I had planned to post a review here. Only… the book I read for this week was so disappointing I just can’t bring myself to do it. I picked it for Amazing Stories Magazine, to review there, which I will do as I’m obligated to do so. But here, you guys don’t want to hear about a dreadful horror anthology that made me want to scrub with bleach (and I have delicate skin and a strong mind!) when I was through writing it.
What it did make me contemplate was horror fiction, and the nature of it. I’ve never been a huge fan of horror. Life is bad enough without looking into the abyss on purpose. This wasn’t that kind of horror. It was the kind that sounded a lot like a teen at the dinner table trying to come up with the grossest possible scenarios to make his family lose their appetite, and it was about as mature. Horror ought to be, done right, very cerebral. It should suck you into a prison of the mind, trapped metaphorically with the protagonist, who even though they could move out of the way, cannot for some reason, and instead faces the oncoming train with dilated pupils and no hope…
I have little patience for that main character. Jump, man! and if you don’t, well, that was your own decision. But I have written horror. Mindflow, which appears in the first Something Wicked anthology, was not written on purpose to be horror, but I have been told it is.
Inspired by the bad horror, I just went ahead and prepared a novella for publication, it will appear tomorrow or Sunday on Amazon. There is no supernatural element, it is simply and dreadfully a woman, broken in soul, who is compelled to solve her friend’s murder even though doing so threatens her own sanity… again. I wrote this about two years ago now, after being given a challenge to write a story where I symbolically opened a vein and bled on the page. Violet is not me, but the memories of her life before the security of the asylum are taken from my own experiences, and those of many others who exist at another’s sufferance. The security of the asylum… the craving for catatonia… I have felt those sucking at me like the riptide that would take my conciousness and leave me in blissful unawareness. It was a difficult story to write. I hope that it is not easy to read, and that it will make you think about your own existence. I’ve come through out into the sunshine, into speaking, and flowers. It can be done… and there is more to Violet’s story.