Here's an early Halloween treat. Joel M. Andre, author of the horror novel, Kill 4 Me is dropping in to tell us about his love of the horror genre. And in reading over his guest post I see that he and I share a favorite book, Stephen King's The Stand, so Joel is an okay guy in my book.
Horror is an interesting genre. Anything your mind can create is welcome and embraced with open arms. There is a world of creatures created and yet to be created that are at your disposal. You can explore a full range of passion and emotion, and let go of the inhibition other genres restrict you to.
Now don’t get me wrong, all genres are important in the literary world and each is needed for various reasons. ‘Gone with the Wind’ would never have worked had Dracula delivered that classic line. I can appreciate a good story regardless of genre.
My favorite books are ‘The Stand’ and ‘The Witching Hour’. But if you continue to explore my favorite books, you will see ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Oliver Twist’ are also in the mix.
Growing up, I had a strong imagination. I recall times at my grandparent’s home, fearing certain rooms, because I knew something was bound to swarm at me from the walls. The same could be said for the old house where I spent some time in Jerome, AZ. I stayed several months living in the attic, by choice, because I desperately wanted to see a ghost. My grandfather has some tales of encounters with the spirit world. Although my experiences with the unexplained are just a handful.
But my love of horror probably comes from my father Jerry Andre. He has a library full of old horror books and recent ones as well. Growing up, I would sneak in his study, and smell the pipe tobacco coming from the desk drawers while I admired the various book covers that lined his shelves. I would make up stories about the covers in my mind and entertain myself for hours.
There was only one cover I was deathly afraid of and that belonged to ‘The Stand.’ The man fighting the bird creature haunted me more than the others for some reason. To this day I have no idea why it affected me as much as it did. But I can clearly imagine it in my mind.
The impact was so strong from that novel’s cover I did finally read it for the first time in junior high school. It was my science class companion. While my instructor Mr. Scroggins was teaching his class, I would sit in the corner and read ‘The Stand’. I was hooked, while everyone else in his class learned from him, I learned from Stephen King. Unfortunately, my grades reflected that very same idea. But Mr. Scroggins was a good sport, and a great man.
Books began taking over my world from that moment on. By the start of High School I had read the Stephen King library, as well as the complete Fear Street series. I was addicted to written horror, I read Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, the complete works of Poe. The imagery stained my mind, and I would fantasize friendships with the characters from their books.
There was an awaking in me, and I began writing short stories with my own characters. Lauren Bruni first appeared on the market in my book ‘A Death at the North Pole.’ That however was not my first meeting with her. She had appeared in several of my short stories in the past. She had previously solved other grisly crimes. I did however have to reintroduce her to the general public, since she had never been introduced before.
For the fact of that matter, in my current book ‘Kill 4 Me’, Casey Dwyer was a minor character in a previous work as well. I loved her character so much; I knew she was the perfect match for this book. With a vast unpublished library ranging back from the 90’s, there are many more horror stories and characters I am anxious to share with the world.
From my stand point a good horror tale sends chills down someone’s spine. Classic horror can survive any amount of time that passes. Such as the classic tales of Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Perhaps the greatest teller of a horror tale is Poe. His passion for the written word and his grasp on pain and terror is timeless.
Horror drives people through many emotions, much more than just fear. You feel joy, pain, adrenaline rushes and the strength of the hero fighting back. It’s an emotional passionate rollercoaster. All while enjoying the taboo side of life we keep locked away.
Because you read or write horror does not make you a strange person in the least. Take me for instance. I am an average person, with a kind heart. But a mind that spews dark and chilling tales. I would never harm a soul, but in the written word, I can take on a persona and go through their experience. Share the pain, the fear and return to my normal life, and enjoy a deep conversation.
My continued hope is new original ideas continue to flow into the horror genre. I also encourage anyone who has a passion to write to give it a shot. Writing can be a great escape; there are so many worlds you can get lost in. Only you can hold yourself back from your dreams. The same can be said for reading. All books have a merit to them, find a story that inspires you, and read it. Share it with a friend and discuss it. A book uses a part of your brain that a movie or television show can never do.
The KILL 4 ME VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08 will officially begin on October 1 and end on October 30. You can visit Joel’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in October to find out more about his book!
As a special promotion, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced on our main blog at www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com on October 30!