While I read (and even enjoy) a good fantasy novel now and again, they aren’t my favorite, and the same goes for horror novels where the “big bad” is something mystical, magical or other-worldly in nature. I tend to prefer things that are at least grounded in reality, or it’s hard for me to suspend disbelief enough to get that “thrill” the author’s trying to give.
For example, magic ala Once Upon a Time or Harry Potter is fun, but I never completely lose myself in those stories, because on a deep level, I don’t *really* believe that sort of thing exists. However, in a movie like Star Wars, where the “magic” is explained as a “life force” of sorts that is ever-present and can be used to mystical effect, I have an easier time suspending disbelief because even though it still “just exists”, there’s an origin story, something that fuels the mystical happenings explained enough so as to be…less mystical. Sleepy Hollow is the same way – everything that has power has been imbued with it, it seems, the power doesn’t just exist unless something happens to make it so, in most cases. That tends to be easier for me to swallow (so to speak).
I know. It’s convoluted. That’s how my brain works (you should know that by now).
This is the main reason that my books focus on horrors that are real, instigated by people (often, the “horror” is a person…someone to fear). I have an easier time writing it, because I have an easier time believing it myself. It’s difficult to write something you can’t fully invest yourself in (not that it stops me from trying occasionally).
So you can imagine my surprise when last night, as I was trying to come up with a blog topic for today, I jotted down a little poem that brought vampires to mind. Vampires & werewolves are so omnipresent that I don’t have so much trouble with those particular fantasies, whether romanticized or raw, but naturally my idea tends more to the raw version of the toothy critters, rather than the romantic. I thought about it for awhile, melded it with a fantasy of mine, and came up with a somewhat mediocre story plot I was kind of “meh” about.
After chewing on that for awhile in the shower this morning, I asked myself a question that sort of gelled the whole idea into a conglomeration of reality based horror fantasy, where nothing is quite as it seems, but some things are worse than one might imagine.
And that’s how the plot of next year’s horror novel came to be: from a poem, a fantasy, a shower, and a twist.