Teenage Scream: Music to the ears of Point Horror fans
- Lynsey May
- 22 October 2018
Ahead of their first live event, we catch up with the podcast's hosts, Kirsty Logan and Heather Parry
For readers of a certain age and disposition, merely the words 'Point Horror' are enough to bring back a flood of memories. A wildly popular series of books penned through the 90s, these terrible tales were designed to capture the imagination of a pre-teen and teen audience. And for lots of young readers, they were a formative experience that cracked open a door to darker and more complex fiction. That said, the books themselves were sometimes … kind of dreadful.
It's this balancing act between brilliance and ridiculousness that makes them so moreish, and such a perfect topic for writers Kirsty Logan and Heather Parry to lovingly disassemble in their popular podcast, Teenage Scream. It's a show now into its second season and preparing for its first live episode, but what started their journey behind the lurid covers?
Kirsty has unapologetically loved Point Horrors ever since she was a teen and even prior to the podcast would dip into one, knowing it would reliably be fun, silly and something of a treat. When The Social asked her to create a podcast for their series, the choice was an easy one. The episodes they recorded were never aired but Kirsty was free to use the concept and so she asked her favourite co-host, Heather, if she fancied creating a series. She 'jumped at the chance'.
The pair are both big podcast listeners (shout outs to Faculty of Horror and How Did This Get Made) and find the format particularly freeing. You might say that it's not unusual for writers to look for avenues where they'll have complete creative control. There's also something democratising about a medium that can be created with a phone's built-in microphone. Although, thanks to Scream's Patreon supporters, the duo have recently updated their tech.
Also, on a podcast, you don't have to self-edit as much as you might elsewhere (code for, it's OK to swear sometimes!). Kirsty says they want people listening to 'feel as though they're hanging out with them' and Heather adds the chats they have with listeners on Twitter – and the excitable sharing of cover images and plot lines – helps keep that conversation going.
So what kind of things can you expect to hear if you tune in? Well, for each episode, the discussion focuses on one particular book. They'll work out how many of the Point Horror tropes it hits, chat about potential alternative readings and just generally, lovingly, tear it apart. Both of the show's hosts have a critical, analytical background, as well as being writers themselves – Kirsty has a collection of horror stories coming out next year and Heather is currently drafting a novel mostly about a corpse – so there are plenty of solid observations mixed in with the fun.
The Teenage Scream hosts are currently sharpening their literary-scalpels for their first live event, which takes place in Glasgow's Mitchell Library on Halloween and will slice on into Richie Tankersley Cusick's classic Trick or Treat. This could become a regular feature but it's a one-off show at the moment so if you want to see some stellar 90s outfits (and wear one yourself, there are prizes to be won), head along and be a part of Point Horror history.
Glasgow Mitchell Library, Wed 31 Oct, 7pm.