While discussing various aspects or characters of my writing projects with friends or fellow coworkers, on occasion I have heard “you are weird.” Of course, I don’t take it personal and actually view it with some amount of respect. Am I weird? Well, that’s probably a matter of opinion, depending on whether the person actually knows me or not. At work and in passing, I suppose that would be a correct assumption. However, for those who are closer, this vague perception is not even a consideration.
Typically, I am just a normal, average, everyday guy who goes to work every day and prefers to write dark, demented tales in his off time, hoping to eventually write for a living. And, in all reality, with exception to the genre and bank account, I’m probably no different than some of the top writers. Was J.K. Rowling weird for dreaming up a boy wizard named Potter? How about George Martin? Is he weird for creating a world all its own that surrounds the chasing of a throne and includes dragons and dwarfs? Personally, if you ask me, I think E L James might be just a little bit warped, especially with the bondage thing. But, that’s because it isn’t my cup of tea. However, it has been a giant pot of tea for many, and that I can respect. After all, it only takes one million dollar best-seller to become a household name and suddenly that weirdness has magically morphed into genius and become an accepted norm.
Point being, every writer has a story to tell and they are going to tell it regardless of how they are initially perceived. Why, because they believe.
Well, I prefer to write horror. And, sometimes that horror takes a reader to a dark place where they feel uncomfortable. That was my intentions. Why? Because just like King, Little, Lovecraft, Barker, Ketchum, Koontz, Lumley, Lansdale, Poe, Straub, Serling and upteen other writers of the macabre, I too intend to frighten and scare. In this genre, normal is simply not a typical word. Words like creepy, demented, horrible, evil, terror, dread, shock, revulsion, dismay, fear, alarm, panic and weird are.
So, does all this make me weird? Maybe, at least for right now it may. While I am quite familiar that a breakout tale may never come, I am also quite sure that I’ll never stop trying. I enjoy writing and my only wish is that I would have followed my heart earlier in life and pursued it instead of being conservative. Who knows, if I had, I may have already stumbled upon my Raven, Cujo, Mailman or Necronomicon.
Regardless, my life's tale is far from finished and here’s hoping my latest lead character from my current in-progress novel entitled A Lawnly Existence changes all that. Otherwise, I do have another in mind that may…
With about fifty pages left to go and intent upon finishing it today, I think I can accurately mention my latest read, Bentley Little’s book, The Association.
Exclusive gated communities are welcomed sanctuaries to many, with strict bylaws that ensure consistency and behavior. These bylaws can cover everything from home color to noise control, and are usually a product of resident democracy.
During a trip through Utah, Barry and Maureen stumble upon a beautiful and picturesque gated community known as Bonita Vista. Before long, they have acquired one of the homes and have excitedly relocated from metropolitian Los Angeles.
With serenity that is overwhelming, a view that many would give their left arms for, and kindly neighbors that take the time to converse, the community seems like the perfect place, a high end version of Mayberry RFD. They quickly get to work decorating and planting, and before long, have settled comfortably.
They probably should have checked the community’s bylaws first, for The Association reserves the right to approve every aspect of your life, from décor to associates to employment to landscaping and friends. Your actions are constantly monitored and any infraction will result in severe penalties ranging from monetary fines to even death. And, just like a horror version of the Mafia, once you have been accepted and are in, without involving a pine box, you are more than likely to never be allowed to leave. For in this community, democracy is only a word and it is the robed elders, led by an old and seemingly decrepit Jasper Calhoun, the owner of the big house on the hill, that make the rules. And, you will abide by them…
It's official, my Land of Shadow and Substance column at Horror News Net will have a new episode every Wednesday.
And, just as a reminder, my Interview with a Monster series will be starting soon in Suspense Magazine. I'll let you know when the issues are out.
I made a couple of friends this week.
Even had lunch with one!
And, last but not least, here's the tasteless, horror joke of the week...
How do you make a dead puppy float?
Two scoops of ice cream and two scoops of dead puppy!
Have a great week ghouls and I'll creep back by next week!