Yeah, I publish romance novels, but my secret love, the genre I want to write more of, is horror. Not psychological horror or suspense, I want to write Lovecraft-type horror; that horror that just makes you want to sleep with the lights on and never go down in your basement or up to your attic again.
Horror was my first love-not romance. I remember being about 10 years old, and my sister and her fiance were in the living room watching a late-night horror flick. I was in bed, my mother was in bed, and I could hear the TV from where I laid in bed. It sounded REALLY interesting, whatever they were watching. So, being a curious kid, I crept out of bed and slid to the floor of the hallway, which was terrazzo flooring so I was able to just slither along the floor with no sound. Once I got to the living room, I peeked around the wall and there it was – our old console TV flickering with images of a big, slobbering Saint Bernard.
I love dogs, have had them all my life, so I was entranced…until I realized what was happening onscreen. Then I watched in abject horror as this beautiful dog attempted to kill, repeatedly, a trapped mother and her son. I think I lasted about…10 minutes, but to a kid in terror, it was a lifetime. My exit from the hallway was not as stealthy. My mother heard me, and ordered me back to bed. Sometime in the wee, dark hours of the night, when the house was silent and everyone was in bed, I lay awake, staring at my ceiling. Then I heard it: the jingling noise of dog tags, coming up the hallway toward my room.
My mind froze, racing to place the noise. I knew what it was, but for some reason my terrified mind just blanked-except for visions of being torn apart in bed. I start screeching in terror, thinking that Cujo was in our house. My mother ran in, flipped on the light, and the bright wash of it revealed our five pound poodle mix Dusty, cowering in the hallway, scared out of her own wits by my screaming.
You would think that after that little scene, I would not only be terrified of dogs, but of bumps in the night and metal jingling against metal. Wrong. I embraced that fear, found out about the movie, and ran with it. Stephen King became my idol (damning me to eternal hell, according to my Catholic upbringing), and I voraciously read ANYTHING of his I could get my grubby little hands on. I stole my sister’s copy of The Stand and read it- when I was 10- and asked for Pet Semetary for my 11th birthday. I got IT for my 12th birthday, and loved the attention it got me, since no one else that was 12 could read a 1000+ page novel.
Whenever he put a book out, I read it. Even Cycle of the Werewolf. I have a werewolf phobia, so it was a big thing for me to read that book, and its one of my favorites. When he got hit by the van – I almost had an anxiety attack. I said prayers for him, for crying out loud. I felt like my mother, who had lit candles for Elvis when he died. And every time Mr. King said he was retiring, I shook a fist at the sky.
Granted, since I’ve become an adult, and I’ve had to do things like pay bills, own cars, and have a teenage son, my purchasing power has diminished, and I can’t buy the extra’s that he puts out like digital content. I still buy the books that come out in hardcover though. Stephen King has been the driving force behind my writing. Stephen King was the reason I fell in love with reading.
However, Stephen King is NOT the reason I’m moving to Maine. I want to get that out in the open, so that I’m not arrested as a stalker when I get to the state 😉