Why I Write Horror

I try not to keep up with the news, but being a fairly sociable person, I find it difficult. If I don’t hear it online or on the telly, I hear it from someone and either ask details or end up looking it up online. There’s so much bad in this world. There’s so much negativity. Watching the news makes me feel like the world is such a depressing place. It doesn’t have to be, and it really isn’t when it comes down to the heart of things. It all starts with us, but on a smaller scale; it starts with an individual.

If we can do something to make someone’s day, no matter how simple it may be, that’s a start. If we can go out of our way to help someone or show a little kindness, we are already creating the kind of home we want to live in. We have to really think of the world as our home, because it is. And to think of people and regard them as we would our own family would also make such a world of difference. Well, assuming that you’re the kind of person who would treat your family members with kindness and respect. Some people are quite the opposite and would be more willing to show a stranger kindness than those who are closest to them. But I digress.

I want to live in the kind of world I envision in my mind. The “Welcome” mat would include everyone. People would smile at each other. No one would judge. There wouldn’t be any heartache or murder, although death is inevitable. Given that sad fact, why make things more difficult for each other?

I write horror because a lot of it is symbolic. Not all, but some. There are times when something has happened to me and I twist it into a metaphour. Sometimes I take everyday scenarios and psychological issues and put my own spin on it.

There was one story I wrote a while back where a girl had to make the choice between becoming possessed or committing the ultimate sin of suicide. That was in essence about the inner turmoil of religious and spiritual struggle. If you had to choose one sin over another, which would you choose? What would be the lesser evil, so to speak? In the end, she stabbed herself in the heart with a gold letter opener given to her by her father (Like, who uses those anymore?!?!? It was set in modern times but it was to give a bit of a throwback feel to old-skool, like Edgar Allan Poe). The fact that it had been given to her by her father bore the symbolism that their relationship wasn’t ideal. But it was also that letter opener that saved her from a fate so unworldly and unGodly, an nod to her father’s indirect assistance in her time of need when he wasn’t there for her physically. A sort of abandonment issue. And, of course, the gold object penetrating the heart was all about forgiveness. That act was what released her from the grip of the demons, thereby freeing her of those deep-rooted issues (i.e. “demons”). So in a way, yeah it was a happy ending. Well, of course, if you take it all on the figurative and metaphoric level. Otherwise it was just a morbid concoction of macabre.

But, that was back in the day when I tried to be all hipster-sophisticate-ModernVictorian-goth about writing. Nowadays, I just try to get into the heart of what really chills people to the bone. I adore a good scare, so I try to write things that would creep me out. I know you’re not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but “creep out me” just doesn’t sound right.

Anyway, I feel like there are people in this world who are so cruel and unkind, and it makes no sense to me. Maybe that’s why I prefer supernatural horror these days. It’s a bit simpler than trying to understand the human condition and sometimes using the victim of the story to convey that idea. I prefer to believe that people are kind and good, excepting those few out there. I like to manifest some of the worst fears of human nature by way of words. To me, it’s also scarier to think of something completely beyond our control and understanding, and maybe in some way, my demons and monsters are still symbolic of the dark abyss we have yet to understand, the kind of things that live inside the minds of people who are capable of committing such atrocity that the rest of us don’t want to think about.

So aside from all that, I don’t want the evils from the books I read or write to escape the pages, and I don’t want on-screen horror to make its way into real life. That’s why I write horror.

That, and because I enjoy a good scare. Especially when you are able to get a really good chill from the last line of a really great story, or those surprise scenes at the end of a movie (you know the ones, where they black it out right after showing the monster jump back up and you can only assume it killed the last of the survivors). I love the tension of it all. And the relief that can be found from knowing that it’s only a book or a movie. That’s what I want to give my readers: A heart-racing romp through the pages of my stories, after which they can find comfort in knowing that it it was only fiction.




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