One of the things I've found I take delight in is discussing my writing projects, themes and basic outlines with those that don't usually read horror or Dark Fantasy.
I tried a little experiment tonight and I truly enjoy the reaction of those brave souls who let me tell my tales of giant bug monsters kidnapping artists, cannibal babies, eleven year old sociopaths or the Death coming to visit for tea.
They and their reactions give me invaluable input on how to make my stories and writing better. This evening I had a lively discussion with a group of people more apt to read such things as Eat, Pray, Love instead of H.P. Lovecraft. The onslaught of suggestions and questions helped me deepen my plot and tweak my characters, for several of the projects I'm working on.
It also helps to come out of my comfort zone and have people criticize my outlook and the fact I love my Monsters. It helps me improve my methods of verbal seduction in order to get them to open their minds, try something new and read the entire book.
All in all, this group was invaluable and I think I may have gained a fan or two...