Sumiko Saulson on Horror Writing

Regarding the thought process that was involved in the formulation of Happiness and Other Diseases.

Gender Role Reversal in Happiness and Other Diseases

by Sumiko Saulson

Happiness and Other Diseases is a dark fantasy set in contemporary times but rooted in Greco-Roman mythology. These are not the gods who sit upon high in Olympus; these are darker creatures that reside in the Demos Oneiroi, the world of dreams. It is conveniently located in Hades, at the point where dead souls arrive. It is no accident, when everyone knows that Somnus and Thanatos, the deities of Sleep and Death, respectively, are very closely related. They’re twin brothers.

While Happiness and Other Diseases is strictly speaking, neither horror nor romance, it has elements of both running concurrently through it, in the same way that James O’Barr’s The Crow and the movie franchise it spawned, and Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale do. As such, it can also be considered a dark romance.

I didn’t set out to write a…

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