I love writing the dark stuff. Some writers say it’s too much, that writing brooding, deep, dark stories makes their moods correspondingly brooding, deep, and dark. I live for the macabre, and have since I was little.
That doesn’t mean my stories are unrelenting pages of creepiness or woe, though. (It just means all the other little girls thought I was a wee bit…strange. Anyway.) There has to be balance. I like to think of my stories like the rhyme about the little girl with the curl on her forehead:
“When she was good she was very, very good
And when she was bad, she was horrid.”
If you’re going to write in the paranormal genre, I think you should give it your all. If you want to venture into creepy territory, do it with abandon.
Enlightened, my urban fantasy which will be out in February 2013, deals with demons. I’d never written about demons before, so I broke out many a research tome (including ye olde standby, Google) to learn all I could about them.
Subsequently, I came to love them so much that I had a couple of ideas for prequels and side stories for major characters in the novels. This meant more research and more demon-creation.
People, let me tell you, I had fun. Maybe a little too much fun, because I began to have nightmares about my bad guy. In my head, he looks a bit like this:
Needless to say, sweat-soaked pajamas had to be changed. And yes, that’s the demon from Constantine. (Which, by the way, is one of my all-time favorite movies. Watch it if you’re a horror fan like me—your life will be enriched.)
If you want to write scary stuff, you have my full support. Even if you’ve never done it before, I recommend jumping in with both feet. Read some of the masters like Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Shirley Jackson, but don’t be afraid to take risks and really make the ghouls your own. Once you set foot into el creepo territory, you’ll never look back.
Happy writing, and Happy Halloween!