For this fortnightly book, I'll be looking at his first horror novel, Demon Night. Straczynski is a long-time Stephen King fan, so it has plenty of traces of that influence, right down to its setting, which is rural Maine. It even opens with an epigraph from King:
There's little good in sedentary small towns. Mostly indifference spiced with an occasional vapid evil--or worse, a conscious one.
Straczynski wrote it just to write it -- a sort of King-style story with features for which he had a taste -- but he was eventually convinced to publish it. Straczynski in an afterword to the reprint, which I have, notes himself that it has the "inevitable flaws and excesses of any first novel", and the reviews are all over the place, with some people rating it very highly and others panning it. And I'm also not a huge fan of horror -- I don't mind it, but I've never been creeped out by a book in my life, and thus am missing out on what most fans of horror novels really like about them. So it should be interesting to see how this turns out.
Here is J. Michael Straczynski on how to write: