You’ve probably already heard that wonderfully creepy urban tale about a teenage boy and girl making out in a car in some Lovers Lane in Anytown, USA, and how the boy starts telling the girl of the “Hook Murders” in the area, whereby amorous teens are being killed by an insane, escaped killer with a hook for a hand. Perhaps not the smartest move on the boy’s part, as his girlfriend gets all distracted by fear, going from initial anxiety to eventual near-hysteria, resisting his advances and demanding they leave that instant. Which he eventually does. He’s all bummed, they bicker on the way back, arrive at her place, she jumps out, slams the door…. and screams. He runs around to her side of the vehicle…. and sees what she sees: a single bloody hook dangling from the door handle.
Creeped out? Good, because I am, and a good haunting is no fun alone. Continue reading “Off The Hook”
When I was maybe 12 or 13 years old, one of the first stories I ever wrote was about an old man wandering the streets in a dystopian future. He was so old and forgotten that he couldn’t even remember his name, going by the initials RDB. Those initials, of course, stood for Raymond Douglas Bradbury, and the man at the time was my literary hero. My very obvious stylistic mimicry of him back then, in that and many other proto-stories, was excruciating yet necessary; all part of a writer’s journey. But it’s no exaggeration to say I almost certainly wouldn’t have been a writer had it not been for Ray Bradbury and his short stories in particular. Up until the time I opened a well-pawed library copy of The Illustrated Man, I knew I loved stories (what kid doesn’t?), but I’d never realised until that moment how those stories could be presented, enclosed in beauty, garnished with lyricism and beauty. Not just the tale but the telling. That was Bradbury’s gift to me and countless other readers who, thanks to his example, began to dream of also being writers. Continue reading “Build Your Wings”
“Horror… Horror has a face… and you must make a friend of horror.” Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now
You’d think that horror would be one of the easiest of genres within which to write: create a protagonist who is either extremely likeable or go for the opposite, a character deserving of some particularly overdue and nasty payback; either invent or import a monster from Familiar Horror Trope Land (sparkly or not, preferably the latter); bring them together in some unexpected location and everything gets all squishy and liquidized and unpleasant and the audience members lose all control of their bodily functions and curse your parents… except that’s not necessarily what happens at all. Horror is hard to write. Okay, no, I just lied. Horror is easy to write, but good horror is hard to write. Continue reading “The Horror… The Horror…”