Back in September, I had a contest on the Kindle Horror Books group. The challenge was to creep me out. As some of you know, I’m a huge horror fan. It’s to the point that sometimes I feel I’m desensitized. There were quite a few entries for this but in the end Glen won for his book, Where Darkness Dwells. The review for that book will be up as soon as I finish it. The prize for the winner was a guest blog spot! What better spot than Halloween! I hope you enjoy this and do check out Glen’s book. It’s an amazing read so far.
My Horror Origins
Most authors can pinpoint the exact moment horror took hold of them. For many, it was during unsupervised viewings of late night creature features in the bygone days when there were only a few channels to occupy their attentions. For others, they became snared by the darkness the first time they cracked open a Stephen King novel.
For me, horror got its claws into me quite early, but probably not how you expect. You see, I grew up in the Catholic faith, studied at a parochial school and attended Mass twice a week through the fifth grade. Even before I understood the rudiments of Mass, I was surrounded by these great images of sorrow, loss, and self-sacrifice in the face of unimaginable pain. I couldn’t stop sneaking glances at them. These stolen glances informed my innocent brain. The tormented emotions captured in these images are what horror is all about.
The old church we attended had stained glass depictions of the Stations of the Cross. For you non-Catholics, this is a step-by-step description of the crucifixion of Christ. For long hours, I would stare at these quite horrific windows. The crown of thorns, the nails through the palms and feet, the sword through the side. Sure, you might quibble at me defining these images as horror, but how can you argue that surrounding yourself with these morbid images week after week wouldn’t induce some people, including yours truly, into becoming fascinated by horror? To put it bluntly (please don’t let me get struck down by lightning!) the glory and zeal at which the parishioners worshiped at the foot of these iconic images could be considered a form of per-celluloid torture porn. Another example: Christ rising from the dead–how could it be explained as anything else but an early zombie tale? Isn’t eating of the flesh of Christ also cannibalism?
Okay, I went a little overboard. Please forgive my hyperbole. To be honest, I never considered those possibilities at such an early age. But the images remained. As I grew up, my thoughts would often linger on the emotions depicted in those windows. Horror is an emotion, is it not? Pain, anguish, disenfranchisement–those are all themes I explore in my writing. I may create monsters, or other supernatural elements may play a role in my plots but it all comes back to emotion.
Is it merely a coincidence that I turned out this way, or were the seeds of my writing planted on holy ground?
Check out more Glen!
Synopsis: Summer, 1934. Two boys, searching for a local legend, stumble upon the Underground, a network of uncharted caverns. Time holds no sway there; people no longer age and their wounds heal as if by magic. By morning, one boy is murdered, while the other never returns. Below a town ravaged by the Great Depression, an immortal society thrives, built on the backs of slavery and pervasive immorality.