair; I've been known to enjoy stories with violence, gore and despicable acts happening to both the innocent and guilty alike. So why split hairs?
For me, I'm interested in efficacy. I'm interested in characters who fight. Whether they live or die is immaterial; I'm interested in the struggle. And I think this struggle is often in its purest form in Action Horror.
My most important goal in everything I write is to tell a compelling story populated by Characters the reader cares about. If there's a secondary goal, it's this: to remind readers that -no matter how f***ed up the situation they are never powerless. Things don't always work out for my Characters but that's not the point. The struggle is the point. The pushing past fear is the point.
I use horror tropes and a fixation on fear because I believe that one of the greatest challenges in modern life is mastering our fear.