Today on This is Horror — Meet the Writer: Mike Thorn
What first attracted you to horror writing?
Reflecting on my earliest childhood encounters with horror, I remember being initially attracted to the genre’s visual iconography, above all else. It seems impossible to separate my desire to write horror from my interest in reading horror. These two things are inextricably bound.
Mike Thorn’s Top 20 Horror Films of the 21st Century Featured on Horrorville (Letterboxd)
“Boys Will be Monsters”: A. Poythress Reviews Shelter for the Damned for The New Southern Fugitives
“Thorn’s debut novel is an insight into male violence, the sloppily-hidden depths of suburbia, and the isolation of abuse. It’s not typically what you would find in the pages of a horror novel about teenage boys and a deadly, abandoned shack, but it’s the subtleties of Thorn’s narrative that keep the story moving along so quickly.”
Night Worms Guest Post: Playlist for Shelter for the Damned
“I have curated two playlists that aim to capture the novel’s spirit, one with vocals and one without. The former playlist includes songs recorded in or before the year 2003, ranging from industrial and nu metal to hardcore and post-punk. Many of these tracks summon vivid personal memories from my teenage years. The second playlist, comprised of instrumental pieces (black metal interludes, dark ambient works, horror movie soundtracks, field recordings, and more) seeks to capture the novel’s dark atmosphere.”
Q&A with Mike Thorn on Hellnotes
- What authors influenced you growing up? Who are you reading now?
As a young kid, I was really excited by J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and R. L. Stine. Discovering Stephen King as a preteen was a big deal, and the same goes for encountering Hubert Selby Jr. in my teens.
These days, I try to read as widely as possible. I’m currently making my way through Drawn Up from Deep Places, by Gemma Files, which is terrific. I was recently floored by two Henry James novels—The Portrait of a Lady and The Bostonians.
Farah Rose Smith Interviews Mike Thorn on The Eldritch Index
“Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to be a writer?
I can’t remember a time before I started writing. For better or worse, it has been a lifelong impulse. I was always drawn to reading, which is probably where my interest in writing originated. As a kid, I was excited by fantasy and horror (J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and R. L. Stine when I was quite young, and then Stephen King when I got a little older).”
Mike Thorn Discusses Prince of Darkness (1987) on Film Formally Podcast
Author and critic Mike Thorn swings by to talk about Prince of Darkness, John Carpenter’s 1987 horror film, and how it both expresses and interrogates the subject of epistemophobia — the fear of knowledge. It’s a great movie to go into knowing very little, so be aware that we spoil the entire plot in this episode.
We get into how the film withholds or ambiguates information for the audience, the film’s balance between pessimism and intellectual humility, and its place in Carpenter’s “Apocalypse Cycle” of movies.
Coming Tomorrow: Mike Thorn Discusses Prince of Darkness on Film Formally
The hosts of Film Formally spoke with Mike Thorn about John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness and the idea of an intentional deficit of knowledge in movies.
In style and substance, Carpenter offers a universe beyond understanding—but is there an order to it?
Stay tuned for the full episode, coming tomorrow!