How Nightmares Can Come True
A nightmare, actually.
Alone in a darkened theatre, I watched a group of people come on stage. They looked human. Lean bodies, white teeth, the spotlights lengthening their shadows to grotesque proportions.
When the lights went out, the screaming started.
First one voice, then two, needle-sharp cries melding together. Then came the sickly snapping of breaking bones. I covered my ears but could not escape from the sound. The darkness on the stage was thick, impenetrable, coating my nose and eyes and mouth. But even though I couldn't see what was happening, deep inside of me I knew: their bodies were mutating.
I have a love-hate relationship with horror. I loathe nightmares, avoid horror films, and disdain scary books. My first release, Hungry For You, gave me nightmares about zombies for weeks. After writing a chapter of an in-progress novel about demons, I couldn't (and still can't!) look at a mirror in a dark room.
Yet despite my being an utter wuss, I continue to use elements of fear to fuel my writing. So what is it about horror that appeals to me?
Simply put, I think that the dark sides of human nature are the most fascinating. Fear changes people; it can make them do things they'd never have thought possible. It's a test of your character, of your survival instincts.
A writer should write what they know, and fear is one of the emotions that resonates the most with me. I scare easily, so when I'm putting a piece of myself into a story, fear is one of the easiest emotions to access.
Besides, it's kind of fun to see my nightmares come true. Especially when they're not happening to me!
A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the dark fantasy series Above Ground and the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate. You are welcome to gently pester her at http://amharte.com or on twitter at @am_harte.
And please return on Nov. 2nd, when A.M. Harte makes a return appearance for her Above Ground blog tour, bringing an excerpt from her book.
Plus, be sure to pop by tomorrow for the announcement of the winner of the copy of The Cult of Me by Michael Brookes and to get the free coupon codes for Killers and Demons and Ruined City.