Roberts’ Rules of Horror is a blog I created so I would have a place to write about horror and other things. It is the third (arguably fourth) incarnation of a website I created about 10 years ago.
In its previous lives, I tried to give Roberts’ Rules of Horror a sort of scholarly veneer. I thought it would make the site unique and just maybe give people a reason to make RROH an occasional part of their online horror reading. After a redesign and an brief but honest attempt to attract attention to the site, I realized the Internet has long passed the phase in which an amateur or fan can buy a hosting plan, throw some HTML and CSS onto a server, and develop a site that actually gets noticed. So I said, “To hell with all this,” and decided to ditch all pretense of scholarship and serious criticism, and to embrace the fact that no one is ever going to find or read this site.
Not having an audience means I can write whatever I want. That’s why Roberts’ Rules of Horror is “a blog about me + horror + more.” Sure, it’s mostly about horror in various media, and I still make an attempt to evaluate the works I write about, but RROH is also in large part about how horror fits into my life. I also delve into genres associated with horror, like science fiction and true crime. Really, I’m liable to write about anything.
It begs the question, why bother putting anything online at all? Well, I still believe that sharing is an important part of writing. Publishing what I write, even if it’s unlikely to ever be seen, serves that purpose for me. Also, Word documents don’t look all that exciting. I like to play around with the appearance of the pages and present them with different graphical elements. The Internet is good for that.
If you want to read more about why I moved from a traditional, Web 1.0 type of site to a blog, you can check out the lament that I archived from the last weeks of the old RROH. (Coming soon.)
A little about me, in case you’re interested. I’m a lifelong horror fan. My mom was too. So much of who I am came from Mom. Her stacks of second-hand horror paperbacks, the titles always in flux, inspired me to read. She gave me a lot of latitude to pick what interested me, more than a lot of parents would have, so of course I followed her into horror fandom. The genre is a thread that runs through my entire life, something I’ve always been engaged in. Her reminisces of things like Dark Shadows and going to see The Exorcist during its original run are the reason I hoard horror novels, movies, and TV shows on physical media; so that someday I can turn over boxes of books, DVDs, and Blu-rays to my own kids.
I’m just as much my fathers’s son though. Long before we had a VCR or even a cable box, there was, perched atop our bulky console TV, Dad’s Atari 2600. If I tried really hard, I could probably remember a time in my life before I played video games, but it would take quite an effort. Dad must have had about two dozen carts for the 2600, and didn’t need much convincing later on when I wanted to get a Nintendo and then a Super NES. So I’ve always been a gamer too. Not so much a video gamer anymore, but a pretty dedicated tabletop player. The horror stuff is very well represented in my collection.
I’ve always lived in the Midwest but bounced around from career to career. For a while I made a meager living by writing. Today I’m a librarian, which is a pretty great job if you like reading, movies, games, thinking hard, and finding answers to tough questions. And believe it or not, I have a lot of interests beyond horror.