As well as being a fan of Monty Python in my youth, I was also an avid reader of horror and ghost stories. Grubby, increasingly battered copies of the Pan series of horror stories passed from hand to hand around the classroom ... and then I discovered Dennis Wheatley and H.P Lovecraft nestling up against Dickens in my Dad's bookcase, and had a few more sleepless nights ...
As I got older I became a bit more squeamish and my love of horror lessened - but not so the good old ghost story, which provides all of the chills but without the buckets of blood and gore. The highlight of Christmas TV viewing was the BBC ghost story: a friend introduced me to MR James amongst other authors - and there are some very fine ghost story writers amongst the Authors Electric members too, including Susan Price, Mari Biella and Ann Evans ...
But although I read lots of ghost stories, I don't write them. Well, not normally. I did at one time pen a few, for the Damian Darke comic strip in a girls comic ... but that was a long, long time ago and as it was a comic strip, doesn't really count. And yes, alright, I have written a book called Haunting Hounds too, but I don't count that either as it isn't original fiction, but retold folk legends and tales of ghostly dogs.
And then Sue Price came up with the idea of putting together a seasonal thriller for Halloween ... and I thought 'Why not?'
I did think it might prove to be a bit difficult and daunting, but it turned out to be really good fun, and actually spawned several more stories, rather than just the one. It turns out that writing outside your usual genre is a bit like taking a holiday. It's refreshing and rather liberating trying something different - and in my case also helped to unlock the creative gates which had gone a bit rusty at the hinges. Certainly it was a whole lot more productive than sitting at the keyboard gazing mindlessly out of the window, or worse still playing endless games of Solitaire or Candy Crush Saga.
So go on, give it a go.
Try something different!
|My office assistants are taking a break this month, |
so have sent a friend along in their stead.
Thanks Claire Colvin for letting him out to play!
PS More about our Halloween spooktacular next month ... watch this space!