My guest today is Stacey Turner! As a fan of the ‘what if’ game, myself, I can totally get behind what Stacey has to say!
I often get asked why I write horror. What is it that draws a person to the darker side? Honestly? I have no idea. No easy answers here folks, sorry. Someone suggested horror writer’s minds work slightly differently and that may be the case. I do know my mind works way differently than almost anyone I know. Why? It’s probably a little bit nature and a little bit nurture.
As for the nurture part, I’d like to thank my parents for being horror fans. Sure, letting a four year old watch “The Birds” was maybe not the best thing to do, (I have this horrible bird phobia. Seriously, those aviary things at Zoos? Can’t get near them.) but between Hitchcock and Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and an endless stream of horror flicks they set me up with a lifelong love of all things paranormal. And I don’t consider that a bad thing.
I, personally, write horror because I want to scare people. I love that “Omigod, I cannot look behind me right now” feeling you get when you watch a good scary movie or walk through a haunted prison (Mansfield Penitentiary- Ohio). That wonderful little thrill when you’re walking through the dark woods at night. That thrilling sensation when you’re home alone and hear an inexplicable noise. Love it. If that makes me slightly crazy, so be it. It’s how I roll. And I want to share the feeling. I’ve said before if I can make one person sleep with the light on after they read my work—I’ve succeeded. And according to a friend, who shall remain nameless, I’m a success. But I won’t stop there. I’ve got more scaring to do.
The nature part is a little trickier, but I do know focusing on scary things seems to naturally incline my brain to go there first. I love reality TV (don’t ask, it’s a guilty pleasure) and so one day I made my husband watch an episode of “Ice Lake Rebels.” Now I’m sure most people who catch the show are thinking how odd these folks are, choosing to live on a lake so close to the arctic circle that it freezes over several months out of the year. They live off the grid, sticking it to the man. But me? I’m instantly all questions and possibilities: “What if there was something in the lake? Something big, dark, and monstrous? No one would hear them scream.” Or, “What if one of them went crazy over the course of a particularly nasty winter? Slowly started picking the others off one by one?” Or even, “What if the government or some shady bioterror company decided to experiment on these people? I mean, they’ve totally isolated themselves, no one would ever know.” Admit it, you were still thinking, “Good hell, you mean they don’t have running water?” But not a horror writer. And as I generally fire these questions off out loud and rather rapidly, my husband is usually left to sputter, “Wait. What? What the hell is wrong with you?” I don’t know. But I like it this way.
It’s that constant game of scary “what if” that generates ideas for writing. And maybe what scares me doesn’t scare you, or vice versa, but if I do my job right we can all share that shivery chill snaking down our backs along with my characters. I hope you’ll check out my latest work, a novelette titled “The Night Air,” in Grimm Mistresses due out February 23rd from Ragnarok Publications’ horror imprint Angelic Knight Press. There are four other stories by super talented female horror authors as well.
Many thanks to Selah Janel for letting me take over her blog.
Stacey Turner lives in West Central Illinois. Three wonderful, adult children call her “Mom,” and two beautiful little boys call her “Mimi” (Grandma). She is owned by cats. She spends her days writing and editing, but still finds time to review books & interview authors, as well as blog about her absolutely ridiculous family and other adventures. You can find her Author blog at http://www.staceyturner-authorspot.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter: @Spot_Speaks or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorStaceyTurner. To contact her about editing, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She enjoys editing because she’s bossy. And also because she revels in helping an author polish their work. She has edited several anthologies, including the upcoming No Place like Home: Tales from a Fractured Future and the more recent Fairly Wicked Tales, as well as many novels & novellas for a variety of authors.
She has been published in several anthologies and online magazines. When not working, she enjoys photographing cemeteries, playing “what if,” and discussing the imminent zombie apocalypse. She does not enjoy scarecrows, creepy dolls, birds (of any sort), snakes, clowns, or garden gnomes.