Dark Delicacies is located in Burbank, California. Run by Del and Sue Howison, this popular horror bookstore has been featured on the Sci-Fi Channel, the New York Times, Daily News, Fangoria, and Bookcase magazines. Besides books, the store sells gifts, DVDs, signed first editions, and scary novelties for the horror enthusiast. Here to talk about the store and the horror market in general is Del Howison.
Tell us a bit about Dark Delicacies, Del. What compelled you to open a horror bookstore?
Actually it was the fact that I couldn't find anything to decorate my house with. My wife, Sue, and I love horror and we wanted some things to decorate our house with to reflect our taste. This was 1993 and '94. Nothin'. so we set out on a mission to find all the horror things we could and put them in one spot. Thus the genesis of Dark Delicacies.
Do you think the horror book market is declining, thriving, or at a plateau?
It is always fluctuating. Sometimes up and sometimes down. What actually happens is that horror becomes popular because of some good writing so every publishing company in town releases horror - good, bad and indifferent. Then folks get tired of reading bad horror and the market drops. Then good horror comes back and the cycle starts all over again. It is also affected by current events. Whenever there is a war or a "real" horror the populace can't control, horror becomes popular because you can always close a book, change a channel or walk out of a movie. It makes us feel like we have some control again when events feel out-of-control. Note how zombie stuff became popular after 9/11. We'd just seen all those images of ash covered people coming from the rubble on TV.
What type of horror seems to be most popular with your customers?
Like I said, it changes with the times. Right now zombies are hot but that may change with the film Twilight.