What is the origin story for Such a Nightmare: Conversations about Horror?
There once were two horror nerds, we’ll call them Katherine and Toni, who realized that they were spending an awful lot of time talking to each other about horror. And so they naively said: “What if we made a podcast so we can have these conversations with other people too?” Then there was a montage sequence set to “Eye of the Tiger” where they figured out how to make a podcast. And then some other stuff happened…and here we are today.
What order should I listen to your podcast/watch your videos?
You can listen in any order you want. If you want to hear us discuss the film you hate or the book you love…then start with that episode! As we’ve continued to produce content, we will occasionally reference ideas or texts from prior episodes; except in a few rare cases, we try to make each episode be a stand-alone examination of a single film or book. You may want, however, to listen to our series/franchise episodes in order as we often discuss our thoughts on the earlier texts.
Do you have any recommendations for how best to find and read horror scholarship?
A terrific site is horrorlex.com, which offers a database where you can search for scholarship based on a specific text. The site is curated by Twitter user @HorrorLex, who offers additional resources on their Twitter feed.
You can also use Google Scholar to search for keywords that interest you…just remember to be patient and to try and narrow your search. For example, if you search for “zombies” a lot(!) of results will pop up; however, if you search for “zombies” “consumerism” and “America” then you still have a huge list of results, but it’s much more focused.
A lot of horror scholarship can be difficult to get ahold of if you are not working in academia; scholarly books are often expensive and articles often require a subscription to a scholarly journal. The good news is that your local library should be able to help you get a hold of a lot of these resources through Interlibrary Loans and other programs.
Even full-time scholars struggle with reading and understanding scholarship and theory.
Here are some pro-tips that might help reduce potential headaches:
- Don’t try to understand every example or reference to another piece of scholarship/horror work…this way madness lies.
- Remember that most essays have thesis statements (the main arguments being made) and most paragraphs have a topic sentence (the little points being made). Everything else is examples and explanations. Locating these statements and topic sentences can be very helpful in seeing the bigger picture.
- If you are struggling to understand what an author is saying, assume it is their fault and not a lack on your part; not all academic writers are equal. So make note of what you don’t understand and move on.
A great way to read scholarship is to do so as part of a reading group so that you can struggle and triumph together. Whether you are reading in a group or alone, here are some questions you can ask as you read:
- What is the author arguing/claiming? Or, put another way, what is the author trying to convince us (their readers) to think, believe, understand about horror?
- What is the “so what?” factor? In other words, why do these ideas matter and how do they shape our understandings about horror?
- What evidence does the author provide to support their claims?
- Do you buy the author’s claims? Why or why not?
- How does this reading complement, contradict, or just complicate other things you have watched, read, and played (both horror works and scholarship/theory)?
And if you have questions about where to begin or what to read next (or even questions about what you just read), don’t hesitate to reach out to Katherine. She definitely does NOT know everything and has not read it all, but she is happy to be a helpful guide on your journey.
Is everything on your podcast available on your YouTube channel and vice versa?
You can listen to our normal podcast episodes and our “Eerie Extras” wherever you normally podcast. Our YouTube channel features our podcast episodes (still as audio content) as well as video versions of our “Eerie Extras” so you can see us as we talk with each other and with our special guests. We also have YouTube-exclusive content, such as our “Spooky Scraps” videos.
How do you pick which horror text to discuss next?
Like all horror nerds, Katherine and Toni have a LONG list of existing films and books that they want to discuss. And there is new horror being written and produced every day! Sometimes one of us has a text that we desperately want to “make” the other see/read; sometimes we use the podcast as an excuse to get to that classic horror text we somehow never watched/read, and sometimes we pick a text we especially loved or hated. But we ALWAYS pick horror texts with YOU—our audience—in mind! This means that our favorite way to pick a text is when a listener recommends that we cover a specific film or book.
How do I recommend a horror text for you to discuss?
The only way we can know what film or book you want us to cover next is if you tell us! There are several ways you can make a recommendation. Tag us in a post on social media and let us know you are waiting to hear our thoughts on a text, send us an email to [email protected] or complete the form under “Contact Us” on this website.
What are “Eerie Extras” and “Spooky Scraps”?
We created our “Eerie Extras” series for all the content we wanted to create that did not fit in our usual podcast lineup. This is where you can find our interviews with horror creators as well as our initial reactions to new releases in horror films and books. You can listen to these episodes wherever you podcast or watch the video versions on YouTube. Unlike our podcast episodes, our “Eerie Extras” are usually released without any editing.
Often when we are recording our podcast episodes, we finish and realize there was so much more we wanted to say. So we created our “Spooky Scraps” series to serve as supplemental videos to dig deeper into a specific quirk or element or idea of a text. These short videos are YouTube exclusives.
What is “Monster MAYhem” and how can I play?
Imagine the love child of March Madness and Wrestlemania…with some horror sprinkled on top. That’s Monster MAYhem.
Monster MAYhem is a bracket-style tournament event that runs throughout the month of May. It combines the calculated odds of March Madness with the pageantry (and violence) of Wrestlemania. The creators (Katherine and a team of students from Trinity University) decide the four bracket categories that will be featured that year and then determine the 64 contestants that will be competing. The contestants are characters from horror films, books, TV shows, graphic novels, and games from around the world. Before Monster MAYhem begins, the contestants are seeded according to specific variables to determine their likelihood of winning a “battle royale” style tournament.
Before the start of each tournament, participants (that’s you!) can determine who they think will be the victor of each battle, each bracket, and—ultimately—that year’s Monster MAYhem. Throughout the month of May, participants will have the opportunity to read battle play-by-plays, watch recap videos, and participate in their own competitions for prizes.
For more information about Monster MAYhem including details about this year’s tournament, consult the “Monster MAYhem” page of this website!
How can I be interviewed as a horror creator on Such a Nightmare?
Our policy is that we read/see materials before we will agree to an interview. The reason is simple: we don’t feel comfortable interviewing horror creators if we aren’t excited about their work. We want to ensure that the interview is a positive, promotional opportunity for you while also allowing us to remain true to our brand and vision. And, if we decide not to move forward with an interview, please understand our decision is not a critique of your work, just our belief that we are not currently a compatible fit.
Typically, we release interviews through our “Eerie Extras” series rather than as part of our regular podcast episodes. This means that we showcase our interviews on our YouTube channel (in addition to producing an audio version). We prefer video interviews (virtually over Zoom) that run between 20-45 minutes in length. Currently we publish the interviews unedited (minus our adding music and annotations for names and pronouns). And of course we promote our interviews on our social media.
We realize that you are entrusting us with something incredibly precious, so we encourage you to make sure—before sending us any materials—that we are a right fit for you. Our interviews with Paul Tremblay, Mike Thorn, and Dani Bethea will give you a good idea of what an interview with us might look like.
We know that this is a lot of information; however, we take very seriously our mission to help the horror community continue to think deeply and thoughtfully about this genre that we all love. Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to hearing from you soon! And if you are ready to send us an email to [email protected] or complete the form under “Contact Us” on this website.
Can we collaborate on a project?
How cool is it that you want to collaborate with us? [Insert happy dance here.] If you are looking to be interviewed or want us to review your horror creations, please consult the previous FAQ answer. If you have something different in mind—like perhaps you are also a podcaster and you want to work to create an episode together—please send us an email to [email protected] or complete the form under “Contact Us” on this website.
How do I find you on social media?
The amazing individuals who put together this website have embedded our Twitter feed on the right side and our Instagram feed on the bottom…so anytime you go to our site here you can see what we’ve been doing on those platforms.
You can also go to https://linktr.ee/suchanightmare to access all our links.
How do I get Such a Nightmare swag?
Right now we have Such a Nightmare stickers that you can use to decorate your laptops, water bottles, or any hard surfaces in your life! If you would like a sticker, please send us an email to [email protected] or complete the form under “Contact Us” on this website.
We will figure out a way to mail you a sticker!