For my contribution, I have elected to go with door #1 and talk about one of my passions: horror fiction. I love watching horror movies, reading horror books and stories, and writing horror fiction. I have mostly written short stories, but I have a couple of books in the works as well. So for today, I’m going to talk about writing horror fiction.
🎩 Tip of the hat to you if recognize the doors above.
Origins of my story telling
I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can live. My earliest memory of telling a story was when I was ~4 years old, and I told my parents that the reason Freddy Fender was my favorite singer was because he and I were in prison together. I then proceeded to tell them the elaborate story of how I was arrested for stealing french fries and sent to prison where I shared a cell with Freddy Fender. We had chocolate milk for our meals every day in prison that always came with a bendy straw. We saved our straws and sneaked them back to our cell for a whole year. The prison was on an island in the middle of a big river. When we had enough straws, we made a boat out of them and escaped. The police chased us in their boats, but we were able to stay far enough ahead of them on the river, thanks in big parts to how fast the straws floated in the river currents. We made it to the ocean and the guards couldn’t chase us any more because their boats only worked in fresh water and not salt water. We landed on the beach and went our separate ways.
Writing short storiesI loved monster movies for as long as I could remember. I watched all the old classic movies on weekend days and night. My family moved a lot, and it seemed like many of the places we lived had some local actor that hosted the old monster movies often looking like a creepy undertaker or an old vampire or some such character. Probably the best known of these characters was Elvira, the Mistress of the Macabre.
As I grew older, I moved on to other genres of horror movies like The Omen and The Amityville Horror and Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. I gained an appreciate for most forms of horror fiction. The gorier, the better. I even dabbled with horror makeup effects when I was a teenager and got pretty good at grossing people out.
I read a few horror books when I was a kid. The Amityville Horror scared the crap out of me while I was reading it late at night while everyone else was sleeping. I didn’t really get into reading horror fiction hardcore until I sometime after I saw Clive Barker’s movies Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (still my favorite horror movies of all time). I was in a used bookstore one day, and I saw a book called Imajica by Clive Barker. I recognized the name and decided to give it a read. It was incredible. So much better than his movies. After that, I went back and bought everything the bookstore by Clive Barker and read them all. They were all amazing.
Clive Barker is easily my favorite author, but he isn’t prolific like Stephen King. In between Clive Barker books (each of which I have read multiple times), I would read books by Stephen King or other horror writers. Through all these years, I would come up with stories of my own in my head. I never wrote them down. I came across a website for writers called Writer’s Cafe where you could post your writing publicly. I started posting some of my stories there. A few of them were stories that had previously only existed in my head. Most were brand new things that I wrote down as inspiration hit me.
A good example of a story that was written on the spur of the moment when something inspired me was Demon Visitor (suitable for all audiences) which was inspired by a particularly thick fog rolling in from nowhere one night.
Other stories were things that I had thought about for a while and could never quite figure out how I wanted the story to play out. A good example of a story I had thought about for many months and then finally wrote it one day is Never Again (contains adult themes).