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Shannon Lawrence: Four Ways Horror Can Be Beneficial

Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations
by Shannon Lawrence

Release Date: March 15, 2018
Horror short story collection
A collection of frights, from the psychological to the monstrous. These tales are a reminder of how much we have to fear: A creature lurking in the blue, sludgy depths of a rest area toilet; a friendly neighbor with a dark secret hidden in his basement; a woman with nothing more to lose hellbent on vengeance; a hike gone terribly wrong for three friends; a man cursed to clean up the bodies left behind by an inhuman force. These and other stories prowl the pages of this short story collection.

Four Ways Horror Can Be Beneficial

1. People enjoy a good fright. We feed on the adrenaline. Horror is a safe way to get adrenaline pumping while not actually being in danger. Guess what follows that adrenaline? Dopamine, known as the feel good chemical in our bodies.

2. Satisfaction. We love seeing the monster get obliterated, the psycho killer caught, the ghosts banished. Humans seek justice, and there is something intensely satisfying in seeing justice delivered in whatever form that might take. If we can’t have justice, we’ll happily take catharsis.

3. Horror often reflects the fears of current day issues. People are already thinking about these things, worrying about them. When a horror story comes out that addresses our base fears, we get justification for our fears and can often see at least that single survivor make it through, which gives us hope where we might not have had it before.

4. Distraction. Don’t want to think about the stresses of your daily life? Read some horror. Focusing on these false fears can be a perfect way to avoid thinking about other things stressing you out, and the release provided by tensing and relaxing as the story moves like a roller coaster can relieve some of that real life tension.

Bonus: Horror burns calories. While they haven’t done a study on reading horror, one was conducted on folks watching a horror film. They burned off up to 184 calories during the course of The Shining. Just think how many calories are burned when that two hour film is replaced by a book that takes longer to read!


From Faceless:
“A hand with cherry red nail polish reached over and touched Suzette’s arm, and her face blurred, the features disappearing into a flesh colored void. The blond hair framing where her face should be turned in Delilah’s direction.

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Also available from Apple and other countries through Amazon

About the Author

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes mostly fantasy and horror. Her stories can be found in magazines and anthologies, including Space and Time Magazine, Dark Moon Digest, and Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there’s always a place to hide a body or birth a monster.

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  1. Horror burns calories?! I’m definitely reading more of it than I already do, then.

    Great article, Shannon, and the collection looks great. I have my pre-order in.

  2. HoyBella HoyBella

    Thanks so much!

  3. I love the idea that watching horror can burn calories, but I’m afraid any calorie burn watching The Descent last night did not offset the calories in the candy I was eating at the time. Sigh.

    • That’s the problem with movies–soda, popcorn, candy. How are we supposed to burn calories while sitting on our butts?

  4. It’s all that rapid breathing and rapid heartrate that burns the calories. Seriously. (At least, that’s my excuse.)

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