I like how the creative folks of the world suffer a torrent of agony in their personal lives and deal with it by creating music, books, movies, paintings, or, hell, even haikus. Then it makes me wonder how accountants are able to release that frustration, if they don’t have that creative outlet.
Box wine, anyone?
I write books. They usually fall within the realm of horror, but even the more mainstream of stories lean towards a dark sense of humour.
The first question I hear when people learn that I’m an author is “What kind of books do you write?” And then I see the look of them mentally backing away when I mention horror. They never ask why I’m drawn to it, though they should.
Horror is gloriously ingrained in all of us. We all grew up on it. Little Red Riding Hood is eaten by the wolf. Snow White tortures her step mother to death. And Dorothy goes on a killing spree through Oz.
We’ve all had nightmares. We’ve all jumped like crazy when a dog started barking nearby. We’ve all been sure that something has chased us down a dark corridor, even though it was nothing more than our imagination. There is something so primeval about scaring ourselves that it lingers beyond the bounds of reason. You can tell yourself that it was only a movie, but those images still haunt you. You know there is nothing to be afraid of in your basement, yet your heart still skips a beat when the light starts to flicker. No other genre will quicken your pulse and leave you feeling paranoid. Best of all, we know that horror is best seen, heard, and read when it’s late at night, on a cold evening with the fog lingering outside. We’re suckers for punishment, and we can’t get enough of it.
There are three things about the genre that draw me in:
1. Anything can happen. You’re not bound by the logic of reality, and you have total creative freedom for whatever happens in your story. If you’re stuck, kill off a few characters. Or poison them so they join the bad guy.
2. Minimal research. Murder mysteries require some kind of knowledge of police procedures, espionage stories usually need a lot of research that go beyond watching James Bond movies, and romance novels are dependent on thousands of painstakingly researched synonyms used during foreplay. But horror? No research necessary. Much like foreplay, actually. So how easy is the lack of research? Let’s build a story based on my neighbour. Now let’s send something to chase after her. All of a sudden she’s an ordinary person running from a werewolf/ghost/madman, and I have all the knowledge necessary to write about an ordinary person who’s afraid of something else. What I don’t have are the instincts of a seasoned detective, or a cold war spy, or . . . damn it, I shouldn’t have picked a genre that focussed on pleasuring women. I could research that, but I won’t.
3. Finally, I like to write about characters who can go through the worst possible scenario and discover the strength to make it through to the other side. They face their fears. They didn’t think they could do it, but they did, and when they do it is usually epic.
When was the last time you were that badass?
So what’s the point in this blog and website? Simple: shameless self promotion. My plans for retirement are best described as such:
Until then, I’m going to work my ass off. I’ve been writing since I could first hold a pencil. As an adult I thought back to Slash, Eddie Van Halen, and Zakk Wylde, and they all said that when they were a teenager they spent hours, every night, playing the guitar. I, instead, wrote books. Now, it’s time to get myself published.
And instead of posting frequent pictures online of what I had for lunch, I’ve opted to rip open the twisted world of fiction and explore the ghouls that lurk within. Why? Because even your favourite fairy tales are based on horror stories.