Welcome back to Horror Drive-In. Although the site has only been down a handful of days, it feels like longer. That's because I seriously considered letting the whole thing go.

I started this place fifteen years ago, in January 2006. The world, and the internet, was a very different place. Social Media, which often seems more like a social disease to me, hadn't taken over everything. People mostly communicated through message boards and chatrooms. Chatrooms! And email. People wrote electronic letters, and many used proper English.

I liked the anonymity of the time. You had to learn about people from their written thoughts. I didn't need to see everyone's mug. There was more privacy. You could lurk the web much easier. Advertisers were not hounding our every footstep. Smartphones/AKA the end of the world as we knew it, weren't prevalent.

What was known as the small press was morphing into independent publishing, where anyone and everyone could be an author, an editor, or a publisher. We all became amateur critics thanks to Amazon and Goodreads.

I had hopes for Horror Drive-In to be the biggest site in all of horror fiction. It didn't happen.

The message boards were very popular for a number of years, but as people became empowered by their own pages at Facebook and Instagram, manners went out of style. People migrated to hide in plain sight at social hubs owned by filthy rich overlords.

I started writing reviews and commentaries about horror books and film. Looking back at it, I see how raw my writing was in the beginning. I was learning the craft of nonfiction prose. What I lacked in polish I made up for in passion, enthusiasm, and deep knowledge of the genre.

Sure, I'll plug my book: He Who Types Between the Rows: A Decade of Horror Drive-In, chronicles those years. I think it's a pretty amazing snapshot of the evolution of the horror community through ten years of turbulent change.

I've gotten a lot better at the game over the years. I think my reviews and essays have grown more professional and entertaining. I think there might be another volume of them coming out in book form. Shh. It's a secret.

I never really got the site to take off as I dreamed about. People told me to hype myself and Horror Drive-In. I was told to seek advertising revenue. I'm just not good at that stuff.

I had my own ups and downs. Mental struggles, employment woes, depression and anxiety. Good things happened too. I became a columnist for Cemetery Dance Magazine, which never would have happened without Horror Drive-In. I experimented with digital publishing, and I purchased good stories by some outstanding writers.

There was never much money involved. Oh, I made a few bucks here and there, but I paid out much more to keep it all going.

I've reached a time in my life where I need to focus on my future. To make hard choices about the life my wife and I will have as we approach retirement. My disposable time became extremely scarce. The day job more demanding.

When this site was shut down by Go Daddy last week, I realized it wasn't something minor, and would possibly cost a considerable amount of money, I gave serious thought to letting the whole thing go.

In the end I decided to keep it. I like writing reviews. My wife enjoys them. Some people tell me the site is important to them.

What you won't find at Horror Drive-In:

Videos or pictures of me. I'm selling my brain, not my image.

Fancy posed pictures of books with coffee cups and flowers. Or color co-ordinated shots of books.

Five Star reviews of every other book out there. Trust me on this: Very, very few books deserve the same rating as Ghost Story, The Haunting of Hill House, or The Ceremonies.

Blatant, paid-for plugs for any publisher.

Hateful reviews that only state how much a book or writer sucks.

What you will find at Horror Drive-In:

Frank opinions on new and older books. I have discerning taste and I have vowed to be honest. I get fairly harsh now and then, when something really cheeses my goat, but I try to be fair and I try to point out what works, as well as what does not work, about a book or film.

Painfully honest details about my life and how it relates to the horror genre.

Humorous and affectionate looks back at classic drive-in cinema.

Nostalgia for days gone by.

Reviews by other writers. Their tastes aren't always my tastes, but I trust them to be as honest and as fair as I try to be.

A place to visit now and then to see alternate thoughts on the genre, hopefully get a laugh or two, and warm trips back to events from my lifelong love affair with horror.

Thanks for stopping by.

Written by Mark Sieber

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