Raingod’s Weblog

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The Reaction

I made a post on this over on SL, and thought I’d blog about it as well, for those who don’t frequent Matt’s House of Favoritism. I was telling a coworker today about my poem Forgotten Son, being included in the Death In Common poetry anthology. Their reaction: “Horror? That’s not real writing.”

They walked away before I could reply, but even now, I’m still not sure how to react. I know better. I also know different genres elicit different reactions. But to think something isn’t “real” because of the genre, is a rather harsh statement. What is real? To some it may be Romance, Crime noir for others. Horror for me can encompass all other genres in one form or another, and still stand on it’s own.

Somehow the fact, I choose to write horror (not esclusively, but it’s the most prominent of my current projects), makes my labor meaningless to someone. 

I love horror, always have. before my 20 year absence of writing I had a friend tell me that I’d outgrow it, as if it were a stage of life or something. To me, horror is what I do best. I don’t ignore non horror ideas as they come along (in fact I have a sci fi that came up the other night I’m working on), but it’s what I gravitate towards. 

I’m a storyteller, and while people are under no obligation to read anything I publish, nor are they welcome to denigrate a genre simply because they don’t like it, or think it’s “real” writing.

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November 16, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , , , | 4 Comments

The Write Stuff

In the two and a half months I’ve had this blog, not once have I mentioned any of the projects I’m working on. As a general rule, I don’t like to talk about them, as I begin to lose the excitement I feel for the projects.

Right now I’m adding onto my zombie story, Killer Weed. It started out as an okay 2500 word story, but has now ballooned into almost 6000 words. I’ve added several scenes to give some background on Johnny boy, one of the main characters, and his relationship to Ed, the narrator. I’m quite happy with how it’s coming along and should have this done by Halloween time.

I’m also working on a trilogy of fantasy novels I’ve had in mind for close to 20 years. I made one attempt at the first book back in  ’89, but didn’t have the ability to do it justice. I was writing plays mostly at that point, and the odd short story, so a full length fiction piece was beyond me. I’ve made brief outlines for each book in the series, and doing research now on the London underground system, as well as some geography in Europe and around Washington DC. Part fantasy, part science fiction and part political thriller, the first book, Castle Blackburn: From the Ashes, intermingles faireies, gnomes, elves, modern politics, and aliens all converging into a cliffhanger ending. Book 2, is somewhat of a prequel, and book 3 picks up immediately after the first one ends. There was no reason behind my plotting it this way, other than it made the most sense to me. 

Once I finish Killer Weed, I’ll be recreating a lost story of mine, that has always been one of my favorites, Heart of Stone. It’s as close to mainstream fiction as I’ve ever gotten, and look forward to bringing it back to life. After Stone is completed I’ll be going into the trilogy and hope to have the first book done by early spring. I’m not a fast writer, by any stretch of the imagination; I believe in taking my time and doing things right. I take pride in my work, and even if nothing ever sees the light of publishing, I’ll know I did the best job I could. 

I’m also making sure I keep my Strunk and white handy.  As much as I’ve learned over the course of my life, there’s much I’ve forgotten, but the S&W always reminds me of those things that seem to fade over time. Nitwits take note of that.

September 29, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , , | 7 Comments

The appeal of Horror

I blame my love of horror on Hans Holzer.

When I was little I found some books my Mom had by Holzer dealing with ghosts and the paranormal. They had grainy black and white pics of ghosts that triggered something in me. I then began devouring everything I could by him. Trips to the library found me sneaking into the adults area looking for anything and everything on the subject.

I became insatiable. And then one day I found a book on possession and exorcisms and it chilled me like nothing before. demons, ghosts, posssession, haunted houses, graveyards all promised me the kind of excitement that normal fare didn’t.

When Chiller theater (Sunday afternoons at ), came on I was perched in front of the tv. From the creepy music to the claymation 6 fingered green arm coming out of the ground ( which can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asO97gdn2oo&NR=1) I barely breathed. Barely blinked. There was a good mixture of Hammer films, Godzilla movies and the Universal classics. However the ultimate horror memory of my youth was watching The Night Stalker with my Mom. Not only did I get to watch this unbelievably awesome show, I also got to stay uo late!!! I’m not sure my mother knew what she was getting herself into by doing that, but I’ll always be grateful to her for that experience. I’m especially glad she’d hold my hand as she took me to bed so the monsters wouldn’t get me.

I can’t remember the first horror novel I ever read though but I think it was Carrie. My sister had a paperback copy that I “borrowed” from her and if nothing else I became a King fan. I guess I was 10 or 11 at the time. Probably far too young for such fare but there you go.

when my family moved to Phoenix, in 1981, I found Fangoria at a supermarket magazine stand. I don’t remember the cover but do remember it was issue 15. I’ve bought every issue since, despite no longer having many of those early issues anymore. From that moment on, I never looked back.

Horror, for me, is the ultimate escape. The characters may not escape death, but I, as a reader, will. At least for the length of that novel. I had a friend who read a short story I’d been working (this would be around 1988 I believe) on and he said, “When are you going to outgrow this?” My answer then is the same as it is now.

“Never, I hope.”

August 7, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , | 4 Comments