I've been thinking a lot about horror.
It's probably the best category for what I write, but when I compare my work to titles at the book store, or reviewed in articles on horror fiction, I wonder. My books and stories don't have vampires, werewolves, zombies or psychopathic killers in them. Does that mean they're not horror (or horrific)?
I remember when my fascination with horror stories began. I was in 7th grade, and my school bus drive leant me her copy of Stephen King's Salem's Lot. It was dogeared and missing the cover, and I didn't care. I devoured it. I still remember how chilling some of the scenes were and how brilliant I thought the writing was.
From there, I moved on to the other Stephen King books. Then I discovered Dean Koontz, Robert R. McCammon, John Skipp & Craig Spector, Peter Straub, John Saul, and Lisa Cantrell. I was a slow reader, but I couldn't get enough.
I liked my horror creepy, supernatural, and just slightly on the messy side. I still do. The spooky stuff that inhabits the dark (and sometimes brilliantly lit) parts of our lives, captured my heart, and my imagination. I began to formulate stories of my own. For years, none of then ever made it onto a page. I was either intimidated or unmotivated to write, so I let the ideas come and then go.
Now, here I am, actively writing, with the hope of being published. I've returned to the stories inspired by the authors I read and loved all those years ago, but I worry about whether there's a place for them in today's world of over-the-top, gross out terror?
I've gotten used to marching to my own beat, but wonder if there's an audience with the same taste and aesthetic? I guess only time will tell. In the mean time, I will continue to write what I "see", and hope I have my chance to entertain and inspire someone like the authors who did it for me.