The below is excerpted from the Preface to Horror Film Aesthetics, which is due to be published in Spring 2010:
"This is a book about horror film aesthetics. That sounds abstract and theoretical, but quite the contrary, this book is intended to be pragmatic. A practical and useful guide for aspiring horror filmmakers. This book analyzes how various cinematic tools -- acting, makeup, costuming, set décor, framing, photography, lighting, editing, and sound -- have been used by past films to effectively (or in some cases, ineffectively) create horror on screen.
"This book is an 'aesthetic how to' guide for horror filmmakers. Not to help them copy past films, but rather, to spark their imaginations. To expand their understanding of the horror genre -- its nature and appeal to viewers -- and their appreciation for the full creative potential of their film and video equipment. Aspiring filmmakers often read technical manuals to learn what the buttons on their cameras do, but they don't bother to learn how to use those buttons creatively. I know this as a horror film fan, critic, and journalist, and also from screening films for the Tabloid Witch Awards horror film contest and festival, which I founded in 2004 and continue to manage.
"This is not a book about how to use film and video gear. This is a book about how to use film and video gear effectively. In a way that conveys your horror story and themes in a clear, entertaining, and frightening manner.
"Student and independent filmmakers should find this book useful, but it is also intended for the hardcore fan. I hope this book will enable fans to 'see things' in horror films they may have previously missed, and thus gain a deeper appreciation for the genre. An appreciation that leads to greater viewing pleasures."