The Witch: Not about the Monster (a guest post by W.C. James)

When I think about my favourite horror stories, it isn’t about the monster. We have all had a hearty helping of vampires, zombies and other assorted creatures in books and movies. Even Stephen King, whom I consider a rock star horror writer, penned a vampire story, Salem’s Lot, and a werewolf story, Cycle of the Werewolf, and he threw a little bit of everything into IT with the shape-shifting clown, Pennywise.

My point is; an interesting monster seems to be a necessary ingredient, but good spooky stories are about the characters and their relation to the monster. If we do not care about the characters, if we cannot relate to them – the monster is kind of boring.

I tried to have this mindset as I wrote The Witch, which has its share of creepy critters, but most of the best writing revolves around the characters. My hope is that the people in the story will be the thing that makes The Witch a memorable read; not just another mindless gore-fest.

Thanks for the opportunity to speak about my book.


W.C. James schooled at Colorado State University, where he graduated with a degree in creative writing in 1993. This latest book will be his forth work of fiction and his first attempt at the horror genre.  James continues to work a regular job hoping and praying that someday, maybe, a bestseller will break through and free him from the corporate matrix, which at this time is destroying his soul.


The Witch by W.C. James 
Black Dawg Press, 233 pgs

The Witch is a modern horror story set in rural Colorado in the early nineteen eighties. The story unfolds around a colourful cast of characters as they are confronted with a growing evil that is mustering around a haunted house; a little place the locals call The Witch. It turns out that The Witch has a dark history, and things get interesting when a mysterious cult arrives on the scene and starts stirring up trouble. It is a classic story of ordinary folks thrust into extraordinary circumstances and how they navigate the troubled waters of the supernatural. All of them react in different ways, but are all working toward a common purpose of defeating an evil foe that threatens to destroy their town and everyone in it.


  1. It's how the characters react and interact with each other, and the monster.


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